The trumpet still shone upon the table, but two voices, those apparently of a man and a woman, broke out in the air above them and joined very tunefully in the singing. The hymn died away and all was silence and tense expectancy once more.
It was broken by a deep male voice from the darkness. It was an educated English voice, well modulated, a voice which spoke in a fashion to which the good Bolsover could never attain.
"Good evening, friends. The power seems good tonight."
"Good evening, Luke. Good evening!" cried everyone.
"It is our teaching guide," Bolsover explained. "He is a high spirit from the sixth sphere who gives us instruction."
"I may seem high to you," said the voice. "But what am I to those in turn who instruct me! It is not my wisdom. Give me no credit. I do but pass it on."
"Always like that," said Bolsover. "No swank. It's a sign of his height."
"I see you have two inquirers present. Good evening, young lady! You know nothing of your own powers or destiny. You will find them out. Good evening, sir, you are on the threshold of great knowledge. Is there any subject upon which you would wish me to say a few words? I see that you are making notes."
Malone had, as a fact, disengaged his hand in the darkness and was jotting down in shorthand the sequence of events.
"What shall I speak of?"
"Of love and marriage," suggested Mrs. Bolsover, nudging her husband.
"Well, I will say a few words on that. I will not take long, for others are waiting. The room is crowded with spirit people. I wish you to understand that there is one man, and only one, for each woman, and one woman only for each man. When those two meet they fly together and are one through all the endless chain of existence. Until they meet all unions are mere accidents which have no meaning. Sooner or later each couple becomes complete. It may not be here. It may be in the next sphere where the sexes meet as they do on earth. Or it may be further delayed. But every man and every woman has his or her affinity, and will find it. Of earthly marriages perhaps one in five is permanent. The others are accidental. Real marriage is of the soul and spirit. Sex actions are a mere external symbol which mean nothing and are foolish, or even pernicious, when the thing which they should symbolize is wanting. Am I clear?"
"Very clear," said Mailey.
"Some have the wrong mate here. Some have no mate, which is more fortunate. But all will sooner or later get the right mate. That is certain. Do not think that you will not necessarily have your present husband when you pass over."
"Gawd be praised! Gawd be thanked!" cried a voice.
"No. Mrs. Melder, it is love -- real love -- which unites us here. He goes his way. You go yours. You are on separate planes, perhaps. Some day you will each find your own, when your youth has come back as it will over here."
"You speak of love. Do you mean sexual love?" asked Mailey.
"Where are we gettin' to?" murmured Mrs. Bolsover.
"Children are not born here. That is only on the earth plane. It was this aspect of marriage to which the great Teacher referred when he said: 'There will be neither marriage nor giving in marriage'. No! It is purer, deeper, more wonderful, a unity of souls, a complete merging of interests and knowledge without a loss of individuality. The nearest you ever get to it is the first high passion, too beautiful for physical expression when two high-souled lovers meet upon your plane. They find lower expression afterwards, but they will always in their hearts know that the first delicate, exquisite soul-union was the more lovely. So it is with us. Any question?"
"If a woman loves two men equally, what then?" asked Malone.
"It seldom happens. She nearly always knows which is really nearest to her. If she really did so, then it would be a proof that neither was the real affinity, for he is bound to stand high above all. Of course, if she . . ."
The voice trailed off and the trumpet fell.
"Sing 'Angels are hoverin' around'!" cried Bolsover.