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Newspaper Page Text
THE PRIVATE SEANCE
By G. W. Masters
"Business is mighty slow, Prof.
Nahum," said Madame Ida the me
dium, to the latest satellite whom
she had picked up in the course of
her journeys up and down the length
and breadth of the land.
"They might be better," admitted
the professor, gloomily.
Madama Ida, driven out of Iowa
and at her wits' end, had considered
herself fortunate in securing the serv
ices of the starving young man who
had agreed to work for ner on the
basis of a division of the receipts in
stead of on salary. They had had
quite a successful tour :n Ohio, stop
ping for a day and a night at the
little country villages, where the gul
lible are just as numerous as they
ever were, in spite of education.
"Queer business, ain't it, profes
sor?" solilioquized Madame Ida. "But
lord, all business is a graft. It's a
respectable one and it don't do no
harm and does do a lot of good, that's
what I say. At least, it makes some
folks think they are seeing the spirits
of their beloved dead, and even if
they ain't sure that it's true it helps.
That's what I say it helps. Never
had no folks of your own, did you,
"Not since I was a boy," answered
the professor gloomily.
"Well, listen now," said Madame
Ida. "There's a rich old guy in this
place that's crazy on spirits. I got a
line on him and I've sent him an ad
vertisement of tonight's meeting. He
ought to be good for fifty if we can
work him right. Had a son who run
away and was wild, or something of
the sort, and he's got the idea that
he's in the summer land and thinks
"he didn't treat him square. Work the
game for all it's worth tonight, pro
fessor." "Sure," answered the professor.
"Karpen is his name Henry Kar
pen, and he's got a mint of money.
We might manage to stay over a few
days and perhaps give him private
settings. Shrewd old fellow he is, too,
they say, in the law. But, lord, that's
the kind we catch the easiest. So
work him, professor."
"I will," muttered the professor,
rising and going into the cabinet,
which was set with the accessories
for the seance.
Madame Ida had advertised ex
tensively, not through the newspa-
Mt's Faith That Counts, You Know
pers, which was apt to bring down
the attentions of the police, but by
means of handbills, and by letters ad
dressed to persons whom she had
learned through underground chan
nels to be spiritualistically inclined.
As a result there was a fairly full
house at a dollar apiece, among the.
audience being old Mr. Karpen.
Watching him narrowly out of the
corner of her eye Madame Ida de
cided that the old -lawyer could be
"worked" as' easily as the rest.