Some Real American Ghosts
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Dr. Funk borrowed the coin from Professor West's collection, as a lighter colored one he already had was of doubtful authenticity. Both coins were sent to the government expert in Philadelphia and the lighter one was declared to be the genuine one. By the spirits it is now declared, however, that a mistake was made and that the darker one belonging to Professor West has the greater value.
"I found both the light and the dark one in the drawer," said Dr. Funk, "and remembered distinctly that it was the darker of the two which I had borrowed from Professor West. I went to the next sťance, and when Rakestraw's spirit arrived I asked him to find out which one was to be returned. After a brief interval his voice came to me.
"'Return the dark one, of course,' he said. 'That is the genuine coin and is the one you borrowed from Dr. Beecher's friend.'
"While I do not wish to be classed as a believer in Spiritualism, I certainly am open to conviction after what has come under my personal observation," Dr. Funk concluded. "I am confident that no fraud was practiced on me at the sťance at which I was told about the old coin. The medium is an elderly woman living in Brooklyn, who never appears in public, and the only persons present were members of her family and known to me. But none of them knew any more about the coin being in my safe than I did."
"That fellow must be in a hurry to reach C.," remarked the doctor.
"Did you notice anything peculiar about that vehicle?" inquired his companion.
"Only that it moves very quietly. I heard no sound as it went by."
"Nor did I," said his friend. "Neither rattling of wheels nor noise of hoofs. It is certainly strange."
* * * * *
The matter, however, was soon forgotten in other conversation, and they had traveled perhaps a mile, when suddenly, the same horse and carriage passed them as before. Nothing was discernible of the driver except his feet, the carriage curtains hiding his body. There was no cross road by which a vehicle in front could possibly have got behind without making a circuit of many miles and consuming several hours. Yet there was not the shadow of a doubt as to the identity of the vehicle, and the two gentlemen gazed at each other in blank amazement, and with a certain defined sense of awe which precluded any discussion of the matter, particularly as the horse was to all appearances the well-known white habitually driven by the deceased Judge. A half mile brought them in sight of Judge S.'s gate, when for the third time the ghostly team dashed by in the same dreadful mysterious silence. This time it turned in full view into the gate. Without a word of comment the doctor quickened his horse's speed, and reached the gate only a few yards behind the silent driver. Both gentlemen peered eagerly up the long, open lane leading to the house; but neither carriage nor wheel-track was visible, though it was still clear daylight, and there was no outlet from the lane, nor could any vehicle in the time occupied accomplish half the distance. The peculiar features of this strange incident are that it was equally and simultaneously evident to two witnesses, both entirely unprepared for any such manifestation, and differing widely in temperament, habits of life, mental capacity and educational attainments, and by mere accident making this journey together, and that to this day both of them--witnesses, be it noted, of unimpeachable credibility--attest it, and fully corroborate each other, but without being able to suggest the slightest explanation.