Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Stories and Tales >> Mesmerides in a Stage-Coach; Or, Passes en Passant >> Page 225

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Page 225

Short Stories | U of South Carolina P | 1974
overcome them. The conflict between us was a protracted one. Thirty
minutes had elapsed and he was still awake, and had it not been that
I saw that some impression had been made, I should have given up
the effort; but I was encouraged by some of the signs of progress.
His pulse had sunk considerably; his skin, from being originally
hard, dry and hot, was now soft and moist, and fast approximating to
the exact temper of my own. There was a haziness about the pupils
of his eyes which was unmistakeable, and his glance, instead of being
a fixed, expressive gaze, was now an inane and unmeaning stare.
With a strong effort, I concentrated my will more completely upon
my object, and while keeping both of my eyes steadily upon the right
one of his, I gave a slight waving motion to my head. His eyes
closed; he opened them with an effort, and at that moment Colonel
Alford with another gentleman entered the room; he turned them
to the entrance, while a feeble smile passed over his lips. It was the
last effort at resistance, and I checked it instantly. "Look at me, sir ! "
I exclaimed, in the sternest accents; and his eyes closed beneath my
glance. I renewed the passes, and the conflict was at an end. But
the labour was an exhausting one. I had been forty-three minutes at
work before I was able to assure myself of my conquest. I placed a
chair behind him, threw a cloak over it, and leaned his head back
upon it. Perfecting his sleep by some few farther manipulations, I
delivered him to the company.
Col. Alford and his companion were doubters. They seemed to
take for granted that Gilbert was amusing himself at my expense. I
required them to test his capacity for endurance, which they did in
a variety of ways. All the ordinary modes of disturbing sleep failed
in the case of both Dalton and himself.
"Speak to him, Colonel Alford speak to him of the business upon
which he engaged you."
He did so, but without receiving any answer. After giving them
ample time for trial, and after they had exhausted all their experi-
ments, I proceeded to show them one of the wonders of this most
wonderful mystery the strange sympathy which exists between the
Mesmerizer and his patient. I spoke to him.