We have called this a twice-told tale, because it is the kind of thing which happens all too often to psychic research investigators. We can't tell you the name of the "hant", though his identity is well established and he is a familiar historical character, for reasons which will appear. These same reasons prevent our giving you the names of the persons concerned; we can only ask you to take our word for it, that they are people much above average in education and culture, sane and responsible, and not spiritualists or occultists - at least prior to these recent happenings. For a while we figured on having a book-full of the finest kind of evidential material, with affidavits to cover every word of it if necessary, but this-n-that happened, and now we're reduced to this unsupported might-have-been notation. Oh, well! . . . . . . .
It all began with a ouija board - Mrs Ault, Mrs Bolt, Mrs Cook (we'll call them) passing an idle hour with it, in a sunny patio. A first experiment for all of them. Idle hands, unbusy with the besom, and the devil or Something right there to make use of them. For all at once the O.B. began to give intelligible messages; an aunt, or great-aunt, apparently, and well informed about things both past and future. Then suddenly (we leave out 99% of the story) here comes the swashbuckling Revenant in Chief.
His cue had been his Call-name - G O L D. Mrs Ault, jestingly, apropos of something on the ouija board, had said, "Oh, tell us where to find a pot of gold." One moral of this is, be careful and careful what you say over astral walkie-talkies. Careful what bells you ring in the Abyss! For here was Captain G O L D (we'll call him that), earth-bound and gold-bound a century and a half by his own admission, but no chattering graveyard wraith or seance-room tumbler, but courtly, plausible, treacherous, skillful as Iago, an artist, a thief, a murderer, a seducer, a rapist, a gold-enslaved man . . . We know a good deal about him, because for two months he ran things with a high hand.
"Read-such-and-such a book," wrote Captain G O L D - giving title and pages, "and you'll find out about me." And the reference is right, though none of the participants had ever seen the book previously. "Put that ouija away - burn it - too many evil influences can come through that thing (!)." And when one woman holds the pencil lightly and another touches its upper end with a finger, it begins to write furiously. So, Mrs Ault wants a pot of gold, does she? Well, the Captain is eager to oblige. There is a fearsome cliff overhanging the sea, and in this cliff a cavern and in the cavern - chests of treasure.
And what a treasure it is! Chests with the Crown Jewels, with pieces of eight, with diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, messy chains and ornaments, loot of ships and plundered cities and murdered travellers. And these chests, filled, weigh a ton apiece, and are encrusted with precious stones. Loot of Golconda, the mines of Solomon, the groves of Hesperides is no richer than this trove - if trove it should become.
Does all this sound like a fairy tale for children? But read further. The height of this cliff, its precise location, the elevation of the cave above the water line, the coloring and configuration of the rock, are all given correctly and precisely. And the husbands of these women, Mr A, Mr B, and Mr C., are told just where on a certain "Point" to set the transit, and that a rise of land will intervene, and  that part of the Point has been levelled and set to lawn in the course of years. All these details, and others we must omit, are exactly verified by inspection - yet none of the participants had visited this place. Captain G O L D even makes extra trips himself, comes back and corrects certain measurements.
We pause to invite the explanations of sceptics. Our notion is, Captain G O L D was just as real, just as much alive and here, as either you or I. That doesn't mean that the treasure was there, or that the Captain was not a super-liar. But such a meticulous liar - such pains as he took, to make all things truthful en route, to his lie par excellence!
(We don't mean, either, that the treasure isn't there. But we don't believe in it and we are not going to investigate).
We forgot to say, the Captain's willingness to turn over all this loot, was contingent on the promise, to spend it all for charity - to the end that gold might undo G O L D ' S bad deeds, and release him from the toils and fascination of it.
This cavern, however, is almost inaccessible; moreover, it is guarded by the Spirits of three Dead men.
As to access, Captain G O L D is fertile in plans, proposes a boat, two boats, cables, tackle, much other equipment. Incidentally he draws maps (women holding the pencil), also does them in oils, in colors, excellent in execution, faithful and correct as to actual details of the locality. When the approach by sea is thought too difficult, the Captain has a new idea. He wants a cable or rope ladder swung down from above, over the over-hang, maybe 200 feet, then everybody is to go down the ladder to the cave. Everybody, he insists. Three men and three women. All or none. That's necessary, too, if entrance is from the sea instead of the cliff, and they must enter in a certain order, and keep a light going at all times, without fail. He suggests that if his exact instructions are followed, a psychic field will be set up by means of which he can be of assistance; moreover, it will fend off the malignancy of the Guardians.
(Occultists will understand this "Guardian" business; it's no novelty and no delusion, though as a rule we don't dare say that where our P.R. brethren can hear us.)
To do justice to all this, we should have to write as many paragraphs as we have words, maybe more. The Captain produced literally reams of writing, a profusion of Maps and Diagrams, schemes, plans, projects, instructions, changes in instructions, whims and petulances, went into rages, became wheedling and submissive, then broke out in a new place. But always quite in character - once his character type was grasped. Always factually correct, so far as could be checked. To complement this personality build-up, it is soon found that this is distinctly not his first appearance. Mrs Ault has been reading up on Captain G.
"He's been seen quite often," says Mrs A, interestedly, "He's scared the pants off a number of people."
(A prophetic remark, re pantalettes also, or their contemporary equivalents - if any.)
Instead of going straight ahead with this story, to an appalling adventure in a haunted cave, we shall have to loop back and take up another side of the affair. Then we shall understand why there was no adventure in the cave for us to be appalled by. Of course, the whole plan for recovering the treasure, though circumstantial and plausible and accurate on verifiable facts, also called for an engineering feat of considerable risk and difficulty. This meant delay, difficulty, and expense. Besides,  the place is a death trap, and these three couples, though young and adventurous, are nobody's fools - not even Captain G O L D ' S. So the discussion went on, night after night. And also, all this time, there was unfolding
THE PSYCHISM OF DERRY A.
This Derry is a 12-year old boy, son of the "Ault" couple, in the Junior High School, I.Q. of 130, a very fine youngster with normal interest in sports and mechanics, normally well behaved but also a great puzzlement to his teachers. The chief reason, apart from the 130, is that the boy is a natural psychic, medium, clairvoyant, psychometrist, psychic sensitive - if ever there was one. One of these rare gifts of the Gods to humanity, IF we only had sense enough to appreciate and cultivate such powers. So, he lived in a world of his own which he couldn't talk about outside the family, and which sometimes intruded on his earth-plane business as well. No use trying to make this clear to teachers, doctors, psychiatrists, educators - that would be the supreme and fatal error. So - and so . . .
This paragraph has to do for chapters Nine and Ten of the book that should have been written about The Return of Captain G O L D.
The important point is, that Derry's mother, Mrs A. (who ought to know better and does), one day asked Derry to hold the pencil while Captain G indited some gem of wisdom. And that, of course, was Captain G O L D ' S golden chance. Figuratively and literally, he embraced Derry like a long-lost brother.
We should interject here, that Captain G alleged a whole list of relationships existing in a past life. Mrs A had been his mother, Mrs B his mistress, Mrs C a great beauty much beloved by him. Later he said he was mistaken, that Mrs B had been an officer under his command. The important matter, from an analyst's point of view, is that by an odd chance, two of these women were more or less psychic, the third was a natural Medium, and the three men, though ignorant of spiritism, were tolerant and interested. Add the psychic sensitivity of the boy Derry, and the set-up for res clandestinae was near perfect. None of them, we repeat, knew anything about psychic matters, with a partial exception in the case of Mrs A. She had considerable grounding in general occult theory, had practised meditation, but had never attended a seance or made contact with any excarnate personality. We can understand how this ignorance, combined with receptivity, made the way all the easier for Captain G.
The Captain made himself comfortable around the "Ault" home, and Derry could see him. Some of Derry's playmates saw him too. We have elaborate descriptions of the Captain's costume, correct for his period, of his airs and graces and fine caballero manners. Moreover, this brigand of the haute monde had all his old gang around him, including a demented and thoroughly murderous relative. Not that this riff-raff of the astral invaded the house to any great extent - but it was only a little while until Derry was spending his nights among them.
The key to this situation was, that Derry at first went gladly on such adventures. Captain G fascinated him with smooth words, fine manners and strange sights. This took place in sleep or semi-trance; and the boy remembered everything and described everything with a vocabulary far beyond his years. Or else, he functioned on both planes, described what he was seeing at the time, acted out scene after scene. Captain G O L D took him to the opera; the play, the costumes, the spectators, would fill several pages, and run true historically. But there were dreadful scenes also, drinking brawls that ran to murder and rape, and even the duel in which Captain G O L D  met his death. What was Derry actually seeing? His past life, as a youth in Captain G's company? Akashic or etheric records? Thought forms from G O L D ' S memory? They lacked no whit of reality to the boy. Once, for a long hour, he brandished a carving knife, threatening and defending, and at the same time, dimly conscious on this plane also, kept warning his mother to keep away from him, or she "might get hurt". These astral experiences of Derry A., night after night, a month to six weeks of them, would run to a hundred pages . . . But as a result, the boy's school work is wrecked, his health suffers, the school authorities are concerned, begin talking about mental tests and psychiatrists (!!) . . . .
Around the Ault home various small phenomena occur, sounds and movements of furniture. The pressure of finger tips slides the piano or lifts a heavy chair. The bath-room door becomes locked and Captain G is appealed to, to get inside and open it. He (something, someone) beats on the door, shakes it, but cannot unlock it. Then there is a determined attempt to obsess or possess Mr A. He's a husky man, engineer, college bred, hardly the "susceptible type", but he has an hour-long struggle at midnight with Something that wants to take his earthly house away from him. Derry is beginning to get angry and frightened - and so is everyone else.
The RR editor is invited to take a hand in the matter, and cautiously extends one finger. There is a council of war, and it is decided to shut out Captain G O L D and his confreres at every entrance. Easier said than done, however, and Captain G says he will "never" go away. Still, there are certain things which can be done and Mrs A puts them into effect. The real problem is to protect Derry during his sleep. All day long, now, he is conscious of a drag and a pull at his solar plexus. This is, in our opinion, the psychic chord built up by the obsessing entity. There is an operation called the Operation of Substitution, known to occultists, for dealing with this. There are also means for protecting the body during sleep. Psychic research students usually know about these, but consider them outside the sphere of scientific studies and very likely mumbo-jumbo. We do not detail them here, for many RR readers may share that opinion. What we do share with all of you, is the fact that mumbo-jumbo worked. We attribute the health, sanity, perhaps the life of Derry A, to mumbo-jumbo.
We are sure there are millions of smart, sane, practical people who know exactly "what they would do with a boy like that". We may thank heaven that the parents of this Derry were smart people in a very different way. We know what religionists, psychiatrists, school authorities, policemen, judges of Juvenile Courts would do and thank whatever Gods may be that Derry was saved from their wisdom. We point out that for people involved in such events, there is no help to be had anywhere in the midst of all our boasted 20th century learning. Or if there are people who can help, how does one find them and who believes in them?
This is a serious and bitter indictment, and we do not exempt the spiritualists from it - that is, the rank and file of them. They do not have much trouble themselves. Their circles are well protected on the "other side", and they have a justified though somewhat naive confidence in their prayers, their aspirations, and their Guides. This is exactly analogous to our habitual confidence in policemen and firemen. In minor emergencies, sometimes in more serious ones, they give us adequate protection. When the superior powers of destruction are loosed, they are as helpless as ourselves. Men like Wickland, a professional exorcist, may be exempted from our criticism. But the operative occultist who has had to clear an adversary from his  own path knows that salvation lies in knowledge and skill and initiative. Accused of dreams and hallucinations, he is actually almost the only realist among the sons of men.
To return now to our subject for a final comment. This marvelous psychism of Derry A. (of which we have given no adequate idea) developed pari passu with the pursuit of the fabulous treasure. The "Ault" home was, for some two months, the center of a veritable vortex of psychic or astral forces. Many personalities, unmentioned in this account, gathered round, tried by every means to beat their way through into manifestation. As the true nature of Captain G O L D and his associates began to appear, belief in his Golconda waned correspondingly. The night came when a child seemed to communicate - "The gold's a coax, coax, coax . . ." Put H for C and the sense is plain. For all that, it might have been well, for occult reasons, to brave the guardians, if the cavern itself had been half-way accessible - but not at the serious risk of the lives of everyone.
This cavern, by the way, is in no remote and isolated spot, but within the limits of a popular resort. Hence Captain G. insisted at every turn on the need for secrecy, disguise, and craftiness. There is also a secondary, minor treasure theme mixed up in this, and many personalities are unnamed.
This struggle and turn of events explains why the "pot of gold" is still unsought for, but does not quite make plain why we cannot present, in a hundred (or 2-300 pages) instead of four or five, material of so important a nature. Important, because there is as much and as good evidence here, for the existence of the discarnate Captain G O L D, as there is for your neighbor - John Smith - lacking only his easy visibility. Because all fumbling-mumbling about telepathy, delusions, subconscious prankings, trickery and the like, breaks down at every attempt to apply it. We can't make the case for this, because we can't give the whole story - but it is cases like this which fill us with contempt for all pussyfooters, dream-mongers, and fact-dodgers - for people who cannot or will not realize that the burden of proof is on whoever says, "No, that is not John Jones; that is a subliminal projection, personification, personalization, hallucination, hypnosis - anything, in fact, except J.J. himself." Our own conviction asserts the objective existence of John Jones and Captain G O L D as fully formed personalities, and until some one offers an alternative theory at least half as reasonable, we hold our flat feet firm on solid ground.
Lastly then, we do not and cannot tell the whole story for the following reason. Of the three women, Mrs C was by far the most mediumistic. She was absent during many of these happenings, but returned when the worst was over, and when the project of making a complete record was being considered. Immediately, another entity, a Being of great power and speaking as with high authority, communicated with the group, and the gist of his words was this: that Captain G O L D and all his cronies were evil and earth-bound, a center and focus of evil energies, and that they drew their life forces from the here-living, especially from all who gave them any measure of attention in their thoughts. "You will do as you please," said this Communicator, "but the right thing, the Christ-like thing to do, is to wipe the slate clean, put all thought of G O L D and his fellows from you forever, above all say nothing, write nothing to sustain this evil life, or to draw the attention of any other earth person to its existence. Thus it will the sooner wither and die away . . . ."
We did not hear this communicator, but his effect on the group was overwhelming; not one of them seems to have thought of disregarding his advice. It is because of this that we have concealed, in this article, all places and identities, and can give  only our unsupported word for genuineness and truth. It may be that even so, we have incurred the grave displeasure of our friends, we could point out that there are other points of view; and that the factual verification of occult concepts is of great importance, and that the suppression of case histories of this type may work more harm than the good it is said to serve. But no one, of course, can prove such contentions pro or contra.
Interference of this sort, for good or doubtful motives, is all too common in psychical studies. It is one reason for our ignorance, but for all we know it may serve far higher purposes than our difficult instruction.
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EARTH ~ BOUND
Soul whirled with young body
In a frolic so gay
It grew forgetful of
Its heavenly yesterday,
Its natural solemn music,
So giddy was the play.
Then body grew a-weary
And leaned to soul in tears;
But soul was dreaming over
The folly of young years,
It had nothing but ancient folly
To soothe its lover's fears.
When body lay in stillness
The soul could not recall
The aery solemn being
It had before its fall,
It was tangled in old folly;
The earth had it in thrall . . .
R. I. E. (from Irish Statesman)
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