LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
A COINCIDENCE—OR WHAT?
[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.")
Sin,—In January, 1900, my son went on active service to South Africa. We were at first naturally rather anxious about him, but as time went on without his being wounded or getting seriously ill we became less so, until I think the • feeling entirely passed away. Early in October orders were sent to him to proceed to the battalion of his regiment not serving in South Africa, and we were looking forward to seeing him again in the course of a few weeks. I mention this to show that towards the end of that month we had no reason to be anxious or servo about him. On a Thursday-Friday night near the end
of October I had a vivid dream. I saw my son with two men whom I did not know standing in a narrow passage with an
open door off it leading into a small room. They all went into the room, close together, almost hustling each other pushing or leading my son, who was first, and who was looking at me. I awoke with a start, shouting to him loudly three or four times byname. Next morning (Friday) at breakfast I told his mother and sisters of my dream. On Saturday I
received the following telegram from the Military Secretary: —" Regret to inform you that your son — is reported by telegram from Pretoria as dangerously wounded in
abdomen, Thursday, near X." He did not die. Months after. wards he wrote from hospital an account of the action, and described the circumstances under which he spent the night
following it,—i.e., the night of my dream. After being wounded he had been carried into a small building close at
" The worst cases were in a room by themselves. I was with them—about six or seven, I should think. I felt deadly sick, but was told to keep it down if possible ; we were all alike in that respect. Then I remember some one couldn't stand it—he was sick, turned on his side, and died. Two orderlies appeared and carried him out. Then another—and the two orderlies came back, until finally there were hardly any left. I had had morphia, and slept the greater part of the night."
After many months in hospital, he recovered sufficiently to allow of his being sent home, and I have lately told him of my dream. He tells me that when very ill in hospital long
after he was wounded he felt he had the power of transferring himself far away, and did so " transfer " himself to Devon.
shire, Cornwall, &c. The sensations he' had at such times were extremely vivid and curious, but need not be related here. On the night of my dream he had no Finch
sensation, and at no time did he ever fancy himself at home in Scotland. I should add that with this single exception I did not dream once of my son during the whole period of his absence. Can it be thought that had he not been wounded I should nevertheless have had this dream F—I am, Sir, &c., Z.
[We have received complete and satisfactory proofs of the authenticity of this most curious and interesting story.— ED. Spectator.]