During the subsequent four years after my strange meeting with the tall and straight, white-haired old man who had prophesied concerning me, events, one after another shaped themselves in harmony with his forecast. In all that time we never met, indeed I met him but once more before my death.
Before going further I must recall and finally dismiss from the scene the partners in my gold mine and also the one who bought the gold, knowing the act to be unlawful.
Several months had elapsed since the interview with Rai Gwauxln in his private apartments, when a youth wearing an orange-hued turban and upon its front a gold-mounted garnet pin, denoting him to be a guard in the imperial service, entered the geology room in the Xioquithlon and going to the instructor-in-chief, spoke in a low tone. Rapping on his desk for attention from the ninety or more students in session in the minerals class, the chief asked if a Xioqene named Zailm Numinos was present.
I arose in my place in response to the question.
The other Xioqeni looked interestedly on, as I went up, not without some trepidation, for I well knew what service was represented by the messenger, and there seemed to be a sternness in the tones of the instructor not at all pleasant.
"This courier desires that thou wilt go with him before the Rai, who has so commanded. He is at the Tribune, of the Criminal Court, and thou art needed as a witness."
Remembering what the Rai had said, I was considerably reassured by the import of the words addressed to me, and no longer specially apprehensive, went as required. Arrived at the Court of the Tribunes, I saw my mining partners there in custody, along with the incriminated purchaser of the gold. The judge of the court sat on the judicial divan on its raised platform, and by his side sat, in simple dignity, Gwauxln, Rai of the greatest nation of the earth; but he was nevertheless studiously observant of the fact that the judge was, as such, entitled to the place of first rank while in the hall. Several spectators were in the seats provided for the public in the auditorium.
There could be but one verdict concerning the malefactors, "Guilty as charged," This opinion was reached very quickly, and by the culprits admitted to be a just one. Immediately, an officer took the prisoners into another part of the building, where was a well-lighted apartment, fitted with various portable and stationary instruments. He was accompanied by all persons present.
A chair with a head-clasp rest, and with other rests, clasps and straps for the limbs and body of the occupant, stood in the center of the room. A guardsman seated and firmly strapped one of the prisoners in the chair. This preliminary attended to, a Xioqa approached bearing in his hands a small instrument of which, from its general appearance, I knew the nature to be magnetic. He placed the two poles of this in the hands of the condemned man, and after a brief manipulation a slight, purring sound was heard from the instrument. Immediately the prisoner's eyes closed and his every appearance indicated profound stupor; he was in fact magnetically anesthetized. Then
the operator carefully felt all over the head of the unconscious man, and this examination concluded, ordered the attendant to shave the entire cranium. When this order had been obeyed, he made a blue mark upon the shaven surface in front and above the ears. Feeling further, he made the Poseid numeral (or 2) above and a very little back of each ear. These operations done, he gave his attention to the spectators, but, on being spoken to by Rai Gwauxln, he paused long enough from making his proposed address to the audience to call me to his side from where I stood outside the railing. Then he spoke:
"In the prisoner I find that the predominant, most positive faculties are those which I have marked one and two; these are, number one, a grasping desire to acquire property, and his disposition is to do all things secretly, as may be seen from the exceeding prominence of the organs of secretivness. While the skull does not extend upwards very high, but at number two is very wide between the ears, I should infer that here we have a very acquisitive individual, lacking conscientiousness and spirituality, and therefore the moral nature, almost wholly. As he has also a very destructive temperament, we have withal a very dangerous character, one which I marvel has so managed as not ere this to have exposed himself to this office for correction. Why any one should hesitate, even voluntarily, to undergo corrective treatment causes me much wonder. It is something, I suppose, explicable on the theory that one on the low moral plane of this poor fellow is unable to see the advantage of being on any higher plane, but is able to see the immediate advantages due to the pursuit of nefarious methods. He is, in short, a man who would not hesitate at the commission of murder, could he see any immediate gain in it, and be wholly oblivious of after consequences. Is this true, Zo Rai?"
"It is," replied the emperor.
"My diagnosis of the case," continued the Xioqa, "having been confirmed by so high an authority, I will now apply the cure."
He summoned an attendant, who wheeled out another magnetic apparatus contained in a heavy metal case. Having placed this in a satisfactory condition of activity, the Xioqa next applied its positive pole to that place on the head of the patient marked by the figure one, and the other pole he placed at the back of the neck. He then took out his timepiece and laid it on the metal case of the instrument, near a dial the pointer of which he adjusted. All was then still, except the low-toned conversation in various parts of the room, during the ensuing half hour. At the end of this time the Xioqa arose from his seat and changed the positive pole to the other side of the head, where the duplicate figure was marked. Then again a half-hour's quiet, broken only by the exit of some of the spectators and the entrance of others. When the half hour had again elapsed, the operator changed the pole to the place marked "two." This time only half an hour was given to both sides of the head. I had been told by the emperor to remain. He bad only stayed a few moments after the beginning of the operation which was not new to him. At the end of the work on the first man be was taken from under the influence of the magnetic anesthetizer by merely reversing the poles of the instrument at a second application. The Xioqa lectured upon the theme afforded by the operation while the first patient was being removed. To the considerable audience that had, by this time, assembled, he said:
"You have seen the treatment of those mental qualities which tended through their predominance to warp his moral nature, something but partially developed. The process has been partially to atrophy the vascular channels supplying that portion of the brain where are located the organs of greed and of destruction. But mark well this point, after all is said, the soul is superior to the physical brain, and it is in the soul, the nature of the man, in which these criminal tendencies inhere-the brain and other organs being the seat of psychic expression--the business office, so to speak. Hence, merely to have mechanically hypnotized this subject would not accomplish our purpose. Hypnotizing is an indrawing, and
the cerebral blood-vessels contract and become partially bloodless; indeed, they may become fatally empty; this art is a very dangerous one. But the opposite effect is produced in aphaism (Poseid equivalent for the modern word "mesmerism"). The brain is filled with blood, and the reversion of the instrument cessated the hypnotic and initiated the aphaic process. It is at this moment that the mind of the operator may assume control of the mind of the subject, and suggest to the erring soul a permanent cessation of the error. This man has been so treated, doubly treated, since not only has the blood supply been partially cut off which went to those organs where was the seat of his weakness, but with my will I have impressed his soul to cease its sin, and I have supplied it with a work to execute which will have a counter action. He may be slightly ill for a few days, but his tendencies to sin will be gone. It requires a superior mind, which has gone wrong in several directions. to make a successful evil-doer, and where the lower nature, chiefly a perverted sex-nature predominates, there will be found the criminal. Atla has no debauchees, for if a person show such disposition, the State takes the wayward one in hand and operates upon the proper organs. But I need not dilate upon these subjects any further."
The first man having been taken away to receive careful nursing, the next of my whilom partners was placed in the chair. Examination of the cerebral development revealed that he was more weak than wicked; an habitual prevaricator, and of libertine tendencies: one whose skull was mostly behind and above the ears. I need not pause to describe his treatment; it was on the lines of the other; mesmeric suggestion was the chief cure.
As I went to my home that evening, I resolved to add the science of prophylactic penology to my chosen curriculum. I did so. By practice of the knowledge of men then acquired I interfered with the karma of not a few individuals but, as the result has proven, the interference was in no case injurious, so that I have not to-day to answer for any harm done. I have
sometimes wished that I had submitted myself for treatment at the hands of the State, for it would at least have prevented the commission of errors which have wrought much misery, to me, and to others by me. That I did not, is as well, not only on the principle that in our Father's kingdom whatever is, is best, but also because no one can in any way whatever, shirk the responsibilities inbound in character by the karma of all preceding incarnations. To have so submitted myself for correction would have been an evasion of the ordeal, a sort of cowardly attempt similar to the act of the self-murderer who seeks to avoid trouble on earth by suicide, and who in every ease escapes nothing, not one jot nor tittle of the law of God. Instead, he piles his miseries and penalties mountains higher and prolongs through inexorable karma, and other earthly incarnations, his anguish. Thus it is with those who die by self-destruction; but those who die by unavoidable causes involuntarily, are not visited by such penalties. So the Poseid culprits who could in no wise avoid the treatment were benefited, whereas for me voluntary submission would have sown dragon's teeth for my pathway. Penalties, observe, concern not those who know and, knowing, do God's will.