The Mystery of Evelin Delorme: A Hypnotic Story, p.1Albert Bigelow Paine
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The Mystery ofEvelin Delorme
* * * * *
A Hypnotic Story
By Albert Bigelow Paine
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Side Pocket SeriesArena Publishing Co.
THE MYSTERYOFEVELIN DELORME
A HYPNOTIC STORY
BYALBERT BIGELOW PAINE
BOSTONARENA PUBLISHING CO.COPLEY SQUARE1894
Copyright, 1894byA. B. PAINE
To HENRY J. FLETCHER.
While engaged in writing the story of Evelin Delorme it was my goodfortune to make the acquaintance of Dr. Herbert L. Flint, the well-knownhypnotist briefly referred to in chapter three. The science of Hypnotismbeing a theme of absorbing interest to me, I eagerly availed myself ofthe opportunity thus offered for exhaustive investigation of thesubject, and was accorded frequent and prolonged interviews with Dr.Flint. During one of these I reviewed to him briefly the outline of mystory and the strange mystery of Evelin Delorme which had given rise tothe plot. I saw at once that he was unusually moved and interested. Atmy conclusion he arose hastily and left the room, returning a momentlater with a quantity of papers which proved to be an unpublished memoirwhich he was then preparing. From this he hurriedly separated severalsheets and placed them in my hand, remarking with suppressed feeling,"Here is the missing link in your narrative."
He has allowed me to publish it here in his own words.
EXTRACT FROM THE UNPUBLISHED MEMOIRS OF DR. FLINT.
"The following is a brief account of a very curious case of hypnoticsuggestion, and one which, because of the mystery surrounding its finaloutcome, has caused me no little anxiety.
"On the 9th of July, 1878, there came to my office in St. Louis astrikingly beautiful young woman of evident wealth and aristocraticbreeding, who gave her name as Eva Delorme. Her dress indicated recentbereavement, and her face impressed me as being that of one whom deathhad deprived of all those near and beloved. She stated her errand atonce, and briefly. She had been pursuing the study of Mesmeric Sciences,and, believing herself a good hypnotic subject, desired that I make atrial with that end in view. A simple test convinced me that she wassusceptible to hypnotic suggestion, and further experiment revealed tome that she was one of the most perfect subjects I have ever known. Shecalled again the day following and asked me if it were possible, throughthe aid of hypnotism, to give to her a double personality; adding thatshe desired to become for a few hours a heartless, haughty, gay woman ofthe world--precisely opposite, in fact, to what she really appeared.Believing that she wished to forget her sorrow for a time, I assuredher that I thought this might be accomplished and that it wouldprobably obliterate all knowledge of a previous existence for the timebeing. To this she eagerly consented, and after some furtherconversation concerning the details I asked her what name she desired toassume in her new character. She replied that her full name was EvelinMarch Delorme, of which, in her assumed personality, she would retainthe first two. She likewise gave me a memorandum of a street and numberto which she was to be directed; this being, doubtless, one of severalof her dwelling properties, for she impressed me always as a person ofabundant wealth. With a few passes I then placed her under the hypnoticinfluence, and while in this state I impressed upon her earnestly thefact that she would awaken a haughty and heartless woman of the world,dashing and gay, free from past regrets and future misgivings, as shehad told me to do. That her name would be Evelin March; and I repeatedto her the street and number, and some minor details which she had givento me. That she would retain this personality for twelve hours. This Irepeated to her several times, then bade her awaken.
"The change in her was complete and startling. Her wholeexpression--even her very features--appeared altered. Accustomed as I amto such things I could not avoid feeling somewhat nervous at thiswonderful transformation. In her new character she was as beautiful andimperious as a queen, with a supercilious, almost coarse, expression ofcountenance. She seemed much mortified at the somber simpleness of herdress, and I judge went immediately to make changes.
"I did not see her again until a week later, when she came to my office,apparently restored to her true character. She had a vaguesemi-recollection of what had been her experience in the other state anddesired a second trial, to which I somewhat reluctantly consented,though I must confess I was by this time deeply interested in the case.
"These transformations were frequently repeated, during the next fewmonths; then her visits ceased and I did not see her until a year later,when I was astounded one day to meet her riding in Forest Park _in herassumed character_, evidently having taken on the condition unaided,either unconsciously or of her own volition.
"I never saw her again, and as I had mislaid the memorandum of heraddress and the number had slipped my memory, I lost trace of herentirely. I have always felt a great and somewhat guilty curiosity as tothe final result of this strange experiment."
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