Bouissou, Madame Michael - The Second World War- The Jewesses' tale
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Life of a Sensitive – Madame Michael Bouissou
…I had to work harder to cope with life which had become more and more expensive –[my children] were my greatest anxiety. Obsessed by these fears I finally took complete refuge in my work, which gave me my only possible weapon to continue the struggle, money.
Sometimes when I put my screen away in the evening I remained for a moment vacillating, as though between two worlds, the world I had just left and the world in which I lived.
Nevertheless my gift had never been more reliable; I was not, of course, infallible but now there was practically no symbolism in my visions. The image appeared with such clarity and veracity on the black screen that I was sometimes afraid. The revelations brought by my gift were terrible, and, whatever the reason, whether because of my weariness or because the fluids emanating from the consultant (feverishly and anxiously straining with all his strength towards those whose fate he wanted to know) facilitated and fortified the images, they seemed on occasions to leap from their frame and to materialise.
After all these years I still remember some of them. I can see the two young women who came one evening about nine o'clock after making an appointment by telephone.
Hatless, they both had magnificent, soft, black, wavy hair which enhanced their smooth faces and large burning black eyes. Once in my study they handed me two men’s ties asking me what I could see. Yes, they were brothers and they both wanted "to go on a trip" (during the occupation the word "trip", uttered in a certain way, might mean an illegal crossing of the line, a departure for the Maquis or an escape), and while they replied in the affirmative to my first questions I saw on the black screen a long, empty clearing, as though cut out of a thick clump of undergrowth. Everything was peaceful in the picture; it travelled to the top, right-hand corner of the screen as though rolled off on an invisible bobbin, giving place to another picture of several young men sitting on the ground, apparently waiting.
"There they are," I said suddenly, seeing two men who seemed to be facing me.
"They're safe for the moment. They're all right and they have joined up with the people they were going to meet. They're waiting, they're waiting." All at once, veiling the last image, the almost vertical wing of an aeroplane appeared, and I went on: "They're waiting for an aeroplane. They are the only ones who will leave, but not this evening or to-morrow. No, I can't see any dangers. They are well hidden." I raised my head. The youngest woman, leaning towards me as though to hear better, had let fall a kind of fur stole and on the lapel of her coat I could see the yellow star of David.
Catching my eye she noticed her star and exchanged a terrified glance with the other girl. Calmly, as though in defiance, she too let drop her fur, allowing the star to appear, then took her friend's hand. Since I did not flinch and waited, the eldest one said to me, "A friend sent us to you; she has been hiding us since our husbands left. We were warned and we left our flat just in time. They came three days ago and took everything; the flat is now occupied. Our husbands are waiting to be picked up by a British aeroplane. It is supposed to come and drop arms and take them away but when . . . ? We are almost dead with anxiety. Do you think you could possibly see when they leave ? In any case you're quite right. The clearing has been enlarged, right in the middle of a forest . , . "
"Near Le Mans," I said, finishing her phrase. "It's a dangerous landing place, but well hidden. I can't tell you any more this evening. You mustn't go out for the next few days. Go quickly now and leave me the ties. Tell your friend to telephone me every evening at about ten o'clock, but not from her house, to be on the safe side. I will reply. Your husband will be Jacques, and yours, Madame, will be Jean. If everything goes all right I will say Jacques and Jean have gone to their uncle's. They caught the train all right and we shall all be hearing news of them.”
A smile lit up their faces. "Yes," said one of them, "we shall hear on the radio. They've arranged to send a message."
They left. It was a bright night, too bright for my taste, a night for possible raids, and I thought of those men hidden in a forest watching the moonlit clearing… Near Le Mans. Why had I said that? A landing on a moonlight night . . . The anti-aircraft guns could not be very near for them to risk that . . . I looked thoughtfully at the two smart ties lying near my screen.
On two consecutive evenings I took them and consulted my screen: the ties were supple and warm. Nothing had happened to the two men, but the clearing was empty and twice I had to give a negative reply to the unknown voice at ten o'clock asking for news of the boys. Finally, on the third day, I no longer saw the clearing. An aircraft wing, at an angle, filled the screen. Then the image disappeared, leaving me a childishly reduced picture of a small cabinless aircraft; three men's heads in flying helmets such as one sees in photographs of the 1914 planes. Why had symbolism recurred in this instance? Had this picture of outdated aircraft recorded itself when I was a child on my subconscious and remained there?
The ties were still just as warm and as supple, and I put them away with a sigh of relief. On the telephone I announced that Jacques and Jean had caught the train. Then there was silence, but a fortnight later my concierge brought me a bunch of roses delivered by an old lady who had not wanted to come up and disturb me. Among the flowers I found an envelope.
The letter told me that Jacques and Jean had arrived safely and that their wives had left to join them by another route. I heard no more news and I only burnt the ties a short while ago.