Colonel Voutier- The young Turkish girl's dream of the death of her mother
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery: After Death – Camille Flammarion
I owe my acquaintance with this remarkable story to a kindness of the brilliant poet Auguste Dorchain. The account was set down in 1821, and is of a very clearly defined case of telepathy. The observation was made at a time when these phenomena were not known and had not been given a name. The dramatic incident was taken from Colonel Voutier's Memoirs. He was an ardent philhellenist; in the middle of an account of his campaigns in Greece appears the story of an apparition, in a dream, immediately after the death of a Turkish woman who had been assassinated. The soldier historian was neither a braggart nor over-credulous; he does not undertake to explain the mystery, but gives an honest account of it. Here is the story:
October, 1821. Before taking up my narrative (it will carry me far from Tripolitza) I yield to my desire to relate a remarkable occurrence. A young Turkish girl was brought me by my soldiers. She was beautiful, and her fear of the misfortunes which in the case of a girl of sixteen follow upon captivity in a country where the enslavement of women is so odious-this fear made her still more interest- ing.
I accepted the present of her which they made me, and in order to reassure her, I gave orders that she be placed in separate rooms and treated with all the regard due her sex and position. The procedure filled my captive with astonishment ; she showed her gratitude by tears.
A few days went by and my kindness to her and, above all, my restraint, so foreign to Mohammedan ways, had won her affection and her confidence. I used to spend a little time with her, trying to console her. Since she was separated from her mother, I was the only one to whom she could confide her grief. She loved me as a friend, and I was attached to her by that spiritual satisfaction unknown to him who reads these lines with a mocking eye. (A firm resolution which l had taken to save a young girl in all this upheaval, and the necessity of giving my soldiers an example of a virtue which they were beginning to forget forbade any other sort of relation with the pretty slave.)
One day I saw her approaching me, her head bent low and her eyes full of tears.
“What's the matter, my girl?” I asked her “Won't you ever be able to get over your sadness?”
“Oh, I have a good reason for crying! They've killed my mother.”
“Who told you?"
“Last night. I saw her; she spoke to me, and said: 'See, my daughter! The wicked men have killed me.' And she showed me her neck, which was cut through ; there was another wound in her side. ‘Dig a grave for me' she added. 'And the spade, my dear mother?’-‘Dig up the earth with your nails, my, daughter.'”
That I might calm the unhappy child, I gave orders that information should be sought as to what had become of her mother. They came to tell me that a woman had been found dead, with wounds that were still bleeding, in her neck and side. I asked Emme, who was still depressed, how we could recognize her mother.
"She wore trousers of this material.”
I went to the spot where the body was; I secured a piece of the trousers and showed it to the young girl:
"Was your mother's garment made of material like that?"
“Yes, it was really my mother; you found her, but you found her dead. Poor Mother!”
And, summoning all her strength, she threw herself upon me, to seize my dagger and kill herself. I stopped her, and, that I might turn her from her fatal course, I told her that they had carried off her mother and sent her to Asia. This lie calmed the unfortunate girl. I confess that the memory of the occurrence made an extraordinary impression on my mind. I do not believe in nocturnal revelations, and nevertheless I am still utterly at a loss when I think that the terrible reality corresponded to the young Turkish girl's dream ; we must see in this at least a strange trick of fate.
I have the consolation (it is very gratifying), in ending this sad story, of being sure that poor Emme is happy; a respectable family of the Peloponnesus adopted her.