Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission - Saved from a falling tree
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Madam Home - D D Home his life his mission
Leaving London towards the end of July 1860, Mr. and Mrs. Home went to stay at the Chateau de Cergay near Paris, the residence of Mons. Tiedemann, who has been already mentioned in connection with seances in Holland. At his beautiful French country-seat, on the 16th of September, Home's life was wonderfully preserved:
Being recommended to take much out-door exercise during my stay at the Chateau de Cergay, I used to take with me my gun, more that it might be said I was out shooting, than for any great attraction the sport has for me.
The Chateau de Cergay, distant half an hour by railway from Paris, stands in a beautiful old park. Some of the trees are of very great height, one of the largest, a northern poplar, stands a quarter of a mile from the Chateau at an angle of the park, where it is separated from the outer grounds by a hedge. To this spot, when there was much shooting going on in the neighbourhood, the game used to come for shelter; and I, who am but an indifferent marksman, could get easy shots by planting myself by the hedge.
I had been walking with my friend, Mons. T (Tiedemann), and on his leaving me I bent my steps to this favourite corner, wishing to take home a partridge. As I neared the hedge, I stooped and advanced cautiously.
When close up to it, I was raising my head to look for my game; when, on my right, I heard some one call out, 'Here, here!'
My only feeling was surprise at being thus suddenly addressed in English. The desire to have a good look out for my game overruled my curiosity as to whom the exclamation had come from; and I was continuing to raise my head to the level of the hedge, when suddenly I was seized by the collar of my coat and vest, and lifted off the ground. At the same instant I heard a crashing sound, and then all was quiet.
I felt neither fear nor wonder.
My first thought was that by some accident my gun had exploded, and that I was in the spirit-land; but looking about I saw that I was still in the material world, and there was the gun still in my hands. My attention was then drawn to what appeared to be a tree immediately before me, where no tree had been.
On examination, this proved to be the fallen limb of the high tree under which I was standing. I then saw that I had been drawn aside from this fallen limb a distance of six or seven feet. I ran, in my excitement, as fast as I could to the chateau.
The limb which had thus fallen measured sixteen yards and a half in, length, and where it had broken from the trunk it was one yard in circumference. It fell from a height of forty-five feet. The part of the limb which struck the very spot where I had been standing measured twenty-four inches in circumference, and penetrated the earth at least a foot. The next day a friend made a sketch of the tree and branch. We speculated as to how it could have happened.
The tree is not a dead one, nor was the branch at all decayed; and there was scarcely wind enough to stir the leaves. The branch was so clearly separated from the trunk that one might think at first it had been sawn off, and the bark was not in the least torn about it. I have been informed since that such accidents are not uncommon with trees of this species of poplar, and that there are trees of a similar quality in Australia, under which settlers will not remain for fear of such sudden breakages.
A day or two later the well-known Dr. Hoefer, editor of the Biographic Generate and a complete sceptic as to the manifestations, paid a visit to Mons. Tiedemann, and asked for a seance. The seance was held; and the sequel to it is best related in the published words of one of the persons present, Mons. Pierart:
"Dr. Hoefer declared himself satisfied with the answers, and wished to continue the conversation; but the spirits proposed that all should now proceed to the tree where Mr. Home had escaped being crushed. Dr. Hoefer still urged his questions; but there being no response, we agreed to proceed to the tree.
The arm still remained as it had fallen, one end resting against the trunk, the other imbedded in the earth, so that to detach it from its place would have required all the strength of a man's two arms. Moved by some secret impulse, Dr. Hoefer proposed that Mr. Home should touch with a finger the end of one of the small branches.
He did so; and immediately the enormous arm, 13 metres in length and 95 centimetres in circumference, moved from its point of support and fell. I had had only the testimony of Mr. Home himself as to the previous occurrence at this spot; but this strengthened it, and showed the operation of something beyond chance.”