Twain, Mark - Dan DeQuille and thought transference
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Thoughts through Space – Sir Hubert Wilkins and Harold M Sherman
Mark Twain had several incidents occur in his life which he was able to identify, as evidences of what he called "mental telegraphy."
One day, after he had become a world-renowned writer, he hit upon the idea that there should be a good book in his early western adventure with Dan DeQuille, old prospector friend, who lived in Nevada.
On the inspiration of the moment, he wrote Dan a letter, outlining his plan, and telling Dan he would like to collaborate on such a book with him, drawing from his rich memory store of anecdotes and incidents covering this period.
Mark proposed that Dan arrange to come East for a few months, so that they could work on the book together, and promised to pay all expenses.
But, with the letter completed and the envelope sealed and addressed ready for mailing, Mark had a change of heart.
"What am I doing?" he asked himself. "I haven't the time to undertake a job like this now. Guess I'd better hold Dan’s letter up until I can get clear of my other work."
And so Mark stuck the letter in a pigeon-hole of his desk.
Some ten days later a friend was visiting Twain, when the mailman arrived, leaving a letter for Mark addressed in handwriting which was strangely and distantly familiar. Mark studied the letter without opening it, and then handed it to the friend and said:
"Here, take this and hold it-while I perform a miracle!"
Mark then proceeded to tell this friend that the letter in his hands contained a message from Old Dan DeQuille, from whom he had not heard in years.
"Dan has gotten the idea," said Mark, "that he and I could write a book together on our prospecting experiences. He’s made some notes on what happened to us, and he wants to come East and visit me, if I will pay his expenses, so he can give me his recollections. Now, open the letter and see if this isn’t so!"
The friend did as directed, and then exclaimed in amazement.
"You are absolutely right!" he said. "But how did you know?"
Mark smiled and reached into his desk, taking out the letter he had written and addressed to Dan DeQuille.
"Because," he said, "I made this very proposal to Dan almost two weeks ago, and here is my sealed unmailed letter to prove it! Open it and see for yourself!"
The friend followed instructions, and found the contents to be the same in every essential as the letter written by Dan DeQuille to Mark.
"How do you account for this?" the friend asked.
"There is only one way to account for it," said Mark. "In some manner, Dan DeQuille received my thought impressions of this book I wanted to write with him, even though I didn’t mail the letter. But it seemed to him that these thoughts were his own idea, so he sat down, and wrote them to me. The moment his letter came to hand it flashed over me what had happened, and I knew my thoughts had reached his mind. I consider this a clear case of thought transference. "