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vol. 2, p. 12
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 2 (January 1874 - April 1878)


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< A Remarkable Picture (continued from page 2-11) >

executed in her presence independently of all human agency ; and that he has also repeatedly painted pictures for her, and performed various other acts obviously beyond the power of human beings in the flesh.

II. This testimony of Madame Blavatsky has been corroborated to me by the statements of Col. Henry S. Olcott and of Mr. M. C. Betanelly, an intelligent and honorable gentleman from Caucasian Georgia, who have been personally present when some of the most marvelous of these facts have occurred. Of one of them, moreover, I was myself a witness last January. The writing then executed in my presence by this same invisible agent, which was a reply to a remark just before made by Madame Blavatsky, I now have in my possession.

III. That it was by this identical spirit that the picture I have received was chiefly executed, is proved to me by the testimony of Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott.

Moreover, that this was the same John King that Col. Olcott and I repeatedly saw, touched and spoke with last January at the Holmes’s, will appear by the following facts, which also demonstrate that he was really a disembodied spirit.

On one occasion, at the window of the Holmes’ cabinet, to prove to Col. Olcott his identity, he gave him a certain sign which Col. Olcott had requested him to give when conversing with him that same day in Madame Blavatsky’s apartments.

On another occasion, I myself heard him from within the cabinet speak to Col. Olcott about “his boy Morgan,” in allusion to a promise made to him that day in Madame Blavatsky’s presence.

On another occasion, I myself heard the same “John King” of the cabinet respond promptly and correctly to requests made to him in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Georgian, Latin and Greek; the mediums being notoriously ignorant of any language but their own.

On another occasion, the same “ John King ” at the Holmes’s cabinet window borrowed from Col. Olcott his signet ring. At the close of the sitting, he not having returned it, the cabinet was searched for it in vain. Shortly afterwards, on retiring to rest at his lodgings, a mile or more distant from the Holmes’s, Col. Olcott found his ring under his pillow.

One instance more; On the evening of January 24, 1875, at an improvised sitting in Col. Olcott’s lodgings, at which I was present, the bed-room closet was made to serve as a cabinet, by a curtain hung before the door opening, in which a slit was cut for a window. The moment the medium had been seated in the closet, tied and sealed up in a bag, and the curtain had been let fall again, the same “ John King” thrust his head through the aperture and spoke to us in his usual gruff voice.

These statements will be found fully corroborated in that marvelous book, just published, of Col. Olcott’s—but no more marvelous than truthful—People from the Other World.

So much for the painter, and now for


my description of which, as I am not an artistic person, will be very imperfect.

It is painted on a piece of white satin, eighteen inches square. In the centre, on a tastefully carved marble balcony, (said by him to belong to his spirit home) stands John King himself; an exact likeness of the “ John King” who appears in London, but better looking than our Philadelphia John, though, on the whole, the same face. With his white turban and long black beard, he looks like an Arab. The balcony is adorned by rich foliage, climbing round spear-headed rails of gold. Beneath, and forming the entire base of the picture, is a wreath of gorgeous flowers, among which are darting two humming birds, in their full brilliancy of plumage. The background is a lovely landscape, the most striking features of which are a silvery lake, temples and porticos, rather Oriental than Grecian, and a feudal castle in the distant perspective. Spirit forms are floating here and there through the blue ether, but all more or less veiled by a soft haze that pervades the atmosphere. Among them are a mother and child; and one, in a long, flowing white garment, is lifting up a torch towards one of the porticos bearing the inscription which will be presently mentioned. The only one of them whose face is distinctly seen, is that said to represent “ Katie King.” Several persons in Philadelphia by whom she was seen last summer recognized her, as I am informed, at once. I have not been so fortunate. The Katie I saw last May had the same <... continues on page 2-13 >

Editor's notes