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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/811

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THE MYSTERIOUS MUSIC OF PASCAGOULA.

their minds better than their more fortunate brethren, and even outstrip them in excellence of workmanship. Among the boys there is a deaf-mute some sixteen years of age who surpasses all others in the school, a result attained not by superior talent but by close application. Near him another boy of magnificent build and great ability dashes off his work now planing, now carving, with a master hand. On the other side of the room, in the midst of that row of girls—neat, even pretty girls—there are two most noticeable; one a brunette, whose quick, observant eye omits nothing while her snow-white hand deftly draws and carefully carves the model. Beside her stands a quiet blonde with blue, thoughtful eyes, carefully examining her model; and then, as if suddenly discovering some new principle, makes a gesture of joy and resumes her work. At the close of the exercise she takes the finished model to her teacher, and, with a pleasant smile, joyful feelings struggling for expression in her soulful face, says, in the deaf-mute language, "I love this work."

 

THE MYSTERIOUS MUSIC OF PASCAGOULA.
By CHARLES E. CHIDSEY.

ANY one examining a map of the Mississippi coast will find indicated thereon, about one hundred miles east of New Orleans, the town of Scranton, or East Pascagoula, situated at the mouth of the Pascagoula River. The waters of this river have become famous in "song and story" for the strange sounds which they give forth as they slowly make their way to the Gulf. For forty years or more a great deal has been written in prose and verse about this mysterious music of Pascagoula, yet no one that I know of has ever attempted to give an accurate description or a plausible explanation of the phenomenon. In the following paper it is my purpose to describe the sounds as I have often heard them, and for an explanation of the mystery to give a theory, long since advanced by Darwin and Rev. Charles Kingsley, to explain the cause of similar music heard on the southern coast of France.

It was late one evening in September, 1875, that I first heard the mysterious music of Pascagoula. An old fisherman called me from the house where I then was, to come down on the river-bank and "hear the spirits singing under the water." Full of eager curiosity, I readily obeyed the summons, and, if what I heard can not be properly called music, it was certainly mysterious. From out of the waters of the river, apparently some forty feet