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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/838

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

heard, he says, an explosion like the report of a gun. or a pistol, and, waking, he noticed that there was a ridge in his bed not like the bed he had been accustomed to sleep in. He noticed the electric light opposite his windows. He rose and pulled away the curtains and looked out on the street. He felt very weak, and thought he had been drugged. His next sensation was that of fear, knowing that he was in a place where he had no business to be. He feared arrest as a burglar, or possibly injury. He says this is the only time in his life he ever feared a policeman.

"The last thing he could remember before waking-was seeing the Adams express wagons at the corner of Dorrance and Broad Streets, in Providence, on his way from the store of his nephew in Broad Street to his sister's residence in Westminster Street, on January 17th. He waited to hear some one move, and for two hours he suffered great mental distress. Finally, he tried the door, and, finding it fastened on the inside, opened it. Hearing some one moving in another room, he rapped at the door." His landlord opened it, and from him he learned where he was, how he came there, and what day of the month it was. The landlord thought he was insane and sent for a doctor, and the doctor telegraphed for his relatives and had him taken home.

Prof. James, of Harvard, and Dr. Hodgson heard of this case about three years later, and got Mr. Bourne's consent to their investigating it. Prof. James hypnotized Mr. Bourne, with the hope of reviving the Brown state, and was surprisingly successful. He told the story of his wanderings correctly, giving clews to his doings during the two weeks that elapsed after he left Providence and before he appeared in Norristown. Of his own history he could tell very little. Said he: "Seems as if I was sot right down there in Dorrance Street without knowing where I came from. Got into a spot, don't know how I came there, both ends are blank." His name, he said, was Albert John Brown. He was "born in Newton, N. H., July 8, 1826 [he was born in New York city, July 8, 1826], had passed through a great deal of trouble, losses of friends and property; loss of his wife was one trouble—she died in 1881; three children living, but everything was confused prior to his finding himself in the horse car on the way to Pawtucket; he wanted to get away somewhere—he didn't know where—and have rest. . . . Pie had heard of the singular experience of Ansel Bourne, but did not know whether he had ever met Ansel Bourne or not. He had been a professor of religion himself for many years, belonged to the 'Christian' denomination, but back there everything was mixed up. He used to keep a store in Newton, N. H., and was engaged in lumber and trading business; had never previously dealt in the business which he took up in Norristown. He kept the Norristown store for six or