314 Concerning the Carnival of Crime in Connecticut
it. But this very reflection made me so light-hearted that my Conscience could hardly keep his seat, but was like to float aloft toward the ceiling like a toy balloon. I said, presently:
" Come, my Conscience, let us be friendly. Let us fly a flag of truce for a while. I am suffering to ask you some questions."
" Very well. Begin."
" Well, then, in the first place, why were you never visible to me before? "
" Because you never asked to see me before; that is, you never asked in the right spirit and the proper form before. You were just in the right spirit this time, and when you called for your most pitiless enemy I was that person by a very large majority, though you did not suspect it."
" Well, did that remark of mine turn you into flesh and blood?"
" No. It only made me visible to you. I am unsubstantial, just as other spirits are."
This remark prodded me with a sharp misgiving. If he was unsubstantial, how was I going to kill him? But I dissembled, and said persuasively:
" Conscience, it isn't sociable of you to keep at such a distance. Come down and take another smoke."
This was answered with a look that was full of derision, and with this observation added:
" Come where you can get at me and kill me? The invitation is declined with thanks."
" All right," said I to myself; "so it seems a spirit can be killed, after all; there will be one spirit lacking in this world, presently, or I lose my guess." Then I said aloud:
"There; wait a bit. I am not your friend, I am your enemy; I am not your equal, I am your master.