The Lady of the Shroud (Preface, page 1 of 2)


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FROM "THE JOURNAL OF OCCULTISM"
MID-JANUARY, 1907.

A strange story comes from the Adriatic. It appears that on the night of
the 9th, as the Italia Steamship Company's vessel "Victorine" was passing
a little before midnight the point known as "the Spear of Ivan," on the
coast of the Blue Mountains, the attention of the Captain, then on the
bridge, was called by the look-out man to a tiny floating light close
inshore. It is the custom of some South-going ships to run close to the
Spear of Ivan in fine weather, as the water is deep, and there is no
settled current; also there are no outlying rocks. Indeed, some years
ago the local steamers had become accustomed to hug the shore here so
closely that an intimation was sent from Lloyd's that any mischance under
the circumstances would not be included in ordinary sea risks.

Captain Mirolani is one of those who insist on a wholesome distance from the
promontory being kept; but on his attention having been called to the
circumstance reported, he thought it well to investigate it, as it might
be some case of personal distress. Accordingly, he had the engines
slowed down, and edged cautiously in towards shore. He was joined on the
bridge by two of his officers, Signori Falamano and Destilia, and by one
passenger on board, Mr. Peter Caulfield, whose reports of Spiritual
Phenomena in remote places are well known to the readers of "The Journal
of Occultism." The following account of the strange occurrence written
by him, and attested by the signatures of Captain Mirolani and the other
gentleman named, has been sent to us.

" . . . It was eleven minutes before twelve midnight on Saturday, the 9th
day of January, 1907, when I saw the strange sight off the headland known
as the Spear of Ivan on the coast of the Land of the Blue Mountains. It
was a fine night, and I stood right on the bows of the ship, where there
was nothing to obstruct my view. We were some distance from the Spear of
Ivan, passing from northern to southern point of the wide bay into which
it projects. Captain Mirolani, the Master, is a very careful seaman, and
gives on his journeys a wide berth to the bay which is tabooed by
Lloyd's. But when he saw in the moonlight, though far off, a tiny white
figure of a woman drifting on some strange current in a small boat, on
the prow of which rested a faint light (to me it looked like a
corpse-candle!), he thought it might be some person in distress, and
began to cautiously edge towards it. Two of his officers were with him
on the bridge--Signori Falamano and Destilia. All these three, as well
as myself, saw It. The rest of the crew and passengers were below. As
we got close the true inwardness of It became apparent to me; but the
mariners did not seem to realize till the very last. This is, after all,
not strange, for none of them had either knowledge or experience in
Occult matters, whereas for over thirty years I have made a special study
of this subject, and have gone to and fro over the earth investigating to
the nth all records of Spiritual Phenomena. As I could see from their
movements that the officers did not comprehend that which was so apparent
to myself, I took care not to enlighten them, lest such should result in
the changing of the vessel's course before I should be near enough to
make accurate observation. All turned out as I wished--at least, nearly
so--as shall be seen.

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