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The road to En-Dor : being an account of how two prisoners of war at Yozgad in Turkey won their way to freedom online

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THE ROAD TO EN-DOR



THE ROAD TO EN-DOR

BEING AN ACCOUNT OF HOW TWO
PRISONERS OF WAR AT YOZGAD IN
TURKEY WON THEIR WAY TO FREEDOM

BY E. H. JONES, Liv I.A.R.O.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY

C. W. HILL, LT. R.A.F.



1 Ob the road to En-dor is the oldest road

And the craziest road of all !
Straight it runs to the Witch's abode,

As it did in the days of Saul,
And nothing is changed of the sorrow in store
For such as go down on the road to En-dor ! ' '

RUDYARD KIPLING.



LONDON: JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD. W.
NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY. MCMXX.






r

\J * jr



EDITION.



PRINTED BY THF. ANUHOB PBK88 LTD., TIPTHKK, E8BKZ, KNGLAND



TO

W. R. O'FARRELL,
AN IRISH GENTLEMAN,

WHO, HIMSELF INJURED, TENDED THE WOUNDED
ON THE DESERT JOURNEY FROM SINAI INTO CAPTIVITY,

GOING ON FOOT THAT THEY MIGHT RIDE,

WITHOUT WATER THAT THEY MIGHT DRINK,

WITHOUT REST THAT THEIR WOUNDS MIGHT BE EASED;

AND AFTERWARDS,

WITH A COURAGE THAT NEVER FALTERED

THROUGH NEARLY THREE YEARS OF BONDAGE,

CHEERED US IN HEALTH,

NURSED US IN SICKNESS,

AND EVER FOUND HIS CHIEF HAPPINESS

IN SETTING THE COMFORT OF A COMRADE

BEFORE HIS OWN.



2136385



PREFACE

"The only good that I can see in the demonstration of the
truth of ' spiritualism ' is to furnish an additional argument
against suicide. Better live a crossing-sweeper than die and
be made to talk twaddle by a ' medium 1 hired at a guinea a
sfeance." T. H. HUXLEY.

PROFESSOR HUXLEY was never a prisoner of war
in Turkey ; otherwise he would have known that
" spiritualism," provided its truth be taken as
demonstrated, has endless other uses even for honest
men. Lieutenant Hill and I found several of these uses.
Spiritualism enabled us to kill much empty and weary
time. It gave " True Believers " satisfactory messages, not
only from the world beyond, but also from the various battle-
fronts which was much more interesting. It enabled us to
obtain from the Turks comforts for ourselves and privileges
for our brother officers. It extended our house room, secured
a Hunt Club for our friends, and changed the mind of the
Commandant from silent and uncompromising hostility to a
post-prandial friendliness ablaze with the eloquence of the
Spook. Our Spook in Yozgad instituted a correspondence
with the Turkish War Office in Constantinople. (Hill and I
flatter ourselves that no other Spirit has dictated letters and
telegrams to and obtained replies from a Government Depart-
ment in any country.) It even altered the moral outlook of
the camp Interpreter, a typical Ottoman Jew. It induced
him to return stolen property to the owner, and converted
him to temporary honesty, if not to a New Religion (whether



viii. PREFACE

or not the same as the " New Revelation " of which Sir A.
Conan Doyle is the chief British exponent we do not quite
know). Finally, what concerned us more, it helped us to
freedom.

There is a good deal about spiritualism in this book
because the method adopted by us to regain our liberty
happened to be that of spiritualism. But the activities of
our Spook are after all only incidental to the main theme.
The book is simply an account of how Lieutenant Hill and I
got back to England. The events described took place
between February 1917 and October 1918. The incidents
may seem strange or even preposterous to the reader, but I
venture to remind him that they are known to many of our
fellow prisoners of war whose names are given in the text, and
at whose friendly instigation this book has been written. 1

One thing more I must add. I began my experiments in
spiritualism with a perfectly open mind, but from the time
when the possibility of escape by these means first occurred
to me I felt little concern as to whether communication with
the dead was possible or not. The object of Lieutenant Hill
and myself was to make it appear possible and to avoid being
found out. In doing so we had many opportunities of seeing
the deplorable effects of belief in spiritualism. When in the
atmosphere of the s6ance, men whose judgment one respects
and whose mental powers one admires lose hold of the criteria
of sane conclusions and construct for themselves a fantastic
world on their new hypothesis. The messages we received
from " the world beyond " and from " other minds in this
sphere " were in every case, and from beginning to end, of our



1 A list of the officers who were prisoners of war with us in Yozgad
is given in Appendix I.



PREFACE ix.

own invention. Yet the effect both on our friends and on the
Turks was to lead them, as earnest investigators, to the same
conclusions as Sir Oliver Lodge has reached, and the arrival of
his book Raymond in the camp in 1918 only served to
confirm them in their views. We do not know if such a thing
as a " genuine " medium exists. We do know that, in the
face of the most elaborate and persistent efforts to detect
fraud, it is possible to convert intelligent, scientific, and
otherwise highly educated men to spiritualism, by means of
the arts and methods employed by " mediums " in general.
When we reached England Lieutenant Hill and I thought
our dealings with spiritualism had served their purpose, but
we now hope they may play an even better part. If this book
saves one widow from lightly trusting the exponents of a
creed that is crass and vulgar and in truth nothing better than
a confused materialism, or one bereaved mother from pre-
ferring the unwholesome excitement of the stance and the
trivial babble of a hired trickster to the healing power of
moral and religious reflexion on the truths that give to human
life its stability and worth then the miseries and sufferings
through which we passed in our struggle for freedom will
indeed have had a most ample reward.

E. H. JONES.



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

PREFACE - - Vii

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xiii

I. HOW SPOOKING BEGAN IN YOZGAD - I

II. HOW THE CAMP TURNED SPIRITUALIST 9

III. HOW THE MEDIUMS WERE TESTED - - IQ

IV. OF THE EPISODE OF LOUISE, AND HOW IT WAS

ALL DONE - 35

V. IN WHICH THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO THE

PIMPLE - '46

VI. IN WHICH THE COOK APPEARS AND THE SPOOK

FINDS A REVOLVER - ~ 54

VII. OF THE CALOMEL MANIFESTATION AND HOW

KIAZIM FELL INTO THE NET - 68

VIII. IN WHICH WE BECOME THOUGHT-READERS - 82

IX. HOW THE SPOOK WROTE A MAGIC LETTER AND

ARRANGED OUR ARREST - 87

X. HOW WE WERE TRIED AND CONVICTED FOR

TELEPATHY - 99

XI. IN WHICH WE ARE PUT ON PAROLE BY OUR

COLONEL, AND GO TO PRISON - 109

XII. OF THE COMRADES WE HAD LEFT BEHIND AND

HOW POSH CASTLE PLAYED THE RAVEN - 121

XIII. IN WHICH THE PIMPLE LEARNS HIS FUTURE LIES

IN EGYPT - - 132

XIV. WHICH INTRODUCES OOO AND TELLS WHY THE

PIMPLE GOT HIS FACE SMACKED - - 144

XV. IN WHICH THE SPOOK PUTS OUR COLONEL ON
PAROLE IN HIS TURN, SAVES THE HUNT CLUB,
AND WRITES A SPEECH - 155

XVI. HOW WE FELL INTO A TRANCE AND SAW THE

FUTURE - 165

xi.



Xll.



CONTENTS



CHAPTER PAOa

XVII. HOW THE SPOOK TOOK US TREASURE-HUNTING
AND WE PHOTOGRAPHED THE TURKISH COM-
MANDANT - - 173

XVIII. OF A " DREADFUL EXPLOSION " AND HOW OOO

SOUGHT TO MURDER US - 185

XIX. OF THE FOUR POINT RECEIVER AND HOW WE
PLANNED TO KIDNAP THE TURKISH STAFF AT
YOZGAD ,*T - 199

XX. IN WHICH WE ARE FOILED BY A FRIEND - 215

XXI. IN WHICH WE DECIDE TO BECOME MAD AND
THE SPOOK GETS US CERTIFICATES OF
LUNACY - - 222

XXII. HOW THE SPOOK CORRESPONDED WITH THE

TURKISH WAR OFFICE AND GOT A REPLY - 234

XXIII. IN WHICH THE SPOOK PERSUADES MOISE TO.

VOLUNTEER FOR ACTIVE SERVICE - - 239

XXIV. OF OUR MAD JOURNEY TO MARDEEN - 248
XXV. HOW WE HANGED OURSELVES - 257

XXVI. IN WHICH THE SPOOK CONVICTS MOISE OF
THEFT, CONVERTS HIM TO HONESTY, AND
PROMISES OMNIPOTENCE

XXVII. OF THE FIRST DAY IN HAIDAR PASHA HOSPITAL
AND THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION BY
THE SPECIALISTS - -

XXVIII. OF THE WASSERMANN TESTS AND HOW WE
DECEIVED THE MEDICAL BOARD - -

xxix. OF HILL'S TERRIBLE MONTH IN GUMUSH SUYU

HOSPITAL - -

XXX. IN WHICH WE ARE REPATRIATED AS LUNATICS -

POSTSCRIPT : WHAT THE PIMPLE THINKS OF
IT ALL THREE LETTERS - -

APPENDIX I -



in



- 270

285
297

309
32O

336
343

347
349



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

" Hill had taken the first photograph before I was
ready" (p. 180). The Commandant, Pimple, and
Cook at the finding of the first clue to the treasure

Frontispiece

TO FACE PAGE

The Ouija - 4

The lane where the prisoners exercised - 48

" On fine days they snoozed at their posts " a game-
keeper on guard in Yozgad - 68

" I made my plans to go on skis and began to train " - 74

" The snow on the slope of South hill " the site of the

first clue to the treasure - - 122

"We had four-a-side hockey tournaments" - - 124

The " Posh-Castle Mess " who fed us in our imprison-
ment ..... . j^o

In the Pine Woods " Winnie " and Nightingale on

skis ... _ j64

Where the second clue was buried Bones 's Nullah - 186

"The Melancholic." C. W. Hill - 230

"The Furious." E. H. Jones - 232

The mad machine for uprooting England - 302

Autograph photograph of Mazhar Osman Bey and five
other Haidar Pasha doctors (presented to the
author by Talha Bey) - - 332



THE ROAD TO EN-DOR



THE ROAD TO EN-DOR

CHAPTER I

HOW SPOOKING BEGAN IN YOZGAD

ON an afternoon late in February 1917 a Turk
mounted on a weary horse arrived in Yozgad. He
had come a 120-mile journey through snow-
bound mountain passes from railhead at Angora,
and he carried a belated mail for us prisoners of war.

I could not feel grateful to him, for my share was only one
postcard. It was from a very dear aunt. But I knew that
somewhere in the Turkish Post Office were many more from
my wife, my mother, and my father. So I grumbled at all
things Ottoman. I did not know this innocent -looking piece
of cardboard was going to provide the whole camp with a
subject for discussion for a year to come, and eventually
prove the open sesame that got two of us out of Turkey.

Mail Day at Yozgad meant visits. The proper thing to do,
after giving everybody time to read their letters several times
over, was to go from room to room and pick up such scraps of
war news as had escaped the eye of the censor. Some of us
received cryptograms, or what we thought were cryptograms,
from which we could reconstruct the position on the various
fronts (if we had imagination enough), and guess at the
progress of the war. The news that somebody's father's
trousers had come down was, I remember, the occasion of a
very merry evening, for it meant that Dad's Bags (or Baghdad)
had fallen at last. If, as occasionally happened, we found
hidden meanings where none was intended, and captured Metz
or Jerusalem long before such a possibility was dreamt of in
England, it did more good than harm, for it kept our optimism
alive.

I allowed the proper period to elapse and then crossed to
the Seaman's room. " Come in," said Tudway to rny enquir-
ing head, " Mundey has been round already and we can give

B



2 THE ROAD TO EN-DOR

you all the news." (Mundey was our Champion Crypto-
grammist.)

We discussed the various items of news in the usual way,
and decided that the war could not possibly last another three
months. Then Alec Matthews turned to me :

" Had you any luck, Bones ? What's your mail ? "

" Only a postcard," I said. " No news in it, but it suggests
a means of passing the evenings. I'm fed up with roulette
and cards myself, and I'd like to try it."

" What's the suggestion ? " Alec asked.

" Spooking," said I.

" Gripes ! " said Alec.

We began next night, a serious|little group of experimenters
from various corners of the earth. Each of us in his own
little sphere had seen something of the wonders of the world
and was keen to learn more. There was " Doc." O'Farrell,
the bacteriologist, who had fought sleeping-sickness in
Central Africa. He argued that the fact that we could not see
them was no proof that spooks did not exist, and told us of
things revealed by the microscope, things that undoubtedly
" are there," with queer shapes and grisly names. (The
pictures he drew of some of his pet " bugs " gave me a new
idea for my next nightmare.) Then there was Little, the
geologist from the Sudan, who knew all about the earth and
the construction thereof, and had dug up the fossilized remains
of weird and enormous animals. His pets were as big as the
Doc.'s were small. There was Price, the submarine man
from under the sea, and Tudway (plain Navy) from on top of
it. And there is a saying about those who go down to the
sea in ships which was never truer than of these two men.
There was Matthews, from India, sapper and scientist. He
knew all about wireless telegraphy and ether and the various
lengths of the various kinds of waves, and he did not see why
" thought waves " should not exist in some of the gaps in
the series which we thought to be empty. And there was the
writer, who knew nothing of scientific value. He had studied
psychology at College, and human nature amongst the jungle
folk in Burma.

Such was the group which first took up spooking. None of
us knew anything about the subject, but my postcard gave
clear instructions and we followed them. Matthews brought



THE ROAD TO EN-DOR 3

in the best table we possessed (a masterpiece made by Colbeck
out of an old packing-case), and Doc. groomed the top of it
with the corner of his embassy coat, so as to make it slippery
enough for the Spook to slide about on with comfort.

Tudway and Price cut out squares of paper, and Little
wrote a letter of the alphabet on each and arranged them in a
circle round the edge of the table. I polished the tumbler in
which we hoped to capture the Spook, and placed it upside
down in the centre of the circle. Everything was ready. We
had constructed our first " Ouija."

" Now what do we do ? " Doc. asked.

" Two of us put a finger lightly on the glass, close our eyes
and make our minds blank."

" Faith ! " said the Doc., " we'd better get a couple of Red
Tabs from the Majors' House ; this looks like a Staff job.
An' what next ? "

" Then the glass should begin to move about and touch
the letters. Somebody must note down the ones touched."

Doc. sat down and put his forefinger gingerly on the glass.
I took the place opposite him. Price and Matthews, pencil
in hand, leant forward ready to take notes. Little and Tud-
way and Dorling and Boyes stood round to watch develop-
ments. Doc. and I closed our eyes and waited, fingers resting
lightly on the glass, arms extended. For perhaps fifteen
minutes there was a tense silence and our arms grew un-
endurably numb. Nothing happened.

Our places at the table were taken by two other in-
vestigators, and their's in turn by two more, but always with
a total absence of any result. We warmed the glass over a
tallow candle somebody had said it was a good thing to do
and re-polished the table. Then Doc. and I tried again.

" Ask it some question," Price whispered.

" WHO ARE YOU ? " said the Doc. in sepulchral tones,
and forthwith I was conscious of a tilting and a straining in the
glass, and then, very slowly, it began to move in gradually
widening circles. It touched a letter, and the whole company
craned their necks to see it.

" B ! " they whispered in chorus.

It touched another. " R ! " said everybody.

" I believe it is going to write ' Brown,' " said Dorling,
and the movement suddenly stopped.



4 THE ROAD TO EN-DOR

" There ye go spoilin' everything with yer talkin'," growled
the Doc., his Irish accent coming out under the influence of
excitement. " Will ye hold your tongues now, and we'll be
after tryin' again 1 "

We tried again we tried for several nights but it was no
use. The glass did not budge, or, if it did, it travelled in small
circles and did not approach the letters. We blamed our
tools for our poor mediumship and substituted a large
enamelled tray for the table, which had a crack down the
centre where the glass used to stick. The tray was an
improvement and we began to reach the letters. But we
never got sense. The usual seance was something like this :
Doc. : " Who are you ? " Answer : " DFPBJQ."
Doc. : " Try again. Who are you ? " Answer :
" DFPMGJQ."

Matthews. : " It's obviously trying to say something
the same letters nearly, each time. Try again."

Doc. : " Who are you ? " Answer : " THRSWV."
Matthews : " That's put the lid on. Ask something else."
Doc. : " Have you anything to say ? " Answer : " WNSRY-
KXCBJ," and so on, and so on, page after page of meaningless
letters. It grew monotonous even for prisoners of war, and in
time the less enthusiastic investigators dropped out. At the end
of a fortnight only Price, Matthews, Doc. O'Farrell and myself
were left. We were intrigued by the fact that the glass should
move at all without our consciously pushing it I shall never
forget Alec Matthews's cry of wonder the first time he felt the
" life " in the glass and we persevered.

Then our friend Gatherer came in. He said he didn't
care very much for this sort of thing, but he knew how to do
it and would show us. He placed his fingers on the glass and
addressed the Spook. We, as became novices, had always
shown a certain respect in our manner of questioning the
Unknown. Gatherer spoke as if he were addressing a de-
faulter, or a company on parade, with a ring in his voice which
indicated he would stand no nonsense. And forthwith the
glass began to talk sense. Its answers were short usually
no more than a " yes " or a " no " but they were certainly
understandable. Once more we were all intensely
interested. Gatherer did more than add fuel to the waning
fire of our enthusiasm. He presented us with his own spook-



THE ROAD TO EN-DOR 5

board, which he and another officer had made some months
before, and used in secret. It was a piece of sheet iron on
which the glass moved much more smoothly than
on the tray or the table, and he suggested pasting down
the letters in such a way that they could not be knocked
off by the movement of the glass. Later on Matthews still
further improved it by adding a raised "scantling" round
the edge which prevented the glass from leaving the circle.

Gatherer was in great request, for without rum we could
get nothing, try we never so hard. But he would not come
he " disliked it " he " had other things to do," he " might
come tomorrow," and so on. Ah, Gatherer, you have much
to answer for ! Had you never shown us that intelligible
replies could be obtained, I might have remained an honest
little enquirer, happy in the mere moving of the glass. But
now, mere movement was no longer satisfying. We were
tired of our own company, and knew one another as only
fellow-prisoners can. We wanted a chat with somebody
" outside," somebody with ideas culled beyond our prison
walls, whose mind was not an open book to us, whose thoughts
were not limited to the probable date of the end of the war or
of the arrival of the next mail from home. It did not matter
who it was Julius Caesar or Socrates, Christopher Columbus
or Aspasia (it is true we rather hoped for Aspasia, especially
the Doc.), but any old Tom, or Dick, or Harry would have
been welcome. You ought to have known that, Gatherer,
for you were a prisoner, too ; but you were callous, and left
us alone to record our meaningless X's, and Y's and Z's.

After another week of failure we grew desperate. " If we
get nothing to-night," said Matthews, " we'll chuck it."

We tried hard, and got nothing.

" One more shot, Bones," said the Doc., sitting down
opposite me.

I glanced at him, and from him to Price and Matthews.
Disappointment was written on every face. Success had
seemed so near, and we had laboured so hard. Was this to
end as so many of our efforts at amusement had ended, in utter
boredom ?

The doctor began pulling up the sleeves of his coat as
though he were leading a forlorn hope.

" Right you are, Doc." I put my fingers on the glass.



6 THE ROAD TO EN-DOR

" One more shot," and as I said it the Devil of Mischief that is
in every Celt whispered to me that the little man must not go
empty away. We closed our eyes.

" For the last time," said the Doc. " WHO ARE
YOU ? "

The glass began to move across the board.

" S-," Matthews read aloud, " A-L-L-Y SALLYJ "

" Sally," Price repeated, in a whisper.

" Sally," I echoed again.

The Doc. wriggled forward in his chair, tugging up his coat-
sleeves. " Keep at it," he whispered excitedly. " Keep at
it, we've got one at last." And then in a loud voice that had
a slight quaver in it

" GOOD EVENING, SALLY ! HAVE YE ANYTHIN'
TO TELL US ? "

Sally had quite a lot to tell us. She made love to Alec
Matthews (much to his delight) in the most barefaced way,
and then coolly informed him that she preferred sailor-boys.
Price beamed, and replied in fitting terms. She talked
seriously to the Doc. (who had murmured out of jealousy, I
expect that Sally seemed a brazen hussy), and warned us to
be careful what we said in the presence of a lady. (That
" presence of a lady " startled us most of us hadn't seen a
lady for nearly three years.) She accused me of being un-
becomingly dressed. (Pyjamas and a blanket quite respect-
able for a prisoner.) Then she complained of " feeling tired,"
made one or two most unladylike remarks when we pressed
her to tell us more, and " went away."

I had fully intended to tell them that I had steered the
glass, with my eyes shut, from my memory of the position of
the letters. But the talk became too good to interrupt.
There were theories as to who Sally could be. Was she dead,
or alive, or non-existent ? Was the glass guided by a spook
or by subconscious efforts ? Then round again on to the
old argument of why the glass moved at all. Was it the
unconscious exercise of muscular force by one or both of the
mediums or was it some external power ? I lay back and
listened to the sapper and the submarine man and the
scientist from Central Africa. Others dropped in and added
their voices and extracts from their experience to the dis-
cussion. Dorling had schoolboy reminiscences ot a thought-



THE ROAD TO EN-DOR 7

reading entertainment, which was somehow allied to the
subject in hand. Winnie Smith knew someone I think it
was one of his second cousins in Russia, or a crowned head, or
somebody of the kind who had a pet spook in the house. I
told my story of the dak bungalow in Myinmu Township in
Burma, where there is a black ghost-dog, who does not mind
revolver bullets. We talked, and we talked, and we talked,
forgetting the war and the sentries outside and all the
monotony of imprisonment. And always the talk rounded
back to Sally and the spook-glass that moved no one knew
how. The others slipped away to bed, and we were left
alone. Alec, Price, the Doc., and myself. I braced myself
to confess the fraud, but Doc. raised his tin mug :

" Here's to Sally and success, and many more happy
evenings," said he.

Facilis descensus Averni f I lifted my mug with the rest,
and drank in silence. Little I guessed how much water was
to flow under the bridges before I could make my confession, or
under what strange conditions that confession was to be made.

Next day I woke a worm. I felt as if I had caught
myself taking sweeties from a child. They had all accepted
the wonder of the previous night so uncritically. It was a
shame. It was unforgivable ! I would get out of bed. I
would go across and tell them at once.

" Don't," said the Devil of Mischief. " Stay where you
are. It was only a rag. If you really want to tell them, any
old- time will do. Besides, it's beastly cold this morning, and
you've got a headache. Stay in bed ! "

" But it wasn't a rag. We were experimenting in earnest,"
said I . " That 's why it was so mean . " I got one foot out of bed.

" Stay where you are, I tell you," said the Devil. " You
gave them a jolly good evening, and you can have plenty more."

I pulled my foot back under the blankets again. Yes, we
had had a jolly evening the Doc. himself had said so. I
would think it over a little longer.

I thought it over and started up again.

" You ass ! " said the Devil. " They'll only laugh at
you ! The whole thing's a fraud, anyway. Let them find
out for themselves. Oliver Lodge, Conan Doyle, and the rest
of the precious crew are victims in the same way."



8 THE ROAD TO EN-DOR

" I won't," said I. " I'm going to tell them." I got up
and dressed slowly.

" See here," said the Devil. " What you gave them last
night was something new to talk about. Carry on ! It does
them good. It sets them thinking. Carry on ! "

" And what sort of a swine will I look when they find me
out ? " said I.



Online LibraryElias Henry JonesThe road to En-Dor : being an account of how two prisoners of war at Yozgad in Turkey won their way to freedom → online text (page 1 of 30)