Chapter VI.

6 Feb

“I operate as a psychographist,” explained the Chief Editor. “Do you have any idea what that means? Can you conceive of how I obtain new manuscripts for publication?”

Endo had come to the flat of Tado Foleg to give his affirmative acceptance of the job and housing offered him. He had to pretend ignorance he did not in reality have.

“I have read about such phenomena, but you have to tell me the specific features of what you speak of. I shall then have a more accurate picture of what it is.”

He looked with eagerness at the psychographic editor.

Was it possible to lead this person to believe he was dealing with an inexperienced novice without the use of lies or subterfuge? Would he be able to maintain his mask, as well as his integrity?

Endo decided he had to try to find out. A part had to be played, as if he were an actor. Could he avoid lying to this psychic editor?

He had to allow Tado to misinterpret what he was, just as he himself had not recognized the nature of the little man as a psychographer when they had first encountered each other at the publication party.

Could he carry out such a difficult, complicated stratagem? wondered Endo. Besides that, he had to pose in public as the writer of the Velvet novellae.

“You have read Volume Two of the series?” abruptly asked Tado.

“I finished it last night. There is no mention of psychographic methods anywhere in the work.”

Tado gave him a devilish grin. “I believe that the course of the entire series will inch its way toward the specific subject of automatic writing. That is the direction of the stories and their narratives. The third book will soon be completed. I will have all of it on paper in a dactylographed text. I anticipate that as you assist me, you will pick up and learn many of the details of the techniques I make use of. You shall see how I receive material from a dead author buried in the past.

“Let me tell you that at the beginning, in that wild scene in the office, I sensed a profound psychic potential within you, my friend.” He looked at Endo with an almost preternatural flame in his bluish gray eyes.

“Are you telling me that I can also become an automatic writer using telepathy?”

Tado studied the face of Endo as if trying to confirm his conclusions about him. “You are being accepted by the public and the literary world as the author of the two best-sellers we have issued as Velvet novellae. Our readership is in the scores of thousands already. What if, at some point in time, we reveal that a psychographer is taking down transmissions from another time? How would that affect your army of fans and admirers?”

Endo was stumped. “I cannot say,” he confessed. “What is the answer?”

“It will be easy to draw all your followers into an association of devoted fans of Velvet. There will be unlimited frenzy for psychography and new Velvet novellae. The number of fanatical readers will grow without end. We will be able to set up a cult around you and the Velvet system in the writings. There will exist an enduring movement of dedicated readers and believers.

“Can you imagine what our prospects could be? There will be no boundaries, none at all, to what we can do with the idea of a telepathic Velvet world.”

“A cult?” reacted Endo, suddenly perplexed and confused.

“Not a new religion, but an organized group of followers with their minds centered on Velvet and the new volumes of our series. They would look to you as the psychographer as important as the original author. Nothing like this ever existed before in literary history.”

Light arose in the emerald eyes of young Endo. “A society of enthusiasts, of loyal readers and believers. What would be its purpose? How would it benefit its members?”

Tado gave him a look of surprise. “Can’t you see? Don’t you understand? Book sales and influence would be the inevitable results. We would have mobilized a permanent corps of customers.”

Endo gasped for breath, astonished at what he was hearing. He was unsure how he should respond. “There would be an enormous uplift in the spirits of those belonging to such a movement as you envision,” he quietly murmured to the editor.

The latter nodded his forehead. “I have all these plans spelled out in my mind. But I will roll them out when the time is appropriate. Surely you can see the wisdom of care and caution in revealing the outline of this novel program.”

“But Mr. Sucre will have to be told about this direction,” said the newly recruited author.

“I will explain as much as he needs to know at any specific point,” riposted the editor. “As the project develops, he will learn more of the details. The same goes for his daughter, Paena. Yes, all will be presented to them at the right moment.

“Everything must unravel in proper order, then. Nothing can be premature. Step by step, that will be the guiding principle for us. Nothing too early, before the right time. That is the way that all great innovations evolve.

“That must be our course of action, smart and timely,” declared Tado Foleg with enthusiasm and pride.


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