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Excerpted from Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. Copyright 2000 by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Nine years after the turn of the twentieth century, a young photographer named Edgar Cayce stepped off a Pullman."

  Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet

Part 1

Nine years after the turn of the twentieth century, a young photographer named Edgar Cayce stepped off a Pullman and onto a crowded passenger platform in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Edgar might normally have paused to greet acquaintances at the station or stopped to warm himself beside the coal stove in the ticket office, but he had more pressing business on that cold, rainy February night. He pulled up the collar on his thin cotton jacket and ventured into the downpour to meet a waiting carriage.

The driver, Lynn Evans, quickly ushered Edgar inside his cab. As chief ticket agent and superintendent at the Hopkinsville depot, Lynn was the natural choice to be on the look-out for his brother-in-law's arrival on the northbound local from Guthrie, Kentucky. Knowing the urgency of Cayce's visit, Lynn likely reached for the horse's reins the moment the tall, lanky photographer emerged from the cloud of steam billowing out from under the eighty-two ton locomotive.

Framed in the yellow halo of light from the overhead oil lamps on East Ninth Street, Edgar looked too young to be a church deacon or the owner of one of Kentucky's most respected photography studios. His shy, pensive smile and clean-shaven face gave him the youthful appearance of a college sophomore coming home for the holidays. His tousled brown hair was cut short, accentuating his high forehead, deep-set blue-gray eyes, and receding chin. His large feet and hands seemed better suited to an awkward youth on the verge of manhood than a thirty-two-year-old husband and father.

A closer look at Cayce revealed the truth of his age and occupation. Having spent much of the last decade in a darkroom, his complexion was pale and his fingers were stained brown from the chemicals he handled routinely in the developing baths. The acrid odor of those chemicals still clung to his clothes as Edgar knocked the mud from his high-top leather shoes and climbed into the carriage for the mile-and-a-quarter trip through Hopkinsville to a house known to Edgar and Lynn as "The Hill."

The journey was familiar territory for both men. Edgar had traveled it many times on foot and by bicycle during his courtship with Lynn's sister, Gertrude, and though he now had the luxury of taking a horse and carriage, Cayce knew the unpaved streets of the city and its squat two and three story red-brick buildings as intimately as he knew the dark-room in his photographic studio in Bowling Green, Kentucky...

As the carriage approached the main entrance, Edgar felt the familiar sense of security that accompanied all of his trips to The Hill. Lynn brought the horse to a halt, and as he tended to the carriage, Edgar walked quickly up the muddy path to the verandah where he was greeted by Hugh Evans, Lynn's older brother. The two briefly exchanged pleasantries before coming into the parlor where the rest of the family was gathered around the fire place. Gertrude and Lynn's mother, Kate, was there, along with their Aunt Elizabeth and her son Hiram, and their Aunt Carrie and her husband, Dr. Thomas House. Everyone's attention was focused on Carrie and Thomas's infant son, Thomas House Jr., who lay on a small, white, embroidered pillow in his mother's lap.

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