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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.

"Now, she believed, God's mercy, love and compassion was reaching out to her."

  Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet

Part 4

As unbelievable as the source of the information was, House and Jackson both agreed that the diagnosis sounded perfectly reasonable. It was the recommended cure that upset them, for the "sleeping" Cayce had prescribed an unusually high dose of a toxic form of deadly nightshade. Even if the peach-tree poultice could somehow leach the poison out of the infant's system, administering such a large dose of belladonna to a child as small and weak as Thomas House Jr. was tantamount to murder. Jackson expressed his sentiments to his colleague and the child's mother in no uncertain terms: "You'll kill little Tommy for sure," he said.

Tommy's father had no choice but to agree. Although homeopathic belladonna was sometimes used to treat lung and kidney ailments, pure belladonna, in the form Cayce recommended, was used only in topical ointments and was certainly not something to spoon into the mouth of a three-month-old-child.

Edgar joined the two doctors in the parlor but couldn't contribute to the discussion taking place. He had never been able to remember anything he had said or heard in a trance state, and had little more than a rudimentary knowledge of medicine or the medical profession in his waking state. Even so, he grew more and more concerned as he listened to the doctors' ensuing debate. Until now, his sessions had been an experiment-a way of seeing if his abilities could help the people who came to him. He now had to face the grim reality that something he had said in a trance might result in the death of a family member.

It was the child's mother who made the decision to administer the drug. Having seen Cayce work miracles in his sleep, she believed that he was touched by the Divine, that a heavenly spirit spoke through him when he was in a trance. In previous experiments, she herself had been advised not to undergo an abdominal surgery recommended by her doctors, which indeed turned out to be unnecessary. 

Cayce had also predicted that she would become pregnant, something that her husband and two specialists had said was physically impossible. He also predicted the date of birth and said she would deliver a boy. And the spiritual message accompanying this information - that God's love and forgiveness must be foremost in her heart - had inspired her to minister to the patients at the Hopkinsville asylum. Now, she believed, God's mercy, love and compassion was reaching out to her. If Edgar Cayce said that she had to poison her son in order to save his life, then that was what she was going to do.

Dr. House could not make the same leap of faith. As a highly respected general practitioner with aspirations to become the county health commissioner, everything he had seen and heard in the bedroom ran contrary to his training, experience, and common sense. Although he was aware of the experiments at The Hill, he hadn't condoned them, nor given them much credence. He had permitted his wife to participate because she derived pleasure and comfort from them. He had looked upon Edgar's activities as entertainment, a mere parlor game. But what he had just seen and heard in the bedroom a few moments earlier terrified him. 

Cayce hadn't spoken in terms that were open for interpretation. Without physically examining Tommy, Cayce had recited the child's blood pressure and temperature, figures that House knew to be correct because he and Jackson had taken them a few minutes before Edgar's arrival at The Hill. Cayce had also described body organs with the expertise of a skilled surgeon conducting an autopsy. House didn't dare let himself speculate why Cayce had used the plural form "we" when conducting his trance examination, or why he apparently needed to contact little Thomas's "mind" as well as his "body" before the examination could proceed.

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