Some time ago I dreamed I left my body, and, after travelling at a great rate through the still night air, arrived at the sphere I designate phantomania. The spot where I settled down was a lonely railway cutting, and I at once remarked on the loud moaning and sighing of the wind through the telegraph wires, and the curious jar, jar, jar of the iron railroad; and the metals which grew less and less like ordinary metals the longer I looked at them, suddenly became imbued with life, and, rising on end, rushed blindly hither and thither and then lay down again. Presently I heard whistle of an approaching train. Nearer, nearer, and nearer it came, and as it whizzed past me all the passengers put their heads out of the windows simultaneously, and burst into peal upon peal of mad, hilarious laughter. There was then a tremendous crash, and engine and coaches vanished from sight, over the side of a precipice. The next moment everything changed, and I found myself racing into the railway station to get my ticket. The place was absolutely deserted, not a porter nor a passenger anywhere, and the train all ready to go. The office was shut, as is always the case when we are in a desperate hurry in Phantomania, but, being determined to make the clerk hear, I commenced a vigorous cannonade with my fist on the pigeon-hole door. Presently the latter flew open, and out popped a bald, white head, with such evil, lurid eyes and sinister smile that, shocked beyond measure, I staggered back. As I did so, I came into conclusion with a porter, who, without asking my permission, unceremoniously shoved me into a train, and, before I could recover my breath, we were off. The compartment, in which I found myself, was at least three times the size of any I had hitherto seen. It was already full of white-faced people, who, sitting and lying among innumerable boxes in, apparently, the most uncomfortable postures, were fast asleep and snoring — snoring to the most fantastic and taking of tunes I have ever heard. My not having a ticket greatly perturbed me. I expected every moment the collector would put in an appearance and make a scene, and, sure enough, in accordance with my forebodings, in he came, accompanied by the guard, engine-driver; foreman, and half-a-dozen other officials, who, rushing on me with livid faces and flashing eyes; were about to annihilate me altogether when a tremendous hubbub on the line attracted the attention of one and all, and a most extraordinary spectacle presented itself to our gaze. Exactly opposite our compartment was a monstrous green engine that was alternately jumping up and down, and rearing up, first on one end and then on the other, after the manner of a shying horse. The jumps eventually getting higher and higher, the engine at last jumped so high that it jumped out of sight, whereupon passengers and officials, with agonised shrieks and wails, climbed out of the doors and windows of the train, and, rushing across the fields, plunged all together into a muddy, roaring river. I now found myself the only passenger in a train that, without either engine or officials, was stranded in one of the wildest and weirdest spots imagination could conceive. Ghastly as was the appearance of the muddy, turbulent river, that of the hedges separating the railroad from the fields was even more so, for although at first sight they seemed ordinary enough, on closer inspection they proved to be no hedges at all, but long rows of grotesque creatures, black and green — half human and half bestial — that, clutching hold of and encircling each other’s waists with their arms, swayed to and fro with ill-suppressed laughter. As I stared at them they suddenly shook themselves free, and with heads lowered so that I could perceive nothing of their faces, came bounding toward me over the grass. By a merciful providence, the train now took it into its head to move, and, getting up a tremendous speed, it was soon travelling along at a record pace; indeed, it went so fast that the coaches eventually left the rails, and it was their continual bump, bump, and bump on hilltops and trees that awoke me.The significant features of the dream may be characterised thus: Travelling per train portended trouble; the accident I witnessed, danger from drowning, which was further emphasised by the muddiness of the river; the extreme pallor of the passengers’ faces indicating death. The dream was shortly afterwards verified by the drowning of an old and valued friend in one of the American rivers; and by my own personal worries which were at that time considerable, both with regard to financial affairs and also in connection with my work.

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