In 1883 H.P.B. spent the summer with General and Mrs. Morgan at "The
Retreat" in Ootacamund. She invited or rather directed me to go there, and I obeyed
the call with pleasure. I was glad to avail myself of the opportunity given me of having
the rare privilege of living for some time under the same roof as H.P.B. and under her
influence. H.P.B.s intense desire was to attract the attention of men of position to
Theosophy. For this purpose she worked hard and succeeded eventually. One day as we were
discussing as to how this object could be secured, a very strong influence was felt. This
was due to the appearance of Master M. in the room. He materialised partly, and I was able
to see a hazy form and though hazy I saw His arm clearly handing something to H.P.B. My
surmise that He had come there to give directions as to how the desired object could be
gained was found to be correct. H.P.B. told me so.
Within a few days thereafter, Mrs. Carmichael, wife of the Senior Member
of the Governors Executive Council, called on H.P.B. She soon became a frequent
visitor. One morning as Mrs. Carmichael was about to leave, H.P.B. asked her for the
sapphire ring she was wearing; it was given, and after keeping it for a few minutes H.P.B.
returned two instead of one. Mrs. Carmichael became so surprised that she could hardly
speak; she left immediately. She with her husband went to the jeweller, who had sold the
original, and subjected the two rings to his examination. He examined and said they were
genuine ones, and that the second was worth considerably more than what was paid for the
first one. This satisfied them so much that they made no secret of the marvellous
phenomenon. Major Kenny Herbert, a very excellent man, Military Secretary to the Governor,
was so pleased that he invited H.P.B. and Col. Olcott to dinner. He soon became a good
friend, and through his co-operation and that of the Carmichaels, a public lecture by the
Colonel was arranged. There was a respectable audience, and all the men of position
attended. The lecture was well appreciated.
During one of those days, one of the Secretaries to Government called on
H.P.B. She was not at first inclined to see him, but on being entreated by me and Mrs.
Morgan, she agreed. He was shown to the visitors room. H.P.B. soon arrived. After
the usual formalities of greetings were over, this gentleman asked H.P.B. what her age
was. She got put out and put him few questions. She asked him if he was ever a student of
mathematics, whether he had studied arithmetic, and if he could count. These put in quick
succession perplexed him, and he gave the best answer that he could. Then pointing to the
corner of the room towards the left, H.P.B. said "Mr. -, now count." Astral
bells were ringing, and they rang so fast that the poor man could count only up to five.
Two more chances were given, and in each case with the same result. This Secretary to
Government returned rather disappointed.
On the whole, it may be said that the Ooty visit was a satisfactory one;
but it was not without its other side. This success attracted the jealousy of the
Christian Missionaries; they set to work and soon got in touch with the vile Coulombs.
They conspired, and the mischief done resulted in the treacherous and ungrateful betrayal
by the Coulombs.
G. Soobiah Chetty