What is the summary for Chapter 23 of The Blithedale Romance?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stunned by the story revealed to him by Moodie, Coverdale wanders for a time in New England, and chances one day upon an exhibition at a village-hall.  The particular exhibition which he attends is "an interview with that celebrated and hitherto inexplicable phenomenon, the Veiled Lady".

To his surprise, Coverdale is reunited with Hollingsworth in the audience.  Some strangers are talking about the upcoming performance, citing the amazing power that one human can seem to have over another, until the show begins with the arrival on stage of a "bearded enchanter...in Oriental robes", a "Professor" whom Coverdale recognizes as Westervelt.

The Professor begins his discourse on the "psychological phenomena" in which soul can be linked to soul.  At his direction, a figure in white glides onstage, seemingly oblivious to the crowd before her.  The Professor explains that, through his art, she is communicating with the spiritual world.  He encourages members of the audience to, without touching her, come onstage to try to get her attention.  They are unsuccessful; she will only react upon his own behest.  Suddenly, much to the Professor's discomfort, the Veiled Lady arises.  Hollingsworth has come onstage and beckoned her to come, telling her, "You are safe".  The girl is Priscilla, and with a shriek she flees to him, "like one escaping from her deadliest enemy...safe forever" (Chapter 23).