592THE SILENCE BEGINS1925
While having tea at the Shahane's on 18 June, Baba remarked: "One should think twice before inviting a fakir to his home. A Perfect Fakir [Perfect Master] would never harm his followers, but it is difficult to satisfy an advanced soul. Once a fakir is invited, nothing should be refused to him. So it is better to leave him alone. Let him stay where he is." To illustrate this point, Baba told this tale:
Once a man invited a fakir, as well as hundreds of other guests, to his home. But the fakir arrived much earlier than the appointed time and demanded his meal. Food was brought for him, but he kept asking for more and more, and soon all the vessels were emptied. The host was experienced with holy men and knew he had made a mistake in inviting the fakir — but to refuse him more food would have been a greater mistake. So the food he had prepared for the other 500 guests was given to the fakir. Finally the fakir left contented, and blessed the host for his gesture. However, the host regretted having called such a personality to his house and running the risk of being cursed.
Baba went to Poona by the evening train with Jamshed and a few others.
An Englishman named Louis Nelmes had met Baba in Poona during December 1923 and had requested to stay at his ashram. Baba told Nelmes that he would be sent for at the opportune time. On Friday, 19 June 1925, Baba held darshan in Poona, and Nelmes again came to meet him. During this occasion, Nelmes reiterated his desire to stay with Baba, and this time Baba agreed. Baba and the men returned to Meherabad late the same night, and Nelmes came the following morning. He was the first Christian to join Baba's mandali.
Nelmes, 29, was born and grew up in Bombay. He was from an upstanding family. His father was a British police inspector and had met and married his English wife (a nurse) in Bombay. They had five children. Louis was the youngest. Nelmes was working as a measurer at the Bombay Chamber of Commerce when he married Ellen Nolan in Bombay in 1919. They resided in Byculla and had two children. Nelmes was extraordinarily good-natured and had a great love for spirituality. As a young man, before ever seeing Baba or hearing his name, he had had a vision of the Master once while in a cathedral.