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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Second Sight Through Brick Walls

This is usually used for a hotel or press seance, i.e., for advertising purposes, and is claimed to be very striking.

The performer enters into conversation with some people in the hotel or office, wherever he happens to be, and makes the suggestion that his assistant's powers can be tested at a distance. One or more cards are generally selected, some initials may be chosen, a number in dice is thrown and a series of figures may be written down, dates selected and time of day noted. One or two gentlemen are chosen as messengers. They take any sheet of paper and envelope, with pen and ink and proceed to the assistant's room, wherever that may be, and hand her (it is generally a lady) the paper and pen without saying a word and in a few minutes she hands them a correct written answer to all their questions with necessary proper descriptions.

The manner of working this is as follows: Of course you arrange with your lady beforehand just what you are going to do. In this case let us suppose one card is drawn, one die is thrown, one number is thought of, one set of initials is written down, and the time of a watch or clock noted.

Now to the lining of the side of your coat pocket nearest the hand with which you write sew two short pieces of elastic cord in such a manner that they will grip neatly a book of cigarette paper, such as you can buy in any cigar store, (see figure 1.) The book cover is doubled back so as to leave one of the sheets of paper on top of it. In the same pocket have a very short pencil not too sharply pointed so as not to tear the tissue paper while writing on it. In your vest pocket have a common fountain pen. Thus prepared you are ready to perform the experiment.

Under pretense that you are not going to handle the articles you keep your hand in your pocket most of the time, and this gives you a chance to jot down the various abbreviations for the answer. Of course what these abbreviations mean yourself and lady must know. In this case the following are selected: card selected, King of Hearts. Die, a six spot. Number thought of, 445. Initials thought of, E.H. Time of watch, 9:31.

You jot these down as soon as selected and of course the difficulty of writing this way will not make the bit of paper (figure 2) a good specimen of calligraphy, but still it will be legible enough for your assistant to know what each abbreviation means. She knows that the first is a card, the second a dice, and so on.

While the messengers are being selected, tear this sheet off quietly and gently in your pocket and make a little ball of it, palm it near the tips of the middle and index fingers, which is very easy to do. Take out your fountain pen, and as you take off the cover part of the ease which protects the pen and which is always put on the other end of the holder while writing, you slip into it the little ball. This can be done very easily after very little practice. Do this while the attention of the spectators is taken up with the messengers, (selecting them).

The trick now needs no further explanation. When the gentlemen knock at the lady's door, she is of course, prepared to receive them. She takes the paper and asks them to kindly wait outside as the presence of strangers is irritating to her. She takes the ball from its resting place with a hair pin, smooths it out and translates the abbreviations into plain English and then writes the answer on the letter head which the committee has given her.

When this is done she opens the door and the gentlemen take back the answer, totally unconscious that they themselves carried the information as to what the answer should be. Dates on coins, birthdays, etc., may also be used. If you are a second sight artist you may use your numbers to indicate chosen articles.

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