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Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Spirit Thinkerphone, or Marvelous Vision

In effect as follows: Performer walks into a newspaper office and asks someone to think of a card in an imaginary pack of cards, after he has done so to write the name of the card in his note book or on a slip of paper, and keep same in his pocket, then party writes a note asking name of card, and encloses note in an envelope which he seals and addresses to the performer's assistant. He then calls a messenger to deliver the note to the assistant at the hotel and return with answer; he does so and the answer is found to be correct.

The explanation is as follows:-- There are four suits in a deck of cards, viz. Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds. Each of these commences with a different letter. Performer watches party as he starts to write name of card. Suppose for instance it is the five of spades. As soon as he sees the number 5 written down he watches to see what suit it will be. This he knows as soon as he sees the first letter put down, which in this case is "S." He then turns his back in order to avoid watching the person finish writing the name.

The information as to what the card is, is conveyed to the assistant by two finger-nail marks on the envelope, one on the back and one on the front. The front of the envelope is divided into 12 imaginary spaces (see figure 1). At one end of the back are the places for the marks to represent the suit, hearts, diamonds, and spades (figure 2). If the back has no mark it is a club.

The front of the envelope represents the number of spots on the card. One for ace, etc., eleven indicates the Queen, twelve the King. If the card is a Jack there will be no mark on the front. In this case the card is the five of spades. In picking up the envelope the performer marks it front and back as shown in figure 3 and 4. Or the envelope may be marked after the note is enclosed in it. This may be clone under pretext of examining it to See if the address is correct.

If required to repeat the test the performer may vary the modus operandi by addressing the envelope himself and doing away with the fingernail marks. This is done as follows: Take the first :13 letters of the alphabet as the initials of the person addressed and also let them represent the 13 cards in suit.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Now if you wish to communicate the card "10 of hearts," the address on the envelope would be as follows:

Auditorium Hotel.

The initial "J" indicates 10 and the first letter of the place (Auditorium Hotel) coming under the first capital letter of the name indicates "hearts." The suits of the cards are indicated by the capital letters in the name. The first capital letter means hearts, the second one spades, and the third one means diamonds. If no capital letter is indicated the card is a club. The particular capital letter you wish indicated has the first letter of the place addressed placed immediately under it.

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