Commentary

Though not mentioned in Faucett's later letters, this "color separation" is a fine idea and has been unpublished until now. It is similar in effect to the popular Sands of the Desert with the advantage of no prepared props, and with everything examinable.

LETTER FROM FAUCETT ROSS TO PAUL FOX January 17th, 1939

... Re: Seeing with Fingertips. Just found out today that Rajah Raboid is featured this week at Muehlebach Grill, Kansas City's class night spot and is doing the blindfold gag exclusively. Got a rave notice in yesterday's K.C. Star so he's probably got some good presentation angles on it. Am playing a K.C. school Thurs. afternoon and shall try to catch his act that evening. Needless to say I'll take careful note of any unusual bits of business etc etc and will tip you accordingly.

When I first read your description of the Box of Numbers thing I wasn't greatly impressed but since thinking it over I've become "sold" and completely enthusiastic about the possibilities. The idea of having compass concealed in the chalk is very fine. Also the shape of the box and blocks and above all using colors instead of numbers is ingenuity characteristic of the Fox magical mentality and I mean it.

Yes, this should be an impressive and even sensational idea.

Was first prejudiced because the box of numbers is displayed and sold in all the novelty shops up and down Broadway. It's a best seller according to my friend Red [Louis] Tannen who operates a novelty emporium at 54th and Broadway and caters only to the laymen. He sells everything — was selling "Clippo" to the general public before Max Holden had stocked it — all of which goes to prove what a healthy condition our art is in, eh wot?

Nevertheless we aren't in New York so the chances are very remote that we'd run up against anyone who knew the thing. Even so, the blindfold is a throw-off. If they knew you were using a compass they'd still be fooled as to how you could see it.

... Here are my thoughts regarding the thing. In the first place, box and blocks should be large and consequently visible even in the largest auditorium. Blocks should be approximately 2 Vi inches square or rather wide so that length of box should be about eleven inches. Just as important — the box should be of a very light finish so that you get a strong contrast. Strike idea of a mahogany finish a la Die Box —it seems to deaden the color of the blocks or something. I think a natural wood finish — very light and French polished would be the ticket. A good red, not too dark a blue, green and orange should look well and be sufficiently visible. What you think?

... Getting back to the Box of Blocks Divination, why not have the faked end of chalk made entirely of wood with a receptacle bored out to accomodate the compass? ... End of chalk itself could be cut to fit into the wooden portion thus:

.. . Reverting back to "Seeing with Fingertips": I really think I have some good patter material for it. Did the thing years ago and Dai always liked my lecture if not the method. Have copy of this and plus a few ideas the whole should be very good. So, if you like, I'll undertake to write the patter and am sure you'll be able to utilize part of it, anyway. I agree with you that the card tricks should be eliminated.

If you want me to get busy on this send me routine for Nixon's Videtec Slate. Fervently hope you have something better on it than Nixon himself. He first showed me the thing in 1926 and did it very sloppily as is his custom so I wasn't greatly impressed.

Have some good ideas in mind for the Box of Blocks based on historical fact. You may recall that a Spanish medium, Argamasilla, created a furore with a very similar effect in this country about fifteen years ago. Used a metal box, allowed spectators to place any object therein, seal box etc. and then would describe contents. The box of blocks might well be introduced as Argamasilla's "piece de resistance" — the test that puzzled The Society for Psychical Research etc. No long-winded lecture but just a few pertinent remarks to this effect: You'll attempt to duplicate the feat under even more stringent circumstances, allowing box to be wrapped in paper, etc.

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