This is a good method to use if you have an assistant. Have small manila envelopes and cards passed out to spectators, about two dozen of them. Ask about six spectators to write the names of dead people and the rest to write the names of living persons. Give marked envelopes to the former and plain ones to the latter. Have cards sealed in the envelopes and collected in a basket as described in Lesson 31, under A MODERN CRYSTAL GAZING ACT.
When basket reaches stage, raise handle and allow flaps to fall down and conceal collected envelopes, exposing the fakes which were in the sides. Empty duplicates into a glass bowl or on table and toss basket offstage. Assistant offstage picks out marked envelopes, opens them, and writes the names of the dead persons on a large card. He holds this up in the wings so that you can see it.
You pick up envelopes from glass bowl and hold them to forehead and pretend to pick out the names of the dead and call them out.
Another stunt is to have a lighted candle and set fire to the envelopes, allowing each to burn a little and then dropping it on the tray. You apparently read the name in the envelope by the flame.
The Changing Bag described in an earlier lesson is also a good way of collecting envelopes and changing them for duplicates. Slips of paper without envelopes may be used also in this method.
Performer shows a piece of blank photographic paper and places it in an empty envelope, sealing it in. Spectator selects a card from the deck by cutting deck anywhere he desires. Envelope is then placed against selected card between the two parts of the deck. In a moment, envelope is torn open and photographic paper removed. On it is found a photograph of the selected card.
1 -- A double manila envelope, as described to you in Lesson 8.
2 -- A photograph of a playing card, say the Five of Diamonds It should be of such size as to slip inside of envelope easily. If you have a camera, you can easily photograph a few cards for use on various occasions, so as not to use the same card too often.
3 -- A blank piece of photographic paper to match that on which you have photograph of card.
Place photograph of Five of Diamonds in rear compartment of double envelope. Seal the two flaps together.
Place blank photographic paper in envelope. Place the Five of Diamonds on "Top" of the deck.
Show envelope and remove photographic paper from it.
"For years the world has been more or less interested in spirit or psychic phenomena. Experiments with them have led to interesting results, many of which cannot be explained. For instance, there is one experiment which is very puzzling and I shall perform it for you A piece of blank sensitized photographic paper is used."
Show blank photo paper freely and give to spectator.
"And an envelope."
Open envelope and show it empty.
"Will you please place the paper in this envelope and seal it?"
Spectator places paper in envelope and seals it in. Hold envelope in right hand and pick up deck of cards in left hand with thumb on "Top" of deck.
"I will initial the envelope for future reference. Give me your initials, sir. F. E. H. Thank you."
Place envelope in left hand on top of deck. The moment envelope screens deck, push top card to right about an inch and grip it by right fingers. Now place second and third finger-tips against card and release right hand. Bring thumb of left hand out on top of envelope.
Remove pencil from pocket and write initials, F. E. H., on envelope so that they can be read from a distance. ®
Take envelope with right hand, concealing the Five of Diamonds behind it.
"And if you will please shuffle this deck of cards well."
Spectator shuffles deck. Then ask him to place deck on your left hand. Have backs of cards up.
"Next, I want you to lift up any number of cards you desire -- in other words, cut the deck any place you choose. Then hold the cards a moment while 1A place the envelope on the lower part of the deck."
Have spectator lift up a section of the deck. Place envelope on top of lower section on your left hand with Five of Diamonds under it. Lift envelope again, leaving the Five-spot square on the deck.
"Before we do this, however, please remove the top card of those I hold in my hand. Look at it. and if you care to, show it to the others. Now replace the card on the deck. On this, I shall place the envelope and then have you, sir, place the cards you have on top of the envelope."
Have spectator take Five of Diamonds, look at it, return it to packet in your left hand. Then place envelope on top of these cards and have spectator place his cards on top of envelope.
"I want you to concentrate for a moment on the card you selected. One-two-three-four-five. Thank you, that is long enough."
Open cards and remove envelope.
"What was the card you selected, sir? The Five of Diamonds?"
Lift Five-spot from lower packet and show.
"The Five of Diamonds. That is correct, sir."
"I have tried to make everything fair for this experiment. First, I had you examine a piece of blank, sensitized photographic paper and place it in this envelope. Then you shuffled this deck of cards thoroughly, cut the deck any place you desired and noted the card at the cut. This card happened to be the Five of Diamonds. You concentrated on the card while I counted five. If the experiment has been performed correctly, I should be able to photograph by spirit means the card you selected and concentrated on."
Tear open the envelope, opening out the rear compartment. Show inside of envelope to audience and remove the photograph of card. Show envelope to be empty and toss it aside with open end to the rear. Show photograph of Five-spot.
"The Five of Diamonds. Even a better photograph than one might expect in an experiment of this kind, which goes to show that you have lent the best psychic atmosphere to the whole affair."
In this case, you have a small piece of sensitized paper, such as Velox, which has been exposed to a film of the card and only requires developing to bring it out.
Place prepared paper in a regulation unprepared envelope and seal. At proper moment, open envelope, remove paper, and drop it into a small tray or saucer containing regular photographic developer. In a few moments, the photo appears on paper and it can be shown to audience. Be careful not to expose paper to much light before using. Carry it in a black envelope or inside of coat pocket until needed.
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