The Mental0 Mystery

Effect: Fair cards and envelopes are distributed to the members of the audience, with the request that they write their questions and sign their name on the cards, then seal the query in the envelope. This done, performer collects the sealed billets., inquires of each spectator their name, writes names on the envelopes for purpose of identification. These sealed billets are collected and never leave the audience's sight.

The sealed envelopes are deposited in a fair glass bowl, which is left in the keeping of some disinterested spectator. Performer returns to stage, calls a name, requests the party to acknowledge same by raising the right hand, then answers the question. The spectator holding the glass bowl is then directed to search among the billets and locate the envelope bearing the party's name just called. This envelope is opened by the performer who verifies the question and name AFTER it has beec answered I Another name is called, and question answered, same removed from the bowl by the disinterested spectator, and again verified. At the conclusion, the envelopes and cards are returned to the original writers.

This particular routine is designed for performer who works without assistants, anytime, any place and for any occasion. It requires no preparation, no apparatus or special properties. The cards and envelopes, if of uniform size, may be borrowed. The misdirection and psychology of the effect j«3 very clever and the modus operandi is practically indetectable.

Properties: Ordinary cards and envelopes are used, the only restriction is that they must be alike in size and appearance. Small envelopes that can be easily held in the palm of the hand are recommended.

Modus Op e purpose of illustration and to make the method of operation as clear as possible, xre will assume that twenty cards and envelopes are distributed to twenty different spectators who write a question on the cilrds and seal them in the envelopes. Any nurr.ber of billets may thus be prepared. The cards and envelopes are distributed and spectators are then requested to write one important question and sign the name in full. The performer distributes the cards and envelopes and is among the spectators at all times. During this distribution, it is necessary that the performer see the contents of ONE card before it is sealed in its envelope. The performer may wait until he sees a finished card, then direct the spectator to insert the card (thus noting the question and name in a glance) the performer showing the audience how to seal them. Or it will be found quite easy to learn the contents of at least one billet while circulating about the writers. (More about that later). Let us assume that the contents of one billet have been learned, and the other nineteen are unknown, and all cards are sealed in their respective envelopes.

Performer returns to the spectator who possesses the billet containing the information he is now familiar with, and takes same in his. hand. He inquires of the spectator his name, in order that he can write it on the envelope for purposes of identification. He knows the name of course, also thp contents. On hearing the name, he pretends to write the party's name on the envelope but in reality writes nothing. Assume this party's name to be BROWN. The performer then collects a second billet (any billet) and inquires this person's name (which is Smith). He takes Smith's envelope and apparently writes Smith's name on it. but actually writes the name "Brown." Collecting the third billet, he inq uires the name of the third writer and learns it to be Davidson, and appears to write that name on the third envelope, but in reality writes the name of the second writer, or SMITH. This procedure is continued, always writing the preceding name on the envelop just collected, until the LAST envelope is in your possession. On this envelope you write the preceding NAME5 and the name just given by the LAST SPECTATOR as his name is written on the FIRST ENVELOPE collected.

We now have twenty envelopes each containing A card bearing each spectator's question and name. The twenty spectators' names appear on the envelopes likewise, for purposes of identification. As each envelope is securely sealed, they may be safely handed to any member of the audience, or placed in a glass bowl, mixed up and this bowl containing the questions placed in the care of some disinterested spectator.

Performer nov returns to the stage and is now ready to start the actual demonstration of reading the contents of the sealed messages, which actually repose in the glass bowl, now in the possession of some disinterested spectator. Appearing to concentrate, he calls the name BROWN (this was the first billet collected, and he is also familiar with the question Brown wrote on the card.) Getting acknowledgement from Brown he proceeds to answer Brown's question,, During the process of answering the question, he requests the spectator holding the bowl of questions to endeavour to find Brown's billet, which bears his name on the envelope. The performer can wain until he has completed the answer and then takes the billet, or takes it during the answer process. At the conclusion of'the answer he inquires of Brown if he was successful in reading the contents of the envelope and asks permission to open same and verify. This he does hurriedly, noes his head and places the card and envelope on the table.

Again he concentra.tes axad calls another name, which is SMITH'S name, and SMITH'S CARD TEARING THE QUESTION AND HIS NAiiS WAS IN THE ENVELOPE MARKED BROWN! While apparently verifying BROWN'S QUESTION, he LEARNED the NEXT spectator's name and question (Smith).' The question is answered, same located in the glass bowl, and then verified by the performer, this modus operandi putting the performer in possession of the next spectator's name and question (which is Davidson) and which is answered. This reading one ahead process is continued until the performer answers all billets.

After the first billet is read and verified, the card is withdrawn from the envelope. The card is then placed on top of the envelope, and card and.envelope placed on table. The same procedure is carried out with all questions, the envelopes sandwiching the cards, and all should be placed in sequence in an orderly pile. At the conclusion of the demonstration, when all billets have been answered, you have the entire twenty cards and twenty envelopes, take the card now resting (last billet opened) on the top of the pile and place it on the bottom of the pile. Now go into the audience and distribute the cards and envelopes, to the original writers, and they are now stacked in perfect sequence and can be paired off as fast as you locate the spectators.

Explanation of the routine: The modus operandi of this effect will no doubt seem very complicated and may be difficult, to understand by many. However, in spite of its complicated appearance it is vsry simple once the idea is grasped! In order to make the exact procedure clear, the modus operandi will be explained in detail, using only three spectators and three billets. While it is not practical to use this method for such a small number of spectators, it will enable you to get a better understanding. The three spectators are Harry Jones, John Smith and Mary Brown.

Three fair cards and envelopes are distributed among your audience of three, a card and envelope to each person. Each write their name on the card and one question. In shewing them how to seal the billets (or how or where to write the names) you learn the contents of one of the billets, say Mary Brown's. (It would be-difficult to learn the contents of one of these billets with only an audience of three, tut this explanation is for purpose of illustration only.) We will assume that Mary Brown's question is "When will I uiciiTiry ? A 11 three questions and envelopes are sealed, and you collect Mary's envelope first and ask her name. When she replies, performer thanks her and informs his audience that he is going tc write each spectator's name on the envelope for purposes of identification and appears to be writing "Mary Brown" on the envelope but in reality writes nothing. He then approaches Harry Jones, takes his envelope, inquires the name, is informed Harry Jones and pretends to write the same on envelope but really writes "Mary Brown." He then takes the third billet and learns the name to be "John Smith1' and on this envelope writes ,;Harry Jones." All envelopes are collected and it is now necessary that he write the last name on the first envelope. That is, he must write "John Smith on the first envelope which is really Mary Brown's billet, containing her card and the question. In appearances the three envelopes have been collected and each spectator's name placed on their respective envelopes.

Returning to the stage the performer calls the name *:Mary Brown" as he is faimilar with the question. This question he answers and then he requests the spectator to take Mary Brown's billet from the glass bowl and give it to him. He opens same and verifies it, in reality reading the card written by John Smith bearing his name and question. Having answered the question, the envelope is placed on the table, card on top of it and performer calls John Smith by name and answers his question. Nov? the billet is given to the performer who opens it for the purpose of verification. The card contained in. this envelope is that of Harry Jones. The card and envelope are placed on th other card and envelope on the table top and performer requests Harry Jones to raise his hand. He now answers Jones' question and asks that the billet be given him bearing Jones' name which he opens and verifies. (The last biUL= et is that of the first spectator). These are placed on the table, atop the other two cards and envelopes.

Now examine The cards and-envelopes on'The table. You will find them stacked as follows:

Mary Brown (envelope) John Smith (card) John Smith (envelope) Harry Jones (card) Harry Jones (envelope) Mary Brown (card)

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