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Foreword.—The theme of this effect is that of my own " Taped Slates ", which I described in " Patterns for Psychics ". The method, however, is entirely different, and undoubtedly better, for the mechanical slate is eliminated.

Effect in Brief.

The mentalist writes three predictions on a slate. As each prediction is written it is covered with a piece of cardboard that is kept in place by means of two clips. All these predictions concern numbers, colours and patterns decided upon by three members of the audience. The climax of the effect comes when the pieces of card are removed by a spectator and it is seen that the mentalist has been correct with all his prognostications.


All these the mentalist will have on hand; they are as follows :—

One slate (the larger the better).

Three pieces of cardboard; they measure in length the width of the slate and their width is approximately two inches.

One stick of white chalk.

One parti-coloured stick of chalk; this is made by taking a short length of red chalk and joining it to a similar length of green chalk by means of adhesive tape.

Six similar sized Bull-dog or similar clips.

Twelve business size envelopes.

Six pieces of white cardboard similar in size to a playing card.

A visiting card.

A pencil.

A pack of cards consisting of one card repeated forty times, together with twelve indifferent cards.

A little conjurer's wax.

Six glasses.


The six pieces of white card are.first painted on one side with red paint (poster paint is best). When dry half of the opposite side is also painted red; the remaining unpainted parts are painted green, blue, yellow (or orange), brown, black and pink respectively. Needless to say, as an alternative to painting, the pieces of card could be completed by glueing or pasting on the necessary coloured papers.

The twelve envelopes have now to come in for some attention. They are taken and with a pencil the gummed edges are eased apart so that the envelopes can be opened out flat, thus :—

The ADDRESS sides of the envelopes are now pasted together, but please notice that the flaps are opposite in direction (as in illustration).

When the paste is dry a slit in length the width of the painted cards is made across the centre with a razor blade; this job done, the envelopes are, with the aid of a little more paste, made to look like envelopes again. You should now have six envelopes that can be opened on either side. Now insert one of the parti-coloured pieces of cardboard into the slit and it will be seen that if the flap on one side is opened a (say) blue card will be showing, whilst if the envelope is turned round and the other flap is opened a red card is showing. Having made these six envelopes, take the parti-coloured pieces of card and place one inside each. To make quite sure which side of the envelope shows red, it is most advisable to place a small pencil mark somewhere on that side of the envelope. In all cases a very small dab of conjurer's wax is placed under each flap so that it stays " put " and will not spring or fall open.

The glasses are placed in a line across the mentalist's table and against each one is rested one of the envelopes; they are placed so that in each case if the flap were opened and the card drawn out the full red side would be exposed. Just behind the glasses is placed the deck of cards (the twelve assorted cards being on the face), and to its left the visiting card on which the figures 1 to 9 have been boldly written. This card is so placed that if the mentalist is working left of the table the figures will appear upside down.

The pieces of chalk are now placed in the right hand pocket (the mere binding of the tape prevents any question of confusion when removing from the pocket), whilst the strips of card and bulldog clips are placed on an adjacent chair. In a moment the slate will be placed upon the chair, too, but before carrying out this action, the mentalist writes lightly in pencil across the top part of the slate "1= " and then across the middle of the slate (the letters should be less in height than the width of the covering strip of card) " 2 = Red ". Underneath this, again using the pencil, he writes "3 = 8 of Spades " (or whichever card is repeated forty times in the deck lying on the table). This preparation completed, the slate is placed on the chair, the mentalist being aware which end is which.

The Stage Is Set.

The mentalist, whilst writing on the slate, works so that the table is to his right and the chair on which sundry items are placed, is on his immediate left. To the (mentalist's), right of the table is another chair.


The lines spoken by the mentalist are in italics.

Ladies and Gentlemen . . . throughout the ages man has forever tried to pierce that curtain which separates the unknown from the known. Life from death, the future from the present. Sometimes in the last phase his experiments are successful and he finds a gap in that curtain. To-night, I too, wish to try such an experiment, and for this I shall require the assistance of three members of my audience; they will be called for this purpose ff Mr. Scarlett JJ, " Mr. White ", and " Mr. Green ". First of all, " Mr. Scarlett " . . . woidd you mind acting that part? (This to a member of the audience . . . as he says this the mentalist lifts up the slate from the chair with his left hand, whilst his right goes to his pocket and removes the parti-coloured chalk, keeping his hand closed over it. The slate is brought up to chest level, the pencilled writing appearing UPSIDE DOWN to the mentalist and the right hand moving across into a writing position. At the moment that the right hand is covered by the slate, the right hand opens and taking the piece of chalk with his fingers so that only the piece of RED chalk shows, it moves outside the cover of the slate so that those near can see that the mentalist has a piece of red chalk held in his hand).

You are willing to co-operate ? Thank you very much. With this piece of chalk appropriate to your present pseudonym, I am going to write a six figure number on this slate. (Bringing^the chalk back to the slate and keeping the latter at an angle of sixty degrees to the floor, the mentalist simply reverses the piece of chalk and in green writes in the normal way, i.e., FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, the letters and figures that the proper way up will appear as 3 = 8 of Spades. The fact that this has already been pencilled makes the accomplishment straightforward.

The right hand now drops the parti-coloured piece of chalk into the right hand pocket, the slate being transferred to the right hand whilst the left hand takes a piece of card and one bulldog clip from the chair. After fixing the card in place with one clip at one side of the slate, the other is picked up and slipped over at the opposite side. As he does this the mentalist remarks) ... A six figure number, sir, which in a matter of seconds I think you will verbally repeat. Now, sir, just relax—let your present thoughts vanish—relax— and then tell the audience the first six numbers that enter your mind . . . " 761057 "... please remember that number, or better still, jot it down . . . you are doing that ? . . . Thank you. (It is important that the mentalist MUST remember this number. This doesn't sound a formidable proposition, but I know that there are many who cannot easily do this. The alternative, therefore, is for the mentalist to have another slate or blackboard on the stage, and without asking the spectator to jot down the figures, he takes the white chalk from his pocket and does the job himself so that the entire audience will have the numbers in front of them. )

Now for a second helper . . . you, sir, thank you ... I shall call you cc Mr. White ". Keeping your pseudonym in mind too, I shall use this chalk for you. (As he says this the mentalist, still holding the slate, swings it round so that the audience can see that the first (?) section is covered. This is done casually with the left hand whilst the right hand goes to the pocket bringing out the piece of white chalk. As he goes on talking to " Mr. White ", the slate is swung back into writing position whilst the piece of chalk is casually tossed a few inches into the air and caught again.) For vou sir, I am not at the moment giving you any clue as to what I am writing . . . you will understand why in a few moments time. (The mentalist now writes from LEFT TO RIGHT with white chalk over the pencilled lines which fill the centre of the slate, i.e., 2 — RED ; the white chalk is dropped into the right hand pocket and the second piece of cardboard is now taken and with the aid of two more bulldog clips is fastened to the slate so that it covers the middle section. The slate in this condition is then placed on the chair so that it rests against the back. The audience can now see the first and second predictions covered.) Now " Mr. White ", on this table there are six envelopes ... I know that you have no idea what they contain ... to you they all will appear similar, I want you to choose one envelope, but not with a " snap " decision. Change your mind as much as you like but ultimately let. your choice fall on one. Is that quite clear ? (The mentalist looks at the spectator whilst he makes up his mind—then) Have you now decided ? Just stop me as I touch your envelope. (The mentalist starting from his left hand side, touches each envelope until he is stopped by the spectator. The selected envelope is then picked up and placed on top of the glass against which it previously rested.) You are quite satisfied with the freedom of choice? Thank you!

Now Ladies and Gentlemen—the final test— this time with " Mr. Green JJ. You will play that part ? Thank you, sir. (This to spectator picked out by mentalist who affirms his wish to play this part). This time again something different . . . " Mr. Scarlett " thought of some particular thing, namely a set of numbers ... he was asked to do this . . . " Mr. White J' chose an envelope. Even now lie does not know its contents, thus his decision was vastly different from " Mr. Scarlett's ,J. " Mr. Green JJ ivill help me with something far removed from either of the two previous experiments. At this point the slate is picked up by the left hand whilst the right hand goes once more to the pocket and closes again round the parti-coloured chalk. As in the first case it is withdrawn in the closed hand until the cover of the slate allows the mentalist to know which end is which. The green end is brought up over the slate and, without comment of course, shown to the audience. The mentalist remarks) For " Mr. Green " (reversing the ends of the chalk under cover of the slate he starts writing the number chosen by the FIRST SPECTATOR, which the mentalist has remembered. This of course must be written UPSIDE DOWN and in reverse and this is where the visiting card on the table comes in useful, as without thinking about writing a number upside down, you have only to note what the numbers LOOK LIKE UPSIDE DOWN & THEN COPY THEM. The = sign and the 1 are already pencilled in, which makes for speed. The third piece of card is now picked up and placed in position by means of the two remaining clips. In this state the slate is shown and placed flat on the seat of the chair, the long side parallel to the audience.) Now " Mr. Green " I am going to ask you to choose a PATTERN. The easiest recognisable patterns that one can find in quantity are playing cards (the pack is picked up from the table with the right hand). If I asked vou to merely think of one of these (as he says this, "the mentalist deals from the face of the deck some ten of the twelve assorted cards) you might possibly be led to believe that in some psychological way you could be compelled to fix your mind on one particular pattern. The test I am going to use obviates that. First of all I want you to seat yourself here (mentalist indicates chair by the side of table. If the hall is fairly large where mentalist is working, the spectator is invited up IMMEDIATELY AFTER the slate is placed on the chair.) Now sir, I am going to spread the cards face down (don't forget that the audience has been shown several different cards and there should never be any suspicion in their minds that forty of the cards are similar. The cards are ribbon spread in such a manner that the twelve bottom cards of the deck are covered by the remainder. The line of cards should be at least eighteen inches in length.) " Mr. Green ", I want you to place your right hand about three inches above "the cards . . . that's right . . . just there. Now please let your hand move backwards and forwards without any conscious effort. To this gentleman in the audience I am going to hand the slate. (The slate is picked up and handed to someone in front. It is placed in his hands so that the top strip of card covers the number prediction. The time that has elapsed between placing the slate on the chair and its removal makes this natural reverse indetectable) and I want him to say " Stopl " whenever he wishes. When he says this I want you to let your first finger fall on the card immediately below it . . . that is understood ? Now, just keep the hand moving . . . and you, sir, say the word when you wish! (The spectator holding the slate says " stop " and the spectator lets his finger fall on to a card). Just pull that card away from the rest (the spectator does so, the mentalist picking up the remainder of the cards and dropping them into his pocket.)

Now Ladies and Gentlemen, let me quickly recap. . . . On the slate which you hold, sir, I made a note of three things which I saw through a Gap in the Curtain of Time. The first thing that I wrote was a number and it was written for our friend " Mr. Scarlett " in redl . . . will you please remove the first card—(The spectator with the slate does so). Now fr Mr. Scarlett ", will you please repeat that six figure number that you saw in your mind ..." 761057 "... and you sir, will you please read out what. I wrote on the slate (" 761057 " reads out the spectator ; the mentalist repeats this in a loud voice). I was right with your number. Now sir, please remove the second card . . . rr Mr. White " chose an envelope . . . in this envelope was a piece of coloured card (as he says this the mentalist picks up the envelope from the top of the glass in such a way that when the flap is lifted the red card will show. Again with the lapse of time in placing the card on the glass and removing it, the position of the original flap is forgotten by the audience . . . the flap is lifted and the red faced card withdrawn by the left hand, the right hand crumpling the envelope and allowing it to drop on the floor. The left hand now passes the red card to right hand turning it at the same time but so taking it that the other colouring is not seen, i.e., the right hand takes it so that the red half shows above the hand. It is then placed on the table red side up. This, as a trial will prove, constitutes a natural sequence of movements). You see, sir, without knowing it you chose the colour " red ". If you had chosen this envelope (here mentalist picks up nearest envelope, opens flap and slightly withdraws card, pushing it back into the envelope and then laying the latter on the table) you would hcivet, had blue, in this one orange and so on (this as he very quickly picks up and opens the envelopes one at a time and thten placing them in a heap on the table. The slight pull out of the card should appear a natural gesture, and of course not more than half a card must show). Again sir, I say, without, knowledge of what you were ultimately choosing you chose " red. " . . . what did I write on the slate for " Mr. White " ? (the spectator reads out '' Red '' and this repeated in a louder voice by the mentalist.) The second view through the gap was correct! Lastly our friend here " Mr. Green " became for the moment an automaton . . . his hand playing the part of a pendulum that was stopped by the gentleman holding the slate. The last thing I saw through the time gap was the pattern of a playing card. Will you please remove the last strip of card and read what J have written? (the spectator does so and reads "3 = S of Spades ''. Again the mentalist repeats '' Eight of Spades ". Now (to " Mr. Green ") will you please lift tip the card on which your finger stopped and say aloud its name ? . . . The Eight of Spades! The third vision was correct. Thank you. very much, sir. (This to the spectator on the stage.)

Footnote.—The reader may well wonder why I have taken the trouble to make use of the " slit " envelope, when a double envelope and additional pieces of card would suffice. The objections to this course were (1) the envelope could not, after withdrawing the coloured card, be easily crumpled (having another card inside) and (2) the fact that on so many occasions there is unavoidable light at the back of the performer, which, in the case in point, would silhouette the hidden card. Those were two of my reasons for originating the present force.

To those who, at some time or the other might wish to use alternative forces, may I suggest that the Stanley Collins's Poem Book offers an excellent choice for a chosen word or words whilst an indetectable method for forcing a colour, name or city, can be found in my own " tumbler " force in " Pattern for Psychics ".

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