A plain, ordinary kitchen table is brought upon the stage, and a committee of ten is called for from among the audience. The manager then says to the committee:
"Gentlemen, five of you please take the mind reader outside of the hall and keep him in charge for half an hour." Five of the committee take the mind reader outside while the other five watch the man on the stage.
A watch is borrowed from the man in the audience. The manager then asks one of the committee at what time he should stop it. The watch is stopped at 3 minutes past 12. The manager sees this and places it carelessly on the table.
A cigar case is borrowed and the manager asks for a number of cigars. The case is filled or partly filled with say 6 cigars or as many as the committee decides on. The manager then carelessly lays it upon the table.
He then asks one of the committee to write the name of some friend, the first name only, upon a double slate, which is then handed to someone in the audience. The pencil is then laid on the table.
He now requests the committee of five to take him outside and to keep him until after the mind reader has finished. The committee does so and the mind reader returns. He at once sees the watch and the committee asks him what time it is by the watch. The answer is 12.03, the watch is opened and the answer is found to be correct. He then tells that the number of cigars is six in the case and that the name on the slate is Harry and the number in the sealed envelope is 94. All prove correct.
Explanation--The table which must be a round one is divided mentally into 24 pairs, 6 in a row and 4 deep. There are no lines upon it, but the mind reader and manager have made a mental division of it with a pin in the centre to guide them, if they are a little clumsy; they can readily see any of the 24 divisions mentally, each square represents a name, 24 common first names.
There is also an imaginary face of a watch upon the table, the XII being towards the audience and the VI being opposite. The watch is laid with the ring toward the audience which means 12 o'clock, it is laid in the third space marked off mentally, which means 8 minutes after 12, if it had been stopped at 19 minutes after 3 it would be laid on the right hand of the table. The ring would be pointed to the right, which would mean that the hour hand was set at 3, the 12 th space indicates the minute hand.
In case the watch was stopped 52 minutes after 12, it would be laid face downward, which indicates that the time is a half hour past the hour at which it is (laid) stopped, plus the spaces in which it is laid.
The slate pencil is laid in the space marked "Harry," and the mind reader knows that Harry was the name written on the slate. The cigar case is lying in the 6th space and means that there are 6 cigars in it. The lead pencil is laid in the 9th space pointing toward the 4th place and indicates that the number is 94. If it was 944 an envelope thrown carelessly on the table would mean a repeater for the last number.
Any number of tests may be introduced on the above plan. The committee are satisfied that there has been no collusion and their report is to that effect.
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