by A'l Baker
This is an effect created by the writer more than twenty-five years ago, and until the last few years the secret was carefully guarded by the few who had paid a substantial amount for it. It has appeared in print from time to time, but always with the essential details lacking. During the past winter this trick was performed at a Parent Assembly gathering of the S. A. M. by one of the members and his wife, and made a very favorable impression.
Owing to the number of requests received, I have decided to release the correct version of this really astounding effect. However, the method is extremely simple, as there are no codes to be learned by either the performer or his assistant, and if these directions are followed explicitly you should become proficient after only an hour's practice.
A number of slips are passed out by the performer, and members of the audience are each requested to draw some symbol or design on the paper. It is then folded and initialed by the writer, after which they are all dropped into a borrowed hat. The magician thoroughly mixes them, removes one at random, reads the initials aloud, and hands it to the writer, who acknowledges it, with the request that he hold it in his hand and visualize the design on it.
The assistant, seated with her back to the audience, proceeds to draw something on a large writing pad. When finished she holds the pad above her head with its back towards the audience. The magician then asks the holder of his slip to open it so that all may see his drawing. We'll assume that it's a Star and Crescent. The performer reverses the pad, and there in heavy crayon is seen an enlarged duplicate of the Star and Crescent. The sheet is torn off and given to the writer as a souvenir, and the effect is continued until all the drawings have been duplicated by the medium.
A thumb tip, writing pad, dark crayon, • slips of paper (about 2x2 inches) and a borrowed felt hat are the only props necessary.
Before passing out the slips they are folded so that they will be refolded by the spectators in the same way. After making his drawing and folding the paper, each is requested to place his initials on the outside. While this is being done, the magician gets the thumb tip on his right thumb. Picking up the hat with the same hand, thumb under brim and fingers curled over the edge, he asks those nearest him to drop their slips into the hat. Suddenly he grasps the hat at the bottom with the left hand, and reaching with the thumb and first finger of the right hand for another of the spectator's slips, he places it in the hat, at the same time leaving the thumb tip in the hat, where it is held in an upright position by pressure of the thumb and fingers of the left hand from the outside. See Figure 1.
Taking another slip from a spectator, the performer apparently places it in the hat, but in reality it is placed in the tip, thumb is inserted, and hand with tip of thumb is immediately withdrawn. At this same moment hat is again transferred to right hand with thumb underneath brim, and hat is held out for the remaining slips to be dropped in. It is then placed on the table and assistant makes her entrance. Taking her hand, the magician leads her to a chair, where she is seated back to the audience. During this action she removes the thumb tip from his hand. While magician is lecturing briefly about what is to take place, she opens'the slip, notes and remembers the drawing, refolds it and places it back into the tip, pressing it tightly against the side. While the hands are held in the lap, the thumb tip is held in the left hand with the opening to the right. The assistant should keep her elbows close to the body during this procedure so that no movement will be visible, and it is particularly important that she does not incline her head forward as she looks at the drawing.
The magician now picks up a crayon and hands it to the medium, at the same time inserting his right thumb in tip, and returns to table carrying tip and message with him. Picking up hat with left hand he reaches into it with the right, and thumb tip is held by pressure of left hand from the outside. As right thumb withdraws message from tip, it is pulled back into finger palm position (See Figure 2) and without hesitation a second slip is picked up by the thumb and fingers and inserted in the tip, thumb going in with it, and hand is instantly brought out, at the same time sliding palmed slip forward so that it is held as in Figure 3, thumb towards performer. The above moves should all blend together.
After reading aloud the initials on this slip it is passed to the person who has acknowledged it, with the request that he concentrate on its contents. The performer then picks up the pad with the right hand, thumb away from audience, and holds it over the assistant's head. Reaching up with left hand, she rests her fingers on thumb tip as magician withdraws his thumb as in Figure 4, and lowers pad to her lap.
She now draws a picture of the drawing from the first slip on the pad, removes slip No. 2 from tip, notes the contents and replaces it in tip. She then turns the pad over, and holding tip behind with its opening to the left, she raises it above her head. The performer then asks the spectator holding slip to state what he drew and then to open it so that all may see. After this is done, magician takes pad from assistant, at the same time allowing right thumb to enter tip, slowly turns pad over, and there is seen a duplicate drawing. This is torn off, passed to the spectator, and pad is laid on table. Again picking up the hat, another slip is secured and the same procedure with the assistant is repeated with all the slips.
These instructions may appear rather lengthy, but it is only because every action is covered in detail. In actual practice it will be found that there are very few basic moves involved and if these are carried out without any obvious attempts to "hide something" and in a natural manner, you will find that to your audience "Thought Transcription" will be truly a modern miracle.
MINIATURE SPIRIT SLATES (National Magic Co. )
EFFECT: The magician shows the two small wooden slates. Attention is directed to the fact that they are perfectly clean without any writing on either side.
They are then fastened together by means of a rubber band and handed to a spectator to hold.
It is then explained to the spectator that the slates were the original property of a Chinese Magician long since dead and that under certain conditions, his spirit returns with an answer to any question put to it by a spectator.
Spectator then asks a question. He immediately removes the rubber bands from the slates and finds a Chinese character in chalk on one of the slates, which the magician explains is the answer to his question and if he can't read it, it's his own fault.
SECRET AND PREPARATION: Apparatus consists of the two miniature slates-and a small secret flap.
Prepare the trick by writing on one of the slates an elaborate Chinese character in chalk. Over this place the secret flap. We refer to this slate as #1. Slate #2 has no preparation.
Have the slates in your hand, thumb and finger holding the #1 prepared slate so that the flap is in place.
PRESENTATION AND PATTER:
1. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I have here two small slates which were left to me some time ago by an old Chinese magician, Tong Foo. "
2. "Before he passed away, he promised me that any time I wanted to know any thing, he would try to return from the spirit world and answer my question by some special sign on one of these little slates.
3. "I know you don't believe this and I don't either. "
4. "However, we'll try to see if Tong Foo will keep his promise. "
5. "You will note the two little slates are quite unprepared and have no writing on them, either back or front. " NOTE: As you say this, show the slates both sides.
6. Before you place the slates together, #1 slate should be in the left hand held between the thumb and first and second fingers. Thumb is on top, first and second fingers at the bottom of the slate holding the secret flap in place.
7. Slate #2, the unprepared one, is held between the thumb and fingers of the right hand.
8. Turn your body to the left so that your right side is toward the audience.
9. Bring slate #2 with right hand up to slate #1 holding it so that the lower edge of #1 just touches the lower edge of #2 slate.
10. The moment they touch, let the flap fall down slightly from #1 slate so that you can push the two slates together.
11. As you push them together, the secret flap is now pushed on to the bottom of slate #2.
12. As matters now stand, the two slates are together with the writing on the inside and the secret flap on the bottom of slate #2.
13. With left hand holding two slates together, thumb on top of slate #1, fingers holding flap in place on bottom of slate #2, again show slates both sides.
14. Allow both slates to rest on palm of left hand.
15. This will allow the flap to secretly drop into your left,hand.
16. With right hand, lift up the two slates and at the same time reach into your left trouser pocket for a rubber band, leaving the flap in your pocket and immediately coming out with the band. Place the rubber band around the two slates and hand it to a spectator to hold.
17. Ask spectator "Now, if there is anything you want to know from old Tong Foo, I want to just ask a question. "
18. When spectator asks the question, tell him to hold the slates up to his ear.
19. Pretend he is not holding it right and take hold of the slates with him and scratch your nail against the surface.
20. Tell him to listen intently and you are sure that old Tong Foo will give him an answer.
21. State "Yes, I am sure your question is being answered as I can hear Tong Foo's spirit hand writing on the slates. "
22. Step back and ask him to remove the rubber band and see if an answer has appeared on the inside.
23. When he takes the slates apart, he will, of course, discover the Chinese character on the inside.
24. You state, "What's that, something in Chinese? Well, I am sure if you can read Chinese, that answers your question. I forgot to tell you that old Tong Foo could not write in English. "
Additional Routine for Use With Miniature Spirit Slates:
EFFECT: Performer calls attention to two small slates being blank on both sides. Taking a rubber band, he binds the slates together and gives them to spectator to hold.
He then introduces a telephone directory and a pad of paper. He requests the spectator to write a number of three digits. After a short mathematical problem, he asks the spectator to turn to the page covered by the first three digits in the phone book.
He then requests the spectator to count down to the number of names in the phone book designated by the last digit, and to read off the telephone number found listed there.
Spectator holding the slates is then requested to remove the rubber band and see what is written on the slates. To the amazement of all, the same telephone number selected by the spectator in the book is found printed on one of the slates.
SECRET AND PREPARATION: 1. Ascertain what phone number is listed on page 108, the 9th phone number down. 2. This is done because the number 1089 is the number which will always be the answer to the problem.
(a) In this method you will force the number 1089 on the spectator and after you have forced it, you explain that the first three digits, 108, will indicate the page, the first digit will indicate the column, and the last digit will indicate the number of telephone numbers from the top of the column counting downward.
(b) Request spectator to write a number on the pad of paper of three digits, the last digit to be smaller than the first.
(c) Request spectator to reverse the number and write it under the first number.
(d) Request spectator to subtract the lower number from the upper number.
(e) Request him to reverse this number.
(f) Instruct him to add the last two numbers.
(g) As you know in advance that the following of this procedure, his answer will be number 1089, you have of course already memorized the telephone number on page 108, column one, 9th from the top.
(a) We will assume you wish to force page 78, column two, the 28th number from the top of the page.
(b) To do this you wish to force number 7828.
(c) Instruct spectator to write down any number of three digits.
(d) Instruct him to multiply it by two.
(e) Request him to add 15756 (this figure is always double the number you wish to force. ).
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