Cagliostro Billet Reading Test

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Effect: Small cards and envelopes are passed out to spectators with the request that they write question on these blank cards, place them in the envelopes and securely seal them. When this has been done, assistant passes among .the audience and gathers the Sealed Messages in a Glass Bowl. This may be a Fish Bowl or any Glass article, the Idea being to allow free view of the Messages from the moment they leave the hands of the writers until same are read by the Medium or Performer. When all sealed Billets are in the Bowl,r assistant carries it in full view to a light undraped table and deposits same there so all may see Bowl and its contents.

The performer during all this gathering of the messages, gives some sort of a lecture on the subject of Mental Telepathy, Mind Reading, Spirit Communication, etc., and plans to finish about time Glass Bowl is brought on stage. Reaching into Bowl he takes out one of the Sealed Envelopes, places it to his f<>rehead-~and^f-ter~appeaxing to be qu±te_jdistiurbed.-and^uz.zJ-ed_ remarks-, "r have requested you to write something on these small cards and seal them in the envelopes provided for that purpose; but the fact I am only able to read these Sealed Billets thru concentration of the Minds of the Writer and Myself, and as I cannot very well concentrate where there is nothing, I wish to state whoever placed this Blank Card in this Envelope either forgot to write something or is a very Clever Joker and I appreciate his idea of Humor at a time like this". '

The blank card is tossed aside, and performer now reaches into the Glass Bowl, takes another sealed billet, places it to forehead and after the usual deliberate manner usually assumed in acts of this nature, gradually visualises the nature of writing on card and gives such answer to same if question is a proper one, tearing open envelope asks writer to hold up his or her hand to verify that they are the writer of same. This is carried on until several have been answered, all of which will be found correct and acknowledged by the various writers, for all these questions have actually been written by spectators, and none are confederates. As each one is verified, they are put aside and performer finishes after reading several by stating time is limited and other features to follow prohibits his being able to read all the questions at this time; but it is very evident he could if the time permitted this to be done.

Method: The only preparation is the furnishing of a quantity of about #1 Coin Envelopes and Blank Cards that will fit in the envelopes. Having cards and envelopes small in size prevents spectators writing very lengthy messages, for these later have to be memorized for a short period. All cards and envelopes are passed out except one4, this the performer beforehand prepares by inserting a blank card in envelope, seals it and either palms it, has it where he can get it quickly when wanted, or lets assistant add it to those in bowl as he sets bowl down on table. If the latter course is used, have assistant bend over corner a little, or otherwise mark the blank so it can be noticed quickly and taken out without hesitation when Medium reaches in bowl for it later.

When the 1st question is placed to forehead and performer makes remarks about some one placing this blank iu envelope, and it is impossible to concentrate, he really has a written question, and opening it and declaring it a blank, it is only a subterfuge to allow him to read and memorize its contents. This he does, and fortified now with the actual contents of the First Sealed Billet, he reaches into Bowl, takes out #2, places to forehead, appears to read it, but in reality is giving out to audience the memorized contents of #1.

Each time he asks these be verified, and this is kept up until several have been answered, and finally with say #8 memorized, each time removing card from envelope and placing same on table, he reaches in bowl for his last onej takes out the marked blank card, places to forehead, 'reads' contents of //8 he has memorized, tears open envelope, scans its contents, stating he is quite right, asks for verification; then mingling all the cards including blank, he may if he wishes, pass them back to the owners and incidentally work up some nice comedy trying to fasten the ownership of the mysterious blank on some one in the audience, especially if he can pick out a good natured well known person that fits into it nicely; otherwise, with no one acknowledging ownership (and of course there are none) finish by taking blank back to stage, putting in pocket, or presenting to some one.

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