Living Or The Dead

Performer makes no other preparations than to have a sheet of ordinary; paper, blank on both sides and edges cut smooth. A committee of five are asked to assist, all who may be disinterested persons as there is no confederacy required.

Performer takes a ruler, of something with straight edge and lays it across paper and tears off a piece and passes it to one of committee, asking him or her to write the name of a dead person, or to be more pleasing in the request, asks name written on some one they know who has passed away. He tears off four other strips, exactly alike in size as strip #1, and giving one to each of volunteer committee, asks each of them to write on the slips the name of some living person. The sixth or bottom slip is discarded for reasons you will presently see.

After they have written the names, performer'having retired or turned his back, all are placed in a hat, or similar article, first having committee fold them up securely so no chance will be had to possibly learn the names on them by observation, etc.

After folded slips are placed in hat, performer reaches in and as he withdraws a slip, he instantly tells whether it is of the living or the one passed away, or he may reach in and select that of the departed one, yet he opens none of them or in no way sees the names written.

This startling experiment is founded on one of the most clever ideas in magic and so called spirit manifestations or thought reading and transference and the climax should be worked up to sensational finish by performer stating that he is able to learn the fact that a certain one of slips contains the name of departed person from the vibrations he gets by touch, there being an uncanny feeling when that'particular one is found and the hand comes in contact with it.

The principle involved is simplicity itself. You tear off the first strip which is to be the one that the departed one's name, is -to- be-written -on and this is the only strip that will have one smooth edge,as the top edge will not be torn. When #2 and balance are torn off there will be a ragged . torn edge at top and bottom, and as the strips are long, the ends wiil of course be smooth as they are the cut edges of sheet; but these strips should be about six times as long as deep which gives you plenty of edges to determine if both upper and lower edge are rough or one has a smooth and one rough edge.

Soon as your sense of touch tells you that one of the slips has a smooth edge as you run fingers along edge, you immediately know that is the one given out to have departed one's name written on. Of course all the rest will be the living and requires no further feeling. You may find at first that it's a little difficult to sense #1 by touch alone, so you may resort to simpler plans that will allow you to get a glimpse of the slips, and as all are folded up, no one will question your motive in doing so.

This principle may be used in many ways other than the example we give, and will be found to always create much astonishment wherever shown, if a reasonable amount of dramatic showmanship is introduced in the presentation of same.

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