By Vivian St. John

The Effect

A book is handed to a spectator who is told to open it anywhere and look at any word on any page. He is asked to impress that word on his memory by writing it in capitals on a piece of paper you hand to him. He then folds the paper and puts it in his pocket.

The performer now produces a dictionary and explains that since it is a comprehensive volume, somewhere on one of the pages will be found the word that was selected quite freely from the other book. He continues, explaining that there is an art called Muscle Reading, and gives a brief outline of what is to happen. The spectator is first to guide the Mentalist to the section of the Dictionary that deals with the first letter of his word. Then to the right page. When at the right page, the performer decides that the last step should be done by remote transmission and not direct contact; he asks the spectator to merely think of his word and he finds it on that page.

When the spectator guides that Mentalist by "Muscle Reading" he holds the wrist of the Mentalist's left arm. the Mentalist, using his other hand, moves the pages back and forth appearing to get a guiding impulse which eventually leads him to the correct page. Suppose the word was "Renegade" ... he would first arrive at "R" and then turn over the pages until he reaches "Re" and so on . . . when the word is seen on the right page, he tells the spectator to let go and think of the name of his word—or visualise it in large letters, the Mentalist's finger moves down the page and finally stops at one word—RENEGADE.

This is one form of presentation out of many that will be found possible with a very simple and yet practical piece of apparatus. The apparatus I am about to describe was first revealed by Vivian St. John, published over fourteen years ago, but still good. The "Cornish Pixie" of May 1945 gives the constructional details of what is called a "Clip Book". It is a simple thing to make and it will be found useful for many routines and effects. Although a Carbon Impression is used, it is well concealed and the apparatus is easy to handle.

The Clip Book. (Reprinted by permission of Vivian St. John)

"The word written by the spectator COULD be obtained by means of one of the many types of Clip Boards or Carbon Methods, but carbon paper even with the best of the clip boards has not been to me, very satisfactory, so make your own carrier in this way:—

Take a book not less than eight by five inches and remove the dust cover. Mark a square out on the front cover leaving about one inch as a border all round, and cut that section right out. You may now do two things. Stick that cardboard cutout on to the first page inside, in line so that when the book is opened or closed it fits back into the gap and also comes out. Or, discard the cardboard cutout and replace it with one of those permanent carbon note pads; the type that have a carbon sheet (actually a jelly) covered by a sheet of celluloid. When you write on the celluloid the lettering appears, to remove the writing, you pull down a small metal bar which separates the carbon from celluloid again—and the writing disappears. One of these, the same thickness as the book cover, and as near as possible the same size as the gap is stuck on the first inside page.

If the first method was used, a sheet of good quality carbon paper is now stuck inside the dust cover (front) if the second method is used, it is not necessary. The dust cover is replaced in either instance, and if the direct carbon method is used, you must insert a sheet of white paper to take the impression.

The book looks perfectly normal, it is handed to the spectator front side up (the proper way) and he is told, "open it somewhere in the middle and look at any word then close the book". You give him time to do this and then place a sheet of paper over the front dust cover and say, "Now write the word in capitals to impress it on your memory". He does this and folds the paper, putting it into his pocket. You casually take back the book, glance through the pages and glimpse the word-impression as you do so. From then onwards it is a matter of presentation to reveal the word by some powerful effect. Make this neatly and you have a clip board much better than those you have paid many a dollar for".

Practical Mental Influence

Practical Mental Influence

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