The Missing Link Corinda

"Book Tests" are generally conceded to be effects wherein a word or line is found in a book. There are countless numbers of them already and that is why emphasis in this Step has been placed on Tests which have a slightly different approach from the normal run of things. This is a trick with a book and it might be called a Test. It does not involve words but ^numbers—the page numbers of a book.

The performer has a glass bowl (or any other container he chooses to use) which is said to contain approximately one thousand small slips of paper. This is true. On the table lies a thick volume—something like a Telephone Directory or an Encyclopaedia.

Nothing is said about the book for the moment. A spectator is invited to roll up his sleeve and dip his hand into the bowl, mix all the slips and then remove a handful. Having done this, he is invited to keep any one of the slips he holds and to throw the others away. Hence one is selected at random. Now the book is introduced; it is explained that the Volume is Seven of the Encyclopaedia Britannica alleged to contain some two thousand pages. He now opens the slip of paper that was selected from those in the bowl and it is seen to hold a printed number, in fact the paper is the corner torn from the page in a book. Suppose the number was 348. The spectator is told to turn to page 348 in the Encyclopaedia and when he gets there, lo and behold! the corner of that page is missing—the piece in his hands matches exactly. No other corner is damaged, just that very one. It would seem that out of all the pieces in the bowl, our spectator has selected the one corner that fits a damaged page in the book on the table!

The Method

Get about four old books and give yourself ten minutes work during which you tear off each and every corner, screw them into a ball or fold them and drop them into a bowl. Next take the key book to be used for the experiment, and remove a page corner from somewhere near the middle. The thicker the book, the more impressive the test. This corner treat the same as the others, either roll or fold—but drop it in your pocket where you can get at it quickly and easily. Now all that has to be done —which is practically nothing!) is to switch the corner he chooses from the bowl—for the corner in your pocket. Step Six on Billets gives you a good dozen methods of switching so we need not bother about that here. But I will make it easier still for you and tell you how to do it when they least expect it. Have the spectator mix the pieces, choose a handful and then make a final selection of one piece. Up to now, no mention has been made of numbers, you alone know what is happening. You suddenly make an announcement, telling everybody that every piece of paper in the bowl—is the corner of a page torn from a book. Say "about twenty different books have beeVi used—to collect the three or four thousand slips you see in the bowl. No"W 1 want you all to be satisfied that these slips are well mixed, different and that the choice was free. Will you Sir, kindly pick up about three or four slips from the bowl and open them, read out loud the page numbers as you pick them out". Then add as though it was an afterthought, "you had better give me that piece in case you get it mixed" (!) Reach forward and take the selected piece from him and have the other (real corner) ready in your hand to exchange at any time you like during the next half a minute when all attention is focussed on the spectator calling out numbers. Under these conditions, it becomes so easy that you can hardly call it a Billet Switch. You have so much time and so much misdirection that a child could do it.

The last touch is to get the corner back into his hands—without drawing too much attention to the fact that you have been holding it. As soon as he has checked through about four slips from the bowl, stop him and draw his attention (and the audience) to the book on the table. "That will do' thank you. Now let me draw your attention to this book on the table, it has been here all the time and has not been touched. Take your paper please and bring the book here". Hand him the real corner and wave him towards the book. After that it is left to your personal (and undoubted) talent to make Much Ado About Nothing!

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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