Secret To Perform

Ask two spectators to come up from audience to assist you. Have a chair ready on each side of stage for them to sit on.

"In preparing for the next mystery, it is necessary to have a box built, and for that purpose we will use these six canvas frames. Gentlemen, I want you to examine each of these frames and see that each is merely a wooden frame with canvas tacked over it."

Have the two men step forward. Hand frames to them one at a time, showing both sides and calling attention to their strong construction.

"The pegs, screw parts, and holes are for the purpose of construction. Each frame fits into the other to form a box or trunk. To begin with, we shall place this strap on the floor."

Place strap down about three feet in front of curtained cabinet, laying it parallel with front of stage.

"On this we place the small square frame. Then around me I want you to build a wall with the frames. Place the canvas part outside. On the bottom of each there are pegs to insert in the holes in this frame which I am standing on."

As you say this, place the small frame down over the middle of the strap on floor. Then stand on this frame. Have the two men place the side frames around you. Your assistant shows them how to put the frames in place and gives them thumb screws to place on threaded bolts. She sees to it that fake frame is placed at the rear. When everything is secured to the satisfaction of the two gentlemen, you say:

"Now, when I stoop down into the box, place the top down by pushing the holes in it over the wooden pegs in the side frames. Then for extra security, place the straps around the box. My assistant will direct you in the way to do this."

Stoop down into box so that top frame can be put into place. The strap from bottom is brought up and fastened tight around box. The other strap is then placed around middle of box the opposite way and strapped into place.

Girl assistant then asks gentlemen to help in placing curtained cabinet over canvas box. This accomplished, the side and back curtains of cabinet are lowered into place. The two men are then asked to take seats at each side of the stage.

As the girl assistant says the following she stands in cabinet in front of box and then draws the curtains together in front of her, allowing only her head to remain in view.

"In a few moments you will see a strange feat of magic, performed in the twinkling of an eye. Mr. (your name) has been securely placed inside the box. Each side is firmly fastened to the other with thumb screws and straps. All fastenings are on the outside. A person in that box is held as securely as in a steel-bound box or trunk."

The moment she begins to talk, you push nail into opening of faked frame, open door and make your escape. Allow door to fall quietly into place, but be sure it does not close tight enough to lock. You come up to girl's right side while she is saying:

"When I say — three — watch! In a second's time will come a peculiar transformation. Are you ready? One - two - three!"

She disappears, and the moment she does so, you step into her place and put your head out between the curtains.

Girl darts around left side and quickly crawls into box, pulling the door tight so that it locks. She gives you some signal immediately, and you open the curtains wide, showing the canvas box.

Have the two gentlemen come up to help you remove curtained cabinet. Then unstrap the box and remove the thumb screws to release the front frame. Lift off the top and take out the front panel to show the girl inside. Assist her from the box and dismiss the two gentlemen.

NOTE: The Canvas Box Mystery may also be performed with the sack and the hands tied behind the back as in the preceding illusion.

This mystery may be used for just an escape, too. In this case, after you are in the box and concealed by the curtained cabinet, you merely make your escape and then push the door tight so that it will lock. Open the curtain and move the box out of the cabinet. After having the two gentlemen examine it, take the box apart to show that there is nothing concealed inside.

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