To Perform

Have prepared envelope, piece of paper, book, card, pencil, and knife or dagger handy on nearby table.

Pick up piece of paper and envelope.

"There are some effects in magic that I do not know whether to believe or not, myself. They are just as puzzling to me as to my audiences. I do them and then wonder how I did them. Here is a trick that I have often wondered about. I have here an empty envelope and a piece of paper. Would you, sir, be kind enough to examine this piece of paper?"

Give paper to gentleman.

"Quite ordinary, is it not? And yet, I sometimes think quite extraordinary. I picked it up in a quaint old book store. Found several sheets of it in an old second-hand book I bought. One of these sheets had written across it these words, 'Someday a magician will use this paper. Prize it highly for you may never obtain any more of it.' Rather odd, don't you think? I wish I knew who put the paper in the book. In the back of this same book were several envelopes and this knife (or dagger). This is one of the envelopes. I could find nothing queer about them except that they were empty. I thought that maybe there might be money in them. Can you, sir, see any money?"

Show inside of envelope to spectator. Envelope looks empty, of course.

"And will you please place this piece of paper inside of the envelope yourself?"

Spectator places paper inside and you seal the envelope.

"Let us seal it inside, then run this knife (or small dagger) through the envelope. I will just set it here in full view."

Run blade of knife or dagger through front side of envelope as in Figure 14. Set envelope up against something on the table in full view of the audience, or give to someone to hold. Spectator should hold knife (or dagger) with envelope suspended on it.

Pick up card and book and pencil from table.

"I do not need to tell you that this is a book, this is a card. . ."

Show both sides of book and card.

"And this is a pencil. How good are you at mathematics? I suppose all of us can count to ten. That's all we have to do is to count to ten. We have nine numbers to select from. I want several of you to call out numbers and I will write them on this card. Call them slowly that I can write them down. All right, sir, start the ball rolling. Just call any number from one to nine."

Someone calls number—say, for instance, five. You write it down.

"All right, another number from someone else. You may call any number or repeat one that has already been called."

Put down the next number called—say, seven. See Figure 15.

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