The beauty of this test is, that throughout the experiment, the performer apparently does nothing whatever, and TOUCHES NOTHING USED IN THE TEST. The material used can be thoroughly examined after the experiment is finished. There is the advantage of being able to use ANY MAGAZINE OR BOOK DESIRED. The cards used are an ordinary pack of cards. There are several subtleties used which are practically unknown to magic previously.
The first requires but a slight arrangement of the DECK VALUES only--with no attention being paid to the SUITS. This is so that any TWO Cards taken TOGETHER from ANYWHERE WITHIN the pack, will total, when the values are added--either 14 or 15.
The arrangement in part reads as follows:
SEVEN & EIGHT together. SIX & NINE together. FIVE & TEN together. FOUR & JACK together. THREE & QUEEN together. TWO & KING together. ACE & KING together.
TWO & QUEEN together. THREE & JACK together. FOUR & TEN together. FIVE & NINE together. SIX & EIGHT together. SEVEN & SEVEN together. EIGHT & etc. until the deck is used up. Except for two aces which are LEFT IN THE CASE when deck is taken out of It.
The deck may now be cut indefinitely without disturbing the order. So much for that.
Taking the magazine or book to be used, it is opened at pages 14 and 15 WHICH WILL ALWAYS BE FOUND SIDE BY SIDE when book is open. The first thirteen words on page 14 are written down in a column and the same done on page 15.
If the same book is to be used indefinitely for this test, I will say it is best for you to memorize the two lists of words, each list of course forming a sentence or part of same, consisting of these 13 words. Then you are ready for the test.
However, if presenting the test impromptu, or nearly so with BORROWED BOOK or MAGAZINE, where you don't want to bother to memorize the lists, use a small end opening notebook. On the inside front cover of this, write the two lists and place book in your pocket. In this case, the presentation is the same EXCEPT AT THE FINISH which I shall take up later.
TO PRESENT:- Have cards and book at hand. Remove cards from case leaving the two Aces behind. Place deck beside book on table. Walk away. Ask a spectator to step up and take book. Tell him that you want him to select a card from the deck but that you will never even touch deck or see the card. "In fact," you remark, "you had better take TWO cards to make sure of getting a free choice." Ask him to cut the deck several times, then to cut once and take two cards from somewhere in deck and go to a far corner with the cards and book.
Impress upon the audience the point that NO ONE CAN POSSIBLY KNOW THE CARDS HE HAS--and that it is obvious that he could have taken ANY CARDS in the deck.
Tell spectator to add the values of the cards together-- Then tell him to open the book at that page, but to let no one see the page.
Now pick out another spectator and have him step to table, take deck and shuffle it (incidentally destroying all order). Have him spread cards faces down on table. Then to wave his hand over them and then turn face up any card on table he chooses. Ask him to call out the value of the card to first gentleman with the book.
Performer asks first man to COUNT DOWN to the word at that NUMBER--on whatever page he has book opened at. Ask him to remember the word and then close book.
The word is then revealed by any method selected by the performer.
But, you ask, how does performer know which page has been selected? Another subtle point! In any printed matter containing numbered pages, regardless of what it is, when the book or magazine is open before you, the EVEN NUMBER is always on the LEFT--and the ODD on the RIGHT. The performer knows the WORD NUMBER after 2nd man has picked and CALLED OUT the card he selected. When the other man with the book starts to COUNT DOWN TO HIS WORD--just 1 single GLANCE tells the performer whether it is the RIGHT OR LEFT page he is counting on. Thus the performer knows whether it is the ODD or EVEN page.
In case memorized list from your own book is being used, the effect is concluded by the performer apparently READING THE SPECTATOR'S MIND, and divulging the word LETTER BY LETTER.
But with the secret list method, the performer asks spectator to think of the word intently and form a picture of it in his mind, if possible. Taking the little book from pocket with pencil, performer opens front cover up, writes on top page, tears out same and replaces book in pocket. Knowing as he does, the page and the word number, it needs but a glance at COVER when be to write, to get the word. Then performer writes, "The word that is being thought of is---." Then the paper is folded up and handed to another party to hold. The spectator is now asked to say the word aloud, after which the man holding paper reads it to all. Thus memory is done away with and the secret unknown list does its work.
Another method is when working in front of a seated audience, where it is impossible to see the book and learn WHICH PAGE has been selected. In this case, the selection is narrowed to two words as you cannot help but know the word number in any case.
You ask the spectator to think of the word. Now in every case but very rarely, these two possible words will be of varying lengths, different letters, meanings, etc., which greatly differ. You are apparently trying to read his mind and alter a due amount of thought you name the FIRST LETTER of the word. If he says "Yes," you go on and finish it or write it down. If "No," ask him to think harder, while you concentrate again. And this time, you give it correctly. Or you can have him think of the NUMBER OF LETTERS in the word, state the number, and if wrong, you immediately know the word is from the other page.
There are many little kinks that can be used here as it is only a case of knowing which of the two is the correct one.