You are on page 1of 29

One Man Mind Reading Secrets

by Ralph W. Read
To see all the latest instant download magic tricks:
To see our magic video age !ust:
To receive even more "ree classic magic #ooks:
This version o" a classic magic #ook was created and distri#uted #$
magic"orall%com % &ou ma$ distri#ute it in an$ wa$ $ou wish' #ut we
ask that $ou do so onl$ to genuine magicians and lease do not alter
the e#ook in an$ wa$%
(E)M*STERS: I" $ou wish to distri#ute this e#ook with a link #ack to
$our we# site included' siml$ email: admin+magic"orall%com
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 1
"One Man"
Mind Reading Secrets
A Calostro Secret Monograph
Number One
Compiled & Edited by
Ralph W. Read
Author o !he Calostro Mind Reading Act

One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 2
Table of Contents
The -One.*head- /rincile%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%0
Stealing 1olded )illet "rom Tra$%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%2
Su#tle 3limse o" 1olded )illet%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%4
Thum# Ti )illet Steal%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%56
Thum# Ti Steal o" )illet%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%5,
Cards in Enveloes%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%50
1aked /ile o" Maga7ines%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%58
9ovel Idea "or *scertaining the 1irst :uestion%%%%%%%5;
The <ou#le Cutter%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%=6
Old 1ashioned Mediums> Switch%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%=5
The <ou#le Enveloe Switch%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%==
The Calostro Three.1inger Shell%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%=0
* Stunt with a 1inger Ti%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%=2
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 3
The public has always been interested in exhibitions of mind reading
from the time of the French conjurer, Robert Houdin, who was the
first professional mind reader. His act, which he called "Second
Sight," reuired two persons, as did that of Robert Heller, !nna "#a
Fay, $he %an&igs, 'ercedes and many others. Stuart (umberland,
many years ago, presented an act in which he wor)ed alone. He
called it "mind reading," and it was so classified by the writers of that
day, but we now call it "muscle reading" as being a truer description
of the tests he performed.
*n general, the effects produced by a person wor)ing alone are the
same as those presented by performers employing one or more
assistants. While there are many tests, such as di#ining the names of
chosen cards, numbers, names, etc., the large majority of these acts
consists in the performer+s re#elation of facts concerning uestions
secretly written by the spectators. ,f course, the performer must, in
all cases, ascertain through some secret means what has been
written in order to play the role of mind reader, and it is these secret
methods that are disclosed in the following pages. Where the
performer wor)s alone, it is necessary that the spectators write the
uestions, figures, drawings, etc., on paper, which the performer can
manipulate so as to gain secret )nowledge of the spectators+ writings.
'any of the fundamental principles are the same in the one-man and
the two-man acts, but the single performer must necessarily do all
the wor), and many ingenious subtleties ha#e been de#ised to enable
him to glean necessary )nowledge without being detected.
*t is not claimed that all of the ideas gi#en herein are original. !s a
matter of fact, some of them ha#e been used for years, but we ha#e
added many new ideas and impro#ements that will greatly simplify
the wor). Some of the methods ha#e been gi#en us by practical
performers and are now released for the first time. ,thers are tests
which we ha#e witnessed from time to time, and for which we gi#e
the methods according to our own solutions.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 4
!he "One#Ahead" $rinciple
This is one of the oldest, and, at the same time, one of the simplest
methods e#er de#ised for secretly reading uestions. *t has been
used by mind readers, pseudospiritualists and others with great
success for many years before both large and small audiences. !s
originally performed, it was not a one-man effect. hence, we shall
first describe it that way and then gi#e the #ariations used by the
single performer.
Original One.*head Method
$he spectators are reuested to write their uestions on slips of
paper and to let no one see what they ha#e written. $hese slips are
then folded by the writers so the writing is concealed on the inside.
"n#elopes may be furnished and the uestions sealed within, if
desired. $his is a fair si&ed audience where some write uestions and
some do not.
*n any e#ent, a total stranger is directed to collect the uestions and
dump them on the table on the platform. $he performer pic)s up one
of the sealed en#elopes, holds it to his forehead, as though to "see"
with supernatural #ision and shortly announces that he "gets" the
initials '. (.--"is '. (. present/" '.(. ac)nowledges that she wrote a
uestion, whereupon the performer proceeds to gi#e a suitable
answer to her uestion about a trip to 0oston, etc. !s he finishes the
answer, the performer tears open the en#elope and reads aloud the
uestion, "Will * go to 0oston/ '. (lar)."
$hat is what he appears to do, but all is not what it seems. '. (lar)
wrote a uestion all right, but '. (lar) is a confederate of the
performer+s, and wrote that uestion by agreement, secretly bending
o#er a corner of her en#elope so as to distinguish it from the others,
identifying it as the one to be a#oided until the last. $he performer
has pic)ed up and opened some other en#elope, first pretending that
it belongs to '. (. $hen, as he loo)s at the open slip, he orally reads
"Will * go to 0oston/ '. (.", but, in reality, he is at the same time
mentally reading and remembering the uestion written on the
genuine slip before him--let us assume this slip hears the uestion,
"Will father get well/--signed 1ohn 1ones."
$he performer has thus apparently confirmed his di#ination of the
first uestion, and now )nows a genuine uestion which he pretends
to be the one contained in the next 2second3 en#elope, which he
reads while held at the forehead as before. $he same procedure is
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 5
followed throughout, each new en#elope torn open furnishing the
data for the next reading.
$he performer can stop at any time but if he desires to read all of the
uestions, he lea#es the '. (lar) en#elope till last, and after it is torn
open to apparently confirm the last test, it is tossed among the
others, and they may all be returned to the writers.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 6
Stealing %olded &illet rom !ray
(ith a full understanding of the foregoing it will be ob#ious that no
confederate is needed if the performer can secretly gain possession of
any one uestion and ascertain its contents before he starts to gi#e
his answers.
,ne of the ways to do this is as follows4-- $he performer carries a
small opaue tray and some blan) slips of paper about 5-567" x 8-
567" down into the audience. He passes out the slips on which the
spectators are reuested to write their uestions. !fter this is done,
he explains the necessity for secrecy and reuests each spectator to
fold his slip in half with the writing inside, then fold again in half the
other way.
$his done, the performer collects the uestions on the tray. !ll the
time the performer has held a folded blan) slip on the under side of
the tray, concealed by the fingers of the left hand. !s he returns to
the stage, the performer changes the tray from the left hand to the
right, at the same time performing two simple secret mo#es. !s the
right hand ta)es hold of the tray, the right thumb slides off one of the
uestion slips lying near the edge of tray. $his uestion is slid o#er
the edge of tray and falls into the right hand where it lies concealed
between the right hand and the bottom of the tray.
$he left hand at the same moment has done the re#erse with the
fa)e billet. !s the tray is withdrawn from the left hand, the blan)
folded billet remains in the left hand until the edge of the tray passes
o#er it when a slight motion of the left fingers will flip the billet in
with the others on the tray. $his fa)e billet has a bent corner or other
secret mar) by which it can be easily distinguished, otherwise the
performer will ha#e to follow it with his eyes so as to a#oid pic)ing it
up until the end.
$he tray is emptied on the table, the stolen uestion being secretly
held in the palm of the right hand at the roots of the fingers. ,n the
table is a crystal ga&ing ball resting on a cushion. $he performer sits
down bac) of the table, pic)s up a uestion slip from the pile, holds it
to his forehead and ga&es into the crystal. *n the meantime, the right
hand is bac) of the cushion uic)ly opening the stolen billet so it can
be read, and announced as the one held at the forehead. $he one
ahead system is followed throughout, the stolen billet being switched
for the blan) billet after the performer has pretended to read it at the
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 7
Subtle 'limpse o %olded &illet
This method of ascertaining the contents of a genuine billet is subtle
because of its #ery boldness. 9o one would suspect that the
performer would do this bare faced deed, yet it is accomplished with
the greatest ease. *t can be done before small groups, but is best
suited to audiences of thirty, forty, or more.
We ha#e witnessed a performance of this method, the billets, or slips
of paper measuring about 7-86:" x 7-86:", or a trifle less. $his
particular performer used paper of a ;olden Rod color but white
would do as well. <rior to the show, the performer had folded each of
these slips three times as in Fig. 5 29ote !, 0, (, and =3.
!fter which the billets were just one-eighth of the original si&e, and
they were numbered consecuti#ely on the outside from 5 to :>, or
5?> or more, according to the si&e of the audience.
*n his #est poc)et the performer has a number of soft lead pencils,
and with the folded billets in his left hand, on top of a few opened
billets 2but with creases3, he is ready to proceed. He ma)es the usual
opening tal) about mind reading, etc., and explains that he has the
spectators write their uestions the better to concentrate on them.
He steps down in the audience, and as he passes out the billets and
pencils, he calls attention to the fact that the slips are numbered--
each spectator is to remember his number, then open his billet and
write his name at the top, the uestion underneath, and finally fold
the slip in the original creases. 9o one is to show or tell what he has
written but must concentrate his thoughts on the uestion.
$he performer now and then opens a billet before handing it to a
spectator. He mo#es about from one side of the aisle to the other, and
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 8
sometimes steps bac) and forth, always )eeping on the mo#e, as he
tal)s and passes out the slips. He finally has only two folded billets
remaining in his left hand, on top of the open billets. ,ne of these
folded billets, say, 9o. ?, was originally gi#en a bent corner when
folded by the performer so he can distinguish it from the others. He
has carefully withheld this 9o. ? billet and now hands it to a spectator
who is reuested to hurry up "as the others are all ready."
<erformer steps across the aisle, says "anybody else/" hands out
remaining folded billet to a spectator, and at the same time watches
9o. ? to see when he has finished writing, then spea)s out "!ll ready,
we will now collect the uestions, who will #olunteer/ !nybody/"
2man offers his ser#ices3. "!ll right, than) you, sir, go down to the
front, and start there--ta)e your hat for the purpose." $he performer
turns and loo)s toward the rear, and ac)nowledges an imaginary
reuest for a slip, by saying, "@es sir, just a moment, *+ll be right
there." <erformer uic)ly turns to 9o. ?, and extends his hand,
uietly saying, "!re you ready/" and ta)es the 9o. ? uestion, turns
away uic)ly and wal)s toward the rear.
9ow comes the bold mo#e. <erformer+s hands are brought together
and he uic)ly and secretly opens the 9o. ? uestion as he wal)s
rapidly to the rear, inuiring as he goes, "Who was it that wanted a
slip /--Where is that party/" Somebody will respond. ",h, there you
are, here+s a pencil and paper--and hurry please." <erformer ta)es
the bottom, opened slip from left hand and gi#es it to the spectator,
in the meantime getting a good chance to read the 9o. ? uestion
which is now lying open on top of the other open slips. $his only
ta)es a second, you need not get all the details if hard to read-merely
the name, or initials and an idea of the subject matter, such as, "1. (.
Wilson, sic) father," or anything you can glimpse.
$he performer )eeps mo#ing about and tal)ing, he uic)ly refolds 9o.
?, and turns around, wal)ing toward stage, and as he passes the
#olunteer collector, remar)s, "$hat+s right, get them all," and uietly
places his right hand o#er the hat for a second as sort of a gesture to
pull the hat down to see how many collected--but the right hand has
the 9o. ? billet gripped at the roots of the fingers, and the billet is
allowed to drop in the hat with the others. $his casual mo#e will not
be noticed, and e#en if it were, you would appear to be dropping in
some stray billet that had been handed to you. 9othing is said about
it, +you just do it. *f desired, the performer can stop just before he
passes the #olunteer assistant, and, as though to speed up things,
turn to one row and say, "<ass your uestions o#er, please," he ta)ing
them and tossing them along with 9o. ? into the hat.
*n any e#ent, the performer returns to the stage, reuests the
collector to )indly come upon the stage and dump the folded slips out
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 9
on the table, the collector returning to his seat. $he performer has
spotted the 9o. ? uestion in the pile, either by seeing the number
#isible, or by the bent corner--he gi#es the pile a stir with finger if
necessary to bring the 9o. ? uestion into #iew. With right hand, the
performer pic)s up a billet, or what to the audience appears to be one
billet, but he really pic)s up two, the 9o. ? along with some other
billet, for example 9o. A. $he actual pic)ing up is done with the right
hand and the left hand immediately comes to the right hand, so the
two billets are momentarily held as one, between the tips of the right
and left fingers. $he right fingers instantly let go and the right hand is
withdrawn, lea#ing the billet 2really two of them3 in full #iew at tips of
left fingers which then raise the billet to your forehead, and you
pretend to di#ine the uestion--the one by "1. (. Wilson, who has a
sic) father, etc." $his is done in the usual manner, announcing first
the name, then the nature of the uestion, and finally gi#ing the
$he left hand has been
lowered, the right fingers
approach the left, and with the
aid of the thumbs, uic)ly and
secretly slide the 9o. ? billet
into the right hand where it is
held or palmed against the
roots of the right fingers. See
Fig. 5!.
*n the meantime, the 9o. A
billet is being #isibly opened,
the fingers concealing the 9o. A on the slip. $he same pretense is
made, confirming the answer just gi#en, and mentally ascertaining a
new uestion, as pre#iously described. $he 9o. A billet is refolded,
and in the operation, the positions of 9o. ? and 9o. A are re#ersed--
9o. A being now palmed in the right hand, and 9o. ? in full #iew at
left finger tips. 9o. ? may now be returned to "1. (. Wilson," or may
be tossed out into the audience, or simply thrown upon the floor. *t
would be well to use all three of these methods of disposal during the
performance, as was the habit of 1ohn Slater in his demonstrations.
,f course, the readings are continued in the same manner, and all of
the billets can be returned to the writers, if desired, but it becomes a
bit tiresome to the balance of the audience, and it is much more
dramatic to #ary the final disposition, as suggested. $he performer
we witnessed, repeatedly thrust his right hand into his trouser+s
poc)et, lea#ing the billet there so he could show his right hand empty
but he had to di#e into the poc)et again to get the billet so he could
ma)e the final switch, and this poc)et procedure did not loo) so
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 10
!humb !ip &illet Steal
*ll magicians are familiar with the fa)e )nown as the thumb tip,
which is a hollow shell shaped and painted flesh color to resemble the
first joint of the thumb o#er which it fits. !s used in this effect, the
thumb tip should be long enough to co#er the full first joint of the
thumb, and fit easily so there is room to hold a folded billet which lies
under the ball of the thumb, and concealed within the tip.
$he slips of paper used should measure about 5" x 7-567". When
folded twice, the billet may easily be concealed within the tip, as
described. $he thumb tip is used to get secret possession of one of
the uestions.
,ne method is to ha#e the blan) slips in the left #est poc)et along
with the thumb tip, the latter being nearest the body with the open
end up. !n en#elope, si&e B-86:, is in your left side coat poc)et. !fter
passing out a few slips, allowing time for these spectators to finish
writing their uestions, the performer withdraws a slip from his
poc)et and at the same time brings out the thumb tip in position on
the right thumb. He uses this slip to show how the spectators should
fold them. With this sample folded billet in his left fingers he thrusts
his left hand in his coat poc)et, lea#ing the sample billet there and
getting the en#elope. He spots a spectator whose uestion is written
and slip folded. $his spectator and one or two more are allowed to
drop their billets in the en#elope.
$he performer then uic)ly inserts his right thumb in the en#elope as
though to open it, withdraws his thumb, lea#ing the thumb tip inside
the en#elope through which it is lightly grasped and held upright by
the fingers of the left hand. While doing this, the performer reuests
a spectator to "just put your slip in en#elope," howe#er performer
does not let this spectator drop it in--performer simply reaches for
the spectator+s billet, ta)ing it in his right hand between first finger
and thumb which go into en#elope. !ctually, the billet is put into the
thumb tip, the right thumb going in with it and the hand uic)ly
withdrawn, thus secretly bringing out the billet in thumb tip. *n
getting more slips from poc)et, thumb tip containing stolen billet is
left in poc)et.
$he en#elope is then handed to another spectator to drop in his billet,
and he passes en#elope along to others, meanwhile performer has
been handing out slips to others, and in tal)ing and mo#ing about,
has plenty of opportunity to get thumb tip with stolen billet out on his
thumb and uic)ly extract stolen billet and open it. He must not loo)
at it, just get slip opened out and placed underneath slips in left
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 11
hand. $he next spectator is handed a slip and instructed to "write
briefly and plainly and be sure to sign your name--then fold writing
inside li)e this" this gi#ing performer a chance to ta)e stolen slip and
secretly read it as he folds it.
Some spectator loo)s after the collection en#elope and brings it to
the stage, and is directed to dump the billets out on the table. *n the
meantime, performer has gotten thumb tip with stolen uestion in it
on his right thumb, and he has also secretly gotten from his left coat
poc)et, the blan) sample billet that he first folded down in the
audience, and this blan) billet is secretly put on the edge of the pile
and used as in pre#ious methods. $he one ahead principle is
employed, but the use of the thumb tip pro#ides an easy and most
natural switch whereby the uestion just answered may be returned
at that moment to the writer.
$he right hand, wearing thumb tip containing stolen uestion, pic)s
up a slip from the pile, and after gi#ing the answer, switches the one
ahead billet for the stolen one in this manner4 *f you ta)e hold of
thumb tip with left fingers and thumb, you should be able to withdraw
right thumb and billet both at once from thumb tip. With palms
towards you, try it before a mirror. $he tip remains concealed behind
the left fingers, while the billet appears to be ta)en by the right
fingers from the left hand.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 12
9ow, with the loaded tip on right thumb, and billet 9o. 7 held openly
between tips of right fingers and thumb 2with tip on3 you ha#e just
completed answering the stolen billet, and you open billet 9o. 7 to
confirm 2really to read the one ahead3. @ou refold 9o. 7 with both
hands and finish with it in left hand. $o exchange the 9o. 7 billet for
the stolen one in tip, you merely bring the hands together, palms
toward you, and put right thumb 2with tip on3 on 9o. 7 billet behind
the left fingers, grip thumb tip with left thumb and fingers, slide out
stolen billet as right thumb is withdrawn from thumb tip, and it will
appear to be the 9o. 7 billet just seen in left hand. See Fig. 7.
$ry this before a mirror, and the decepti#eness of the mo#e will be
apparent. $he stolen billet is now returned to its writer by an usher,
or #oluntary assistant.
@our left hand holds concealed, the 9o. 7 billet against the fingers,
the thumb tip against the billet, and the left thumb against the thumb
tip. $he fingers are curled inwards in a natural position and no one
suspects anything in the hand.
$he next billet 2we will call it 9o. 83 is now pic)ed up by the right
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 13
hand which is raised to the forehead and an answer gi#en 2to 9o. 73.
$he hands are brought together to open 9o. 8 to #erify, and is
refolded and finally held in right hand which pushes it into the thumb
tip along with the right thumb, and the 9o. 7 billet is brought into
#iew at the same instant, being grasped between fingers and thumbs
of both hands for a second, and may then be returned to its writer.
@ou are again prepared with one ahead for the next reading.
*t will be noted that the second mo#e, or switch, is the re#erse of the
first, and both should be practiced before a mirror until you can ma)e
the mo#es with rapidity and certainty, without loo)ing at your hands.
*t should be done while you are addressing the audience with some
remar), such as, "Where is 'iss White, *+ll return your uestion, etc."
!lso note that both hands are seen to be "empty" as you answer the
first uestion, and li)ewise on e#ery alternate billet. @ou ma)e no
comment about it, but the "emptiness" of the hands permits you to
ma)e open handed gestures so freuently that no one will suspect
that anything is, or could be, concealed in the hands at any time.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 14
!humb !ip Steal o &illet
This is a slight modification of 'ethod Four, and would be suitable for
a large audience. *nstead of using an en#elope, a lined wic)er bas)et
is employed for collecting billets. *t is unprepared but the padded
lining affords a place to hold a thumb tip at the end, easily concealed
by your fingers.
!fter three or four billets ha#e been dropped in by the spectators, you
ta)e the next billet and put it in thumb tip which you withdraw, and
then gi#e bas)et to someone to ma)e collection. $he balance of the
procedure is the same as in 'ethod Four.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 15
Cards in En(elopes
In the pre#ious methods, folded billets ha#e been used, without
being sealed in en#elopes. $he procedure is altered somewhat when
en#elopes are employed. Small white drug en#elopes are used in this
method, and the uestions are written on small dull finished white
cards, the performer supplying #ery soft blac) pencils for the
purpose. $his insures bold, blac) writing which is easy to read.
Some of the old timers used #ery simple tactics, especially the fa)e
mediums. ,f course, the confederate could be used in the audience
to write the prearranged uestion so as to start off the one ahead
system. Where the confederate was dispensed with, the following
plan was often used4
(ards and en#elopes were passed around, the spectators sealing their
uestions within the en#elopes. $hese were collected on a plate or
tray. ! duplicate sealed en#elope containing a blan) card was held
concealed by performer+s fingers on the under side of the tray. While
returning to the stage, the performer secretly added this blan) one to
the others, and palmed off one of the genuine en#elopes.
Carious means were used to secretly read the stolen uestion. ,ne
performer used to manage to tear open the stolen en#elope during
the trip bac) to the stage, thereafter thrusting the torn en#elope and
card 2unread3 into his poc)et. He placed the tray of en#elopes on the
table and ad#anced a few remar)s to the audience about the wor).
=uring this tal), he would casually put his hand in his poc)et and
extract the card from the en#elope, palming the card in the right
hand, and lea#ing the en#elope in the poc)et. He remained standing
while he wor)ed. He pic)ed up an en#elope from the tray with right
hand, raised it to his forehead, ga#e the answer, and using both
hands, would tear open the en#elope, remo#e the card and read in
the usual one ahead manner. $he en#elope was dropped on the table
or floor and the cards switched under co#er of the hands, the stolen
one being returned to writer, and the one ahead was palmed for the
continued routine.
*t isn+t hard to do, but it does reuire considerable practice and, in
our opinion, hardly warrants the effort, especially in #iew of the fact
that the hands are ne#er empty and cannot be freely used or shown.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 16
%a)ed $ile o Maga*ines
En#elopes and cards are used in this method which ma)e it easy to
switch the cards and return each one, as answered, together with the
en#elope on which the spectator+s name has been written.
White en#elopes about 7" x 8" with gummed end flaps, are used, and
cards a little smaller, that will slip easily in and out of the en#elopes.
,ne of the en#elopes is prepared by ha#ing the glue remo#ed from
the flap, that is, most of it is ta)en off with a moist cloth, and enough
glue remains so it will loo) natural but will not actually stic) when it is
"sealed" later on. $his en#elope is empty, it is gi#en a secret
identification mar), and we will call it 9o. 5.
! blan) card is sealed in another en#elope, bearing a secret
identification mar), and this one we will call 9o. 7.
! special piece of euipment is employed, consisting of a fa)ed stac)
of maga&ines some ten or twel#e inches high. $he maga&ine on top of
the pile is not altered, but the others ha#e all been cut out on the
edge 2Fig. 83 so as to form a secret recess when bound together as
shown in Fig. :. $hey are bound together by running wire through
holes drilled in the stac), these holes going through all the cut
maga&ines and through the lower half of the top maga&ine. $hus the
wire does not show on top. $wo en#elopes of the type illustrated in
Fig. ? are glued one on each side of the recess. $he position of the
en#elopes is such that a card can be easily slipped in or out of either
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 17
!rrange the properties as follows4 ,n the right side of the table is the
fa)e stac) of maga&ines with the recess at the rear, of course. ,n top
of the maga&ine is a crystal ball resting on a cushion or stand.
Resting on table just inside recess is a short piece of soft pencil. *n
the center of the table is a glass dish or bowl. !t the left end of table
is a metal or 1apanese tray on which you place, first, the 9o. 7
en#elope, then the 9o. 5 en#elope on top of 9o. 7, and, finally,
nineteen unprepared en#elopes on top of 9o. 5, these all forming one
pile at one end of tray. ! stac) of twenty cards is placed at the other
end of tray. ! supply of pencils is carried in your poc)et, and you are
then ready to do the act.
<resentation and wor)ing4 ;rasp the tray in left hand, thumb on top
of en#elopes, fingers beneath tray. $his will )eep en#elopes from
slipping around. $he cards, being hea#ier and flat, will not slide so
easily, and it doesn+t ma)e any difference if they do.
;o down into audience and hand a card only 2no en#elope3 to first
spectator, reuesting him to write his name across the top of the
card, followed by his uestion. Say nothing about en#elopes to him.
<ass a card together with an en#elope to the next spectator and
li)ewise to other spectators as you uic)ly go from row to row, until
all twenty cards are gone.
!t this time, there are two en#elopes left on tray, the top one being
the 9o. 5, and beneath it the 9o. 7. @ou are tal)ing all the time, you
lose no time, you retrace your steps going from the rear down to the
front, and you as) first spectator if his uestion is ready. He bas no
en#elope, and will probably say so, anyhow, performer as)s spectator
to seal it and the performer holds the 9o. D en#elope in his own hand
with open flap toward spectator, adding, "turn the writing downwards
and put it in this en#elope." $his done, performer "seals" the flap,
places en#elope on tray on top of 9o. 7 en#elope, and as)s
spectator+s name, "to identify it." <erformer pretends to write name
on en#elope, but really writes nothing at all. <erformer turns to
another spectator, his sealed uestion is ta)en, his name ascertained,
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 18
and apparently written on that en#elope, but you actually write the
name of first spectator instead, thus preparing for the one ahead
$his process is continued until you collect all the uestions, the last
uestion 2the 7>th3 bearing the name of the nineteenth writer. *f the
audience is fairly large you can do a little secret business at this
point. @ou ant to get the twentieth name secretly written on the 9o. 7
en#elope 2containing the blan) card3. When you are gi#en the 7>th
name, you uic)ly repeat this last name 2no initials3 as you rapidly
write down the 5Ath name, and you wal) uic)ly toward a row farther
bac), saying, "did * get all your uestions here, etc./" meanwhile
secretly shifting the 9o. 7 en#elope to the top of the pile as you
straighten up the pile. @ou turn bac) uic)ly to the 7>th writer and
as) him, "=id * get your name correctly/--and the initials, please"--
you loo) at the 9o. 7 en#elope, you are already writing his name on
it, as though going o#er with the pencil to ma)e it clearer--and you
then slowly and deliberately write his initials before his name, then
repeat his name aloud 2say, "(. W. Smith"3 as though to confirm. !ll
this ta)es only a few seconds and merely suggests your desire to
ha#e all fair and suare.
$he 9o. 5 en#elope, now on bottom of pile on tray, bears no name,
but contains the first writer+s uestion, and the flap is closed but not
actually sealed. $his 9o. 5 en#elope is to be secretly gotten behind
the maga&ine stac). *t can be palmed off tray during your return to
stage, or can be slid o#er on to bottom of tray and there concealed by
the fingers, or it can be held b86: left thumb on top of tray when tray
2bac) to audience.3 is emptied of its contents into the glass bowl.
From any of these positions the 9o. 5 en#elope is easily dropped
behind maga&ines on table.
*f there was no opportunity to do the secret writing on the 9o. 7
en#elope in the audience, this en#elope is manipulated along with 9o.
5 so that they are both behind the maga&ines after the uestions are
dumped into bowl.
*f the name is still to be written on 9o. 7, you sit down bac) of table
for a few seconds, ga&ing into crystal and tal)ing to the audience
about what you are going to do, etc. @ou are secretly using the pencil
behind the maga&ines to write the name on 9o. 7 en#elope which is
then palmed as you rise and as) for a #olunteer in front row to hold
the bowl. ,f course, the palmed 9o. 7 en#elope is slipped into the
bowl, unnoticed. *t is so easy to put the name on the 9o. 7 en#elope
while down in the audience that we strongly ad#ise that method. *t
sa#es a lot of time.
@ou sit down and tal) as you ga&e into the crystal, left hand to
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 19
forehead, and right hand behind maga&ines uic)ly pushing flap open
of the 9o. 5 en#elope and letting card slide out, you mentally read
the uestion it bears, and the name, gi#ing the answer. $he card is
slipped into one of the poc)ets in the recess, your hands are casually
seen empty, you as) #olunteer to find that name in the bowl and
hand it to you. @ou tear it open, remo#e card, and pretend to read
aloud the uestion it bears, but you actually say what is written on
the card just answered, as in the regular one ahead system.
Holding en#elope in left hand and card in right hand, you loo) at
en#elope and say the name, "------ did * get your uestion correctly/"
!t the same time, your right hand momentarily drops behind
maga&ines, puts this card in one of the poc)ets and comes up with
the 9o. 5 card--same name as on en#elope in left hand, and these
are now returned to the writer.
$he one ahead method is continued throughout, the last en#elope
you call for from the bowl being the 9o. 7 with blan) card which is
exchanged for the last uestion you ha#e just answered.
*n the case of certain groups, such as dates in pri#ate homes, lodges,
clubs, etc., the performer can ascertain in ad#ance the name of one
of the spectators, also getting a loo) at this spectator so he can be
found when wanted. $his spectator+s name is written in ad#ance on
the 9o. 7 en#elope. $his spectator is gi#en a card and en#elope in
due time, and it is the last one to be collected.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 20
No(el "dea or Ascertaining the %irst +uestion
One performer employed a cle#er idea for presenting the uestion
answering act before a small group, but it is just as well suited for
large audiences.
$his method follows the general procedure as gi#en in Fa)ed <ile of
'aga&ines. 9o fa)e stac) of boo)s was used, and the cards and
en#elopes were not returned to the writers until all had been
answered. $he writers+ names were put on the sealed en#elopes as in
the one ahead method just described. $he opportunity to get the last
name on an en#elope was created through a stunt whereby some
member of the audience displays his power as a "mind reader."
!fter all the uestions ha#e been collected, the performer states that
anybody can read minds if the conditions are right. He offers to
conduct such a test, and as)s someone to #olunteer for the
experiment. <erformer pic)s up a blan) card and en#elope and openly
writes something on the card, not telling what it is. He seals this card
in an en#elope and says, "* will put my name on it," but he actually
writes the name of the last uestion collected.
$his en#elope is thrown in with the other uestions in the bas)et or
bowl, the collector and performer going bac) to the platform. $he
#olunteer "mind reader" is reuested to rise, and to put his mind in a
recepti#e mood--"maybe it will help you if * hold the uestion 2then
to party holding bas)et3 just hand me my en#elope mar)ed, so-and-
so." $his is really the en#elope first collected, on which performer
wrote his own name.
<erformer holds this en#elope and as)s #olunteer, "Spea) right up,
can you tell me what * wrote on this card/" $he #olunteer may feel a
bit embarrassed, and may hesitate a second but he will naturally
answer, "9o." $he performer spea)s immediately and triumphantly,
"$here you are, what did * tell you/--the word "9o" is exactly what *
wrote on the card, and this party calls out that exact wordE"
$he performer is standing away from his table as he tal)s and tears
open the en#elope, remo#es the card and glances at it as though to
confirm. $his gi#es him the one ahead uestion with which to
continue the act, but as he tal)s, he openly puts card and en#elope in
his poc)et, uic)ly remo#ing them, suggesting that the #olunteer
might li)e to )eep it as a to)en of his powers--handing it to him. ,f
course, an exchange was made in the poc)et for a card on which the
performer had pre#iously written the word "9o."
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 21
$he standard procedure is then followed with the balance.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 22
!he ,ouble Cutter
The performer gains )nowledge of the first uestion by a simple tric)
)nown to all magicians--that of ha#ing a spectator "freely" select a
playing card from a pac). $his card is "forced," and is therefore
)nown to the performer.
0lan) cards and en#elopes are passed around for writing the
uestions. $he spectator who chose the card is to write, "What card
did * select/" $he en#elopes are collected, and the one about the
playing card is )ept trac) of, so it will finally be on top of the pile in
left hand as you start to gi#e the readings.
,n the table nearby is a poc)et )nife with the large blade fully
opened. *n reality, this )nife has two large blades exactly the same
si&e, and both opening or hinged at the same end. 0oth blades are
open, but will appear as one and ne#er be noticed.
$he first uestion about the playing card is answered, the )nife is
used to slit open the flap to confirm it 2in reality, one blade slits the
playing card en#elope and the other blade simultaneously slits the
next en#elope3 $he right fingers seemingly go into the first en#elope,
but actually go into 9o. 7, extracting the 9o. 7 uestion far enough
so you can read it 2mentally3 and uic)ly replaces it. @ou are, of
course, spea)ing about the playing card uestion and you remo#e the
latter en#elope with uestion inside and immediately toss it out to the
$his is repeated with the remaining uestions. ! couple of empty
en#elopes are on the bottom of pile to conceal the switch at the
finish. *f you can+t find a )nife with two blades as described, you may
use a stiff hairpin, the two prongs being used in the same way as the
two blades.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 23
Old %ashioned Mediums- S.itch
This has been used by mediums for years and among "belie#ers"
was ne#er uestioned.
Spectators write their uestions on small cards, about 5" x 7-567".
$hey are not sealed but are placed by the spectators, writing side
downwards, on a tray held in performer+s left hand. (oncealed by left
fingers, is a bunch of fa)e uestions held against under side of tray.
,n his return to the platform, the performer palms off the genuine
uestions with his right hand and slips the fa)e uestions in their
place. $hese are poured onto a separate stand or tabourette. $he
regular table has a crystal on stand with hand)erchief nearby. !t bac)
of table is a secret shelf.
<erformer sits down behind table, wipes off crystal, ga&es into it, and
pretends to get impressions from it. He simply manipulates the
genuine uestions on the shelf with one hand so he can secretly read
them, and thus he proceeds through the whole bunch. ,f course, no
uestions are returned. Sometimes the uestions 2fa)es3 are burned
before the readings start. $his loo)s more mysterious, and at the
same time destroys that part of the e#idence.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 24
!he ,ouble En(elope S.itch
(e are indebted to a fellow magician for the following method which
he is using with great success. Fuestions are written by the
spectators on slips of paper which they then fold two or three times.
9o en#elopes are passed out but the performer carries one or more
en#elopes 2B86G si&e3 with him in which to place the uestions as
they are collected.
$hese en#elopes are really the old tric) double en#elope )nown to
magicians as the 0ewitched "n#elope, or the 'agic "n#elope. $he
preparation is simple indeed--two identical en#elopes are used to
ma)e the tric) en#elope. $he flaps are opened, and one of them 29o.
53 laid bac) down on the table with its flap away from you. $he other
en#elope 29o. 73 is laid bac) up on top of 9o. 5, but the flap of 9o. 7
is toward you. *n this position, with both flaps open, you now paste
the faces of the two en#elopes together. ,ne flap at top closes on one
side, and the other flap at bottom, closes on the opposite side. 0oth
sides loo) li)e the bac) of an en#elope so you will remember to
expose only one side as you use it in the performance.
,ne compartment of the fa)e en#elope is loaded in ad#ance with
fifteen or twenty folded fa)e uestion slips, all )ept at one end. When
ready to collect the spectators+ uestions you get the fa)e en#elope
from your poc)et, holding it flat on palm of left hand with loaded side
down, while your right hand collects the uestion slips and puts them
in the upper empty compartment at the end opposite the fa)e load.
$he en#elope is then secretly turned o#er and the fa)e slips dumped
out in a pan or bowl to be burned. ,ur friend now turns to get a box
of matches from table, secretly palms out the genuine uestions with
right hand, sees no matches on table, thrusts right hand in poc)et
getting matches, and lea#ing the stolen uestions in poc)et. !s the
flames de#elop, he tears up the en#elope and tosses it into the fire.
$he uestions being in one end, ma)es it easier to get them out in
one bunch by the use of the fingers.
$his method of securing the genuine uestions reuires s)ill and
adroitness, and, if you prefer, we suggest you use the following
method4 @ou dump the fa)e uestions into the bowl, then carelessly
tear the en#elope in half, carefully a#oiding exposures of the genuine
uestions which are inside, ta)e both hal#es in right hand and thrust
right hand in poc)et, also left hand in poc)et, for matches--left hand
gets match box, and right hand comes out empty. Hand spectator
matches to light the fire, and as attention is centered on him, you
uietly reach right hand in your poc)et and pull out the two hal#es of
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 25
a duplicate unprepared en#elope, these being gi#en spectator to put
in the fire. $his is easy and loo)s #ery natural.
When you tear the fa)e en#elope in half, nothing is said, but it
accomplishes three things--it creates the impression of emptiness--it
enables you to get the torn hal#es all the way in your poc)et--and
ma)es it easy to get hold of the uestions when you want them.
$he #olunteer assistant returns to his seat while performer gets a
memorandum boo), or writing pad, from the table and sits down. He
explains that he uses the pad to record and piece together his
impressions. $he answers are gi#en in the usual way.
$he memo boo) is
constructed as shown in
Fig. B and is used as a
blind to conceal the
opening and reading of
the billets. When
performer gets memo
pad from table with left
hand his right hand
palms a bunch of billets
from his poc)et and
secretly deposits them
on the pad where they
are held by the lip at the
bottom. ,f course,
nobody is permitted to
see behind the pad. With pencil in right hand, performer ma)es
occasional mar)s on the pad as he tal)s, meanwhile right hand
secretly opens a billet and gi#es a reading. $his billet is then slipped
into poc)et in co#er of pad, and the operation repeated with the
remaining uestions.
,b#iously, the performer should practice the mo#es of opening and
handling billets so he can do it rapidly. $he lower edge of pad rests
against performer+s stomach while he scribbles his notes on the pad,
the left hand and arm supporting the pad.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 26
!he Calostro !hree#%inger Shell
(hile discussing methods of "stealing" uestions one day, the
publisher of this monograph disclosed that he had in#ented an
impro#ement on the thumb tip fa)e for stealing folded billets. $he
impro#ement consists of a metal shape,
or shell, made to slip o#er the first three
fingers of the right hand, and co#er as
far as the second joints. 2See Fig. H!3.
2Some might prefer the last three
$he in#entor suggests ha#ing this fa)e
shaped o#er a mold of the performer+s
hand, so as to fit and resemble it correctly. 0ut the fit is an easy one,
not tight and not loose, with room to hold se#eral billets and still be
worn on the fingers. Flesh tinted, of course, and done to match the
performer+s own s)in.
$he wor)ing is as follows4 Ha#e one or more of these fa)es in the
right trouser+s poc)et, and se#eral 9o. B-86: si&e en#elopes in left
coat poc)et. Remo#ing one en#elope with the left hand, the
performer starts collection of billets as in $humb $ip 0illet Steal 2,ne
!head3. 0ut before doing so, he slips the three-finger fa)e in the
en#elope 2Figs. H0
and H(3 in the act of
opening it, lea#es it
there, and then he
collects se#eral
uestions and pushes
them into the fa)e.
2Fig. H=3. fa)e is then
remo#ed under co#er
of stuffing a last
uestion into the
en#elope with the
three fingers. $he
right hand with shell
on fingers underneath
and thumb on top
2Fig. H"3 ta)es the
en#elope from the left
hand, and en#elope
2still containing some billets3 is gi#en to spectators to pass along their
row as they put in their uestions. $he seuence of mo#es is natural.
$he shell is hidden under co#er of en#elope most of the time and
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 27
when the en#elope is passed out, the shell with stolen uestions, is
emptied in right trouser+s poc)et.
!nother en#elope is gi#en outright to spectators in one row to hold
their se#eral billets.
! third row is wor)ed with the same or another three-finger shell,
thus stealing some more uestions.
*n this manner, the performer gains possession of any number of
scattered uestions, yet spectators do the actual sealing of all
en#elopes and all en#elopes are held in possession of the audience,
but the en#elope from any one row is gi#en to a spectator elsewhere
to hold.
*n much less time than it ta)es to describe them, the #arious mo#es
may be made naturally and without suspicion. $he brief time the fa)e
is in sight, the hand is )ept in motion, same as with thumb tip.
When sufficient uestions are stolen in #arious parts of the house,
performer returns to the stage, in transit palming one uestion out of
bunch in right trouser+s poc)et. ,n reaching stage, he throws a
foulard o#er his raised left forearm, and places a ga&ing crystal in left
hand. $he foulard, on the side draped towards performer, has two
poc)ets concealed in its folds, or in the design. $he poc)ets must be
con#enient to reach so that the billets may be secretly transferred
from performer+s poc)et into the first foulard poc)et, and when
answered, it is disposed of in the second poc)et. ,f course, the
foulard hangs down far enough to conceal these mo#es, and it is used
now and then to wipe off the crystal.
!nother way is to place the crystal ball on a tall stand, the top of
which is draped with the foulard with the secret poc)ets towards the
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 28
A Stunt .ith a %inger !ip
* "finger tip" is made li)e a thumb tip, but as the name implies, fits
on the finger instead of the thumb. *t might be well to carry a finger
tip in the poc)et in case some s)eptic insists on retaining his uestion
slip instead of putting in the collection with others.
@ou ha#e an en#elope 2si&e B-86:"3 in your poc)et, ready for the
occasion, unsealed but containing a folded blan) billet. $he s)eptic is
reuested to fold his slip, and while this is being done, the performer
gets his en#elope out, and secretly gets the finger tip on the index
finger. $his finger di#es into the en#elope to open it up, lea#ing the
tip behind, as with the thumb tip in a pre#ious effect. @ou boldly ta)e
the s)eptic+s uestion, put it into the en#elope 2in tip, of course3
finger comes out with tip on and billet inside, the en#elope is sealed
and handed to s)eptic who can feel the slip inside. !t the first
opportunity the performer secures a glimpse of the uestion, he
approaches the s)eptic again and as)s him to rise and hold up the
en#elope and after a little showmanship, the answer is gi#en. $hen
without a word of warning, the performer reaches out uic)ly for the
sealed en#elope and tears it open, pretends to remo#e the uestion
for #erification but actually produces the original uestion which he
had palmed between his fingers. $his is read aloud to the audience
and handed bac) to the writer.
One Man Mind Reading Secrets From Magic For All Page 29