Raspberry Jam eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about Raspberry Jam.

“How?” asked Eunice, her piquant face eagerly turned to the speaker.  “How did you know which way to turn?”

“I don’t like it,” declared Aunt Abby.  “I hate it—­I’m absolutely disgusted with the whole performance!  I detest practical jokes!”

“Oh, come now, Miss Ames,” and Hendricks chuckled; “this isn’t exactly a joke—­it’s a hoax, and a new one, but it’s a legitimate game.  From the Davenport Brothers and Herrmann, on down through the line of lesser lights in the conjuring business—­even our own Houdini—­we know there is a trick somewhere; the fun is in finding it.  Hanlon’s is a new one and a gem—­I don’t even begin to see through it yet.”

“Neither do I,” agreed Mason Eliott.  “I think to do what he did by a trick is really more of a feat than to be led by real thought-transference.”

“Except that the real thing isn’t available—­and trick-work is.”  Hanlon smiled genially as he said this, and Embury, a little impatiently, urged him to go on, and begged the others to cease their interruptions.

“Well,” Hanlon resumed, “understand, then, that I cannot be really blindfolded.  No committee of citizens, however determined, can bandage my eyes in such a manner that I can’t wiggle my forehead about sufficiently to get the pads up or down or one side or the other until I can see—­all I want to.”  Hanlon knotted up his frontal muscles to prove that a bandage tied tightly would become loose when he relaxed the strain.”  Understand that I can see the ground only for a few inches directly at the front of me or very close to my sides.  That is all.”

“O.K.,” said Hendricks.  “Now, with your sight assured for that very limited space, what is next?”

“That, sir, is enough to explain the little game I put over in the newspaper office, before trying the out-of-door test.  You remember, ladies, Mr. Mortimer told you how I followed a chalk line, drawn on the floor, and which led me up and down stairs, over chairs, under desks, and all that.  Well, it was dead easy, because I could see the line on the floor all the time.  Their confidence in their ‘secure’ blindfolding made them entirely unsuspicious of my ability to see.  So, that was easy.”

“Clever, though,” and Embury looked at young Hanlon with admiration.  “Simple, but most perfectly convincing.”

“Yes, sir, it was the very simplicity of it that gulled ’em.  And, of course, I’m some actor.  I groped around, and felt my way by chairs and railings and door-frames, though I needn’t have touched one of ’em.  My way was plainly marked, and I could see the chalk line and all I had to do was to follow it.  But it was that preliminary test that fixed it in their minds about the ‘willing’ business.  I kept asking the ‘guide’ to keep his mind firmly on his efforts to ‘will’ me.  I begged him to use all his mental powers to keep me in the right direction—­oh, I have that poppycock all down fine—­just as the mediums at the seances have.”

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Project Gutenberg
Raspberry Jam from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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