Download PDF by Will Dexter: 131 Magic Tricks for Amateurs

By Will Dexter

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Sample text

This theory did not, however, explain how he could have locked himself into the second bag. Another theory was that he never got into the bag. Houdini's escape from the mail-bag caused more specula- 40 THE SECRETS OF HOUDINI tion among those who were intrigued by magical problems than his greater and more ambitious illusions. I know of a university professor who was so much attracted by Houdini's escape from the mail-bag that he obtained a similar bag himself in order to make experiments at home.

It was a first-class illusion and one which could be repeatedly performed without chance of detection. It is quite true that Houdini could not escape from the stage through a trap-door or by any other means, yet nevertheless a trap-door was used in making the illusion possible. The secret was that immediately under the screen, a trap-door-which was also under the wall-opened, and the carpet naturally sagging at that spot under the wall, enabled Houdini to crawl under to the other side of the wall.

He had obtained an enormous advertisement. The public were not aware that Houdini had the safe in his possession for some hours before the performance. Even had they known, I am not at all sure that the significance of it would have been realised. I assume that when the firm delivered the safe beforehand, they were confident that the mechanism was so effective and complicated that it would be impossible for anyone to make a duplicate key, at any rate, in the time available. I do not think it occurred to them that Houdini would, or could, alter the mechanism of their safe.

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