Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (June 21, 1914)
' THE SUNDAY OREGONIAN, rORTLASP. JUXE 21. 1011. '
Methods Are Exposed of Entertainer
Who Reveala What la Written in
IF ONE were a modern sorcerer, a
fake clairvoyant or medium, or
were engaged in any of the modern
magic practices whereby the public is
deceived and cajoled out of its goods
and. chattels, such a person would be
pardoned for nursing a well-developed
grouch, if not a positive dislike, for
one David P. Abbott.
This man Abbott or 20 years prac
ticed the occult sciences himself. Now
Jie has gone systematically into the
.Business of exposing how they are per
iormed. He has proved to be one of our
most enthusiastic exposers. His mathe
matical symbol should be: The square
of the convert's zeal multiplied by the
cube of the reformer's energy, plus the
nth power of the scientist's devotion
Without attempting to controvert the
faith of the genuine spiritulaist in the
slightest, Abbott has spent many years
studying so-called materialization .and
looking for manifestations of the pres
ence of spirits. In a letter to a friend
he declares: "No one would be more
happy than I were it possible to prove
personal immortality in this manner;
yet I do not wish to be deceived and to
believe that which is not true. There
fore, I always look for fraud and trick
ery in manifestations of this nature. I
will further add that in all my life I
have been looking for things of this
kind, and have never yet been able to
see one little thing that was genuine.
Always, when I have been present, I
have found a trick."
Not the least Interesting Is his ac
count of the undoing of a stage mind
reader who was practicing some of
those feats which often have bewil
dered theater-goers. A friend, who
was also a skeptic, had written to
Abbott that this performer had an act
which defied explanation and appeared
enough to convince one that if the man
had no occult powers he at least had
mastered the secrets of telepathy. None
of the ordinary explanations for these
feats would do, the friend said. Abbott
got on a train at once and went to the
city where the performances were tak
On each of three nights when Abbctt
was watching him at work, the seer
used a new method and the methods
seemed to have nothing In common.
Abbott, in his "Behind the Scenes With
the Mediums," describes him as a very
slender personage, with, long hair and a
particularly ghostly look. The first
night, he took his seat quietly on the
stage after his manager, who made a
short speech, had a boy pass through
the audience with cards and envelopes.
The spectators were asked to write
questions on the cards and seal them
up in the envelopes.
The boy was well known in the city
and was not a confederate. He collect
ed the "sealed envelopes in a hat. A
committee from the audience then
blindfolded the medium, first tying a
woman's kid glove over te eyes, to
make certain the bandage was im
pervious to the light. The seer's man
ager led him to a table back of the
stage, on which were some flowers and
a music box, but he was never for a
minute out of sight of the audience,
which could see that the bandage was
not molested. '
When the boy came on the stage di
rectly 'from in front, the manager
placed a handkerchief over the hat
and asked the boy to take a seat on
the stage, facing the audience, some
ten feet In front of the .medium. The
manager delivered a brief lecture, after
which the boy was asked to take an
envelope from the hat and hold it
high in his hand. He obeyed and to
the amazement of everybody, the me
dium began answering a question
which a man in the audience admit
ted was his. Every question was an
swered and every person who had writ
ten it was compelled to admit he was
satisfied. After the show the envel
opes, still sealed, were returned to the
The next night the method was
changed. This time the manager col
lected the envelopes and cards in a
small bag with a drawstring. As he
collected each he gave the writer a
number and placed the number on the
envelope. When all had been collected
he held the bag between the tips of his
fingers, above his head, so that it
should be 'in view all the time. Taking
it to the stage he hung it upon a cord
dangling from a screw eye above,
where sight of it could not be lost for
While he was doing this the medium
was walking about on the stage read
ing a Bible. When the "bag had been
hung in place he put the Bible on a
table and then walked forward to the
manager's side, where he stood while
the latter delivered a brief lecture. At
the conclusion of the address he took
a seat and picked up the book again.
He turned through it deliberately,
occasionally' pausing to read a text.
After eath verse of Scripture he would
answer one of the numbered questions.
Each writer admitted the question was
his. When he had finished the manager
took down the bag. poured the envel
opes out of it into a basket so the audi
ence could see. Then they were dis
tributed to the writers, the envelopes
The third evening the medium was
dressed as a Buddhist priest, wearing a
large turban. The questions were writ
ten as before and collected by the man
ager in a wicker basket, from which
they were emptied on a table on the
stage. This time the- lecture lasted
only a few minutes. The medium then
began tapping a small bell as if to
summon the spirits and read the ques
tions in a remarkable fashion. Some
times he would sit at the table. At
others he would walk around as if in
great mental distress, ringing his belL
When an answer was coming to him
he would stop still a moment until he
had delivered it. These pauses took
place on all parts of the stage.
The audience was completely mysti
fied and none more so than those who
had witnessed eve.-y performance and
got not the slightest hint of trickery.
Abbott discovered it, however, and his
explanation made the whole thing ab
When the Boy came on the stage the
first night. Abbot noticed, the manager
received the hat from him in his right
hund. in a natural manner, while he di
rected the boy to his chair. Naturally,
attention was focused on the boy. Ab
bot; alone watched Jie manager tiffselg,
The American Girl Abroad
By Harrison Fisher
ZZ? - UST" " -Jf " . ' rWS i.. a' ? v J 3 . fa
..sss 0 v-JCt --"C"- '" . I a- . - v & Jt i '
Tr jrtT'LmLW , I
fl BrlN 'r
'fy- JC 'Sif' TjJT '""
i V . """, a. - i'lik
I V "a" .J-tf"
The American Girl Abroad: . On her focus the eyes of the Old World, her dazzling,
exquisite beauty and elusive Western charm lighting up any company she graces, as the
rays of a great searchlight, peering out of the darkness, change dusk to day.
She goes to London for the season, and the foggy, o d world metropolis marvels at her
changing moods, her spontaneous gay ety. her lightning-like qu.ckness of wit . and her hank
democracy, all standing out so clearly against the staid background of British formah ties.
Everywhere her personality fascinates, and her radiance is the secret envy of Unto
debutantes and the despair of British matrons with marriageable daughters as they behold
numerous bemonocled gentlemen with ancient title, seeking an introducbon to this daughter
of the Western world. They flock .to her stall at theater and opera, to her box at the
races, and they thrill at her vivacity, and her rippling laughter is sweet music in their ears
long after she has forgotten, in the frank comradeship of plain John Smith, of Home, that
such a person as Lord Algy Great-Catch ever paid her ardent court
She is everywhere in the shops along Piccadilly and the Strand, in the fashionable
hotels, and at the music halls, where the great American product, syncopated music, has
taken the British by storm. She revels in the glory of one of those rare natural products
of the London climate, a fair day. -with a cloudless sky. and enjoys the pleasures ot the
Thames in common with hundreds of native beauties, not one more queenly in grace and
looks than she. And at court, where the cream of British fashion gathers, in her presenta-
On the Thames at Henley
tion gown and with her tiara crowning a wealth of chestnut burnished hair, she is the cyno
sure of all eyes, and all know in their hearts that in her they behold the real queen of her
race, crowned afresh each day with the glorious gems of freedom of the great Republic of
the West. .. .. ,
Rich, indeed, in new experiences are her days in London town. But. finally, the
ancient city begins to bore her with its everlasting fog. its countless buses, its dreary drawl,
its tenacious clinging to things that were, and her thoughts, like Alexander s of old. turn to
other worlds to conquer. She" hears the magical call of Paris, dear to every feminine heart.
Thoughts of Venice, too, and of soft Italian skies stir her imagination. And so she pre
pares to flit. But just as she is all ready to turn her dainty steps Parisward. American
wise, an inspiration flashes across her mind, and she exercises the inalienable pYivilege of
her sex of changing her mind And so it is not Paris or Venice that next pays court to her.
but another corner of the world equally famed in song and story an island whose sons
and daughters have contributed much to the upbuilding of the land she ever holds dear
m (Copyright, 1914. by the Wheeler Syndicate, Inc.)
The second picture in this series, one of the most popular ever drawn by Harrison
Fisher, will appear in this paper next Sunday.
Trip Rat, at AH Oat af !.
Sara V.rrt. M fca r4l larlr
tamn ml IMaa.
enough to observe that when he picked
up the handkerchief from the table he
exchanged .this hat for another hat,
behind the music box, which was filled
with dummy envelopes. Only an ex
pert could have done it so adroitly and
only an expert could have detected it
It will be remembered that the band
aging committee first placed a kid
glove over the medium's eyes. The
glove was stiff. By a strained move
ment of his eyebrows, the medium could
raise the glove until he could see un
der the bandage. Under the conceal
ment of the music box and. flowers the
medium dexterously opened the envel
opes, took out the cards and stacked
them in his left hand while the man
ager was lecturing. Then when the
boy held up a sealed dummy, he had
nothing to do but read the top card,
answe'r it, shift it to the bottom by
sleight of hand and so on until the per
formance was over. Later the cards
were resealed in the envelopes by as
sistants and returned to their owners.
The secret of the second night's per
formance was in the bag itself. Nobody
except Abbott noticed anything re
markable in the fact that just as the
manager was suspending the bag from
its cord a man in the back of the audi
ence shouted that he had a question
and asked that it be included. The
manager asked the man in iho- front
row to take the bag back and- get the
The two- men, of course, were con
federates. They simply switched for
this bag another in which the prepared
dummies had been placed. They hur
ried back of the stage with the orig
inals, read them, wrote them on a slip
of paper with the proper numbers and
placed the slip in the medium's Bible at
the moment he laid It on the table to
go forward to his manager when the
latter was making his speech. The rest
The third night's trick was the- most
brilliant, but Abbott saw through it at
once, as it was merely an Improvement
on the method already well known. The
basket in which the envelopes were
collected had a double bottom, so ar
ranged that when one is closed the
other is opened. The dummies were in
it when the manager collected the orig
inals. After he had poured the dum
mies out on the stage, he tossed the
basket carelessly to one side and a
confederate in the wings got the orig
inals out. read and copied them, sealed
them without the audience suspecting.
Now, the heavy folds of the medium's
turban contained a tiny telephone re
ceiver which was in place over his ear.
Concealed by his clothing. wires ran
from this to small copper disks on the
, , a . ,n the floor of the questions at home on their own paper,
sole of each shoe. In the iioor o to leaya thtf
stage were correspo nd -. .. These offer the ereat.st
connecting with a telephone " difficulty to the performers, who re
the stage. Half a do zen se ts o f these fltyJtoriiy effort, to turn
disks had been f"""1 them to their own profit. Ushers.
When the medium wished to establish manager9 and close friend, of
communication all he had to do was to iooOUt for
place the Jn ring such persons, and when they spot on.
ot disks on thefloor. -A ha was resort to every means of getting ln-
of this bell notified an assist :ant he was A tn ou
ready, and the assistant read the ques- pogslbly reco(fnl2e them
tion to him. . thern over. ana even ask questions
Variations X; about tm of other, in th. audience,
ins sealed messages and conveying occupation of a
them to the medium are done in prac- One, , n . elt
tically all of the stage demonstrations person can
of this kind, according to Abbott sb,eelurce9 ef Information ara
There is a much wider range, however, a"ssl7net08,Uerv,ce. Even when the
,n the method of collecting the , mes- called l.t complacent ign0T.
sages from the audience. Some of these Jh T'th, object of so much
are truly mystifying, particularly those ance , that ne is scoured for
in which the individual writes his mes. antnl0tnheat!Sblm. And after a
sage and keeps it in his own possession. ormaht;0nIsaala2ed when the seer
In most cases these notes are written while ne is amaze
on paper in tablets furnished by the t a mM1!a8e for a law
seer. Several sheets down from th. I , confll.lon. but
one on which a note is written is . tTyillg to tell me some
specially prepared sheet of waxed paper. th ,mpre!,8l0n f
This acts as a sort of wh.te carbon thing hou8e a tret fu
and when developed with chemicals off nouselI ara far Dack from
stage an exact duplicate of the copy ' "j, ,ine, and there I. an Iron
in possession of the writer is in pos- tfa ,awn of tne otle next to
session of an aslstant. hlm u ,s a short street, some kind
Sometimes-' visitors - prepare their" of a place-I ft th. nam. Parkland.-
Tea. it 1. Parkland place, and I ret
th. number 67 It I. the number of the
house. Now a nam. comes to ma. It
I. Georg. T. Jones. He Is a.klnr a
question. The spirit aeetn. to b. tell
ing him not to worry that hi. daugh
ter will not suffer a relap.a."
Of cour.e, the medium doesn't know
the exact question Mr. Jones ha. writ
ten on his paper, unless some on. In
the lawyer", confidence ha. betrayed
it. But the telephone haa brought the
Information that Mr. Jonr. ha. rnn.
to th. theater after stopping at the
hospital to visit his alck daurhter. Th.
medium', .hrewdness ha. don. the rest.
Mr. Jone. Is xcedinrly mystified by
It all, and the perfermer'a reputation
ha. been Immeasurably enhanced.
Tip to th Timid.
"Are you a feminist T" w. asked th.
Hh. said ah. was.
"What do you mean by feminism?'
"Being like men." .ho an.wered.
"Now you ar. Joking!"
"No. I'm not. I mean mental Inde
pendence. And emotional Independent.
too living In relation to th. universe
rather than In relation to snm person.1'
"All men are n"t Ilk. that." said
sadlr. , .
"Then they ought to Join th femin
ist moemntr' Baa IMcgo Union.
WHKTHtrt the fllaht ro.ini th
mrth will ba nm-la next
depend entirety upon tha ,,,
dlllons lnw down, but I f e I cnfl1il
thst l-efore th lte M f-r tie
of thut fllaht the Atlntitl"- will hmvm
Kn rrnjt.nl In art alrhln l'n that
within five y-r It will Jt an
ivinif fllsht to fly from l.naiarid to
This I. the prediction tf A. V. 11"'.
who ppeHe the triple dieilnrdon of
belna the fret KiiKllehmnn to fly frr.ro
Brltlnh "H. Iha firt Knallehmsn In
build a hydroplane end t'i. only to""
of any nationality ho hs flown wu'i
an engine in Ms aeroplane low
Mr. Hn ltet rlalm to dletlmtlnn
Is th: he I the deelsner and ren-
trurtor of the biplane on whlrh Mr
Ksynha.n broke the Hrilleh Itltido
record whrn he aecrlwlpd to It 00. f-ej
and itllded for 21 miles with hla angina
Hla company horn hnUt plane, fltttjl
with wireless apparatus and light un.
and It la now bi'll.llna a ape. Il ehr l
In which four or fla huge hydroplane
will be constructed In secret. On. of
thea. plane, will be irlvn by I win
propeller, with two 1 30-horcpow-
niilnes. This will We It a ol
horsepower of tin, which la .bout inn
horsepower greater than la poaaeaae.1
by any present flylnar machine. It will
be tho largext a1"'1 on arth or
In the air and will carry a sun. wire
leas outnt and four or !tv nun to
man It. It w ill be al.lo t. fly M mile
an hour or can atop down ta rr aillea.
The alio of the sun !; not l.een de
termined, but accot dins. In Iha contrail
It must wltheand a tecoil of half a
ton. The hydroplane will also carry
fuel and lubricating oil auffulant for
period of six hour.
In speaking; of Iha r . fr I. nines to
overcom. In .turning out thla claa ifj
machine, Mr. l'.oe sa..l;
"It", all a miration ot" motlx. power.
Given a .nfTlclently powerful rnslr.
you could lift Ws.tii'liKl'i Al l.ey and
fly away with II. The dim. nttlea .f
fllsht as such have l.ecn confiuered. It
I. now a mailer or peifnUnn th.
motor. nl maKIn-; thm nioie power
ful. "Flylns In lt ear le il.ua was a
nerv.-rat kins lnislnts Men were no
aaalnat an rnilieiy n.ar pi npoali Ion.
They did not umlel aland the Inllica. Ira
and trickery or the a r us they now
do. The niaililn.a mere not to
relied nnon nir w. te Puv t easy of
control m they now aie
"It w-an the nn..i wlt'i I e ii'olor car
In Ha nrst stiite. Tlif) ete li
BolnRT wrontf. 1 here m s n enslna
troul-le of an na Vlnd II H Ihe nla weie
on th ground ar. lh.. driver could .el
out aml-tlx Ihe em loe m have Ihe car
towed to a ir-.rl;a" .'an. In He air thla
was not poss'h'e. i.mt a l.rokni cnaln.
meant a li n en ne. k
"The e'ir.lnia if I lie neroclanea now
run sa smooi'ilt a t'-e rnslnea on
molor .a--: In rut. I'-v run mora
smoothly, tx.vii e lhe ai. nioiaiara-
fully i o-ihlruceil an. I Iheie la mora
time and lron y ei eut on tliem. Tha
more we know klmnl Ihe air the leaa
nerve strain and vlalla'ne w to
use upon our"H"hts In th. eaily day.
w were kUnii wondeilna what was
cnmliu next, ami where w would light
atlil how when that unexpected thins:
"five ycara fro now- flylna will ka
Ihe popular sport of Ihe well-to-do.
Thla viay sonr.d strange to many now,
but It Im lomli'K Just na am aa th.
prlo. of aeroplane fnlla Iha me
chanical soil human ' i rr l.n Ml ar h
Ing tedueed Iv le.M. end hound and
th. price .llffi. uliy win he th. next
thlna" to go. Last ear II. era waa aim
times aa much flvl-ig a I' e'e waa In
1312. Klld th tolal llighla In Ilia world
averaged from lo.uco to I r..ooo mile
each week of the year. The f4talltle
attending these fllghta wei. reduced,
whll. the fllKhla were Increased.
"At present aeroplane, ar. very
penslv. and a good on. coals from :.0
up and mostly up. This high roat la
due to th. fact that thera ara bo many
Improvement, being made, and dealgna
vary almost from day to lny 't
only a quetlon of time when th. m
chlnea will b standnrdlied and It will
be a. esay to turn them out at a profit
ami a. cheap as motor cars ara now
turned out. In fact, th.y will be chetper
than most automohllea. and a good ma
chine can b. purchased In !: f"r !"
or even less.
"Flying will then ha th. rase. rr
th. margin of danger will also h
diminished. There la not milch dnr
now. The rlska had to ba run In tha
early days, because It waa only by
practical experiment that sound prin
ciples could be hammered out For
Instance, 1 went up twlc. wllh motor,
too heavy for my planes substituted
motora and on both occasion. I ram
down with a rush.
"One. th. engine burled Itself alt
feet In tho earth, and the spectator
cam hurrying along, thinking th
sam. would have to ba dona with m.
And If my machine had had tha angina
behind the aviator, a. all other bl
planea then had. no doubt I ahnuld
have been dona fir. I got off with a
day in tha hoanllal and several atlt. h. a
hers," and Mr. Hoe lm-etad with hla
flner a ecsr on hi Inventive fort
head. "Another difficulty hiiherto he ln
du. to th. fact that a machine hs
needed a good deal of ! In whh H
to alight. But that I. being got r
Here we ara going to fit our machine,
with arelal brake.tl.at I to .
pl.ne. that can ba "" '
against the air In defending. o ht
tha epeed of a deac.nl m.y atari.,
ened until tha Impetua on ra'-hln the.
ground will b. ""t that lh.
rhlna can b brought to a eland In a
Jew yard". Thla will m.k. flying bo.h
aafer and mora convenient
looked In ller Mndowa.
A. my klt'hen and pantry wind".,
sr. so placed thai th. i bancs fasr-l v
can get a good view of Iha Interior of
tha rooms, I resorted to th follow I:. a!
expedient: I had heard thai flv act- n
painted whit, added to tha .ri.-r a
room without ohatru.-tln th
from tha Inaide, but as whit 1. I .o
glaring for tha tol-r hem of our
house. I used paintof the ..-" ".lor s.
lh. weather noan'ms. whi. h la a s..u
v.llow. I thinned i; rsiot slu-'
and applied sparingly with a
hrush. and now. eien at a very ,h.ii
distance, tha Interior of th. ro.n.a I.
not vlelhle. to those pan III.. on. a D