Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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What Shall We Do Now?               87
a chemist ? " " Yes." This will look rather mysterious to some of the company ; but the thing is really simple enough. The questioner merely arranged with his companion that the trade thought of should follow a profession.
Perhaps on the next occasion the company will be asked to think of an article in the room. Let us say that they fix on the clock. The questions will then run something like this :" You have to name the article in this room which has been thought of. Is it the piano?" "No." "Is it the curtain-rod?" "No." "Is it the carpet?" "No." "Is it the fireplace?" "No." " Is it the sideboard ? " " No." " Is it the arm-chair? " " No." " Is it the clock ?" " Yes." This again is bewildering ; but again the trick is very simple, the questioner having arranged that the article shall follow something that has four legs.
A third way is for an article to be touched and for the thought-reader to be asked to name it. " Is it this ? " " Is it this ? " " Is it this ? " is asked of one thing after another, the answer always being " No." " Is it that ? " " Yes." The secret is that the article touched is always signified by " Is it that ?" But in this case, and in that of the others already described, the effect of mystification can be increased by arranging beforehand that the article in question shall not follow the key phrase immediately, but, say, two questions later.
A fourth way is for the questioner to begin each question in due order with a letter of the French word for the article touched. Thus, if it were the bell, he might say, " Come now, was it the table ? " " Look, was it the arm-chair ? " " Or the piano ? " " Come now, was it this book ? " " How about this hearth-rug ? " " Endeavour to be quick, please. Was it the clock ? " By this time " Cloche " has been spelled, so that the next question is, " Was it the bell ? " " Yes."
In another form of " Thought-reading " the two players who know the secret remain in the room long enough for the trick to be made sure. One stands in a corner and the other calls loudly,
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