Matter Through Matter

There is one very clever "test" that is sometimes performed which

would seem to show that something of this sort IS accomplished. It

is, however, nothing more than an ingenious trick, and this might

be a good time to explain its modus operandi. The general effect

of the illusion is this: The medium requests some one to assist him

in an experiment in which he is going to attempt to pass "matter

through matter." As th
test is one in which a confederate might

easily be employed, he is very careful to choose some person who is

well known, or whose character is above all suspicion. If this

were not so, the entire effect of the test would be lost upon the

investigators. Having secured his assistant, he hands him, for

examination, a solid steel ring, just large enough to slip on and

off the hand and arm easily. The ring is perfectly solid, and may

be examined by anyone desirous of doing so. When this part of the

performance is finished, the medium and his sitter then join or

clasp their right hands (as in handshaking), and the sitter is

instructed not to release the hand for a single instant. To "make

assurance doubly sure," however, the hands are fastened together in

any way the sitters may desire; the hands being tied together with

tape, e. g., and the ends of this tape tied and the knots sealed.

The tape connects the wrists and the hands of the medium and his

sitter, and this tying may be made as secure as possible. A piece

of thick cloth is now thrown over the two hands and the lower part

of the arms, concealing them from view. With his disengaged hand

the medium now takes the iron ring and passes it up under the

cloth, so as to bring it in contact with his own arm. He holds it

there for some time, but ultimately snatches off the covering

cloth, and reveals to the eyes of the astonished audience the ring-

-now encircling his own arm--in spite of the fact that the ties are

still in statu quo, and the sitter never let go his hold for an

instant. The ties and the ring may again be examined, if desired,

before the hands are separated.

This is an exceedingly effective test, and has every appearance of

being genuine--indeed, it is hard to see where trickery can come

in. The trick is one of the simplest imaginable, however, and is

performed in the following manner:

The medium has provided himself with TWO rings exactly alike; one

of these the audience is free to examine, the other the medium is

wearing on his right arm, under his coat. When the two hands are

clasped together, therefore, it is a simple thing for the medium,

under cover of the enveloping cloth, to slip the duplicate ring

down his sleeve, and on to his own hand, and that part of the

"miracle" is accomplished! It remains only to explain what becomes

of the first ring. The cloth thrown over the arms is very thick

and stiff, as stated, and the inner side of this contains a double

partition, or sort of bag, into which the medium slips the

duplicate ring. The cloth may now be shown on both sides, without

disclosing the ring, and the medium makes away with it as soon as

possible, in order to avoid detection.