Memoirs (Google eBook)

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Page 412 - I took a card, bent up the four edges, and thus made a sort of trough, in which I placed a piece of wax taken from one of the candles. When it was melted, I mixed with it a little lampblack I had obtained by putting the blade of a knife over...
Page 44 - ... Clockmaking," which I knew he had. The tradesman being engaged at the moment on matters more important, took down two volumes from the shelves and handed them to me without ceremony. On returning home I sat down to peruse my treatise conscientiously, but judge of my surprise when I read on the back of one of the volumes
Page 385 - My athlete, disengaged from his terrible bondage, raised his hands over his head. " Allah ! Allah ! " he exclaimed, full of terror ; then wrapping himself up quickly in the folds of his burnous, as if to hide his disgrace, he rushed through the ranks of the spectators and gained the front entrance. With the exception of my stage boxes and the privileged spectators who appeared to take great pleasure in this experiment, my audience had become grave and silent, and I heard the words " Shaitan ! " "...
Page 409 - for I threw the piece with such strength that it went right through your hand, and has fallen into your sash. Being afraid I might break your watch by the blow, I called it to me : here it is ! " And I showed him the watch in my hand. The Marabout quickly put his hand in his waist belt, to assure himself of the truth, and was quite stupefied at finding the five-franc piece.
Page 267 - I was well rewarded, however, for this terrible ordeal, as my " second-sight " never gained a more brilliant triumph. An incident greatly enlivened the termination of my performance. A spectator, who had evidently come on purpose to embarrass us, had tried in vain for some minutes to baffle my son's clairvoyance, when, turning to me, he said, laying marked stress on his words: " As your son is a soothsayer, of course he can guess the number of my stall...
Page 411 - Among the bullets produced, I chose one which I openly put in the pistol, and which was then also covered with paper. The Arab watched all these movements, for his honor was at stake. We went through the same process with the second pistol and the solemn moment arrived. Solemn, indeed, it seemed to everybody — to the spectators who were uncertain of the issue, to Madame Houdin, who had in vain besought me to give up this trick, for she feared the result — and solemn also to me, for as my new...
Page 49 - I knew as much as my master, with the exception of corn-cutting, the monopoly in which I left him. I was able to juggle with four balls at once. But this did not satisfy my ambition ; so I placed a book before me, and, while the balls were in the air, I accustomed myself to read without any hesitation. This will probably seem to my readers very extraordinary ; but I shall surprise them still more, when I say that I have just amused myself by repeating this curious experiment. Though thirty years...
Page 383 - ... communicating from the stage to the pit; then, addressing the Arabs, I said to them: "From what you have witnessed, you will attribute a supernatural power to me, and you are right. I will give you a new proof of my marvelous authority, by showing that I can deprive the most powerful man of his strength and restore it at my will. Anyone who thinks himself strong enough to try the experiment may draw near me.
Page 409 - I took the piece at the end of my fingers, so that the assembly might all see it, then, feigning to throw it at the Marabout, it disappeared at the word "Pass!" My man opened his hand, and, finding nothing in it, shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, "You see, I told you so." I was well aware the piece was not there, but it was important to draw the Marabout's attention momentarily from the sash, and for this purpose I employed the feint. "That does not surprise me...
Page 412 - I pulled the trigger, and on the newly whitewashed wall appeared a large patch of blood, exactly at the spot where I had aimed. The Marabout went up to it, dipped his finger in the blood, and, raising it to his mouth, convinced himself of the reality. When he acquired this certainty, his arms fell, and his head was bowed on his chest, as if...

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