It is a very mystifying thing to an audience to see a man securely tied to a chair with about thirty feet of rope, with his hands tied together behind the chair, and his legs and feet tied to the chair legs, and yet see him make his escape in about five minutes.
The author has repeatedly done this, being tied in all kinds of ways, and in some cases where it seemed impossible to escape, but has always succeeded in doing so.
This act is performed in direct view of the audience, and does not depend upon any trick or deception, but is really the result of practice, muscular expansion and contraction, and a knowledge of the properties of the rope used. Any man with sufficient practice and confidence could learn to do it.
The writer does it as follows. First he specifies the rope to be used, and selects a new clothes line. He makes no restrictions as to methods of tying or kinds of knots to be used, but while being tied he relaxes the muscles of the body, and draws in the chest as much as possible. At the same time he expands the muscles of the arms and legs. The muscles are kept well developed so as to produce the greatest effect in doing this.
Now, after the committee has tied him to their satisfaction, he expands his chest and the muscles of his body as much as possible. This causes the rope to stretch quite a little. This is the reason a new clothes line is selected. It will stretch more than an old one, which has had the life taken out of it, and a clothes line will stretch more than most other kinds of rope.
This expansion may have to be repeated quite a number of times, stretching the rope a little more each time.
Now all the muscles on the body, arms and legs are contracted, and it is found that the rope hangs quite loosely. The hands are then worked until they are free, or can reach some knot which will release some portion of the rope, after which he simply continues the same process until the rope is all removed.
In order that the methods may not be too apparent, and to make the act more striking, the performer does not remain in one place, but pulls the chair to its side and rolls about on the stage during the escape, sometimes in view of the audience and sometimes concealed behind the chair.