A paper bag about seven feet high and two feet across is Seen upon the stage. A committee from the audience is invited upon the stage to examine the bag, which is found to be without any break or opening of -any kind except the opening at the mouth of the bag. After being securely tied in this bag the performer escapes from it in a few minutes, leaving the bag in the same condition as it was at first.
Reference to the accompanying illustrations will render the proceeding very clear. Fig. 1 shows the style and appearance of the bag to be used.
Fig. 2 shows the appearance of the bag after the performer has been placed inside and the mouth of the bag securely tied with cord. Glue or wax is also placed in the mouth of the bag as a further precaution.
Fig. 2. Paper bag.
The method of escape is as follows: In the seam caused by the lapping of the two edges of the paper there is placed a string arranged as shown in Fig. 3, starting about eight inches from the top of bag, and with the lower end about six inches from the bottom. The end of string is allowed to project about one-third of an inch from the inside of the bag to allow the performer to get hold of the string.
Of course this part has to be arranged before the performance, although a bag may be used which has been furnished by challenging parties if necessary.
When he has been placed inside the bag and the opening secured as described in Fig. 2, the performer takes hold of the projecting string and pulls upward, which releases the string and causes the seam to open for the entire distance that the string was concealed, as shown in Fig. 4. Through this opening the escape is made.
After emerging from the bag it is necessary to replace the parts in the original position, so that the bag will have the same appearance as at the beginning of the act. This is accomplished by pasting the edges of the seam together as they were in the first place, and allowing time for the paste to dry before having the canopy opened or removed.
It should be noted that the seam is held together at first with a flour paste which will separate easily when the string is pulled, but the paste used after escaping should be a quick-drying glue which should dry in two or three minutes. Thus the act can be entirely accomplished in five to eight minutes.