This section is from the book "The Adventurous Life Of A Versatile Artist: Houdini", by Harry Houdini. Also available from Amazon: The Adventurous Life of a Versatile Artist; Houdini.
Presently the man appeared bearing a large cushion.
" The Mirror has no desire to submit Mr. Houdini to a torture test," said the representative; " and if Mr. Houdini will permit me, I shall have great pleasure in offering him the use of this cushion."
The " Handcuff King " was glad evidently of the rest for his knees, for he pulled it through into the "ghost house."
Ladies trembled with suppressed excitement, and, despite the weary wait, not a yawn was noticed throughout the vast audience. For 20 minutes more the band played on, and then Houdini was seen to emerge once more from the cabinet.
Almost a moan broke over the vast assemblage as this was noticed. He looked in pitiable plight from his exertions and much exhausted.
He looked about for a moment, and then advanced to where his challenger stood.
"Will you remove the handcuffs for a moment," he said, " in order that I may take my coat off ? "
For a few seconds the journalist considered. Then he replied: " I am indeed sorry to disoblige you, Mr. Houdini, but I cannot unlock those cuffs unless you admit you are defeated."
The reason was obvious. Mr. Houdini had seen the cuffs locked, but he had never seen them unlocked. Consequently the press man thought there might be more in the request than appeared on the surface.