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.
This is to certify that the undersigned saw Flarry Houdini stripped stark naked, searched from head to foot, and shackled with handcuffs around the wrists and leg irons around his ankles.
He was then placed in a cell which required TWO LARGE keys of different makes and patterns to open the lock. The keys are of such a nature that it would have been positively impossible for him to have concealed them on his body.
We searched the cell and thoroughly searched Houdini from head to foot, also between his toes and the soles of his feet. Nevertheless in fifteen minutes he managed to release himself from the manacles and make his escape from the cell.
There was positively no chance for outside assistance.
(Signed), ANDREW ROHAN,
Chief of Detectives. Nov. 24, 1906.
The Only Paper in the City that Dares Print the News
WED. DEC. i, 1915.
2,000 HISS J. WILLARD.
CHAMPION DRIVEN PROM THEATER BY HOOTS AND CALLS
Boxing has been given its worst black eye here to-day by none other than Jess Willard, heavy-weight champion who was so badly worsted to a wordy clash with Harry Houdini, a performer at the Orphe-um Theater, last night, mat the audience hissed him from the house.
Nearly 2,000 persons were present at the dramatic scene and seemed unanimous in groaning, hooting and booing Willard.
The trouble was precipitated by Willard's gruif refusal to comply witn a friendly request made by Houdini that he act on a committee to watch the performer's act from the stage.
It was no+ known that Willard was present until Houdini came before the footlights and requested any "gentleman" in the audience to step on the stage and guard those present from any possible deception.
After about 10 men had stepped on the platform, Houdin. stepped forward and said, smiling:
"Now I need three more gentlemen on thi3 stage and there is a man here to-night who doesn't know I am aware of his presence. He will be enough for three ordinary gentlemen if he will serve on this com-111 i t toe."
"He is Jess Willard, our champion."
Taken by surprise, the audience was silent for a moment and then broke into tumultous hand-clapping. Cheer a and shrieks resounding throughout the house.
Houdini looked up on the balcony, where Willard was seated, and said:
"I will leave it to the audience, Mr. Willard. You see they want to see you."
A fresh outburst occurred, even more violent than before.
'4Aw, g'wan with your act," came • Willard's rough reply as the audience stilled itself. "I paid for my seat here."
"But, Mr. Willard," expostulated Houdini, " I-
" Give me the same wages you pay those other fellows and I'll come down," rumbled Willard's deep voice.
The audience, scenting something unusual, was very quiet.
11 Sir, I will gladly do so," returned Houdini, heatedly. "Come on down-I pay thesf men nothing."
"Aw' g'wan with the show, roarded Willard, gro ling something that sounded like "four-flusher" and "faker."
Willard's boorish replies evidently displeased those present, for a few scattering hisses came about this time.
Houdini steppeu to the footlights and held up his hand for silence.
It was readily granted.
"Jess Willard, I have just paid you a compliment," said Houdini dramatically. "Now I want to tell you something else.
"I will be Harry Houdini, Jess Willard, when you are NOT the heavyweight champion of the world."
A roar of applause shook the house. Men and women alike joined in the clapping and cheering.
A deep rumble from the balcony indicated that Willard was trying to make some retort, and the cheer* veered suddenly to hoots and groans.
"I made a mistake?" said Houdini, addressing the audience. "I asked GENTLEMEN to step on this stage and GENTLEMEN only.
A renewed outburst occurred, during which Willard evidently left the theater. He was not to be found after the next act had started.
THE PICTURE SHOW.
Mar. 20th, 1920