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THE NEW YORK TIMES May 7, 1924 Page 3, Column 2


Houdini Offers to Duplicate Spaniard’s Reading Through Metals.

With ArgamasillaJoaquin Maria Argamasilla, the 19-year-old Spaniard, who came to this country to convince scientists that he could see through gold, silver, copper and other metals, gave his first demonstration before a gathering yesterday at the Hotel Pennsylvania.

Argamasilla sat on a window sill in the bright sunlight, blindfolded. He held the objects close to his eyes and first read the name “E. Hendrickson” through a silver metal box, and then the name “Munehira,” who was an ancient Japanese swordmaker, but omitting the letter “e,” through an iron box with a zinc top. Next he told the time through a gold hunting case watch, and finally read the name “America” through a tin box fastened with rubber bands.

Up to this time the demonstration had gone smoothly. Then Houdini, the conjuror, offered to wager 25 to 5 that he could duplicate each of the Spaniard’s feats. Immediately there was an uproar, and the Spaniard’s manager, Mr. Davis of Brazil, declared that he would not accept Houdini’s challenge and that the conjuror had treated him and Argamasilla “maliciously.”

“This young Spaniard has no supernormal vision,” said Houdini, “and he doesn’t look through those metal boxes at all. It’s a trick, and all I want him to do is to say it is a trick.”

After the indignant Spaniards had departed Houdini was blindfolded, and five men held their hands over his eyes while he held a gold hunting case watch before him. He said the watch showed ten minutes to one, missing it by an hour. Houdini says he will duplicate the Spaniard’s feats today.

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