We're going to let the words of the immortal Robert A. Nelson describe this amazing psychic demonstration.
A volunteer assistant (not a confederate) hands out to any spectator of his choice, white cards and envelopes and the performer requests these persons to "write something." The spectators comply and seal their cards in the envelopes provided, after which they are gathered by the volunteer who passed them out. All this is perfectly fair, for the performer doesn't leave the stage at any time. The volunteer assistant takes care of everything.
After securing all the envelopes, the volunteer mixes them well, brings them to the stage, and spreads them on a table while the performer stands as far away as possible. Now remember that none of the envelopes have been in the performer's hands from the beginning. That's what makes the effect so strong. The assistant selects any one of the envelopes on the table and holds it above his head. This is an absolutely free choice.
The performer writes something on a small slate and hands it to the volunteer. The selected envelope is opened and the writing on the card is read. Then the volunteer turns around the slate and the exact data, whatever it is, is upon the slate. There is no writing done after the envelope is opened.
Once again the volunteer chooses an envelope, also a free choice, and holds it above his head. Immediately the performer divulges the contents and the card and envelope are returned to the writer for verification. Then the assistant picks up two more envelopes and, retaining them in his possession (the performer never touches them) proceeds with the performer into the audience. The mentalist directs the volunteer to the original writer of each card, who opens them and verifies the correctness of the performer's delivery.
On the way back to the stage, the performer suddenly stops, points to a certain section of the audience and states that he has just received a final thought from that direction. He announces it and one of the writers verifies that the data was written by him. This is not a confederate, either, for the effect is strictly a one-man presentation and no help of any kind is required.
If you're worried about this being only suitable for presentation from a stage, we hasten to add that you can perform it in your home or at the next party you attend. Supply your own envelopes, index cards and slate or white board.
Are you a Nelson collector? The original manuscript was listed as No. 170 in Nelson Enterprises Catalog No. 21. Now you can add this must-have title to your collection.
"A mental routine in which the magician discloses various thoughts which have been written on cards by members of the audience and the cards sealed in envelopes. A number of subtle new ideas are utilized, so that the demonstration seems to be a convincing demonstration of mind reading. Sleight of hand is eliminated, although practice is essential to the proper presentation. Highly recommended." - Review in The Sphinx magazine
2nd edition 1945, PDF 18 pages.
word count: 6342 which is equivalent to 25 standard pages of text