"The Mental Marvel's brain makes your great brain
look about the size of a pea," Rory Flynn said to Tom.
"Just imagine being able to read other people's minds."
"If the Mental Marvel could really read minds," Tom
said, "he wouldn't be traveling around the country in a
vaudeville show. He could be making a fortune."
"How?" Rory asked.
"Many ways," Tom said. "He could become a gam-
bler and know what cards the other players are holding."
"Not if he is an honest man," Rory said. "You are just
jealous because you can't read minds like the Mental
"Jerry and I could do the same thing with a little
practice." Tom said.
"Talk is cheap," Rory said. "I'll bet you can't."
Tom was pretty confident he knew how it was done.
But he wanted to make sure before he put up any hard
cash. And he knew if he acted reluctant that would make
Rory and the other kids all the more eager to bet. His
great brain and money-loving heart were working like
sixty to turn this to his financial advantage.
"Just have your money ready after supper on Monday
night," Tom said.
Tom walked over to his bunk and sat down with his
"Boy, oh, boy," Jerry said. "You sure stuck your neck
out that time. You know you can't read my mind, even
with your great brain."
"Nobody can read another person's mind," Tom
said. "But my great brain did figure out how the Mental
Marvel and his assistant put on their mind-reading act. I
just need to work out the details. Phil will be visiting his
folks tomorrow so you and Tony meet me in our usual spot
in the yard. I'll have it all figured out by then."
When Tom met Jerry and Tony under their usual
tree the next afternoon he had a notebook with him.
"First," he said. "let me explain how the Mental Mar-
vel knew what the assistant held in his hand. I noticed that
each time, the assistant asked a slightly different question.
They used a code word for each article. For example, when
the assistant said, 'Please read my mind, Mental Marvel,
and tell me what I hold in my hand,' the code word 'please'
meant it was a watch. My great brain has figured out dif-
ferent words I can begin a sentence with. All you've got to
do. Jerry, is to memorize those words and the articles they
are code words for. I made up two lists, one for each of us."
He tore a sheet from the notebook and handed it to
Jerry. On it he had printed the following:
CAN means it is a CATECHISM
TELL means it is a ROSARY
OH means it is HOLY MEDALS
THIS means it is a PAIR OF GLASSES
WHAT means it is a RING
YOU means it is a WATCH
SEARCH means it is MONEY
READ means it is a LETTER
IF means it is a POCKETKNIFE
IT means it is a CRUCIFIX
i means it is a PENCIL
WILL means it is a COMB
Jerry looked at the list. "What if it is something we
don't have a code word for?" he asked.
"We've got a code word for just about everything the
fellows would have on them at the theater," Tom said.
"But if one of them does hold out something we don't
have a code word for I'll do the same thing the assistant
did and just pass them by. Start memorizing the code
words now. And after supper go to the chapel where it is
nice and quiet and do some more memorizing instead of
praying. We will meet here tomorrow after school for a
Can't wait until my son (and daughters) are old enough, looking forward to reading them all of these books! Related: http://findingfitzgerald.com/