The performer professes his love of reading, and gives several examples of authors he admires, chief among which is Edgar Alan Poe. He then
produces a box which he claims contains two things: some cards and
some proof. The cards represent nine of Poe’s more popular works. After
the spectator shuffles the cards, the performer lays them out in a three-by three matrix, face down.
The spectator then makes a number of choices, which the performer claims is an attempt to find his favorite Poe story, that result in one of the cards ending up face up among the other eight face-down cards. The performer claims that this face-up card is indeed his favorite Poe story. He then opens the box and “proves” that it is so.