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THE MAN WHO HAS JONAH
HE CAN SWALLOW
IVe just met thc man who can swal- low anything, Bays n special correspond- ent in nn exchange.
Regular tellers of fishermen's stories need not invite him to dinner to hear their moBt improbable yarns.
For the mon I mean-Hadji Ali-is not t lint sort of person nt nil. Stories of thc tall vnriety are not what he swnllows. He's much more nt home with live fish, unshelled nuts, articles of clothing, or lighted cigarettes.
For this general Egyptian, who has just arrived on a visit to England, swallows anything lie can lay his hands on-for a hobby I
As a matter of fact, it happens to be his job, too.
And Ali's big trick is one of the most amazing things you've ever seen.'
NOT A LEG-PULL.
' He can drink 50 glasses of water, followed by a liberal dose of petrol. First he ejects the petrol, which is ignited.
But what, you wonder, is happening to thc 50 glasses of water all this time? That is Ali's secret. He keeps the water in his stomach quite separate from the petrol.
And then, he lets the water come out in a steady stream-and puts out thc
No, this isn't a leg-pull. It isn't some elaborate form of conjuring. trick. In fact, there's nothing up his sleeve.
I never was a particularly credulous sort of chap-reporters seldom arc. But you needn't take my word for it.
For Hadji /li has recently demon- strated his wizardry to a committee of 12 hard-headed doctors at St Mary's Hospital, London. They gasped with amazement. Then they suggested that Ali should come back again later for *n X-ray examination.
I asked him what he thought of that. Ali smiled.
£30,000 FOR HIS BODY.
"The examination would reveal noth- ing at all," he told me. "In America, where they were very interested in my demonstrations, they" tried X-ray tests. But they could find nothing at- all-no explanation.''
But to show that they were still in- terested, even after that, I need only tell you that the Rockefeller Institute of America has offered Ali 150,000 dol- lars-which is about £30,000 in good English money-for his body sfter death.
Not that he is likely to die just yet. His experiments seem to have no ill effects upon him. He is in perfect
He went through part of his reper- toire for me. The control which he has over the muscles of his stomach is amazing. .
The most remarkable part of the whole thing is that he can store things in his inside and reproduce them sep- arately, at will.
In my presence lie swallowed 30 hazel-nuts in their shells-and one
almond. Then he;produced the hazel- nuts one by one until I called a halt and asked for the almond. Without a moment's hesitation, he produced it for
DECORATED BY TZAR.
"I was 10 years of age when I first discovered my control over the stomach
muscles." he told me. "I was swim- ming in the Nile «one day when, quite accidentally. I swallowed. a fish. With- out any difficulty I reproduced the fish from my mouth absolutely intact.
"My companions were so surprised that they asked me to try it again.
"Rather to my own surnrise I did it again. That was the beginning of my
"I tried out my tricks first of all in the street, swallowing many glasses of water and then pouring forth a crest
fountain from one side of the road to the other.
" A cafe proprietor saw mc doini thia one day, and chased me down the street. I thought he wanted to beat me up. Rut no-all he did waB to put a coin in my hand and ask me to re- peat the trick. Finally, he was so de' lighted that he asked me to come to his cafe and entertain the customers."
After that first success, Ali beean to travel. In Cairo he fell in with an Italian who pave him a contract for the music-halls. All over Europe he travelled, performing to several crowned
And then, just before the War. came Ali's great moment. He received a summons to the Winter Palace of the Tsar of Russia.
"Well." said Ali modestly, *T think he must have liked my performance, heeause he awarded roe a special de- coration, which is now one of my most treasured possessions."
After the War, Hadji Ali started out on his own account. Ho undertook s world tour, adding several more as- tounding tricks to his repertoire.
He cnn even hold a lighted cigarette or pipe in his stomach for a consider niile time, and then pour it forth in one single puff of smoke. No wonder the people poured into the thentres to watch him-even Sf ronny of them did (bink flint his performance was too impossible to be true.
Rut success has lind no effect on thl? most remarkable of men. He hos puzzled scientists and medical men all
over the world. He has involved the doctors of two continents in healed arguments. Articles have been written about him in the medical journals of Anierien, Australia, Africa.
And yet he still remains what he Jins always been-a simple, unassuming son ot Egyptian working-class parents who is glad to display to the world the re- markable talents'which he is .fortunate enough to possess.