“We’re going to play a game,” I told the girls. “Chevreul’s Pendulum. I’ll ask a question and you tell the truth.”
Bunny leered, “How are you gonna know?”
“I won’t. But Janey will.”
No one complained as I dug the lipstick from Janey’s purse. I drew a triangle of Tangee Red on a napkin and lifted Janey’s arm above it. As I squeezed the flesh at her shoulder, I suggested she go limp; at her elbow, rigid; her wrist, weightless. Janey’s arm levitated over the table. Catalepsy was the simplest of hypnotic states.
One of Bunny’s necklaces served as pendulum. Hooked through Janey’s fingers, the small cross dangled above the center of the napkin. I scribbled at the points of the triangle: Yes, No, Unsure.
“The necklace will respond to the subtle transmissions of Janey’s mind. Unconscious thoughts trigger psychic impulses—electrical charges amplified along the length of the arm. Janey will tell me if you’re lying.”
“A parlor game,” Bunny said.
“Yes, and here are the rules. You’ll remove an item of clothing for every wrong answer.” I looked at Bunny, “Now, tell me your name.”
Bunny leaned forward eagerly. Her dark eyes glittered in the candlelight, a gold as false as her answer. She watched the necklace. An invisible fluctuation of muscle and nerve urged the pendulum into motion, swaying it toward the No.
“Ha,” Bunny said. She reached under the table and dropped a heel; she shook off the second one. “I’m not cheap,” she said. “Ask another.”
from chapter 5