Here is the Hit List letter from Eddie McGuire to T. Melson Downs:
10 Ellison St.
June 17, 1926
My Dear Mr. Downs:
Just arrived back here from New York - came home about two weeks sooner than I expected. The reason that I'm back sooner than I expected is that I found out that I was not going about this matter of getting magical information and the pet effects of the various performers in the right way. Have been trying to do too many things at once or see too many persons at the same time, and the result was that I was not accomplishing much. I have come to the conclusion that the best way to go about getting the above information is to "get-in" with each of these performers one at a time - get all I can from this person and then go to the next. In New York, I was trying to see several parties the same day, spending a few minutes with each, hurrying away to keep an appointment with the next and never accomplishing anything really worth while. So I'm going to try and "get-in" and obtain the confidence of each of the fellows that you and I want to "get-next" too and obtain some unusual stuff.
Malini is my first objective. The reason Malini is my first objective is that no less than an authority in the person of Horowitz says, "Malini is the greatest of them all". Perhaps Horowitz is wrong - no doubt, he is - but, Malini has some good stuff. The reason I'm back here is that Malini goes to Newport on Friday for the summer - and I also go to Newport on Friday.
After Malini will come Horowitz, Manuel, Dai Vernon and the rest and as I have been introduced to these persons and the ice is sort of broken the sailing will be easier. Of course, you are to receive any good stuff that I get hold of - you will be the only person that I'll pass this along to.
Tuesday evening in New York was spent at the home of Sam Horowitz at Jersey City. He has got a lot of novel, new ideas and I think I may be able to get them later including the effect that you want. He would only present an effect once for me and it's hard sometimes to "get" an effect when you only see it once. As soon as I'm thru with Malini I'm going to New York again to see Horowitz and I think I may be able to get some of his stuff. He used to be a good fellow, so I'm told, but is now kind of "up-stage" and has a slight touch of "swell-head", due to the fact that he is complimented so much by magicians on his skill. But he is not making any money from his magic, - I got this from his wife - his wife is disgusted, says he has only made $25 or $30 dollars from magic during the entire time he has devoted to it - on the other hand Horowitz blows about the number of dates he works - but his wife let the cat out of the bag to me.
Another reason why Malini is my first objective is that Newport is near here and I can go back and forth very easy.
So I'm going after Horowitz later, after Malini.
Was introduced to Vernon, but never got a good opportunity to have a heart to heart talk with him. He is cutting out silhouettes in a store around 59th street and Broadway. I understand this is his living - if he depended upon magic he would starve. Every time I called around to see him he was very busy, and I did not want to interrupt him in his livelihood. But, as I have already met him, it will be easier to talk with him the next time I see him n New York.
Elbert Morey is no longer registered a tthe Elks. I called many times trying to locate him. Also, tried to locate him at his girl's place, but never could get and answer to my ring. I'm writing him to tell him that I called and perhaps I can get his correct address. As I stated before I will be in New York again shortly, and by that time I will have his correct address and possibly will have no difficulty in seeing him.
Manuel was very busy around New York inverviewing the agents, and I never got an opportunity to talk to him. Was introduced to him that is all. Understand that he is coming to Boston, Mass., soon and if he does I will make a spcecial tricp to Boston to see him. As I stated before he has one or two wonderful moves, but they are very unnatural, and he makes a terrible hard job out of them.
Had a nice talk with Max Holden, and am neeting him shortly in Boston - his home. He is a great admirer of you. In fact all the New York magicians are great admirers of you, and they speak very highly of you.
As you can see from the above that on the whole I did not have very good luck in locating the various parties that I intended to look up, but better luck next time. The only one I have really connected with is Malini. To show you how I stand in with him just a few moments ago I received the following telegram from New York City - "Will arrive Newprot Friday stopping Nuenchinger King Hotel. Max Malini." Have been to see Malini at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, have gone the rounds of the various saloon with him, and sort of paled with him, and I'm sure I'll have some good stuff to send you. I'll tell you how I got in with him later.
Please do not breath to a living soul the methods I am using to get some of these performers best stuff. Malini thinks I'm a rank amaueur, and I'm letting him think so.
Malini thinks a geat deal of you. In fact, when I see him in Newport I am to write a letter to you offering you some sort of a proposition with him. Will remind him about this when I see him, and will get the letter off to you.
By the way, I forgot to tell you that I caught Allan Shaw's act on my way back home. Did not have the time to call on him as I had to catch the next train out - was greatly dissapointed in his work - expecially after seeing your work. Perhaps, if I had seen Shaw's act before I ever saw your work, I might have liked it better. Shaw seems to work in a sort of a half-hearted manner. This was the first time I ever saw Shaw's act. Under separate cover am sending you Shaw's letters. I intended to return these after I had read them, but never to the opportunity to look them over until today. Also, am returning Max Holden's letter which I have gone over carefully. You may want to answer this letter so I am sending it along.
TO BE CONTINUED..............