It seems appropriate to end this documented account of cards as weapons with a story that has been deemed worthy of entry in the legendary Ripley's Believe It Or Not.
The author has wended his way through reels of microfilm of 1930's newspapers (enough to know the names of the "human notables" present at the funeral of Jiggs the famous actor/champanzee) in an attempt to find the original article. This proved a futile endeavor. The only other reference to this remarkable anomaly appeared in the April 1938 issue of a long-defunct magic periodical called The Jinx.
The Jinx was edited by the amazing wunder-kind of mental magic, Theodore Annemann. This is his account:
"In San Quentin a supposedly ignorant prisoner blew himself to bits with a pack of ordinary playing cards. Cards are made of cellulose from which a powerful explosive, tri-nitro-cellulose, is made. The condemned man scraped only the red spots from the pack, soaked the pieces thoroughly, and crammed them into a hollow pipe taken from his cot. Heated over a small oil lamp the crude bomb exploded and tore the prisoner to shreds."
Mr. Annemann's sagacious advice to the magic fraternity was, "Brother, don't drop that deck!"
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