The Magic Breath

This is a good example of how the presentation can be made to transform a simple trick into a striking effect. The trick is that in which a card is sent to any number chosen by the spectator, the first time the cards are counted a wrong card appears but on a second count the right one turns up. The method is simplicity itself. The card is on the top so that the first count brings it to the number required so when the packet is replaced on the pack and again counted it is found at the correct number. In the older method the cards were replaced on the pretext of a miscount, a very weak procedure.

A card having been freely chosen, noted, replaced and brought to the top, execute several shuffles keeping it there. Addressing the spectator you say, "Have you a magic breath ? Well I will show you how to find out. If you have you can send your card to whatever position you please merely by breathing gently on the cards. Will you choose a number? Nine? Then just blow on the pack and think intently of that number as you blow." Spectator blows, turn your head away with a slight grimace. "Your breath does not seem to be very magical, but I may be mistaken. Will you take the pack and count down to your number?"

He does this and turns a wrong card. Take the pack, put the packet counted on top and execute a false shuffle; take the card he turned up and push it in somewhere amongst the top eight cards. "I knew you would fail," you say, "instead of thinking while blowing, you blew while thinking, not the same thing at all. Let me show you a real magic breath. See, just a gentle zephyr, but it has sent your card to the number required. What was it you chose? Nine?" Deal eight cards, have the spectator name his card and turn the ninth.

The testing of the spectator's breath can be done delicately or broadly according to the type of audience.

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