Card And Ribbon Mystery

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Performer asks a spectator to select card from a deck. He then picks up an envelope and a piece of ribbon. Showing the envelope empty, he makes a hole in the center of it with his knife. Through this hole, the ribbon is threaded. The selected card is then dropped into the envelope which is sealed. Magician then states that he will cause the ribbon mysteriously to penetrate the selected card. Envelope is torn open and card removed. Lo and behold, the ribbon is running right through the center of the card!


1 -- A double envelope. The same as the envelope used in the mathematical effects in Lesson 8.

2 -- A piece of bright-colored ribbon, 4 feet long.

5 -- A pocket knife. SECRET AND PATTER: To Prepare:

Take the extra card. Just for example, we shall use the 6 of Spades. Place it in the rear compartment of the double envelope. (We call the two compartments front and rear as they are when you hold the envelope with the flap open and the back toward you. The rear compartment is really toward the front of the envelope.) Have face of card toward inner partition. Seal the two flaps together.

Figure 11.

Take out the 6 of Spades from the deck of cards and place it on "Top" of the deck.

Have prepared envelope, ribbon, and deck of cards on table.

To Perform:

Have spectator come up from audience to help you.

"Science has recently shown that objects supposedly solid are not really so. These solids are really composed of small bits with spaces between. Of course, these spaces cannot be seen. For this reason, a radio wave passes through seemingly impenetrable objects. In Magic we have used these laws of solid through solid for many years. A rather odd example of the working of this law came to my attention in connection with a playing card and a ribbon."

Pick up the deck of cards. Make the REGULAR PASS, bringing the 6 of Spades from the "Top" to the Center of the deck. Make the JOG above this card in readiness for FORCING.

"Any card will answer the purpose. Select one, if you please."

FORCE the 6 of Spades on your assistant.

"What card did you select, sir? The 6 of Spades."

Place the deck on the table. Pick up envelope and ribbon. Open envelope and show it empty.

"Please look in the envelope, sir. You will find it as empty as my pocket. Now to begin with in our experiment, it is necessary to have a hole through the envelope."

Take pocket knife. Push large blade right through the center of the envelope and the card sealed into the fake partition.

Figure 12.

"Then we must run this ribbon through the envelope."

With the aid of your knife, push one end of ribbon through the envelope. Draw ribbon through until half hangs down on each side of envelope.

Figure 13.

"When we open the envelope, you can see the ribbon running through both sides."

Open envelope wide so that all can see the ribbon penetrating both sides.

Figure 14.

"Just an envelope, you see, with a ribbon running through it. Now, sir, if you will let me have the card you selected, I shall place it inside the empty envelope."

Take card from assistant. Hold envelope and card so that all can see them plainly. Place card inside of envelope as shown in Figure 15.

As soon as you get card into position shown in Figure 15, turn envelope with open flap toward you. Push card down into envelope in vertical position at right end. This brings card away from ribbon in the center of envelope. Audience, of course, thinks you merely continued to push card down in horizontal position as they saw it. Moisten flap and seal. Then turn envelope with flap side toward audience again.

Figure 16.

"You observe that the card has been placed down on the ribbon. This prevents the ribbon from being easily pulled through the envelope."

Pretend to pull on ribbon to show that it does not move.

"In fact, the ribbon is held so tight that it doesn't want to move at all. However, if I pull hard enough, a peculiar thing happens. The ribbon is pulled up into the card, and instead of passing under the card, will pass right through it. Let us try again."

Pretend to pull ribbon again and to have difficulty in making it move. Then really pull it and show audience that it does move now. Pull it back and forth a few times.

"Now, it slides easily."

Tear open the envelope at the end opposite to where the selected card is.

Figure 17.

"We open the envelope and reach inside."

Insert your right fingers into the envelope, spreading apart the compartment containing the card you originally placed there. The ribbon, of course, is running through it. Be careful to push middle partition flat against flap side of envelope with the spectator's selected card between them.

Figure 18.

Show inside of envelope to assistant. Then hold opening toward audience. Show right hand empty, reach into envelope with it and grasp card. Pull card down gradually so that all can see ribbon actually through it and through both sides of envelope.

"If you observe closely, you will see that the ribbon has penetrated the center of the card you selected, sir."

Full card and ribbon free of envelope and show both sides to audience.

Figure 20.

"Proving thereby that things are not always what they seem, and that solid objects can be passed through other solids."

To spectator assisting:

"You perhaps would like to possess this card and ribbon in commemoration of our little tete-a-tete. However, be careful not to explain how we accomplished this experiment."

NOTE:--To facilitate getting ribbon through envelope, you may thread ribbon on a large bodkin and push it through prepared envelope and card that way. When ribbon is through, slip the bodkin off.

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