1644 = Total

This is your prediction number which is written and given to a spectator. (Although done is your head the addition of these 3 numbers is not difficult because they are added up as you go along).

You now have to have the numbers rearranged and this is done as follows:

Have any person choose any digit from the first row (9 in our example) and record this as being the first figure of a new number. Have a second person choose any figure from the second line (4). A third person chooses from the third line (8). This now gives you the first number: 948. (As you add up the digits cross them off your original rows so that each is only used once).

Repeat this procedure to obtain the second new number (461) and finally the third (235) (which in fact selects itself from the only figures left). These total 1644, your prediction.

To repeat the effect use new numbers that have just been selected and work exactly the same formula. To check that you understand the system, the new prediction would be calculated as follows: 2100 (2 zeros) 110 (1 zero) 10

2220 = New prediction

(Although this has been described as a separate operation the preparation for the follow-up prediction is actually done as the first part of the trick is being performed. In this way the prediction is made apparently without stalling. This helps make the effect very impressive especially if further repeats are done).

And so on. Ad infinitum.

Editors' Note

This is the first trick that David Berglas has contributed to any magazine since 1952 and we are very pleased that Pabular is publishing it. The idea for this effect developed from a recent discussion with James Randi.

David makes the point that the effect does not necessarily have to be a prediction: once the principle is understood it could be used for a book test or an effect with cards etc. The reader can choose.


No doubt by the time you read this the Christmas period will be nothing more than a pleasant memory for most of you. By now you will have read and reread all those books you have told your wives, sweethearts and children to buy you for Christmas. And all the latest miracles you have been reading about in the magazines and earmarking, I hope that you were suitably surprised when they were handed to you. I was lucky myself because I happen to be both a Circus Nut and a Punch and Judy Idiot. From New York A1 Flosso sent me a book about American Circus that I had found impossible to obtain and that I think has been out of print. On looking through it there is a picture of a small group outside a circus. And lo and behold, right bang in the middle is a very young A1 Flosso.

Surprisingly, A1 never mentioned the fact that his photograph was there. Friend Jim Dodding, a drama teacher residing in London but who has recently been to the US and Canada, surprised me with a nineteenth century print of a figure of Punch and Harlequin in the forms of marionettes. Of course they were intended for cutting out, pasting on cardboard and stringing. Needless to say they look much nicer as they are and will one day be suitably framed.

You may remember that in a recent issue of Pabular I was asking about Close-up Performers — where they work and what they do etc. Within a few days of this going into print I had a phone call from a friend asking me to go along to a shindig in a restaurant in Oxford Street, pretend that I was a Western-type gambler, and do a few tricks. Naturally the Pageboy jumped at this opportunity (the fact that he was to be paid for it may have had something to do with it). Eventually I rolled up and the place was decorated like a Western saloon with 'Wanted' posters on the wall etc., etc. Some of the guests turned up in cowboy hats and similar gear but most didn't. The guy who booked me to do the show (believe it or not he lives in London and is an Honory Sheriff of some county in Texas) was in charge of the entertainments. We had a rope spinning act in Western garb and a girl dancer who was similarly dressed and kept firing a gun and frightening everyone. My brief was to wander around doing tricks when I felt like it. The room should perhaps have held about 120 comfortably, but in fact there were probably 250 there. There were very few tables; most of the people were standing around drinking and there was some idiot with a two-headed machine he called a 'disco' who kept pumping out loud music all evening. For the record I wore dress trousers and a fancy brilliant green and black brocade waist-coat and a very tall 'foil' hat which someone thought looked like western gambler's hat. I felt like an idiot but surprisingly everyone was suitably impressed.

Midway through the evening there was a little bit of a floor show in which the Sheriff MC did a few gags, the rope spinner spun his ropes, the girl dancer frightened everyone and the boy-wonder did his miracles. The area in which we worked was about the size of a postage stamp and the show went accordingly. Enough said. For those of you who may be interested, the most effective trick from an audience reaction point of view was most definitely the Sponge Balls.

The trick that made them think I really could handle a deck of cards was the Ambitious Card (more or less the Vernon routine with perhaps a couple of other things sneaked in somewhere). What really shook them was a straightforward colour change using a Hofzinzer top change as described by Cy Endfield in the Gen many years ago. Fortunately, due to the situation, I only needed to do a couple of tricks to the one or two people I happened to have collared. (Surprisingly this wasn't very difficult because eventually they were following me around and pulling me over to their friends. I felt like a real star).

A little later in the evening when I felt that the people there had seen most of the tricks I was doing (in fact I was wrong because new guests were arriving all evening) I thought I would change one or two tricks. From my little suitcase hidden in a corner I took out Devano's rising cards, some coins and a silk etc., and rejoined the melee. An interesting thing occurred when I did Devano's cards: two people offered to buy "the trick". This surprised me until I realized that all evening I had been told how skilful I was, and that somehow they now realized that a card rising out of a deck had nothing to do with me. It had to be a gadget or a gimmick of some sort — "a trick". This shook me and after performing it perhaps three or four times I hid it back in the case.

I discussed this with Fred Kaps and he thought that if I had done several other tricks with the same deck and then gone into the rising cards it may have helped because they would not have suspected a trick deck.

He may well be right but it still worries me.

Patrick Page

Here are the three cards


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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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