To conclude this short series of snippets out of the life of this fascinating character, here is a brief description of one of Spencer's favourite tricks. Anybody with a modicum of performing experience, will quickly realise that it must have been a highly commercial item, in his hands, being a very striking, spectacular revelation of a selected card, which requires nothing in the way of apparatus or preparation.
Spencer would begin by having a card chosen and returned to the pack. It would then be controlled to the top. Invariably this would be accomplished by means of a straightforward pass. The move, however, could be easily covered by the ensuing business.
A sheet of newspaper would be borrowed and two spectators asked to hold it out, as in Fig.l. During the positioning of the assistants and the paper, there would be ample cover to make the pass and palm off the chosen card. The pack could then be handed out for shuffling. The performer, meanwhile would either fold his arms or lightly grip the newspaper, with the hand holding the card, so as to conceal its presence.
The spectator who had shuffled the pack, would be requested to hold it, underneath the paper, near the centre. He would be told to grip it lightly, by one end only, between the forefinger and thumb. The position of the pack is shown in Fig. 2.
Spencer would then patter to the effect that the newspaper was a jeweller's window, the cards were the jewels and the chosen one the most precious jewel of all. "I am the thief!" continued Spencer, "Watch!" With that, he held the right hand, palming the card, as in Fig.3. The card was bent, almost double. Using the forefinger to pierce the paper, he would plunge his hand through, knocking all of the cards out of the spectator's hand, onto the floor. The cover, afforded by the falling pack, gave him ample time to transfer the palmed card to his fingertips, straightening it out, at the same time.
He would finish by slowly withdrawing his hand from the hole in the paper, revealing the chosen card at his fingertips.
Although this effect is by no means new, it is seen very little, if at all, these days.
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