Fl j 6l 17 3 19 I 2

So there are four groups of three numbers, three groups of two and two groups of one number each. These groups must be committed to memory.

When the cards are collected from the spectators they are placed on loo of the pacfi, one by one, and each person is give a number, from one to ten, as his card is taken; When number ten is reached, the left thumb is allowed to creep across the hack of the tenth card as it lies on the pack, The eleventh card, on being placed on I he pack, is given a strong crimp at its inner corner isoe illustration FIG,2.). The pack is tilted up slightly as this is done, and if the reader tries this move he wiil Inid it. unite


easy. When all the cards have heen collided, the result will be thai their numerical order will run from twenty down lo one, from the lop of the pack.

At rhis point in the routine, AI Koran's procedure became typically direct, Without any furliyeneis, he picked up the bindfold (a large dark silk handkerchief, suitably folded, is prefaralife and looks a shade more elegant than Ihc custom-built article) and had a spectator place it in position. While the silk was being tied around his head, AI turned away from the ajidience momentarily, during which lime, no more than a ciitiple of seconds, he deliberately transferred ihe lop ten cards of the pack fall the cards above and including the crimped one) to the hntiom of I he deck. Then, as the blindfold was finally straightened into position, Koran put the entire pack, openly. Into his jttouser packet, the backs of Hie cards outwards.

If The reader will go to the trouble of trying this with (he cards, he will find that, at this poinL. ihe position ii as follows: Dsn of the selected cards, in Ihe numerical order ten to one. are on top of the pack; the remainder are on the bottom, running from twenty to number eleven on the face of the pack. In this position, all is ready for the impressive performance, before detailing the procedure 1 will mention that it is not necessary to transfer the ten cards from top to bottom of the pack in full view; it can be done, one-handed, in the pocket. The crimpled eleventh card forms an easily detected break, and only a little practice is needed to give one confidence in the handling of the manoeuvre. Faint-heartedness should nol. however, deter anyone from trying it Al's way : it is never questioned, so long as it is done at a natural pace, with no guilty jerks and fumbles.

With the blindfold in position, here is how you perform I he effect. Reach into the pocket, after explaining what you intend to do, and draw out the top card of the pack, holding it before you, at shoulder height, simultaneously calling out "Number fen." This, of'course. is according to your memorised code, f'he card is named by the appropriate spectator and you turn it round for verification. Now take the second card from the bottom of the pack, hold it up as before and call out, "Number Twelve." This again will be correct. Next, take the fnow) third card from the top of the pack, holding ii up and calling, "Number Seven." Again, you're correct. This completes the first number group in your mental code.

You continue by drawing off the bottom card of the pack, calling it number eleven Next, the second card from lhe top. calling it number eight and, to complete the second series of numbers, withdraw the third card from the bottom of the pack, calling it number fifteen.

To start on the next three-number sequence, go back to the top of the pack, remove the top card and call it number nine. Then take the second card from the bottom, calling it number fourteen and complete the number group by taking the third card from the top; you call this one number four.

Go to the bottom again, drawing off the bottom card, the second from the top and the third from the bottom; numbers thirteen, five and eighteen respectively.

You now start on the two-number sequences. Take out the top card, followed by the second card from the bottom of the pack. These are, in order, number six and seventeen. Go to the bottom for the next sequence, taking off the bottom card and the second card from the top; three and nineteen. Back to the top for the final two-number series, taking the top card and the second card from the bottom, calling these respectively, two and twenty.

Finally, remove the top card (Number One) and the bottom card (Number Sixteen) and hold them at shoulder height, backs to the audience, being sure you know which card is in which hand. Finish as described at the beginning, giving the climax all the showmanship you can muster.

Reading over series of numbers can be confusing; just remember that the selection procedure always follows a dirc-ct mathematical line; One, Two, Three. Up. Down. Up. Three or four tries with a known pre-arrangement of cards will be enough to instil the system.

Resist any tempation, however talented you may be, to embellish this effect. Shuffles, false cuts, flourishes will do no more than slow up the pace of the presentation. The routine as just described was perfectly serviceable for A1 Koran; audience response was never less than enthusiastic. The entire impact comes from pure showmanship, for a bland recitation of numbers and cards, however clever, would drag after a minute at the most. You must show excitement, appear to struggle for the precision which, at the climax, you have demonstrated to be within your grasp. Show respect for the trick when you perform it and the audience will go along with you. Try it and see.


I hiji irjck, line- of the mq$t spectacular in Koran's repertoire, was d&Scribiid in 'Professional I'res en la Lions', bur no apologies ¡ire offered for presenting it in the present volume. After the first book vras wtittan, A! Koran showtd me how he had simplified the handling and at first, J had no idea what he was doing, i iic little move ! bad been expecting just did not occur, -¡¡id t'very thing was so tidy, riot rhe slimiest hint of delay. For those readers who do not know the effect, here h a brief description.

The performer takes a pi;dn while business card from his rocker. "We're soinp to conduct an experiment," he says, walking closer to Ids audiencc. "You must help me. it's very simple. but your help is essential. Notf ..." He Casts his eyes over the audience, taking a pencil from his pocket meanwhile. 'Tin looking for a lady, someone with a sy ma the tic Face . , yes, you madam. Do you mind helping me?" Thus so neatly eoerted, the Jaijy nods. "I just want you to give rue a tinmber," the performer continues, -that's all. One single, simple number, a one-digit number. But think about it, don'I siy the first thing that comey initi your hmid, I'd hate to be accused of infltietfcjiiu you.Tt

We shaJJ presume the number is five. "Good, good, you said five ... 11 The performer writes the number along the outer narrow edge of the card in his hand. Me looks up and finds another lady, asking her for a different number. "Seven. The performer wrinkles his brows. Seven. Hmm. I wonder why." After a moment of apparent puzzlement, the performer writes the second number. A third lady is asked to donate a different number, which is also written down on the card. The performer now replaces the pen in his pocket and turns the card around, letting the audience see the three digit number he has written. "Your numbers, ladies, in the order you gave them. Five, seven, three. That is quite remarkable. Our number, then, as chosen by you. is five seven three. Remarkable. Sir ..." The performer's attention is switched immediately to a man at the front. "Would you come forward, just come forward, just fora few moments. 1 have something I want you to see."

As the man comes forward, the performer moves back to the centre of the floor, continuing to face the audience as he docs so. The card is turned around and stuck in the breast pocket of the performer's jacket, protruding from the pocket so that the number remains visible. As the man from the audience reaches the performer, he is asked to stand to one side; the performer withdraws a leather covered jewel box. of the kind expensive brooches are sold in. from the inside pocket of his jacket. He shows the box to his temporary assistant. "Nice box, isn't it? I keep my gold medallion in it." He opens the lid and withdraws an enamelled gold medallion, closes the box and slips it into his pocket. "This medallion is very old." the performer goes on. "It's an Italian piece in fact, it's the only Italian piece I know! Look ..." he indicates die design on the edge .. "Beautifully inscribed, and the band near the centre, that's inscribed too. all by hand. Look at the centre, that gorgeously inscribed lettering." He pauses and looks at the spectator. "Sir, what was the number selected by the ladies a few moments ago?"

The spectator can see the number quite clearly, sticking out of I he performer's breast pocket. "Five seven three," he says.

"That's right, five seven three. I said that was remarkable, Sir. and it is. Mere, take the medallion." The assistant takes the medallion and, on the performer's instruction, he turns it over.

"Sir, will you read aloud, so we can all hear, just what is inscribed on the back of the medallion ..."

The assistant looks at the medallion and calls out, "Five seven three!" The applause and cries of genuine astonishment this effect produces from an audience would merit ten times the work involved in accomplishing the feat. It is classically direct magic, having some of the best elements of the Koran techniques built into its subtle structure.

The medallion used by A1 was in fact an old brooch, gold plated and bearing the signs of the zodiac. Any medal or large, unusual coin would serve equally well. The essentials are weight and visibility. The audience must be able to see the medallion, so nothing less than an Inch and a half in diameter should be considered. The more ornate the design the better, but one surface at least should be reasonably Hat. Do not use aluminium or light alloy 'tokens', as their lack of heft can imperil the working of the trick.

To one side of the medallion, attach a circular, white self-adhesive sticker. That is all the preparation needed as far as the medallion itself is concerned. At this point, the set-up diverges quite markedly from that originally described in 'Professional Presentations'.

You will require a flattened tube of plastic, cardboard or any other lightweight material you can lay hands on. The tube must be wide enough to accommodate the diameter of the medallion, and should preferably be somewhat wider. If you need to make a suitable tube, this is a reliable procedure: Wind


jj sheet of card ¡iron nil a pi Lice of wood of the same- width as your medallion. Wind Liie card loosely and wind it around twice, in tmsnre. lilIlttiliate rigidity Now seal the edge with glue ur rap-L- and slip ii off the former Drop the medallion 1 firaDBh ihe (»be. just In make sure it will p;iss ftfeely. Finally, cirf your flat tube to j length of sis inches.

A liny measure of mutilation lakes place now, but il is holding lhal will show and a good deal less harmful than some ¡¡tups magicians will take in the furtherance of their apparent skill. The lube must be placed into the outer breast packet of the jacket and passed through the bottom of the pocket; the lower end inusi emerge on ilu- inside of the jack el. The inset Illustration in FIG. 3 ¿hows the arrangement. Hail" the length of thy tube should show on the inside left sidL- of life jacket. When you have done this, fin the tube firmly in position by means of one or two pins. To ihe exposed end of file tube is attached the square medal-box. It is held in position bv the pressure of its spring [id. These bones are readily available from jEwellers and wholesale jewellery supply Iiolisl-h. Figure 3 ihows the arrange ment of gimmick -ind box, viewed from above thai end oi ihe tube which should he in the pocket.

In addition to the gimmick (with box attached), the medallion, ready for action in the left jacket pocket, and a soft lead pencil or felt-tipped pen, you Will need n plain white business card, of the targe size I his sltouid Lie in thi left jacket pockei. beside the medallion.

File working is straightforward, When the card is t from rhe pocket. I be riwadaJJion eoines with it, and the two arii held .is in Figure '4, in the tefl hand. To all external appearance, you Will be folding a card and nothing more. Remember, wh a I you are t;oing to do js in no way known to the audience; there is no need to believe that anyone has the slightest reason to suspect the presence of anything more than thai card in your hand.



Follow ihe presentation as already described, until the pc.iitii where von prepare to writedown the First number called, it is a freely called digit, no forces are used. Use the patter given then write the number on the card. Complete the digit in one stroke if possible, thell look up for a fraction of a second, as if genuinely surprised; Ihun look down jgai» and wme (lie number on the medallion this lime, at the left side of ihe adhesive disc, For the second digit, write il just once, On the card. When vou receive the third number, write first of ail the sceond digit, on the medallion and, without a pause, the third digit, also on Ihe medallion. This action (and a little trial will convince the reader) need take no more than a second, overall.

Look up, smik knowingly, and again look down, completing The job: yon write lhe third digit on the card and make u bold undcrstroke. The performer should entertain no fear ihat the separation between I he top of the card and the. concealed medallion *rill create any 'up-and-doWn1 impression, as he writes on one then the other. Koran experienced no difficulty In this regard. If it sLtll worries the reader, by ail means have the mcdnJj|on further up the card; the position described in the illusl ration, however, makes for a more natural hand liny.

WilUli I he ear. I is turned to ■¡how (he number written upon it. yon should proceed as follows: the righr fcmd thaving ditched r.lie pen) com is across and grasps the card at its lower edge ! he card is raised a fraction, upwards from the hand, and tile medallion allowed to drop behind if. The grip of the right fingers is now altered the thumb going under the card, grasping also the medallion, and tht fingers on lop of the card. Thus lield. the card is turned lound as the left ham! drops to the side, The medallion is perfectly concealed by (he riglil fingers; besides, no more Llian a tiny fraction of its edge will protrude beneath iiic lower edge of the card.

Slill holding the card and medallion, the right hand goes to the <inr.-r breast pockct and slips the edge of the card inside, in ¡he brief time this takes, there is adequate opportunity to locate Lhe lower edge of the medallion within ihe top of the tube inside the pocket. When this is accomplished, rhe card is pushed rather firmly into position, and the arrival of the medallion within the box should be clearly felt Von can now complete the routine. The medallion wilt be the right way up in the box if i he box ¡3 attached to the tube with its lid towards the lining of lhe jacket. Withdraw rhe bux and finish as explained at the start,

Only a couple of trifling points remain. Some jackets have a pocket at the feft side, behind the breast pocket. Do not be tempted to use this as a receptacle fur the box. Disengaging the

KOffura tBiacr

loaded box will cause such a fumble lhat suspicion will be raised at a point where, really, it should all be over but the shouting. If necessary, pass lite lube through ihe inner pocket, so thai, when you have to remove the box, il is a smooth, unexceptional aclion. Like AJ Koran, 1 would not agree thai there is :iny valid argument in the view that the box emerges rather low-down; in performing the 'Flying Ring' effect ('Professional Presentations'), Al actually withdrew the key wallet from the waistband of his trousers, Magic is an active defiance of logic; liitle of value can be derived from applying trilling points of logic to its performance.

The real pleasure, wirfi llii*. effect. r^lhe way (lie audience is led to believe that the number is engraved on the back of ihe medallion. 'Inscribed', you say, and you say it three limes before the climax. Only I he man looking at the medallion will realise the number is written (inscribed, in oilier words!;, and he will be just as mystified as anyone else. Do perform the Gold Medallion but please, do il justice. There are few better tricks of this kind, anywhere.


When Polaroid Lund instant picture cameras first arrived in Britain, A1 Koran performed a stunt that did much to enhance their reputation. It is not strictly 11 cabaret trick, but it can be used for the more intimate gatherings where the audience is a trifle too large for close-up magic.

The effect is startlingly direct. The performer gives a pack of cards to a spectator, or spreads the cards in a ribbon across a table Having shown the cards to be all different, the performer turns the spread face-down and invites the spectator to take a card. The man is now asked to look hard at the card, then pocket it, keeping a firm mental image of it all the time. The performer then takes up a Polaroid Camera, says, "Keep thinking of your card please ..." and takes u picture of the spectator. In ten seconds, a print is peeled from its backing. It is a clear picture of the assistant, and on his forehead there is a clear picture of the card he was thinking of! (See FIG.5).

Little explanation is needed. The Polaroid cameras are capable of giving double-exposures. Set up a card on a black background, as large as possible. The double-exposure facility now comes into play. Take a shot of the card, of a size and in a position that will approximate to the forehead area of a person photographed at the camera's closest distance. A little experiment will make this an easy matter. The picture thus taken

is not developed immediately, but left in Lhe camera in its lalcnt condition.

The card you have photographed is, of course, the card you will forcc. The force is left up to the individual, but a delightfully straightforward forcing pack is described in the section on Gimmicks. This could be used to advantage in the present trick. When the card is forced, a second picture is takun on the same piece of film; this time it is the special or, thinking intensely of his card, who is photographed. Take care to yet the picture so aligned that the card will appear on his forehead. A spot of clear nail-varnish applied to an appropriate part of the viewfinder will assist in this direction. Pull the tab, wait the required time Monger for colour), and produce the magical souvenir. It isn't great magic, but il is always well-received.

The effect becomes more magical if you use a confederate, preferably a lady. She names a pre-arranged card, having been asked to merely think of one. Some real puzzlement will enter into the proceedings if the girl is a good actress. And did you ever meet one who wasn't?

One point. There must be nothing bright in the picture area when the card i^ photographed, A large dark area (such as curtains) will be ideal, and a little under-exposure at this point helps, too.

If you have a Polaroid camera, tiy this one. The force, if convincing, should ensure a fair amount of mystery. In any case, it is a very fine novelty item and A1 Koran used it frequen tiy.


Very Tew magicians ever saw this effect performed. AI Koran's audiences were frequently guests at private functions, and rarely numbered magicians in their ranks. When a conjuror saw A1 perform, it was, mos! of the time, on television. This trick was never used on TV; its impact was such that A1 reserved it. from 1967 onwards, as one of his three favourite 'closers'. 1 saw it first at close-quarters, in an office with an atmosphere far from conducive to the performance of magic. I was, nevertheless, staggered. A few weeks later, 1 saw A1 do the trick in an exclusive club in May fair. I watched very carefully this time, but found myself applauding as loudly and enthusiastically as the rest of the audience at the end. A full six months elapsed before A1 let me off the hook, and it is a great pleasure to describe the routine now. It can be used in cabaret or as a close-up item with equal impact.

The description of I he effect will be brief. The performer hands a foolscap maniIJa envelope to a spectator. "Mold on to this, we'll need it," he says. A two-page section of a tabloid paper (The Daily Mirror' or New York 'Daily News'are ideal) is now produced. "You've already made a decision about this paper." (he performer tells his assistant; "stay with me if you want to know what you've decided. I think I already know, but we shall see. Take this pen and write down a number on the envelope, a number somewhere between one and twelve." The


performer waits as the spectator writes down ins number. Taking back Ihe peri, the pcrlbnW says, 'Til initial that. OK11" Thai is precisely what he says as he openly initials the envelope. II is clone in a brisk but unhurried way. and the performer turns away as soon as he has done it. pocketing his pen and picking Up the newspaper from Una chair or table where he left it. The Spectator retains the envelope. The paper is HOW tnrn inio twelve equal pieces, which the performer holds fit S neat bundle on the open palm of his left hand. "Sir, what number did you decide upon?" We will presume thai I be number is nine. The hand holding the pieces ol" paper remains stationary, as the lore finger and thumb of the performer's other hand pick off sheets of paper, one by one. The performer counts to nine and hands the ninth piece of newspaper ro the assistant. The other sheets are discarded. The spectator is now asked to read our any prominent headline on his piece of paper. We will presume he settles on "nig Race Enquiry'. The performer, having asked the spectator to read his headline aloud, now asks him to open the envelope. This the assistant does, and he finds a folded sheet of while paper, lie unfolds il on the performer's instruction, and reads aloud what is written, i" M^S* letters, upon it: 13ig Race EnquiryT. The performer takes the slieel of paper, his pre-did ion", and holds it aloft so that the words- ean he seen. The applause, as with most Al Koran creations, is automatic.

Voi! have to see an audience react to litis effect to appreciate how powerful it really is. The mechanics are simple, SO simple m facr that the cunning psychological secret completely covers anything so mundane as 'handling*. . or, as the average toy seep tie wo tilt! put i! . . 'conjuring'.

I laving said I hat the mechanics of this effect are simple, I shall nevertheless take some pains to describe them in detail, lor it is upon the eorreit application of the straightforward technique dial the impact depends.

It yog pick up any copy of a tabloid paper and torn to the


last three pages, on one of these you will invariably find one headline on its own. Usually thu racing pages am the most fruitful sourec of such a layout. I have, in preparing to describe this trick, die eked up, and I. have found that three newspapers, picked up at random, adl satisfied this basic requirement. It is not at jII necessary to locate a page with only one heading on It, but one with at least one isolated heading, at a fair distance from the others, is what you want. Additionally, il is not really advisable to settle on a headline, however well isolated it is. it there is another headline printed directly behind it. on the other side of the paye. As a guide to choice, it is well to remember that A: Hie fleatlline should be quite brief (as they usually arcj. and !i: il should fall well within one of the twelve sections tsi* section* 10 a page), indicated by the folding diagram. Figure 0. If in fact you cannot locate a suitable headline, the folding need not be top symmetrical; just so long as there Is no marked discrepancy in the size of the finally torn pieces.

Having settled on your headline, write the wording out on a piece of paper (a large piece, about A4 size) in bold capitals, with a black or red felt tipped pen. Fold The paper and seal it

into u long manilla envelope, Make sure you do use a long envelope. From a visibility standpoint this is advisable, and ¡1 also means that the paper will only need a couple of foJds. and Tumbling at the crucial moment wilt be minimised. With (his dons and two pages of I lie newspaper to hand tone of them, ot course, bearing the headline you have 'pre die led'), you are rciuty to perform a marvellous trick. Have a good black pencil in your packet with which the spectator can write his number, The steps in the routine are all simple, but Lhey must flow. To I his end, ¡1 is well to bear in mind the advice ¡liven earlier, in 'Five Star Prediction', for the selection of an assistant.

Introduce the newspaper as described. Tell the assistant that he has already made a decision regarding the newspaper, and that ii lie stays around yon will Jet luin find out wluii the deeision is. By this time, he is already holding the envelope, and after your ambiguous patter about the paper, hand him (he pen or pencil and ask him to write a number. "Somewhere between one and Iwelve" on the envelope. As yon say this, tap the uppermost surface of the envelope briefly bul pointedly with your finger, right in the. centre. You have thereby told him where to write his number, there will be no delay while he :isks yon where the number should go. As lie starts to write the number, lose all interest in him for a moment as yon turn and put the newspaper down nearby. Turn back to the assistant and say. "Finished?" At the same time, extend your hand for the pencil. Take no notice of the envelope at this point. 11 will not be automatically hidden frr?m you, for you have not really implied thai there is anything secrel about the number. As the pencil comes into your fingers, take the edge of the envelope lightly between the right or let'l forefinger and thumb (depending upon which hand you write with) and say. "I'll initial that. OK?"

Nov/ this is an Important part of the routine. The whole mova is thoroughly illogical, there is little sense in it. Nevertheless, it occurs ul an early point where, as yet, no tiling is known as to Ihe nature of tire effect. So long as you do it casually and without any trace of furtivcness, nothing untoward is noticed (or, more importantly, remembered), by the spectators, in as brief a lime as possible, consistent with smoothness, scribble your initials on the envelope, just under the number the assistant has written, and remember the number. For the purpose of this description, we will suppose he has written 9.

Pocket the pencil, lurning away as you do so and pick up the double sheet ol newspaper. The envelope is left with the spectator. Open out the two pages, holding them in front of you, and address the spectator in a clear voice. "This paper is covered with type, as you can sec. There are a Jot of headings, in bold type, aren't there?" Look him in the eye and wait for him to agree. Turn the sheet around to emphasise your point. When the assistant has agreed with you. tear the double sheet right down the middle, separating the two pages.

Again, in the interest of clarification, we will make an assumption; Jet us assume that the headline you intend to use lies on the section of page marked with an asterisk in Figure 6, The chosen page goes on top us you overlay one sheet on the other, and the side bearing the headline goes on top, too, It is vital that no fumbling should be indulged in to accomplish this, before you -.larl the trick, make sure that your chosen sheet Ties on the outside of the double page; even if this means folding the sheet in such a way that the numerical sequence of the pages is rendered nonsense, no one will be any the wiser. Just he sure that the sheets are separated and squared togelher in one simple move.

Now proceed to fold the sheets and tear as each fold ss made. This is done by first folding down the top of the pages for one third of their length, making a sharp crease; tear off this part and, tucking the larger portion of as yet un-tom paper under your arm, fold the torn double strip in half and tear again. You now hold four torn pieces in one wad. Now you


have to In tie iftio eonsideraliort I lie point at which your chosen J^Ltdline lies. This point {in our ttse, the hot turn rigid rectangle), is now held by the right hand tlier pttper is brought from Under the arm. The Je.fi handT holding the torn pieces, grasps the larger sheet at the opposite side from the select eel area, ihe Lorn pieces going on top. This position is illustrated in FIGURE 7. Release the grip on the right fingers and make a Ibid down the newspaper as Indicted in Figure 7. Replace the grip of the right fingers and tear the paper. The chosen area, still under pressure of the right thumb, is folded oyer away from you. the left band assisting in Ihe aciion. A crease is formed and Lhe paper again torn. The original lower section of the pages has now been lorn according to the lines in the folding diagram. As this las! tear is made, the two pieces Of paper, the top of which bears the chosen headline, are placed under their neighbouring pair.

Finally, the remaining long double sections of paper fre tblLiedi but only cursorily; a crease is nol necessary, as, when about to make the tear, the pieces in the right hand (four of them, lhe chosen one being at position number three from ihe top) are placed underneath all of lhe. paper, long and short, in [be left hand, fiie freed righi hand goes down and simply tears off the two pieces of paper which protrude from the lower end of the bundle: the two pieces thai come away in the right hand are placed on the bottom of file bundle. The chosen piece of paper, with Ihe predetermined headline upon it, now lies at position number nine from the top of the bundle.

i think it is necessary to comment briefly on what has just been described. The whole idea has been to get the chosen section of paper to Hie position, in the eventual pile of torn pieces, that corresponds to the spectator's number. White the description of how this is done may seem cumbersome, it never lhe less details the action.? in practice. it lakes no longer than about; len second to perform- Sinee the paper is easily controllable that is. it is torn in units of two each Lime, a


iütle thoughl will jjönßrm tliat il is relalivdy easy to get (hat piece of paper to any positinn in ihe bündle lhal you may wish. By varying the starling poinl and the 'over and im der* placement af the pieces as they :ire u>rnT you ean manoeuvre with total llexibilily. To learn how to do Lhis, an hour spent Willi some o!J newspapers will im plant Ehe techuiejue Tor all timu. Decide lipon an area you wish to cöllfcroL Now starl witJl

number one. That one is easy, you just get it on lop and leave it there, Then work on tlirough two, Ihree, four and on up to Twelve. The 'key1 to it all is knowing when there aj-e enough pieces in the left hand to enable you to make the first move toward placing your predicted piece. Units of two are extremely easy lo get along with, as you will find. Vary lhe position of your prediction-head!me, then iry it all again, mapping out in your mind-how you will tear the paper to achieve whatever number is dietaLed. It is one of the most valuable exercises for anyone reading this book, tor it puts more than one effeet wiLhin your yrasp: it can be usud in itself as most valuable force, totally convincing when smoothly performed Again, smoothness must be emphasised. You start the routine with 3 big advantage; you know where that selected headline is on the page. You should also know where to go from there, whatever number is dictated. For a number such as two, it could be argued that it would be better to start with the prediction headline on the inside of the folded sheet. I do advise you not to do this. With the selection in clear sight right at the start, you are quite unlikely to go wrong. Out of sight, and any distraction, or an accidentally dropped piece, could plunge you as much in the dark as your audience. There is no vice in slipping one piece on top of the pile and another under. You are, after all. tearing up paper, and the handling must appear, from the audience standpoint, to be reasonably haphazard. Do learn this simple technique, it is very, very useful.

As you start to tear the paper, and while it is being torn, you say. "Now Pm going to tear the pages up "

Follow with. "Just like this. . . " Then, when almost finished, say. "There we arc. we have torn it into twelve pieces."

Square the bundle and lay it on the outstretched left palm. "Sir." you say. "what number did you decide upon?" You have again planted a slight (but important) variation 011 what has gone before. It is as il the number is locked in the spectator's head, and there only. This is not stated, of course, it is just a straightforward piece of psychology. You do not know the number, nobody in the audience will think that you do; that is implicit in the simple statement, or query, "What number did you decide upon?"

The man says "Nine." With precise movements, you pick off pieces of paper from the bundle with the thumb and forefinger-tip of the right hand, counting aloud as you go. "Nine." You hand him the ninth piece and lay the others aside, or drop them in your pocket.

"Look at this piece of paper, sir." You have handed it to him with the 'force* line on the uppermost surface. "Pick our any prominent heading on it, will you?" The man will most likely not turn the sheet over, but there is always a chance that he will, even under the duress of having to make a decision. Therefore, it is as well, as 1 advised earlier, not to have any heading on the opposite side of the paper at all. After a moment, say, "Have you found one you like?" The psychology here is obvious. He says yes and is asked to read it out, nice and loud, so everyone can hear.

You now say, "A few moments ago I gave you a sealed envelope, and in that envelope is what 1 trust will be proof that I knew something about what would happen here this evening. Open the envelope, sir."

He opens it, takes out the paper and, on your direction, reads it aloud. Of course, it matches his choice. Take the paper from him and hold it aloft as you walk nearer to the audience. Accept the applause graciously.

Little remains to be said about this trick. It is powerful, a genuine reputation-maker and loaded with an atmosphere of the kind of mystery that so much magic lacks nowadays. The business of tearing the paper is, of course, crucial to the whole effect. It must be practised until it can be done smoothly. The only encouragement 1 can offer is the assurance, in spite of what the reader may think, that it is all easy and soon mastered. If this routine depended on any tangible gimmick, however Simple, it would sell for a good deal of money. As it is presented here, you do not even have the worry of a gimmick. Take advantage of your luck and put this into your repertoire.

The Astral Word


The author has used this effect and can vouch for the amount of genuine entertainment it contains. It is common, and forgivable, to equate entertainment with variety. By that standard this trick is nowhere. However, my own definition holds more to the standard, uncluttered view; to entertain is to hold the attention of an audience agreeably, to divert or amuse them. Boredom has no place in the structure of any entertainment. They are East and West, tedium and diversion, they cannot occupy the same space at the same time. This is a piece of brief, polished diversion; it can also be amusing.

The effect, very briefly, is that a spectator is asked to open a book, consisting of about tliree hundred pages, and to pick out one word from all those available to him. The performer divines the word selected, in as direct a manner as he wishes.

First the apparatus. From a book sale, buy a sturdy volume with plenty of pages and stoud board covers. It must also have a dust jacket. To prepare the device, remove the dust jacket and insert a sheet of thin card or, if possible, thin metal, between the front boiud cover and the flyleaf. This done, take a steel ruler and a sharp modelling knife, and cut a rectangular piece from the cover of the book, leaving an intact border of approximately one inch all round. With the book closed, and the sheet of metal or card removed, you must now coat the

under surface of the removed portion of cover with rubber ecmenl iCow Gimt, for example t, and replace ii within the area from which you just etn It. Press hard until ihe rectangle is making good contrifct with lhe fly leaf of the huok, then, without disturbing the position of the glued piece, open the cover. Lay another heavy book on top of Hie rectangle until it has dried and make sure that .my leakage of gum from around Us Jgtrs is carefully removeffl (Thai is wfiy you open the book cuven it prevents |lie whole front board from becoming accidentally glued to the flyleaf.)

When the glue is dry, you should have Something I hat looks like FIGURE 8. Next, attach .1 piece of white blotting pape: to lite rectangle,Just a Fraction narrower all loimd Ihan the rectangle itself. Do not make this attachment loo permanent. for U will require to be replaced from time to time. Finally, stiute a sheet 01 carbon paper i" the inside of lhe dust jacked so that, when the jacket is back in posilion, Llie carbon Surface will be in contact with the bJolting paper. When the book ii closed, it will look quite ordinary and tile rectangle will form a reasonably close fit within lite cuNiut area, requiring a slijdi! pressure 10 release it. So much for the apparatus.

To perform I his I nek. have the book on a table and beside il a couple of wheels of paper and a ball point pen. If' possible, Imvi: .1 small blackboard nearby, failing thai, a slate will serve. A piece of chalk is needed loo.

Fiek up the book and approach a spectator, a lady for preference. "I'd like you to help me. please, if you would," you ¡¡ay, handing her the book and walking back to your table. Pick up a piece of paper and lite ball pen. "The book you are holding has three hundred pages (or however many il has) and a tula! of ninety thousand word« <a safe arbitrary figure). I would like you 10 open lhe book, anywhere you like, and took at any word., .any word you wish, 1 want you to remember Lhal ward. Do you understand?"



The lady complies, opening the bonk and choosing a word at random. As she closes the book, you dioutd be right beside her, handing her the pen and placing the paper on lhe dust-jacket of the book. Step away again before you speak. "Madam, write down the word you have selected, from all those thousands, and pass the paper to the gentleman beside you " When Hie neighbouring spectator lias received lhe paper, tell liim to fold it and keep hold of il. Co forward and Lake the book from the lady and lake it baek io the table. Turn round and I'ace lhe audience, still holding the book. "Remember, ladles and gentlemen," you say, "The lady took one word only, from among all Ihese thousands " As you ¡ay tlusf you open the book, holding it at waist level, tilted forward so that the pages can be seen as you riffle them briefly from back to from. When you raise the book again and as you ¡tiniuhnneously start to close it, press hard oft the front of the dustjaeket with the left fingers, the rectangular impression block will be dislodged and die pages will all fly in a block to lhe right; in an instant lhe blotter surface will be right in front of you and in the continuing action of closing the book, you read the impression of the chosen word.

Lay Lhe book aside as you mm to the blackboard, cohtinuW puller: ''Nevertheless. 1 intend to locale Hut word. it has been rendered unique by the very circumstances surrounding its selection. Jt lias been held in the lady's mind, quite deliberately, und it has been given secondary, reinforced form in her own handwriting, That should be enough to enable me Lo divine that solitary word." This is pure waffle, of course, but very acceptable to ihe audience. Remember, this is a menUÜ I rick, die kind they want to believe itt; you are not conjuring so far as I hey are concerned. Take up the cliaJk and ask the lady to think hard of the word; address Iter neighbour, the man holding Ihe folded paper, and tell !iim ro hold the paper to Ins forehead.

Start to write on the hoard, making a couple of false starts and cubbing the.m out with your hand. Do nol overdo this, a couple of times is enough-Then start to write something quite incomprehensible; you do that by starting lo write the word upside down. Put down two letters this way, ihen turn round and address the man with the paper: "I'm sorry, sir, hut I think you must be holding the paper upside down. Would you mind turning it The other way? Thanks, thanks very much!'

Now That should go down well. If it doesn't, work the effect 'straight^ onuUinn the upside-down business. Nine limes out of fen. though. I would recommend that you keep It in.

Carry on with your divination or whatever it pleases you to call it, speeding, up ihe w^Urtg as Ihe halfway point is reached. Turn and ask the lady if the word you have written is the one she selected. As she agrees you go forward, receiving applause, and take the piece of paper wilh the word written lapon it. Open it up. look at it and nod with some Satisfaction. Hand it back To the man. leaving il open; for some not too clear reason, the majorhy of people in the audience will want to see that paper, even (hough the lady who selected the word clearly confirmed that you found it correctly. Let them have it, by all means.


The gimmicked book can, of course, be worked into a routine, and t.ltc simplest Ihid-a-number-find-ii-card type ol effect will be greatly enhanced by the addition of the book. As it happens, the book has a very wide application in general me malum. Some will already realise this; the others have a few pleasant sunrises in score.

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