An Easier Method

(Using the Forefinger and Thumb and the "Skin Grip")

In 1935, when compiling the first edition of "Lend Me Your Pack", I exchanged some correspondence with my old friend, Mr. Charles Harrison ("Rajah Khan") on the subject of the Double Card Turn-Over, and in one of his fetters he wrote: "... there is a difficulty in keeping the two cards flush when turning over the 'double' card. Occasionally, the two cards move a trifle, laterally, so that to a keen observer, at VERY close quarters, a slightly overfapping edge is visible . . ."

Mr. Harrison's remarks caused me to evolve the following method which I have called, for want of a better name, the "skin grip".

Proceed exactly as instructed paras. 1 to 8 in the December issue of "The Magic Magazine". (No difference at all). Then continue as follows:—

Turning the Double Card. With the EXTREME tips of the forefinger and thumb of the right hand, grip the right inner corner of the projecting card. Thumb on top: forefinger underneath. (The double card must not separate the two digits entirely: they must remain in contact. Otherwise, there might be a slight lateral movement—when the pair of cards is turned over—and that might cause them to overlap).

Holding the forefinger and thumb EXACTLY as explained, turn the back of the right hand upwards, thereby bringing the "double" card face up on top of the pack. See Figure 5 in the December issue.

The Second Turn. The position being as in Figure 5, seize the right inner corner of the "double" card between the EXTREME tips of the forefinger and thumb of the right hand, again using the "skin grip" (Thumb above: finger below). Immediately turn it face down on top of the pack, taking care to prevent it from projecting over the side.

Dealing the Single Card. Exactly as previously explained.

As the above method is easier— although, to my mind, less perfect—than the first, it will probably appeal to the magician who has not much time to practise difficult sleights.


This is an excellent method, but onfy an expert "second dealer" can hope to perform it at the first attempt. Others will require a lot of practice before being able to execute the move correctly.

Holding the pack face down in the left hand, lower that hand to the side.

With the thumb and fingers advance the two top cards exactly as in Second Dealing. (See "Farelli's Card Magic". Part I. Chapter Seven).

Bring the tips of the middle and third fingers along the lower edges of the two top cards—I refer to them as the "lower edges" because the pack is held at the side of the body—and press them into the fork of the left thumb.

Then holding the pack in front of the body (Figure 3), proceed exactly as explained in paras 8 to 11. (December issue).

If necessary, the pack may be gripped for a second with the right hand—as in making the pass—in order to square up the "double" card before pushing it over the side of the pack as described in para 8.

Misdirection must be used as the left hand is lowered to the side : otherwise, all eyes will follow that hand !

THE "CONUS" METHOD (A Form of Second Dealing)

The first book on conjuring referring to the Double Lift that Camille Gaultier (author of "Magic without Apparatus"}, or Jean Hugard, or I, have been able to discover is Ponsin's famous work, "La Magie Blanche Dévoilée", published a hundred years ago.

Ponsin's instructions may be resumed as follows:—

A. A single card is held in the right hand, and its face is shown to the company.

B. The left hand pushes the top card of the pack forward as in dealing.

C. The card just displayed is laid, face down, on top of the card which projects over the side of the pack. Both cards are then gripped between the right forefinger and thumb. But the "double" card is NOT removed from the top of the pack and shown as a single card.

D. What happens is this: the left thumb presses on the back of the upper card, and the pack is moved slightly to the left. As this is done, the thumb and forefinger of the right hand seizes the second card and places it face down, on the table.

As already pointed out, this is realfy a form of "second dealing", and according to Ponsin, the famous Conus used to perform it with great success. For obvious reasons, cards with borders should not be used.

Robert-Houdin, the great French master, in his book, "The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic", describes the £onus method of performing the Cups and Balls. He remarks: "Conus used to work the cups with brass balls, a method involving great difficulty in preventing any rattling of the metal ball against the cups . . . The difficulty could only be appreciated by Conus' professional brethren ..." (See Chapter Four in Professor Hoffmann's translation. London, 1878). * * *

According to Robelly's "Livre d'Or", a Who's Who of Great Magicians of the Past, Conus died in 1835. Very little appears to be known about this wonderful sleight of hand performer. Not even his age or his nationality.

Next month, I shall describe a version of the Quadruple Cut, a most convincing sleight that does not enjoy the wide popularity that I think it deserves. The Editor has taken two good photographs in order that the working of this false cut will be perfectly clear.

"FOCUS ON MAGIC" from Page 269).

take his time. YOU NEED TO COUNT THE CARDS. Some assistants would like to rattle the cards off with the speed of an experienced gambler, either to show how well they can deal, or to get the thing over and done with. Never suggest that he deal slowly. Just hint that you want him to deal DELIBERATELY, and according to his intuition as to whether a card is red or black.

Excluding the two face up markers, you commence to count the cards as dealt, that is, only those dealt by the spectator. When you arrive at 24, stop the dealing, saying as you do so, "I think that you are doing very well indeed. Do you mind if I test out whether your choice will bear reversing?" As you say this reach for the half pack. This will now consist of 25 black cards and one red one on top. See Fig. 2.

"I will find you two more markers", you say. Take the top card, "A red one" and place it on top of the heap which the spectator has been dealing to as black, that is, your right. If the spectator has dealt the cards one on top of the other, in a PILE take the opportunity here to spread them a little towards him, in a straight column. This will hint to him to slightly step the cards in later dealing.

"Now we need a black card" you say, and riffle the end of the packet nearest yourself, keeping the cards face down, and suddenly catch a glimpse of a black card! which you bring out and place on top of the 'red' heap, that is, the heap on your left. Actually all the cards you hold will be black, but this must be kept from the spectators and the obvious way to do it is to have (?) to search for a black card for the last marker. See Fig. 3.

Now hand the packet back to the spectator, reminding him that his 'choices' must be placed on opposite heaps, and ask him to — (Continued on Page 283).



EFFECT.—Performer shows a box empty. There is only one lid and this is a frame on which is stuck tissue paper. The audience sees right through the box, the lid is closed, the box placed on a table or tray, and the performer crashes his hand through the tissue and produces a large quantity of silks, etc.

With this effect the audience do really get a fair view of the inside of the Box, and the bursting of the paper and the production of silks makes it a first class effect.

For the explanation, refer to the diagrams. The Box is constructed as in the illustrations, the back being in actual fact a plywood frame wide all round, to which is stuck (inside) a thin rubber sheet. Operating inside the Box is a panel working on a pivot. Therefore if the silks are loaded between the panel and the rubber, and the panel is locked in position with a pin (similar to Jap Production Box) the rubber stretches and thereby creates a load chamber.

To cover this load a ply frame is hinged to the back of the box, and if you refer to illustration 1, you will observe it provides ample cover. This ply frame is covered with tissue paper stuck to the frame. Show the box empty, tip it back towards yourself and lid will then rest on top (prior to allowing lid to fall, turn pin to effect release). Allow lid to fall, then stand box down on the table. Crash your hand through tissue and produce the load.

His association with the Vampire organization dates back to before the war years. Just a casual acquaintance of mine at first and now a true friend and a great help. Through the war years he kept up correspondence, although we only met once in all that time. He has been my right hand man for some years, from the time we both worked in Hamleys, till now when he works solely for me.

A more fertile brain, I have still to meet! His knowledge of magic is vast, and and he is consulted by magicians throughout the world. You can always meet him in my Studio and be sure you will always receive a cordial welcome and be given advice quite freely.

Let's wish him good luck and all the success he deserves.


(Continued from Page 275)

(6) At this stage you have one coin palmed in the right hand. Stretch out the left hand and the assistant drops the four on to it. Turn the left over allowing only THREE out of the four to escape on to the right hand. The right displays the four coins (three from the left and one which was already there). Turn over the entire contents of the right into the feft hand. The coins are now rattled between the two hands held in cup fashion and consequently no one can see that you have actually FIVE instead of four. The left middle finger slides in the bottom coin while the thumb of the same hand spreads the remaining four coins out into a fan between the second finger and thumb. The illustration will make this cfear. When you hold the four coins in this manner, there is no possible angle, except from directfy under your hand where the extra coin can be noticed. Hold them over the assistant's palm and tell him that he is to close his fingers over the coins when you drop them. He obeys.

Take the coin held between his teeth with your left hand. Push this up the right sfeeve according to patter. Leave it behind and come out with the coin attached to elastic. The right takes it from the left. It is now rested on the left palm and as fingers are being closed around it, the right relaxes hold and the coin shoots back into sleeve. In due course both hands are shown empty and assistant finds FIVE coins in his hand instead of the four he thought he had !

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