Double Discernment


I have always maintained that there are times when an ounce of stratagem in Magic proves more effective than a ton of sleights. The trick I offer here will illustrate my point.

EFFECT:—Two persons, say a lady and a gentieman, are asked to help the magician. A pack of cards is tossed on the table between them. The lady is asked to pick up the cards and give them a thorough shuffle. She is next directed to think of a number and then look at and remember the card that happens to be in the position to correspond with the number she has in mind.

The lady is then told to hand the pack to the gentleman. At this point the magician explains that from past experience he knows that there is always a certain amount of scepticism amongst his spectators that the gentleman assisting may be in collusion with him. Consequently, he invites anyone in the audience to call out a number. The card in the pack at that position is to be noted and remembered by the gentleman.

Now, although the magician has no knowledge whatever of the lady's secret number nor any idea of the identity of the two cards, he is able to locate both in any manner he chooses and, if desired, even with his vision genuinely obscured.

So far I have only given a bare description of the effect, leaving the individual to adapt the secret, which I shall now explain, to suit his own type of presentation.

THE SECRET:—The pack is regular and, if desired, borrowed cards may be used. However, let us suppose that the lady and gentleman are ready to assist. The lady, we shall presume thinks of the number 7 and notes the card in that position. This card, we shall suppose, to be the 2C.

As already described the lady passes the pack to the gentleman. That little spiel about scepticism is merely a ruse for finding the position of the card the gentleman will look at. We shall further suppose that someone amongst the spectators calls out 18. The gentleman accordingly looks at the card in that position.

So far, all you know is that the gentleman looked at the card in the 18th position but you do not know what that card is. Your next ruse is to find the secret number the lady has in mind.

After the gentleman looks at his card, you take the pack away and riffle the corners. You then add that many think the magician is able to slip the selected cards out of the pack and you want them both to make sure that the two cards are still in their original positions.

You start to deal cards slowly into a pile and since you do not expose their faces it is but natural the lady will stop you at the 7th card. You show her this and drop it on top of those already dealt. Now continue dealing until the gentleman stops you. Hand the cards left in your hand to the gentleman for shuffling and then ask him to drop the lot on top of those already dealt.

You now know that the lady's secret number is 7 and that the gentleman looked at the 18th card.

Ask the lady to deal one card at a time from the pack, on to your hand. As each is laid on your hand, you start to count from 52 backwards:— 52, 51, 50 and so on until you hit the number 18. Hesitate a bit. Then declare it to be the one thought of by the gentleman. Ask him to name his card and you turn it over for verification. Now ask the lady to continue the dealing and you start counting down again from 17 until the card corresponding with the number 7 is laid on your hand and that will be the lady's card.

When you try this trick out for your own study, you will be able to appreciate its subtle points better than they seem to appear in print.

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