Highlights

Esme Levante shows pet wallaby to Mayor & Mayoress of Brighton. Oscar Paulson and Mrs. Frances Haxton.

Derrick Speight receives the British Ring Shield.

Mystic Craig receives a Silver Cigarette Casket as a token of British Ring's appreciation of his kindness.

Dr. Zina Bennett proposes the toast of the British Ring.

Charles Wicks of Australia, receives Honorary Life Membership of British Ring.

In the August issue of "The Magic Magazine" I made a passing reference to "Just Chance" or, as our American Cousins called it, "Bank Nite". For my introduction to this month's "Focus on Magic" I cannot do better than quote from a "magazine" which I published during the war years 1941 and 42, the title of which was "Entre Nous". You. Mr. Present Day Reader are hardly likely to have heard of it, for it was circulated to approximately 50 magacians only and thus the effects described were kept pretty well select and exclusive. Although more ihan a decade has passed since then, I do believe that some of the effects are well worth reprinting today, and I shall return to extracts from "Entre Nous" from time to time. Here is the firs' extract.

"The origin of 'Just Chance' can, I think, be safely traced back to the days long ago, when performers, having surplus cash to 'give' away, used the Bingo effect. In this, five envelopes were shown and shuffled. The performer then spelled out the word Bingo, moving an envelope for each letter spelled to the bottom of the pile. Each time he reached the letter "O", one envelope was given out, until finally the performer was left with one —for himself. The other four were opened to discover just nothing, and the performer's envelope contained—yes, you have anticipated me—a Bradbury!" (A Bradbury was the nickname of a Pound Note in those days).

"Strange, but the effect did not take on (although I worked it many times over a period of years and always felt it was worth while) until the 'tray' method of working practically the same effect came to light. Then almost everyone was working "Just Chance" and Pound Notes were given away by the thousand! At least they were being offered by benevolent performers".

"A more cumbersome and suspicious looking piece of apparatus than the original tray being used would be difficult to visualise, and yet they seemed as numerous as flap slates. The following method has maybe very little to recommend it, EXCEPT ITS COMPLETE SIMPLICITY AND CLEANLINESS IN WORKING".

"MORE THAN HARD LINES"

The performer ho'ds in his hand a fan of three envelopes. Attention is called to the fact that each envelope is made distinctive from the others by a boldly painted figure or letter, the envelopes being figured 1, 2, 3, or lettered A, B. C. respectively. Each envelope is removed from the fan, displayed back and front and replaced in the fan, and the whole fan of envelopes is also displayed back and front. A spectator is invited to make a choice of the three envelopes, and whichever is nominated, that envelope is handed out. Repeated once more, this leaves the performer with the third envelope, which is held plainly in sight the whole of the time and is never removed from the performer's fingers until the close of the effect.

The two helpers are invited to open up their envelopes and disclose the contents. Each brings forth a card which bears a consoling message, such as "Hard Lines", or "Hard Luck" or even "Hard Cheese". (For American readers all three phrases mean the same thing).

The performer, without in any way disturbing his envelope, takes a pair of scissors and cuts off the top edge. Then with a pair of tweezers, he removes from his envelope— —a Pound Note, just to prove how lucky he is.

Let me say straight away that the only requisites of this method are the three necessary envelopes, suitably figured or lettered, a pair of scissors, a pair of tweezers, and, of course, three slips of paper worded as mentioned above and the pound note. The preparation is so simple too, that, where the circumstances arise, it may be performed with borrowed envelopes, marked with a pen or pencil as indicated, and even the tweezers and scissors may be dispensed with, although, if handy, they add to cleaner working.

The envelopes I favour are known as correspondence size, being about 6" long by wide, with the flap running along the long edge. In each envelope place a piece of paper, or light card, lettered "Hard Lines", "Hard Luck ' and "Hard Cheese" respectively, or with any consoling phrase you care to use. Seal the envelopes and boldfy print on the front of each the letter or number you decide to use. BUT NOTE THIS. When the envelope is held up with its face towards the audience, the flap must be on the right- hand side of the back of the envelope, as viewed by yourself, with, of course, the figure or letter the right way up. I hope the instruction is clear, for there is a special reason for this. Figure 1 will further clarify.

With the envelopes thus prepared place them face down on the tabfe, reading 1, 2, 3, from the BOTTOM UPWARDS. Fold a treasury note first one way then the other arriving at a 'billet' approximately by 3". The folds must be well pressed down so that they will stay put, and i have found that a good way to further ensure that the note does not spring open, is to proceed as follows. At one corner of the rectangle formed by the folded note there will be FOUR SINGLE CORNERS. Take hold of the two centre ones of the four, and fold them, together, diagonally in towards the centre of the note, press them well down, and the billet will not tend 'o spring open as much, especially if the note is a new one. See Figure 2.

Place the note on top of the envelopes, the longer way of the note lying the long way of the envelopes, AND THE FOUR SINGLE SHORT EDGES OF THE NOTE JUST ABOVE THE BOTTOM EDGES OF THE ENVELOPES If you have any additional apparatus on the table which will form a suitable cover, then the set-up may be left as it is, that is, the stacked envelopes and the note on top. If the envelopes are to remain in view, however, then it will be best to turn the whole set-up over and allow it to overlap the back edge of the table by about one inch.

Near the envelopes have a pair of tweezers, as long a pair as you can obtain, and a pair of scissors. Tweezers having a flat surface on the inner side of the jaws are to be preferred, and these flat surfaces should be slightly smeared with conjurer's wax.

To commence you will, of course, take up the enve'opes. If the set-up has remained note upwards, then the thumb will quite naturally go on to the note and fingers underneath the envelopes. If you have been obliged to turn the stack over, then it will be necessary to turn the hand palm down, so that the thumb comes under the concealed note and the fingers on the top envelope. THE THUMB STAYS IN CONTACT WITH THE NOTE PRACTICALLY THROUGHOUT THE FOLLOWING MOVES.

Fan out the envelopes, calling attention to the number or letter upon each one. You may inform the audience that one of the envelopes is a lucky one, if you feel so disposed, and patter will go according to your manner of presentation. Retain the envelopes as a fan and remove envelope Number 1, show both sides and replace it as before. Do the same with Number 2 and note that the two remaining envelopes still provide plenty of cover for the folded paper money. Now, as you take out Number 3, gently slide the note slightly over to the left so that it will be well behind Number 2, when 3 is removed.

Show the third envelope back and front, and then replace it BEHIND THE NOTE, that is, between the note and the ball of the thumb. The envelope is pushed down until almost all of the note is covered, but the remaining bottom left corner of the note stays under the thumb. By carefully arranging the fan, the three envelopes can now be shown back and front, and the note cannot be seen.

Return the envelopes with the fingers to the front and invite the spectators to call out any one of the numbers, stating that they will definitely receive the envelope they call for. "If you call for Number 3, then Number 3 will be the envelope you will receive", you say and as you speak these lines you illustrate by removing Number 3 again and replacing it, THIS TIME IN FRONT OF THE NOTE, THAT IS, BETWEEN IT AND ENVELOPE NUMBER 2 You are now as you were at the commencement, the envelopes have been shown separately and also in a complete fan, back and front. A few moments practice with three odd envelopes and folded piece of paper will soon bring confidence in handling.

As numbers are called out, take the required envelope, seeing to it that the note slides slightly over if the envelope actually covering it is requested. Thus you may hand out any two envelopes and still retain the note behind the third.

While the spectators open up their envelopes, you stand with your envelope held quite still in the left hand, so that you obviously do not tinker with it. Finally, open it by cutting off the top edge with the scissors. Pick up the tweezers, making it quite clear, without deliberately calling attention to it, that your fingers do not approach the inside of the envelope.

Insert ihe tweezers actually into the end of the envelope, keeping the jaws closed, and move them from side to side, as though opening up the envelope a little. At this stage, with the tweezers just inside the mouth of the envelope you may press the top of the envelope slightly forward towards the audience, bending the top over in the process and allowing them to see that the tweezers are actually inside the envelope.

Now for a move which I have never seen published, a move which has deceived many who are well versed in the wiles of a conjurer, a move which wil I think, rather surprise you when you try it out. Earlier on I said that it was essential for the flap of the enve'ope to be on the right as you see it at the back, and I mentioned that there was a reason for this. This is the reason.

Most envelopes are not gummed to the extreme edge of the flap, to facilitate, I suppose ,the insertion of a paper knife. When you cut off the top edge of the envelope with the scissors you contrive to take only about one eighth of an inch, and if you will inspect the envelope at this stage, you will find that at the top right hand corner of the envelope, the flap is still not secured. See Figure 3

In moving the tweezers from side to side, just inside the mouth of the envelope, allow them to separate just as they reach the right hand corner, and, THE BACK LEG OF THE TWEEZERS WILL WORK ITSELF OUTSIDE THE ENVELOPE VIA THE UNGUMMED PORTION, and by a simple side to side movement you will have one leg of the tweezers inside the envelope and one outside, at the back. Thus you do not have to fiddle about, inserting one leg only, and making sure that the other one goes down the back of the envelope. I have seen this fiddling done many times and it must have been obvious, I have thought, to the audience, that the conjurer was taking some special pains for some special object.

The above subtle move will come quite easily after a trial or two, and you find that you can execute it quite carelessly, without even looking at the envelope in hand. Lower the tweezers further into the envelope and when the outer leg is over the note, the tweezers are closed and slowly withdrawn, the waxed face of the tweezers bringing up the note. The illusion is perfect and if the handling of the

by FREDERICK BARLOW

EFFECT.—Five visiting Cards are passed for inspection and each of four persons is requested to write the name of a person who is iiving on one of the cards. The holder of the last card is asked to write the name of a person who is dead. The cards are now collected by another spectator, they are shuffled and handed to the performer, face downwards, who immediately places them behind his back and picks out the card bearing the dead person's name, from among the other four cards.

PREPARATION.—Take one of the Visiting Cards in the left hand and run the right thumb nail along one of the edges of the card; pressing fairly hard. See Fig. 25. This will cause a s ight flange to form on both sides of the edge, which can be easily felt by running the thumb and forefinger across the card. See Fig. 25a. This we will call the marked card.

PRESENTATION AND PATTER.—"Here are Five Visiting Cards—a sheer waste of printing—when I arrive at a house I a'ways

FOCUS ON MAGIC.—Continued.

enve'opes is done with care and deliberation the effect will be all that can be desired.

If you have occasion to try this withouf the use of scissors and tweezers, then you will have to resort to merely tearing off the top of the envelope and inserting the first and second fingers inside the envelope and the thumb, of course, down behind, bringing up the note. Even so, it still makes a fine impromptu effect. On occasions, when they have been obtainable. I have used envelopes of different colours, red, yellow, green and blue being the colours obtained, and with the addition of a white envelope, the effect can be performed enveigling four spectators to 'take a chance'.

If, in your programme you include the burnt and restored note, why not try this routine for the final recovery of the note. It's a thought!

Yours Magically,

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