Another method of concluding the famous classic.


After the usual preliminaries wherein a card is chosen, torn in pieces, the usual identification corner handed out etc., and the torn pieces vanished, the performer borrows four cigarettes from as many members of the audience.

These cigarettes are impaled upon four pins which are seen to be protruding from the top of a small stand. With the cigarettes thus displayed, any number between 1 and 12 is called for, and this forthcoming, the performer counts along the cigarettes, arriving at one of the four.

The remaining three are removed and returned to the audience, or, placed in the performer's pocket with the remark that he will smoke their health later. The stand is now brought down to a member of the audience and he is invited to take the chosen cigarette, break it open, and inside will be discovered the chosen card, restored with the exception of the missing corner. This is found to fit the card, thus proving (?) that the card has actually been restored.

From the illustration supplied by Mr. Willis the stand will be seen to be a small block of wood, with the necessary four pins protruding. Also behind the pins are shown four longer wires, at the top of each being a small card and these cards are numbered from 1 to 4.

When the cigarettes are borrowed, one is exchanged for the faked one, which has a duplicate of the chosen (?) card already rolled up within its paper. Cigarettes are then placed upon the stand, the faked one going on pin number 3, which is forced by the method used in the usual Four Ace Routine. Thus ore cigarette remains upon the stand and the performer is free to take this down to a member of the audience, for him to open, knowing that the chosen (?) card will be discovered inside.

George suggests that the stand be made by obtaining a block of wood of a size to suit the performer and a piece of cardboard of the same size as the top of the block. Through this cardboard, at equal distances four pins are thrust, and behind them, and nearer to the long edge of the cardboard, the four longer wires. These latter have been 'spiralled' at their ends (see illustration) so that they will not pull right through the cardboard. The piece of cardboard is then glued down upon the top of the block, and the four numbered panels are fixed at the top of the wires.

EDITOR'S NOTE.—Here is an idea which elaborates the final stages of the Torn Card in Cigarette and may be worthy of further consideration. While the four number panels behind the cigarettes make for display, I would advise that they be left out altogether, for two very good reasons. Firstly, if the borrowed cigarettes are to be numbered thus, 1 to 4, why go to the trouble of calling for a number between 1 and 12 in order to have one chosen? An observant spectator might be excused for saying "Why not ask for any number from 1 to 4, seeing that these are the numbers displayed?" Secondly, in the necessary count which follows the choice of a number between 1 and 12, the performer must in some cases, coun'- in a direction opposite to that of the displayed numbers, in order to arrive at the faked cigarette. It appears to be more logical to omit the numbered panels altogether, thus leaving the performer free to count in either direction, according to the number called.

As a memory aid, I would suggest that instructions for each count be pasted at the back of the stand so that the performer, at a glance, knows from which end to commence and exactly how to follow through with the count. As the request should plainly be "Any number between 1 and 12" it is inferred that the numbers 1. and 12 are automatically excluded. That leaves the intermediate figures and they are dealt with as follows.

2. Count (obviously) from end "B" in the figure.

3. Count (obviously) from end "A" in the figure.

4. Will be dealt with later.

5. From end "A" to end "B", then zig-zag back to the faked cigarette.

6. From end "B" to end "A" then zig-zag back to the faked cigarette.

7. From end "A" to end "B" then to "A" to repeat the direcrion to the faked cigarette.

8. From end " B" to "A", zigzag back to "B", then zig-zag back to the faked cigarette.

9. From end "A" to "B", zig-zag back to "A" and back towards "B" arriving at rhe faked cigarette.

10. From "B" to "A", then return to "B" to repeat the direction and once again to arrive at the faked cigarette.

11. From "A" to "B", then return to "A" to repeat the direction and once again to arrive at the faked cigarette.

The above looks formidable (!!) but can be very much condensed, as follows.

"S" meaning a straight count, that is, arriving at the far end you always return to the starting end to continue the count. "Z" meaning a zig-zag count, that is arriving at the far end, you turn back on your tracks, and again count the cigarette you have just counted and continue in the opposite direction.

I suggest that two very small indicators be drawn and pasted on the part of the stand facing yourself, one left and one right, so that at a glance you know from which end to commence and whether to count straight or zig-zag. Thus there will be no hesitation when the number is called and nothing to speak of in memorization. (Note that 6 can be counted, starting always from "B", in either a straight or zig-zag count).

As I mentioned above, the number 4 cannot be used to force anything in a third position, either with a straight or zig-zag count. Thus an 'out' will have to be found. One good way is as follows. When you hear the figure 4 called thank your volunteer and suggest that a larger number be used. "Will someone give me another small number to add to our friend's figure 4, anything to make it within one and twelve?" Thus you have had the awkward figure altered and proceed as mentioned above. Should someone make the total UP to 12. then count from "B" in a zigzag manner arriving at the faked cigarette on 12.

To change the faked cigarette for a borrowed one, the following simple procedure is recommended. Have the faked cigarette already in the left hand, across the base of the fingers. As each cigarette is offered take it with the right and lay it in the left hand, along with the faked cigarette, until you have actually five there. Co to the stand and take cigarettes one at a time from the left hand, impaling them on the pins, taking care to remove the faked cigarette, when you come to the third pin. When you place the fourth cigarette on its pin, you will have one cigarette left in the hand and this can be discarded later as opportunity occurs. The psychology of this procedure is that, having borrowed four cigarettes and the spectators having seen you place four on the stand, none remain in the hand. Done quite casually, this gets by.


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