Misdirection

Before going into detaii, I had better explain that this routine, from start to finish, does not take up more than two or three minutes, and that I have never introduced it except when I had a "run-down" in front of the centre of the stage.

The working is as previously explained:

I. The Cord is held by one end in the right hand.

II. The ends are tied, forming a single loop. Figure 1,

III. A genuine "double" loop is now made. Figure 2.

IV. Using both hands, the performer pulls on the double loop.

V. Going down into the auditorium, the magician requests a spectator, seated in the front row, to look at the knot.

VI. The conjurer takes back the cord in the form of a single loop.

VII. The single loop is held, with both hands, as in Figure 1.

VIII. Remarking: "I shall require the assistance of two VERY STRONG men," the entertainer advances two or three paces up the central aisle. Keeping his eyes on the spectators—as if he were looking for two assistants—he adds: "The gentlemen who come to help me must have well-deveJoped biceps." As these words are spoken, the magician quickly—but not too quickly— forms the false "double" loop (para 8 ante), and with his left fingers he feels the muscles of his own right arm. Figure 5.

This movement and the accompanying "patter" provide a plausible pretext for passing the left end of the single loop from the left hand to the right.

But that is not all. The request for two STRONG men always makes the audience smile, and I used to be greatly amused to notice how effective this simple misdirection proved to be, and how the spectators would look round the hall to see who was going to volunteer. This stratagem never failed, and I never saw anybody, even a conjurer, glance at my hands at the critical moment.

IX. Facing the audience, and standing as close to the stage as possible—with one assistant on his right and the other on his left—the conjuror passes the double loop over his head (F.g. 4), and concludes the trick as already explained.

Shou d the cord not come away after a few seconds, grip it with both hands, at about four inches from the point where it is crossed in vront of your throat, and give it a sharp pull. This always causes a laugh, and enhances the effect of the trick.

As this routine is over so quickly, it cc-j.-ns a pure waste of time to get the helpers to go up on to the stage. I myself have never performed the trick except in a hall, or small theatre, where a'I the spectators could watch me while in the auditorium.

For some reason for which I cannot account, this routine has audience appeal, and that is one of my reasons for explaining it in such minute detail. The main reason, however, is to illustrate the importance of movement as an aid to misdirection.

Dear Max,

Firstly allow me to acknowledge receipt of the first two numbers of your new magazine, "Magic Magazine". I welcome it as a grand addition to my magical library for it is indeed an excellent publication. Not only is this so, as far as its contents are concerned, but also in respect to the quality of the paper and clarity of print. You are to be complimented on whole set up.

S, W. MARTIN, South Australia.

Dear Max,

I write to you as an absent member of the Vampire Club in order to thank you for good service in the past, and to say how pleased I am that the Vampire Club News is written in the 'Magic Magazine'. As soon as I finish my present tour out here I will not hesitate to place a regular order for same. I was introduced to this excellent magazine by a fellow Vampire out here. I expect you have Vampires all over the world but I wonder if there are any others in Egypt let alone two in the same Camp, During a performance a few evenings back a members of the Sergeant's Mess came up and complimented me on "Dimin-Uendo". On my asking him how he knew the technical name for it, he said that he had read about it in your Magazine. I said was he interested in Magic and it turned out that he was a fellow Vampire. Needless to say since then we have had some terrific sessions together. Am looking forward to visiting the Vampire Club once more when I return home. This should be in three months time, unless we get an extension. From Egypt we go to Cyprus, in September that is, and then back to the Canal Zone before coming home once more.

Just a word of interest about "DiminUendo". I have no doubt that I am the first to present this trick in Egypt, and I might say that it registers very strongly indeed. No doubt you get several letters in the same strain with regard to your effects but this really is excellent. If I were a known name no doubr it would be of interest to you, but may I, as an unknown wand wielder, say how gratefu; I am for Dimin-Uendo, and the other effects in my modest offering. Since leaving England on 2nd May, 52, I have given 70 performance using this same act which includes your Miracle Pitcher, Magicians Dilemma and Dimin-Uendo. Many sincere thanks for excellent service during the past, looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Yours,

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