Specialist In Rheumatic Complaints And Nervous Disorders

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JOHN C. LESTER 6 NORTHLANDS ST., COLDHARBOUR LANE, CAMBERWELL, LONDON, S.E.5.

"THE MYSTIC SQUARE"

During a session with Max Maiini, many years ago, at my home in India, he worked a table top trick with four lumps of cube sugar. What I am going to describe this month is my personal development of the pattern set by Malini. In his presentation a cube was placed at each point of an imaginary square. By covering two points at a time, with his hands the four cubes were eventually caused to congregate at one of the corners of the square.

My presentation is somewhat different from the original conception both in treatment and final outcome. I use synthetic nylon sponge cubes instead of sugar because one of a comparatively large dimension can be compressed to a surprisingly small compass, with the added advantage that when freed, it springs at once to its original shape. Five of these are required although the spectators are only aware of four.

The five cubes are placed in your left coat or trouser pocket at the outset. When ready to perform reach in the pocket and bring out all five together, in a bunch. By compressing them not more than FOUR can be seen. As strange as this

may seem to the reader, a trial will convince of this fact.

The right hand now appears to take two away but in truth THREE are taken. The third is actually stolen in the thumb crotch and held compressed. Both hands working together lay the cubes in square formation as shown in Fig. 1. The extra cube, i.e. the fifth one, is concealed in the crotch of the right thumb commonly referred to as the 'thumb palm' position.

The right hand as shown in Fig. 2 is placed in the centre of the square marked with a cross in our illustration and the left covers cube 'C'. The left hand now moves to the top of the table and covers 'A' while the right moves back and covers 'D'. See Fig. 3. The left next covers 'X' and the

right 'B\ as you will find in Fig. 4. Once again the right returns to 'X' and the left covers 'D'. Fig. 5 illustrates this stage. Now when the right hand rests on the centre of the square, it releases hold of the hidden cube and at the same time the left thumb moves in ever so lightly ... just sufficiently to be able to pick up the cube at point 'D'. Both hands are raised together and the spectators will see that cube 'D' has mysteriously travelled from its point to the centre of the square. The extra cube is now hidden in the LEFT hand. Please do not attempt to PALM it. Just be content to keep it under cover of your hand by the slight inward pressure of the thumb.

The right hand next covers 'B' and the left 'C'. The right next moves to 'A' and the left to point 'D'. This is depicted in Fig. 6 which also shows one cube in the centre. The left next moves to 'X' i.e. where the single cube lies. The right covers 'B'. At this stage the hidden cube is released from the left and 'B' stolen in the right hand. When both hands are raised the picture before the spectators will reveal TWO cubes at 'X' one at 'A' and one at 'C'. Of course, what the spectators will not know is that the extra cube is now in your right hand.

The right hand is next placed at point 'D' and the left covers cube 'A'. See Fig. 7. The right is now placed over the two cubes in the centre and the left on 'C\ The right leaves the hidden cube and the left picks up 'C'. The state of affairs now will be as follows. Three cubes in centre, one at 'A' and the fifth in the left thumb crotch.

The left hand is now placed on 'D' and the right on 'C'. The left is next placed on point 'B' and the right on 'C'. The left is placed on 'C' and the right covers cube 'A'. The hidden cube in the left is released while 'A' is picked up in the right.

The effect created is that 'A' cube jumped from its spot to point 'C'. Fig. 8 shows the left hand in the act of releasing the hidden cube and the right about to pick up 'A'.

The right hand is now placed at point 'D' and the left at 'A' . The right hand is now moved up to cover spot 'B' and the left moves to point *D\ The left next covers the single cube at 'C' and the right is placed over the three cubes in the centre. The hidden cube is released and 'C' picked up in the left. Fig. 9 illustrates this stage of the trick. The right hand moving away from over the four cubes and the left picking up the one from spot 'C'. Of course, the picture shows an exposed view of the left hand.

The effect up to now, as far as the onlookers witnessed was to influence the four cubes from the four points of the square to the centre by progressive stages. This only concludes the first phase of the demonstration. There are two others to follow.

The left hand now gathers all four cubes together. Once again the right goes to take two-in reality THREE-- the third going into the thumb crotch as before. The cubes are again laid out in a square as in Fig. 1.

Show the left hand to be empty without calling direct attention to it and then close fingers into a loose fist. Ask a nearby spectator to point at one of the four cubes. Whichever is indicated, you pick it up with the right fingers and place it on top of the fist. With the first finger of the other hand you poke the cube into the fist. See Fig. 10. Having done this, you ask for a second choice and again repeat the earlier performance. Finally call for a third choice. By now you will have pushed THREE cubes into the fist. There is one concealed, be it remembered, in the right thumb crotch.

As an after thought you remark that you would rather the spectator do it himself. Open out the left fingers and let them see the THREE cubes on your hand. With the right fingers you start to pick them up as you count one, two and three! However, you only pick the first two. When you appear to go for the third you in fact PRESS it into the palm and turn the left hand over at the same time exposing the interior of the right to bring the THREE to view. The extra cube is now hidden in the left hand. Fig. 11 shows the pretended action of picking up the last cube.

In other words you only pick TWO of the three cubes from the left and the extra hidden in the right is added to make the full complement of THREE. This is a very convincing dodge and is never suspected. By insinuation you have made them believe that you are using only THREE CUBES.

Close the left fingers into a fist. This hand, unknown to any, contains the extra cube. Keep the right hand extended and ask the spectator to pick any of the three and place it on top of your fist. Then ask him to push it right in with his forefinger. Fig. 12 will explain how the spectator is to proceed. Having pushed in the first cube he is invited to pick the remainder singly and push them into the fist as well.

So far the spectator is satisfied that he pushed THREE cubes into your fist. There now remains one on the table. You take this in the right hand and pretend to place it in your pocket. When your hand is out of sight you bring it out again in the thumb crotch position. Ask the spectator if he remembers how many he pushed into

THE WATCH AND THE LOAF—

needs to be bottomless, and a half celluloid shell made to fit. Cemented in place this half shell forms a receptacle for the jam, and leaves the rear half of the jar in the form of a tube, so that anything dropped in at the mouth will fall out at the base.

Taking the jar on the left palm, the borrowed watch is apparently placed into the jam, actually falling, at the rear half, onto the palm. Under the pretence of reaching for a handkerchief, with which to wipe the hands, the jar is taken in the right hand and the left goes to the pocket, leaving the watch for the time being and bringing forth a handkerchief. The dummy watch is now fished out and vanished as in the first routine and turning to his table the performer picks up the parcel, which has been in sight the whole of the time.

your fist. When the inevitable reply of THREE! is uttered . . . you open the fingers to reveal FOUR.

You now explain that as one good turn deserves another you will repeat the performance once again. The four cubes are again laid out in square formation as in the beginning. Ask the spectator who is helping, to close his fingers into a fist. Pick up one of the cubes and lay it on top of his fist as in Fig. 10 and then push it right in. Pick up a second cube and add it to the one already in the thumb crotch. Compress the two together and place them as one on his fist but do not let go. Push them with the first finger tip right into the fist. Your helper will now be holding three cubes within his hand but he thinks only two. Pick up another cube and this time rest it on his fist for about half a second and then push this one in too. Finally pick up the last cube from the table and return it to pocket. When the assistant ultimately opens his hand he will find the FOUR cubes together again.

(Continued from Page 295).

As the right takes up the parcel, the left obtains the watch and placing the loaf on the left palm, the watch is forced into the cavity underneath. From there on the effect is concluded as described above.

In "The Great Morritt's" method, the borrowed watch was first placed in an envelope and the latter then placed in the performer's outside breast pockety with a fair portion of the envelope visible. At the required moment, the envelope was removed and destroyed, to show that the watch had vanished. The envelope had a slit in its lower edge and when placing it in the breast pocket, it was allowed to slip out into the pocket, then, by means of a cloth tube, the watch was allowed to slide down into the performer's rear coat tail pocket, to be handy for obtaining later on in the effect.

"The Watch and Loaf Effect"

I created this effect about 30 years ago, aftei seeing "The Great Morritt" perform a similar effect, the difference being that I use a one pound jar of jam. Old though the effect may be, it is still a winner among modern audiences, as a trial will soon prove.

A lady's wrist watch is borrowed, one which preferably, can be readily taken off its strap or bracelet, and, showing a one pound jar of jam, the watch is dropped in. Immediately turning to the lady, the performer says "Sorry, madam, I didn't intend doing that", and fishes out the watch, covered in jam, with a wire hook. Explaining that he cannot very well return the watch in that condition, he proceeds to wrap it in a piece of tissue paper, with a view to vanishing it and making it appear quite clean in the lady's own hands.

He asks the lady to hold her hands together and to wait for its arrival, but when the project fails, he tries to compensate the lender by offering a parcel which has been in view of the audience most of the evening. He unties the string and removes the wrapper. Beneath this there is another wrapper, and this goes on to reveal several wrappers, which, when finally removed disclose a small loaf of bread. This is cut in half, one half selected, and the missing watch is found therein.

Actually, I have used two methods. The first one required a one pound jam jar which was divided into two compartments with a piece of celluloid or strong cardboard. The front half was filled with jam, and this half was adorned with the usual jam label. The rear half was packed tightly with cotton wool, up to about one inch of the top of the jar. In the front half, submerged in the jam an old wrist watch was concealed, and to make removal easy, it was hung on a small hook over the rim of the partition. Thus prepared the lid was replaced and the whole wrapped in greaseproof paper to give the appearance that the article had just been purchased fresh from the store.

The loaf, in both methods, is prepared the same way. A small portion is cut from the underside of the loaf and a hole hollowed out just large enough to take a watch. Do not make the mistake of making the hole too big or the watch may fall out and spoil the effect. The loaf is now wrapped in several coloured papers and each wrapping is completed with string, thus making a neat and tidy parcel.

In the first method, an assistant was used and therefore the parcel remained off stage during the preliminary part of the trick. When you are supposed to drop the borrowed watch into the jam, it actually goes into the rear compartment on top of the cotton wool. The watch (?) is immediately fished out and brought forward suspended on a wire hook which was used to extract it from the jar, the performer causing some amusement by licking some jam from his fingers.

During this distraction, the assistant removes the jar off stage, and taking out the watch, forces it gently into the hole at the bottom of the loaf parcel and brings this on stage. Usually at this point I was still instructing the lady to hold her cupped hands to receive the watch, wrapped in tissue paper, and I finally 'vanished' the little parcel by means of the French Drop, disposing of the palmed packet, in the act of picking up the wand, in a convenient well in the table top.

After a little byplay, the parcel is opened and the loaf eventually brought to light. This is broken in half, and the lady invited to choose one of the halves. It does not matter which is chosen, you know which half contains the watch, and by the old 'Your left, my right' principle you are left with the correct half, from which, sufficient bread being removed to disclose it, is taken the borrowed watch.

In the second method, where no assistant is needed, the only difference lay in the manner of preparing the jar, and of course, a slight deviation from the above routine. First of all, the jar

Reprinted from THE ISLE OF MAN TIMES

Thursday, November 17th, 1955.

Thursday, November 17th, 1955.

The Investiture of the Honorary Life President of the Scottish Association, Dr. Sir Alexander Cannon, by the ex-president, Max Raskin, in the presence of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man and the dignitaries from Scotland.

Civic reception of the Scottish Association of Magical Societies and of the Magicians of Mann at the Villa Marina. Top row (left to right): Cyril Ritson, Maurice Gatiss, Tom Morley, John Sands, B. N. Watterson, Councillor R. C. Stephen, Alan Gill. Middle Row: Dr. Edwin Dawes, Councillor T. W. Kneale (acting for His Worship the Mayor), D. N. Blakey (Town Clerk), L. Costain (Borough Treasurer), R. Wilson. Front row: Johnny Geddes, George Pigott, President Tom Harris, S.M.M., Hon. Life President H.E. Dr. Sir Alexander Cannon, S.A.M.S., (with the "Sir Alexander Cannon Trophy" on the table in front), ex-president Max Raskin, Dr. Thomas Hardy,

Gus Alligan.

"SKULL SHAKERS" - No. 15

By PETER A. McDONALD

"GIANT CARD MONTE'

Some time ago 1 bought a pack of Max's Jumbo Cards and even if I had never used them in a show (which, of course, I have) I should have had my money's worth just fooling about with them, trying out standard effects to see how far 1 could adapt them. Here is a cod effect which you could almost certainly do right away. It can be done with regular sized cards but for the stage Jumbo cards possess obvious advantages and the trick is no more difficult with them than it is with smaller cards.

In effect the magician shows three cards, the Ace, Two and Three of the same suit. The Ace is placed face-down on the table, the Two is shown (but in a fishy manner, for the magician covers up the lower part of the card with his fingers) and is dropped face-down on top of the Ace. Spectators are asked to guess what card remains in the hand.

Some, being naive, or perhaps suspecting a double bluff, will guess that the remaining card is the Three, as it ought to be. Others, thinking they have spotted something fishy in the presentation, will think it is the two which remains in the hand. Both sections are proved wrong for it proves to be the Ace.

The effect is immediately repeated. The Ace is shown and placed down on the table. The two is again shown with the fishy business and is placed face-down on the table. Spectators are asked to say what the remaining card is. This time they will cover Ace, Two and Three with their guesses.

The magician admonishes them for not paying attention and they think they have spoilt his trick for him by covering all three possibilities. "If you had been watching the trick", he says, "you would have known that this is the card remaining in my hand". So saying he turns it over and shows it to be the Joker.

All that you require for this effect are the four cards mentioned above plus the ability to do a double or treble lift. This is just as easy with Jumbo cards as with small ones. I use the doublelift and turn-over.

Try it with the cards in your hand. Arrange them in this order reading from the top of the face-down packet . . . Joker, Ace, Two and Three. Tell the audience that you will use three cards and have purposely picked three which they can easily remember. Do the double-lift-and-turn-over apparently showing the top card to be the Ace. When you have turned the card (s) face-down again, take off the top card (i.e. the Joker) which they think is the Ace and place it at the bottom of the packet in such a way that they get no glimpse of its face Repeat the move to show the next card as the Two. Place the top card (which they think is the Two but is really the Ace) on the bottom of the pack as before. By the same means show the Three and place the next card i.e. the Two on the bottom of the packet. If you want to check on yourself at this stage, look at the set-up. It should be 3, Joker, Ace, 2, reading from the top of the facedown packet.

The audience think that they have seen you show three cards which are now (they think) in order Ace, 2, 3 reading from the top. To encourage them in this belief you now do a triple-lift-and-turnover to show the top card (apparently) as an Ace. When this card(s) has been turned facedown again, deal the top card (really the Three) on to the table. This, they think, is the Ace. Turn the packet of three cards face-up towards yourself without letting the spectators see the faces. The packet should be held in the left hand, thumb tip at one long edge, finger-tips at the other, back of the hand to the audience. Bring the right hand up and place the fingers over the lower half of the Two. Draw the Two off and turn it to show to the audience. Meantime the left hand, holding the Ace and the Joker squared to look like one card drops to the side, again making sure that the audience do not see the face of the Ace.

Pause for a moment. The Two is being shown to the audience with its lower half obscured, in a most suspicious manner, by your fingers. Obviously it MIGHT be a Three with a faked index (tho' for heaven's sake don't say so). The fishiness of the whole thing is in any case increased by the fact that the Two ought not to be at the bottom of the packet ... it should be a Three at that position. If you have made the moves slowly and with deliberation, most people will be highly questioning about that Two. Some may just believe (or pretend to believe) that you have placed an Ace and a Two on the table. Most will be pretty certain you've placed an Ace and a Three there. In fact the two cards on the table are the Three and the Two . . . which is what they won't have bargained for if you've done your moves and acted your part.

Chide them for not paying attention, say "No it's an Ace" and turn your hand so that they can see the face of the Ace. Quickly pick up the Two, show it, and plonk it on the Ace, then do the same with the Three. You are now back to your orginal set-up again and the audience still do not know of the existence of the Joker.

Turn the cards face-down again and repeat the double-lift moves again as in the first half of the effect. At the end you will apparently have shown the cards lying Ace, Two, Three again. Your set-up from the top will in fact be 3, Joker, Ace, Two. Do the treble-lift again to show the Ace. Drop "this" (really the Three) face-down on the table as before. Hold the cards as before, facing you. This time, however, instead of merely taking off the Two held in that suspicious way, the right hand takes off the two face cards as one (i.e. the Two and the Ace), shows the face briefly but long enough for them to realise that you are using the same suspicious hold) and places both cards as one face-down on the table.

All this leaves one card in the left hand . . . i.e. the Joker. Everything is now ready for the final surprise and this should be built up like nobody's business.

When you have at length shown the Joker drop it face-down on the table and go on to another trick. Provided the table is above spectator's eye level they will not see that there are four cards instead of three. If you are using small cards near-to I suggest doing the effect as described until you reach the stage of placing the cards down for the last time. Just prior to placing the "ace" on the table, place the pack at hand and replace the cards as you show them, on to the top of the pack. Unless you are foolish enough to let someone pick up the pack before you've had time to shuffle it no-one will spot the evidence.

The Spirit Window Box by EDMUND ROWLAND

Although the title may suggest that it has something to do with gardening or the ghostly production of spring flowers, this is an adaptation of the window envelope which is already wefl known to mentalists. It can be made most easily from the old kind of wooden card box with a loose flap by cutting a large rectangular "window" from the bottom and placing four small dabs of conjuror's wax in the corners of the lid.

This can now be used, like the window envelope, for pecretly reading something which a spectator has written on a card, but the best example of its usefulness is probably the following routine for a close-up spirit effect which I use myself.

To begin with, the box is lying closed on the performer's table. Performer opens it and takes out a few blank visiting cards. The lid is then left open for a few minutes so that the spectators who are near enough can see that the box is otherwise empty and apparently unprepared. But unknown to them, the bottom of the box is really the loose flap, and an extra blank card is hidden between it and the "frame" of the window.

The cards are given to one of the spectators, who is allowed to examine them if he wishes, and he is asked to choose one of them and place it back inside the box. When this has been done, the spectator closes the lid and puts the rest of the cards in a neat pile at the side.

The performer then produces a small coloured handkerchief and proceeds to wrap the box inside it. This is done carefully, in the same way in which a parcel is wrapped in paper with the ends brought together on top, so that there is only one thickness of material against the bottom of the box. The handkerchief is held in position with a rubber band and placed in full view.

A second spectator is asked to take a second card from the pile and to print something on it—such as the name or the initials of some well known person in history. It doesn't really matter what he is asked to write so long as it is something brief and easily recognisable, and so long as it is obvious that he has been allowed an absolutely free choice in the matter. This writing is shown to the rest of the spectators and the card is p'aced in the centre of the table.

A third spectator is then asked to stand by the electric light switch if it is night-time or by the curtains if it is during the day. Any other spectators are invited to place their fingers on the box as it rests on the table before the performer gives the signal for the lights to be switched off or the curtains to be drawn so that the spirits may begin their work in darkness.

After a few moments of eerie silence the light is restored and the box is unwrapped and opened. The performer tips the card on to the table where everyone can see that a copy of the writing on the second spectator's card has mysteriously appeared on the side that is uppermost.

Apparently the writing has been done by the spirits, but in actuaf fact it has been done by the performer with a nailwriter. This must not be clipped to his thumb nail in the usual manner but is clipped to the nail on his middle finger. A little practice will show that the nailwriter is much easier to use in this position.

As the second spectator is showing his card to the others and the third spectator is going towards the light switch, the performer has sufficent time and cover to copy the writing to the duplicate card beneath the flap through the window of the box. This is done with the box hefd upright on one end with the thumb at one side, the third and fourth fingers at the other, and the first and middle fingers at the back away from the spectators. If the point of the nailwriter is pressed firmly through the single thickness of the handkerchief and not withdrawn until the writing is complete, the performer will be able to write as easily as if the handkerchief was not there. If it is made of heavy silk it will stretch suffi-ently to alfow his finger to move quite freely, and if none of the threads are broken by the point of the nailwriter, there will only be a very small hole in the material.

In pressing on the duplicate card with the middle finger, the loose flap and the first spectator's card are pressed into the lid of the box and on to the four dabs of wax. Even if the card does not happen to be squareiy in the centre of the flap it will stil! be held securely to the lid by three out of the four.

When the handkerchief is removed and the box is opened, the nearest spectators can see that the card is still in position at the bottom. As the box is turned over to tip the card out, the window is hidden first of all by the card and then by the performer's palm. Misdirection is also provided by the card falling with the writing on it uppermost.

Of course it is not possible to have the first spectator's card Initialled at the beginning but in my opinion this is not essential or even desirable for in itself it suggests the possibility of substitution.

The final effect on the spectators is quite surprising.

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