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Dear Peter Warlock,

I was very interested in Herbert Milton's " Predicto " in the August " Pentagram ", and thought you might like to hear of an attempt of mine to produce roughly the same effect, but with different handling.

In 1948 I was struck by the " Face Up Prediction " of James. I did not know the working (nor do I now!), but the idea of spreading a pack face up for the choice of two cards appealed to me and so I set to, to work a method.

It took me exactly a week to prepare a pack of cards for the effect. Eafh card has a small pocket on the back, into which is slid a folded billet bearing the card's name. However, this pocket is made from the card itself, no extra pieces being added. I will explain how I did this later.

Each of the billets had roughing fluid smeared on its outside surface, as shown in the illustration.

The cards can be shuffled and fanned without showing the billets. Needless to say, the top card of the pack is an unprepared one. Now for the working :

The pack is spread face up on the table. The performer writes predictions on two blank billets. Two spectators each slide out a card r

.Billet {'Shaded portion denotes roughing

from the spread, and the performer lifts each card and places it on top of the respective billet, so that the edge of the card nearest the performer is flush with the edge of the billet. The illustration shows a side view of this position. (By the way, there should be a cloth on the table).

After recounting what has been done the performer reaches over to the first card, grips the edge nearest him between the right thumb and first finger which grips the billet as well. The second finger presses firmly on the centre of the card and the card is drawn along the table towards him (the performer). Thus, the billet in the pocket, by virtue of the roughing fluid and pressure of the second finger, remains on the table as the card is slid away. The other billet is taken away under cover of the card. Thus the switch is made.

Of course, the billet now on the table is opened and checked with face up card, and is correct. The same procedure is repeated with the other card.

As to my method for making a pocket in each card, it is as follows :

Card facQ up

With this novel pack performer amuses himself as well as the spectators, and, the wiseacres also enjoy themselves at their own expense.


An ordinary pack of cards, four Jokers, and four extra cards, 60 cards in all, with backdesigns to match.


The face of each joker is prepared to resemble one of the suits, one card for each suit.

The four odd cards may be blanks, ordinary pip-cards, or, for extra fun, they may be blanks suitably illustrated in colours.

In the lay-out below, the four Jokers are denoted by the letters joh., jos., jod., joc., and the four odd cards by the letters B, C, D, and E.


10h B 3d 7s Jh joh 4d Ac 8s Qh 5d 2c 9s 6d Kh 10s C 3c 7d Js jos 4c Ah 8d Qs 5c 2h 9d 6c Ks lOd D 3h 7c Jd jod 4h As 8c Qd 5h 2s 9c 6h Kd 10c E 3s 7h Jc joc 4s Ad 8h Qc 5s 2d. 9h 6s Kc

Half split a card. Then make a transverse slit in the centre of the card—through the upper " peeled " portion only. Now glue the "peeled" portion of the card back again, leaving the " pocket " portion unglued. It sounds a long job, but the process becomes quite speedy with practice.

All the best,

Peter Moffat.

The four " extra " cards are trimmed narrower. Those cards indicated by heavy type are trimmed at the corners as shown in the explanatory diagram below.

(NOTE—The trimming should be done with the cards' faces down).

Now, gather the cards from left to right (faces up) starting with the 10-of-hearts, top row, and finish with the king-of-clubs, bottom row. When stacked the 10-of-hearts is the top card if pack is held faces down.

The " very " low-down for the four extra cards is as follows. No gathering is without its troublesome elements, the wise-men, and they are subdued as will be outlined further on.

The pack of cards is introduced, then, after executing one of those convincing false shuffles and giving the pack several genuine cuts, so as not to disturb the arrangement, he fans the cards, faces to onlookers, to prove that they are far from set-up, notwithstanding the horrible doubts circulating in the wise-acres' hat supports.

Pi .Billet in pocfcet

"Billet fjvtcy famed?

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