Scarf Called Moebius

ROY WALTON

ROY commences by taking from one of his pockets two card cases containing red and blue backed packs respectively; they are placed side by side on the table in front of him. From another pocket he removes a handkerchief which he unfolds and refolds, finally placing it to one side of the table. He tells his audience that the handkerchief has fourth dimensional properties and offers to give them just one illustration of the seeming miracles it can achieve when used in conjunction with two packs of cards.

The handkerchief at this point is taken and again unfolded, but this time it is spread over the two packs of cards; before they are completely covered one of the spectators is asked to state whether he prefers red or blue, and according to this choice one of the packs is lifted from the table, the handkerchief then being allowed to cover the remaining case and its contents. We will assume that the blue backed pack has been removed, and opening the case Roy removes the contents, showing both backs and fronts to the spectators. He then turns to a spectator and running the cards face-up from hand to hand asks that one be chosen and that when the choice is made, the card shall be removed and marked on its back either with pencil or pen by the chooser.

After the card has been marked it is returned to the pack, the latter then being replaced within its case which in turn is placed under the handkerchief. Explaining that to produce this particular effect, the handkerchief must be handled in a certain manner, Roy takes hold of it at each side and see-saws it across the card cases two or three times. This action completed he refolds it and returns it to his pocket.

Addressing the spectator who removed and initialled the card, Roy recaps, pointing out that from a face-up pack of blue backed cards the spectator chose and initialled one card. He then takes the case containing the blue backed cards, opens it and removes its contents. Running them face-up from hand to hand, the chooser of the card is asked to see whether his card is still present. With an answer in the negative, Roy takes the case holding the red backed cards and after removing them starts running them face-down in front of the spectator. Faces down, faces down with one exception . . . the card chosen by the spectator, which is seen to be face up. Any suspicion of a duplicate card is dissipated when he is allowed to withdraw it from the remaining cards and check the initials upon its back.

This most effective piece of true table magic calls for the use of the following articles: —

1. An opaque handkerchief or small scarf measuring not less than eighteen inches square.

2. A card case appropriate to a blue backed pack of cards.

3. Two packs of blue backed cards.

4. A pack of red backed cards.

5. A specially made card case constructed so that it can appear to be a blue or red container at the performer's will. It is constructed like this: —

First take two card cases appropriate to a blue backed pack and a red backed pack respectively. The first chore is to cut off the flaps. Taking the red case, the top and side are cut away and then glued and fixed in position on the bottom and side of the blue case. Finally the two flaps are hinged at the appropriate ends. As, when such a case is placed on a plane surface only three sides can be seen by an onlooker, it follows that a mere turning over of the case can produce a blue or red backed container.

Before he is ready to perform the reader must set up the varying properties. The handkerchief in a folded condition goes into the breast pocket, then inside the genuine blue case fifty-two blue backed cards. These consist of two similar banks of twenty-six cards. Each bank is well mixed, but both have a similar sequence.

Into the faked case go fifty-two cards; twenty-six of these are blue backed making up the complement of the twenty-six different cards in the genuine case, the remaining bank of twenty-six cards have a similar sequence but are red backed. The blue backed cards are placed on top of the red backed cards, the complete pack then being placed in the faked case in such a way that when the blue side of the case is uppermost and the flap opened, a small part of the topmost blue back can be seen.

After placing both the cases and their contents in his pockets the reader is ready to go ahead with the presentation of " A Scarf called Moebius."

First of all the two cases of cards are removed from the pockets and placed sde by side on the table. The faked case, red side uppermost, lies to the right of the table (see earlier illustration) whilst the genuine case is alongside of it on the left. The handkerchief is removed and unfolded whilst its properties are discoursed upon. Refolding it and placing at the extreme left of the table the performer calls attention to the card cases. Taking the handkerchief with the left hand it is allowed to unfold and is draped over the card cases. Before they are completely covered, however, the spectator is asked to choose either ' red' or ' blue.' Whatever the answer the performer interprets it to his own advantage, by leaving the genuine blue case and cards beneath the handkerchief, whilst under the cover of the latter, the faked case is picked up by the right hand, turned over and brought out to be shown as the blue case.

The performed now opens the flap and withdraws the pack. Because of the parti-coloured make-up of the pack, it is of great importance that there should be no spread of cards as they are withdrawn. A tip to the reader in this respect, is that if he gives a slight push on the flap at the opposite end with his little finger it will help materially in allowing the pack to emerge as a solid unit.

The empty case is now dropped on top of the handkerchief and the performer starts running the cards face down from hand to hand showing the blue backs. When he reaches the twentieth or twenty-first card in the run, he raises the cards so that the faces can be seen by the spectator. With no stop in the running of the cards and with the backs now facing him he continues to the end of the pack and at the conclusion, in squaring up the cards, separates the pack into two portions casually making a complete cut at the blue backed card immediately above the bank of red cards.

Now the pack reading from the top card consists of one blue backed card followed by twenty-six red backed cards and twenty-five blue backed cards. Turning the pack face up again and running the cards from hand to hand the spectator is asked to make a choice of one card. The choice must be made to fall within the range of the bank of twenty-five blue backed cards. The spectator then removes the card of his choice and, places his initials upon the back. Whilst he is doing this the performer makes in effect a half-pass so that with the exception of the top card the whole of the pack is reversed. At the moment when this move is made the focus of attention is upon the spectator who is initialling the card.

When the card has been initialled it is taken from the spectator and pushed into the bank of red cards and naturally because of the half pass made by the performer the spectator's card is now reversed amongst the red backers.

The pack, which to the audience appears to be face down, is now replaced inside the card case, and holding this in his left hand and lifting the left hand side of the handkerchief with his right hand the performer apparently places the faked card case to the left of the genuine case, then allowing the handkerchief to fall back into place. Actually, however, he reverses the faked case bringing it red side up and places it to the right of the genuine case. To aid in the ultimate deception, the genuine case is pushed to the left. The cover allowed by the handkerchief allows these moves to be performed without the slightest suspicion being aroused in the minds of the audience.

The mechanics of the effect are complete, but the effect is not. Taking each side of the handkerchief with his right and left hand, respectively, the performer see-saws it across the card cases two or three times and then lifts it, refolds it and places it back into the pocket.

Picking up the genuine blue case, the performer remarks as he opens and withdraws the pack inside, "From this blue backed pack of cards, you chose and initialled one card ... it was a choice made whilst the faces of the cards were in front of you and therefore there was no way in which I could influence your decision. Will you tell me if you can still see your card in this pack?" With these words the cards are slowly run from hand to hand so that the faces can be seen quite clearly by the spectators. When the run is complete, the performer is given a negative answer.

" Now, sir," says the performer, " I think you will have to admit the strange properties contained in this ' Scarf of Moebius' ... for with its use I caused your card to leave the blue backed pack and arrive, amongst the red backed cards in this case." The faked case is now opened and the pack, now with red backs uppermost, is withdrawn. " For the first time you see this pack of red backed cards." To accentuate the word ' red ' the topmost card is removed and placed at the bottom of the pack. It is done most casually and it serves the double purpose of covering the reversed blue backed card at the bottom and making it seem that all the cards in the pack face one way. " Will you please say aloud the name of the card you chose and initialled? " . . . " The three of hearts."

Running what appears to be a red backed pack from hand to hand one card is seen reversed and staring the spectator straight in the face. It is, of course, the three of hearts. It is partly withdrawn from the pack, the latter being brought up in front of the performer's face whilst he completes the run of the cards. (Care, of course, must be taken when nearing the end of the run that there is no chance of the reversed blue backed card second from the bottom being glimpsed by the spectators.)

The pack is then squared up, brought backs down again and the spectator is allowed to remove the three of hearts and confirm that the card is in fact the one he originally chose, for his initials are clear upon its back.

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