## Ataxia

deck. The conjurer then turns away as the card is autographed. When the spectator signifies that he has written his name across the face the conjurer has the card returned to the deck. From this point he must move it to the top of the deck, using the most deceptive method suited to himself. Quite a number will use the " pass." (A method suited to the less skilful would be to have a short card at face of the deck at the beginning. If the spectator's choice should fall on this particular card it is always within the conjurer's control by the simple process of cutting the deck. If any other card is taken, have the spectator replace it on top of the deck and request him to cut the deck, bringing his card to the centre. A simple cut below the short will then bring the chosen card back to the top. (This cut, I may say, can be made when the performer is distributing the cards.) The cards are then placed down whilst the conjurer picks up the cloth bag and hands it to a spectator on his right: " Would you mind having a look at this bag ? " The deck is now taken and cut into four small heaps. From one heap the conjurer cuts three or four cards, the topmost one of this group being the chosen card. These few cards he leaves on the table. Taking the four almost equal heaps between his fingers, he addresses the audience : " This is an effect where ' four ' predominates. Would you, Sir, take this packet of cards ? " (one portion is handed to one spectator). The remaining three heaps are distributed to three other spectators : " Now, may I suggest that you take about half the number of cards you are holding and do as I do ? " The conjurer picks up the few cards he has left on the table faces towards the audience, and, naturally, the selected card being at the rear. The conjurer then bends the cards he is holding crosswise (this is the standard move for the torn and restored paper and torn and restored card). He then apparently straightens them out again (see illustration) but actually leaves chosen card folded at the back, simply straightening out the remaining cards. The conjurer then tears these cards into halves, the spectators following suit. The move is repeated with the object of tearing the cards into quarters. The final result being that the conjurer has the chosen card folded into quarters with a number of quartered pieces of card in front. As the conjurer looks over the four spectators with the cards, he apparently places all the pieces he is holding on to the table. Actually he slides back the folded chosen card, retaining it in a finger palm position (either hand will do). " Do you get the idea, gentlemen ? " he remarks to the tearers. " Now would you mind carrying on with the other cards ? " As he watches them he stands hands behind back, legs slightly apart (more or less an army " easy " position). And in this position tears the card continued on page 69

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