I CLAIM no originality for the fold in the following effect, but I do claim originality for using it to reveal rather subtly the name of a chosen card.
Effect—A card is selected from a pack and placed face down without its name being disclosed. A card, measuring roughly 4} inches x 2\ inches, is then introduced. The card shows signs of creasing in places and printed on it in capital letters, is the following rhyme:
WITHOUT ANY MORE FUSS, WE CAN FOLD THE CARD THUS (See Fjg. 1.)
This is handed to the chooser of the playing card with a request to hold it between thumb and forefinger only and without any other aid whatsoever, to fold it so as to reveal the name of the card selected. This being apparently impossible of accomplishment, performer takes the card and holding it by its two long edges, between thumb and forefinger, slowly bends it in such a manner that the card creases itself in a rather surprising way, into a number of folds which automatically obliterate several letters of the rhyme, leaving the others to form the name of the card selected, in this case Ten of Hearts (See Fig. 3).
Preparation—The only preparation needed is the card shown in Fig. 1. This is made from a fairly thin but substantial material. Some little care is needed in choosing the right type of card but experiments with various sorts will enable the reader to soon choose one giving the best results when the card is caused to automatically fold itself up during the course of the eifect. My own card is similar in thickness and quality to that used in better quality playing cards. The size is inches x 2\ inches. With ruler and knife lightly score the card along the vertical dotted lines at the various positions shown in Fig. 1. and then fold the card in the manner illustrated. Continue folding the sides inwards, concertina fashion, flat to the centre and then fold the whole downwards along the horizontal centre line. If done correctly the result is the shape shown in Fig. 3.
We now come to the lettering on the card. In experimenting with the names of various playing cards, I find Die Ten of Hearts lends itself admirably to the trick. With the plain card folded as in Fig. 3. print in capital letters TEN OF HEARTS exactly as shown. Then open out the card flat and print in the rhyme as shown in Fig. 1. incorporating in it the letters already used in the Ten of Hearts. It will be found, on opening out the card flat, that four of the letters in the TEN OF HEARTS (F. S. T. H.) automatically " disappear " to the back of the card (see Fig. 2.) and these are of course ignored when printing the rhyme in.
Working—Using any pack of cards, the Ten of Hearts is forced and placed face down on table without its name being disclosed. The " Rhyme Card " is now introduced in a very slightly folded condition as shown in Fig. 1. It is handed to the chooser of the card with a request to take it between thumb and forefinger only and using no other aid whatsoever (this is emphasised) to fold the card so as to reveal the name of the card selected. The average spectator will of course take the card by one corner between thumb and forefinger and under the emphasized conditions, be unable to do anything with it.
Performer now takes the card and holds it from underneath, between his right thumb and forefinger, the forefinger tip at the middle of the top edge (point "a" in Fig. 1.) and thumb tip at
middle of bottom edge (point" b "). The two lines of the rhyme are then read aloud. The thumb and forefinger are now slowly pressed together and this causes the card to automatically close up until it assumes the shape shown in Fig. 3, revealing to the onlooker the words TEN OF HEARTS. The playing card is then of course turned over and the name verified.
Some readers may like to experiment with the names of other cards and other rhymes. It is not easy to incorporate the two lots of letters but if any reader happens to chance on anything good, I should be delighted to hear from him.
" There is no substitute for good taste and consideration for others Disparaging remarks or aspersions about religion, abnormal addiction, sickness and oiner :nformities, to mention a few, should certainly be classified as conduct unbecoming as gentleman." Leith Loder—" To Wit."
A LIFETIME OF DECEPTION—by the late Major L. H. Branson (Published by Robert Hale Ltd.), price 15/-.
There must be quite a number of readers of this journal who will have pleasant memories of the late Major Branson. They will remember him not only as a very fine card conjurer but as a very vivid personality who at all times was willing to give the benefit of his experience to those in need.
In this book those memories will be revived and once again the reader will be back in those times when everything, including magic, was less effete than it is to-day. Of magic, as magic there is little in the book but in the course of some two hundred pages the author tells the reader how magic since his childhood not only influenced his life but also how it became his greatest asset. We read of his first meeting with that great Edwardian magician, Charles Bertram who week after week coached a willing pupil. We pass on to Major Branson's early days in the Army as a regular officer, and this to those of us who have played a similar part during emergency we get a glimpse of Army life as we never knew it.
As one progresses through the book the pattern takes shape and it is easy to see how this gift of entertaining deception really did help the author; amongst many things it gave him great opportunities as a junior officer for appearing at social functions. Most interesting is his description of how, quite by accident, whilst waiting for a vacancy at the Quetta Staff College, he showed some card tricks to Miss Lila Field, the dancing mistress, and as a result after an audition before Sir Alfred, (the Mr. Alfred) Butt, he was booked to appear at the Palace Theatre in London. This was in 1913 and he used the professional name of Lionel Cardac. The tricks he did were those that he had learned from Bertram.
We go on to the first World War, the aftermath and more experiences. Most interesting is the fact that the author was responsible for the the introduction of the odd shillings and pence scheme as an aid to charity. It is of special interest as at the end of the year it was revived with good results in connection with the Westminster Abbey Appeal.
After the First World War, Major Branson having to abandon his Army career through ill-health became a full time professional conjurer until a turn of family fortunes allowed him full retirement. The occurrence of the Second World War saw him back as keen as ever entertaining troops under the severest conditions. The book closes with some notes anent the Indian Rope Trick.
An absorbing volume which has an especial interest for magicians; we laid it down wishing that it was but an instalment in a well lived life and that more might follow.
In last month's review of Bruce Elliott's "Classic Secrets of Magic" we committed the sin of omission. The ninth line from the bottom of -page should have read, "there are no really worthivhile magical etc."
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