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At one of the shows of the 1948 International Congress of Magicians at Lausanne, I saw my friend Ren Clark present an excellent Prediction Card effect. The search for perfection is always with us, and almost at once I realised that a variation would result in the best Thought Anticipated problem to date. Since my return to Australia I have used the item on a number of occasions, and always most successfully. Combining a degree of visible effect with a completely straightforward procedure, I consider it more striking and more sensational than the Brain Wave Deck.

Effect. From a BLUE backed pack the performer removes two cards and stands them backs outward on a slotted wood strip. This pack is then placed aside. Now he asks a spectator to think of a card, and this person really has an uninfluenced choice, and this is emphasised before asking that the card be named. This card is removed from a RED backed pack and placed in the slotted strip, face outwards. Again he requests anyone to think of a card, and, as before, the freely thought of card is removed and placed in the slotted strip. Stressing that the spectators had a perfectly free mental choice, which indeed was the case, and must be agreed with, the performer turns the strip round, and shows that he successfully anticipated the two cards that were thought of !

Required :

(1) Pack of blue backed cards, in case.

(2) Two double-backed cards, blue/red.

(3) Pack of double-faced cards including the joker, in case (same card front and back).

(4) Joker with red back.

(5) Stand to hold cards. This is a strip of wood about 16in. long on which are two lengths of quarter round moulding piaced to make a narrow channel or slot.

Preparaton. The two d.b. cards, blue backs uppermost, are placed on top of the blue backed pack. The joker with the red back is placed on top of the pack of d.f. cards. I am sure that the working will be completely obvious to most, but I will mention a few points which help to enhance the effect.

Working. Of course, it is the d.b. cards which are placed in the stand at the outset. These ma}7 be taken out, apparently at random, but I believe it is more effective to shuffle the cards so that the two d.b. cards are separated, and to spread the cards faces to you. After a little deep " thought the two d.b. cards are removed and placed in the stand in the first and third positions. After the rirst card has been thought of, remove the red pack from its case. The cards must be spread faces to the audience whilst the named card is found and removed, and naturally care must be taken not to disclose the fact that the card is double-faced. This is placed in the stand in the second position, that is, between the two d.b. cards. Again someone is asked to think of a card, and this card is placed in the fourth position in the stand. Now a few words to build up the effect, but as the cards chosen by the spectators were obviously free mental choices, not a great deal of this is required. I usually wind up the feat by addressing in turn the two people who thought of cards. " Madam, will you certify that you were not influenced in your choice of a card ? Yes i And you, sir, did you have an entirely free mental choice ? Yes ? And, sir, was your card the -of--? and yours, madam, the--of-----? Yes ? In the beginning, before either of you even knew you would be asked to think of a card, I placed those two blue backed cards in your full view. The thought-of cards are the--of-, and the

—--of--. Let us look at my blue backed cards and see whether I correctly anticipated your thoughts." Here, the stand is turned round, showing that you were correct.

To avoid complicating the description I have not hitherto stated that before asking the second person to think of 3 card, I point out that I do not influence the choice in any way. As if to illustrate how this might be done, I hold the cards,

apparently faces up, in the right hand, in the position for the Hindu Shuffle. Now, a series of undercuts shows a different face card each time, and I say, " Please notice that I do not ask you to think of one of these cards." Thus, I direct attention to the face cards but incidentally between cuts, allow the red backed card underneath the pack to be seen. This is a well-known move. In doing this, it would be unwise, to say the least of it, to mention the red backs, the correct misdirection lies in drawing attention to the visible faces.

In conclusion, may I say that the only originality in the foregoing lies in the use of the principles involved for the particular effect as continued, on page 52

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Magical restorations are legion, but magical mutilations are comparatively rare. I remember reading, years ago, about an apple which divided itself in two when its shadow was slashed with a knife, but the apparatus was rather too cumbersome for such a short-lived effect. All we require for " Chopitup " is a pack of cards, a pair of scissors, a prepared envelope and perhaps a try. Conscientious readers of " Pentagram " must by this time have quite a collection of curious envelopes, and I am sure they will be glad to add another to the series.

The effect is best presented while a helper is on the stage. To him the performer hands the trav, which contains the cards, scissors and envelope. The pack of cards is then removed bv the performer, who requests the helper to select a card. This card is openly placed in the envelope, and the latter sealed and dropped on to the tray. The helper is requested to take the scissors and go through the motions of cutting an imaginary card into four pieces. The performer then slits open the envelope and tips on to the tray tour pieces of card which when fitted together make up the card originally chosen. Finally, the envelope is very slowly and deliberately torn into several pieces. There is no trace of the original card.

Most performers will follow with a magical restoration of the mutilated card, and this is desirable, if only to give the rest of the spectators a greater measure of participation, but I do not think I need discuss the ways and means for this part of the routine.

Apart from the forcing of the card, the only deception lies in the envelope, the construction of which I will now undertake.

Fig. 1 shows the envelope before it is folded up. The portion of the lower flap represented by the shaded triangle (A) is painted or decorated to match the backs of the cards used. When this is folded up and the sides are folded over (Fig. 3) the envelope has the appearance of one containing a playing card. To complete the envelope, a triangular piece of paper shaped as in Fig. 2 is gummed in the position indicated by the dotted line in Fig. 3, and the upper flap (B) is liberally treated with gum (see shading), so that when it is folded down the gum completely covers A. The lower side of triangle C is not gummed.

To prepare for the effect a duplicate of the card to be forced is cut into four pieces, and these are piaced in the envelope. After the card has been forced, the performer retains the pack in his left hand. He picks up the envelope, places it on the pack, and apparently puts the chosen card inside it. In actual fact, he slips it between flap A and the front of the envelope, whence it passes back on to the top of the pack, being gripped and retained by the left thumb. Immediately afterwards the envelope is picked up in the right hand and turned so that the helper (who is on the performer's right-hand side) can see the inside. He sees the faked portion of Flap A and takes it for the card which he has just chosen. The envelope is then sealed and thrown on the tray while the assistant goes through the pantomime of cutting an imaginary card. At this point it might be borne in mind that some helpers might feel a little sheepish when asked to go through thiis farce. Their discomfort can be ameliorated by using suitable patter, e.g., "I hope you don't mind. I know I'm crackers, but people in my condition have to be humoured.

After this the envelope is slit open, the four pieces of card are tipped on to the tray, and the helper is allowed to have a clear view of the inside. Finally, it is torn into several pieces and dropped on to the tiay. The helper is asked to piece together the four pieces of card to satisfy himself that they correspond with the card which he chose.

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