Etei Moffata

The routine is outlined under three headings : (1) Presentation (as seen by the audience), (2) Requirements, and (3) Working.

(1) Presentation. The patter given here is only meant as a guide to the plot which follows. Individual performers will change it to suit their styles.

" Ladies and gentlemen, it is believed by many people that the human mind is composed of two parts—-the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind contains the thoughts and impressions which are " in being " at the moment and which can be conveyed to the external world by speaking, writing, gestures—and telepathy. The subconscious, however, contains a vast collection of thoughts and impressions which are totally hidden from our conscious minds, and we have no knowledge of their existence. But they are there, and, what's more, many of them will materialize into our conscious minds in the future, and we will then be aware of their existence.

It is possible to read the conscious mind directly, by telepathy. We will see in what follows. But I contend that it is possible to read the subconscious mind directly, with a more powerful form of telepathy. Whatever your own views are, let us sec what happens."

This preamble is very necessary, and the performer should make the most of it, preferably in his own way. The spectators' minds must be attuned to what follows. Four spectators (designated A, B, C and D) are now chosen by the performer (at random).

" You sir " (indicating Spec. A) " are going to act as a subconscious mind, whilst you, sir, you and you (indicating Specs. B, C and D) will act as conscious minds. My job is to penetrate your minds (gesture towards Specs. B, C and D)—and yours (to Spec. A)."

Performer takes up a pack of cards, fans them widely, and advances on Spec. A. Holding the fan out to this spectator, faces down, the performer explains that these (the cards) represent unknown thoughts and that he, the spectator, .must choose one of them and without looking at the card to place it deep down in one of his pockets. The pocket symbolises a hidden recess in the subconscious mind.

You have now a thought hidden away in your mind, and nobody, least of all yourself, knows what it is."

Performer now goes to Spectator B, asks him to think of a card, and as the spectator does this he removes a card from the pack. This is not shown, but placed face down on the table (or back out on a stand). The spectator is now asked to name his " thought " card. He does this, and performer removes this card from the pack, shows it, and places it with the card he just removed. These two cards we will call a " pair " (performer's card and spectator's card). This is repeated with spectators C and D, but the "pairs" are kept separate from each other on the table.

New, the performer turns to A, gazes intently at him, removes a card from the pack and lays this on the table. For the first time, Spectator A is asked to take his card from his pocket and divulge its name. This he does, and the card is laid with the performer's one.

At this stage there will be 4 pairs of cards lying in a row on the table.

Quite openly, the performer lifts up the first pair (Spectator B's) and lays it face down on his palm. He then picks up the second pair (Spec. C's) and lays this face down on top of the first. The next pair (Spec. D's) is laid on this, and, finally, the last (Spec. A's) is laid on this.

The cards are now dealt off from the bottom of the packet face up on the table in pairs.

The first pair of cards are seen to coincide with each other in value and colour (e.g.,

PETER MOFFAT'S LEGERDEBRAIN—continued from 7 hearts—7 diamonds).

Similarly, the other pairs are found to coincide in this way, as they are dealt off on the table. The last pair of cards (Spec. A's) are not shown immediately, but the performer gives a brief recapitulation and turns them over. The}', too, coincide. The subconscious thought has been read!

(2) Requirements. Pack of cards arranged in the Si Stebbins system (or any other).

Table or stand.

(3) Working. Deliver introductory remarks.

Pack may be false shuffled if desired. It is fanned to Spec. A, who' chooses a card. At this point., various methods for sighting the key card to learn the chosen card may be used. I do as follows :—Hold a break at the point where card was removed from, and square up pack. Cut off portion above break and hold in right hand. Lower half is in left hand. These two halves are riffle shuffled together, letting the bottom card of righthand packet fall first. It then becomes bottom card of pack. Don't glimpse it yet. Spectator B is approached and asked to think of a card. As he does so, fan the pack to yourself, note bottom card, calculate Spectator A's card and remove a card from the pack corresponding to A's card in value and colour. This card is apparently chosen by interpreting Spectator B's thought.

This card is laid face down. B divulges his card, this is removed from pack and slid face down under the first card.

Keeping B's card in mind, go to Spectator C. Repeat the same as with B, but remove the card corresponding to B's card, and lay this on the table. When C divulges his card, remove this from pack but place it face down on top of your card.

This is repeated with D, removing a card corresponding to C's card in value and colour. The actual card thought of by D is removed from pack and again placed on top of your card. Keep in mind D's card.

Yen rev hr.ve 3 heaps, each containing 2

page 25 cards.

Finally go to Spectator A. Pretend to fathom his subconscious. Remove a card corresponding to D's card in value and colour, and place on table as before.

A now removes his card from his pocket, shows it, and you place it face down on top of the card you removed. There are now 4 heaps of 2 cards each.

Lift up the pair of cards first laid down, place the next pair on them, the next on them, and finally A's heap on them.

Packet is held face down in left hand. Draw off bottom card and show. It is B's " thought " card. Lay it face up on table.

Glide the next card, and draw off the one next to it. It will coincide with the one on the table. .

Maintain the glide, and deal off the next two cards (the first is C's thought card, the next yours). They coincide.

Repeat with the next two cards, maintaining the glide all the time.

You are now left with two cards (the glided one and Spectator A's subconscious choice). Pause for a second to recapitulate, then turn both these cards over simultaneously, spreading them. They coincide.

The only snag is if by chance one spectator thinks of the card which you have already withdrawn as a " corresponding " one (e.g., B thinks of 4 hearts and C thinks of 4 diamonds). As an " out " it is probably wisest to ask C to think of a card differing as much as possible from B, or else tell C that the card he has just said (4 diamonds) was not the first card he thought of, and that he had better have another try.

[ Editor's note : Way back in the summer, Captain Leslie May showed me this presentation of Peter Moffat's ; the combination of effectiveness plus simplicity of working made an instant appeal, and I feel sure that readers of this bulletin will welcome it as a worthwhile addition to their repertoire.—P.W."

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