Many years ago—so many that I am frightened to even think of the number; before the world went war-mad, anyway—I contributed to my " New Lamps for Old " the following little effect which I had almost forgotten entirely until I was reminded of it by friend Peter Warlock, who had seen it, and another re-dressed effect of mine, presented recently at a " Circle " show by Mr. W. A. Greenland, of Dorchester. Mr. Warlock was sufficiently taken with the little stunt to request me to unearth the body and dress it up for the Pentagram. It is a very long time since I actually presented it in a show—or since I have thought about it at all, for that matter— but I give it here with such improvements as I have made since it was first published.
The performer offers to give a little lesson in banking procedure, in case at some future time any of his audience should find themselves with any money after the last batch of official forms had beeen filled, and the last pocket had been emptied.
" The routine is as follows," says the per former. "You take your surplus cash to the bank and hand it to a very efficient gentleman called a cashier, who then enters the amount in a book called a Ledger not to be confused with another of the same name where your money is also entered, but very seldon comes out again! (To my friends outside the British Isles—the " Leger " is one of the classic horse races held in England.—Ed.) Here your money remains safelv . . . we hope! . . . until a portion of it is required to assist you to pay for a new neck-tie, when the ledger comes into use again and your withdrawal is entered upon the other side and the balance left is shown in plain ... all too plain continued on page 10
A LESSON IN BANKING— continued from page 9
sometimes . . . figures. Your cash is then handed to you in a nice little shovel; every penny of it, including the odd halfpenny, and you take it home in your little bag, debating with yourself whether you will keep it for shove ha'penny at the local, or buy the canary some bird seed."
Picking up a small paper bag and a number of coins (in view of the times, Mr. Greenland used nice, bright halfpennies), the performer says : " This little bag shall represent the bank and these 20 (or what have you) coins the cash to be banked." He picks up a large paper bag from which he takes a slate and a piece of chalk . . . " this we will use as the ledger " (he writes the words * Deposit' & Withdraw' (or 'Credit,' ' Debit ') at the top of the slate which he has divided with a chalk line into two parts (as illustrated). Naturally your particular page must have a number, or the various accounts would soon be in a muddle . . . Will someone be good enough to suggest a number ? . . .5? Thank you. Now it only remains to settle upon which bank we shall favour with our colossal patronage. Will someone suggest a bank which I can conveniently print upon the back of the ledger ? . . . I have to. be particularly careful about this as whenever I have backed anything on the Ledger it has usually arrived about twenty-four hours late, having stayed the night with a friend. Martins ? Thank you." He writes the name of the suggested bank on the back of the slate. " Strictly speaking, of course, the ledger should have a cover, but, for the moment, we will make the envelope serve . . . you will note that there is a window provided, but they have left the glass out to make it easier for the window-cleaner.
In order that the amount to be withdrawn shall be a matter of pure chance I will first deposit the cash in the bank and I want you to note that I do this coin by coin so that if you hear any base coin go in, I hope that someone will take the treble . . er . . the trouble . . to draw my attention to it."
The bag is placed upright in the palm of the left hand and the 20 coins are separately dropped, or, rather, thrown into it. The performer now gathers up the mouth of the bag and hands it to a member of the audience, at the same time taking a rubber band from his waistcoat pocket. He offers both with a request that the band shall be twisted several times around the neck of the bag until it is completely closed up.
" Now," says the performer, " in order to make it a matter of chance as to how much we extract from the bank, I am going to thoroughly shuffle this .pack of cards whilst someone examines, equally thoroughly, this cloth bag." As he says this he picks up a cloth bag which he turns inside out and back again and then, having inserted his empty hand, he holds it, pointing upwards, and twirls it around vigorously upon the tips of his fingers, the bag being, of course, upside down. Finally he jerks it off his hand into the lap of someone in the audience. " Have a good look at it yourself, madam, you know far more of this sort of thing than I do . . . the last time I did a crotchet d'oyley, at the finish, I looked far more like the pattern than the d'oyley did. I was full of holes !
" Whilst I am shuffling these cards will someone call ' Stop ! ' as the cards slowly drop from hand to hand . . . thank you, sir, I will put that card aside " (this is repeated until several cards are selected and put, face down, upon a small tray). " I don't know any of the cards selected and, naturally, neither do you . . . that is on account of the law of physics which says that we never see a thing properly unless we look at it . . . and even then we sometimes see two of them ! Would several people each take one of the cards ? . . . WT'nat have you, sir ? Ace ? And continued on page 13
Card effects which incorporate an opportunity for humour are comparatively rare. The following effect is highly amusing, but is not for the novice, and it is presumed that the reader is an experienced card handler.
Summarised, the effect and method are as follows :—
1. Secretly cull four similar value cards to the top of the pack. (Suppose these to be the four queens.)
2. Force one of these queens. (This is a simple force and the most suspicious assistant should never suspect that their choice has been influenced.)
3. Whilst the assistant displays the chosen card cut the pack to bring the three remaining queens to the top.
4. Undercut half the pack and shuffle off, injogging the first card. Undercut three-quarters holding break at injog; throw to break and extend these for chosen card to be replaced on top. Complete the shuffle by running the next three cards — the other three queens — singly, injog next card and shuffle off. Cut cards below injog to top.
All queens are now on top of pack, the chosen queen being the fourth card.
5. Spring the cards from hand to hand. This bends the cards with the faces concave.
6. Riffle the upper third of the pack. This bends the cards of the upper portion of the pack with the faces convex.
7. Undercut half and shuffle off. This results in a bridge at the centre of the pack with the four queens below the bridge.
8. " Charlier Cut " which brings the four queens to the top.
9. Slide off the top queen with the thumb and let it fall face up on the table, asking :—
10. On receipt of a negative reply appear disconcerted. Leave queen on table.
12. Repeat move 9 and ask anxiously :—
13. Leave second queen on table and appear as though you can believe neither your eyes nor your ears. Repeat moves 5, 6, 7 and 8.
" This time it must be your card."
15. Leave third queen on table on receipt of a further negative reply and say :—
" I give it up," flinging the pack on the table in a gesture of frustration, when the chosen card gives itself up by landing face up. This is accomplished by the well-known move of pushing the card over the side of the pack to cause the air pressure to reverse it during flight.
The effect is, that the performer shows both hands empty, then one hand is closed into a fist, the other hand drops a number of matches into it. Now both hands are closed, held wide apart—and, lo and behold, the hand which contained the matches is shown to be empty, while the other EMPTY hand POURS OUT THE VANISHED MATCHES from the fist. This is a good close-up impromptu "nifty."
The " gimmick " is merely an ordinary glass tube vial, about three inches long and one-half or five-eighths inch in diameter ; at any rate, it should be wide enough so that you can insert your second finger.
Have the glass tube on your right hand second finger, and you can show both hands empty by using the well-known moves, such as used with
Matches thimbles, etc. A favourite of mine is this—bend second right finger so tube lies in palm, and point to left hand with right first finger. The first finger points as left hand turns back and front. Now finger should rest at lower part of left palm, and right hand now turns completely around, so the right palm faces audience. AT SAME TIME right second finger, with tube on it, comes up and behind left hand. In other words, you are showing both hands empty. Now—left hand turns over downwards, and grabs the tube from off the finger of right hand, and right hand is at once moved away. Now you place a number of matches in left hand, they, of course, go into the tube. On the last match, as you drop it in, the right second finger enters cpen end of tube, and carries it up and away from out of the left fist.
continued on page 14
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.