Editor's Note.—Feeling that Bob Tothill's effect would not be complete without a description of the changing envelope recommended by him, I approached my friend Goodliffe, who, without hesitation, gave his permission for it's reproduction. It comes from Eric C. Lewis's " Magic to Entertain," serially published in " Abracadabra," and which will soon be available in book form. * # #
In essence, what takes place is this : a large envelope about ten inches long by seven inches wide (the exact size does not matter) is shown to have an oblong window cut from the centre. A piece of blank cardboard of a size to slip easily into the envelope is examined, and then slid into the envelope, the card plainly going inside, and its journey made visible by means of the " window." The card is initialled or otherwise marked through the " window." Later, when the card ia removed, the front of the card still bears the marking, but the back now bears a message boldly written upon it. It will thus be seen that this apparatus will have a host of uses, and is well worth making up.
The illustrations explain themselves to a certain degree, but to make doubly certain, the necessary ' faking ' will be explained in detail. The envelope should be of fairly stout material and is unprepared except for the " window" cut in the centre of the address side. A sample envelope is shown in fig. A, the shaded portion indicating the interior of the envelope seen through the window, and the dotted lines the shape of the envelope on the side opposite to the address side.
A special fake is necessary to fit inside the envelope and this is clearly illustrated in fig. B. The construction is as follows : cut the non-address side neatly from a spare envelope and trim this to the shape shown in fig. B. This should be made to fill the envelope completely. Now fix a band of very stiff paper around the narrow portion of the feke, this band being a fraction greater in width than the window in the envelope. Now cut another portion of paper from the waste envelope and fix this as shown to the centre of the band, this portion matching the interior of the envelope. Turn the whole fake over, and securely glue two small squares of very thick cardboard on the extreme corners of the band. These are shown by the black squares in the diagram, under standing, of course, that they are actually on the rear of the feke ; they are also indicated clearly ort the end " view " also illustrated. This prepared band should now be able to slide easily and smoothly up and down the narrow portion of the feke as shown by die arrows. The cards used in the effect should measure about three-quarters of an inch less in all directions than this feke.
To prepare, write your message on one card. Reverse this and slide it under the band as shown by the large arrow in fig. B. Have the band to the left of the narrow part as in the diagram. Insert the fake (with card under band) into the envelope and the result will be similar to that shown in fig. C. If the fake has been carefully made, it will lie flat inside the envelope, and the envelope will look unprepared.
To use the fake, introduce first the card and the envelope, calling attention to the window in the latter. Have the blank card examined and place it slowly into the envelope, making sure that it goes into the opposite compartment from the one which already contains a card. It will enter almost as far as the opening, when it will meet-the thick cardboard squares on the band. Continue slowly pushing the card down, and the whole band will be pushed down with it in the direction of the arrows ifl fig- C, gradually uncovering the blank side of the card already contained in the envelope. When the band comes to the end of its run, lift the card slightly away so that it slides over the cardboard squares, and push it right home. From the front and through the window the illusion of the card being slowly pushed visibly into the envelope is perfect.
Initial the portion of the card showing, and when later the card is removed, it is the front one only that is drawn away, the envelope appearing empty again owing to the fake covering the original card and appearing as the back of the envelope.
The Manufacturing and Selling Rights of all apparatus described in " Magic to Entertain " are retained by the Author and the. " Magikraft Studios." Items may, of course, be made up by readers for their own use.
A spectator notes a card in the deck which is squared and placed on a " Readers' Digest," which is still in its postal wrapper. The magazine serves as a tray.
The spectator may give the deck any number of single cuts, finally dividing the cards in two face-down piles. He now places the previously removed Joker face-up on one pile and replaces the other pile on top. The deck is retained by him for the moment. The magician removes the wrapper and places the magazine beneath the foot of a spectator. Without looking at their faces the spectator removes the card above and below the Joker and places them in his pocket. The deck is taken by the magician, given a quick shuffle and ribbon-spread face-up on the floor or a wide fan is made to reveal to the spectator that the card be noted, and the name of which he has told to no one, has vanished. If he is at all doubtful he may take the deck in his own hands and examine it thoroughly without causing the performer any uneasiness. Attention is now directed to the fact that the spectator has two cards in his pocket. The magician states that, without actually looking at the cards, the volunteer will be unable to hand him the selected card the first time he removes one. He tries and fails. The chosen card could not be taken out first, explains the magician, because the one remaining isn't it either. The spectator names his card, takes the one from his pocket and discloses that it is quite different. The number of spots on the two cards that were in his pocket are added. Whatever the total, he turns to that page in the magazine. There is his selected card.
Secret Preparation.—Insert the Ace of Hearts in the " Readers' Digest " between pages fourteen and fifteen. The postal wrapper is replaced. One other ace is discarded and the fifty remaining cards set up by values only so that any two cards together from any spot will total either fourteen or fifteen, (seven-eight, six-nine, five-ten, four-jack, three-queen, two-king, ace-king, two-queen-three, etc.) This makes an endless chain so the deck may be cut.
The late H. S. Paine sold this at least twenty-five years ago as the " Remarkable Prophecy." A short card duplicate of the Ace of Hearts is a little more than half way down in the deck.
Presentation.—Hold deck face-down in left hand. Riffle corner of deck with left thumb until told to stop by spectator. At the moment he gives you the command, allow all the cards to the short card to slip by. Lift off the upper half of the deck to and including the short card. Your right hand thumb is at the inner end of the packet and the second and third fingers curled around the outer edge. Allow spectator to see the Ace of Hearts, but the manner in which you are holding the cards is convincing proof that you do not see it. Replace the packet on the deck, but as you do so the second and third fingers of right hand twist the Ace of Hearts to the right and away from face of packet. The lower half of deck enters between the upper packet and short card so that this, the selected one, becomes the face card of the deck. This is a beautiful sleight and has numberless use?. Sold as " The Master Move " by the late Joe Ovette, he still didn't recognise it when he saw me use it. When you have squared the deck, retain it in right hand. Pick up the magazine in left hand by one long side. Fingers are underneath and thumb on top. Repeat the Master Move as you place the deck on the magazine. The short card goes beneath the magazine and is retained by left fingers. This move will be familiar to " Card Through Magazine " users.
The spectator places the Joker in the deck as described. Remove the magazine, place it beneath his foot and discard the postal wrapper with the short card still concealed beneath it. I sometimes fold and place in side coat pocket. Part will project from pocket. At the conclusion of the trick I withdraw it and replace on magazine—but the card remains in the pocket. The two cards that spectator removes besides the Joker must total fourteen or fifteen. Of course, either total will do . . .
In Annemann's " Complete One Man Mental and Psychic Routine " is given his version of an older effect, which he called " The New Nile Divination." Many readers and do-ers of this effect must have soon realised that the principle involved need not be confined to numbers alone, but could be adapted to other things as well, including playing cards.
As in the Annemann effect, the performer states that he will attempt a strange test of coincidence with the audience itself, and in which he will have no part except for the direction. An assistant is secured, and giving him a slate and chalk, the performer leaves him at a far side of the room. Tbe spectator is told to think of any card in the deck, and keep it in mind.
Taking a deck of cards, the performer now has some one in the audience select a card at random but the card is not looked at. Without knowing its identity, the second assistant seals the card in any ordinary envelope and holds it in sight of all. As this is being done the performer asks the person in the corner to write the name of his thought of card on the slate.
The holder of the slate is now asked to show his written thought to every one by turning the slate around. The second person is asked to remove the card from the envelope. They are the same ! This is really a strong effect from the audience viewpoint. It is, of course, equally as simple as the Nile stunt mentioned. No gimmicks are necessary ; the articles used are ordinary.
First secure your assistant from audience, and pick someone who has a pleasant look and has been evidently enjoying the performance throughout. One can always be found, and this type of person is right in the spirit of things and only too glad to help. Ask him to stand at a far side of the room, and you take him to this spot, and a 3 you are at a distance for a few seconds you tell the spectator, " Think of any card in the pack. Which one would you like to concentrate upon ? " He gives you the name of a card. You say, " Just keep thinking of it from now on until I tell you to write it down."
You actually ask him to pick his own card, but he tells you before he realises or knows what is to happen. This is much better than trying to get him to write a certain card, or having written instructions on the slate ahead of time, etc. And don't think this is too brazen to work, because if you go over the above carefully you will see that everything is above board as far as he is concerned.
Turning back after giving him the slate and chalk to hold, you return to front, taking a deck of cards from pocket, and then turning, call back to the spectator, " Stand where you are and keep one card in your mind constantly. You have a card in mind now, haven't you ? " The answer is always " yes." To the audience you have put a man in the corner with a slate and had him think of a card.
Now state you will remove the Joker, which gives you an opportunity to locate the needed card, and then follow with a false shuffle or two. Needless to say this card is taken by the second spectator through the use of your best card force, and if you haven't one, you should buy a copy of Annemann's " 202 Methods of Forcing."
Thus the working is made clear. The spectator is told to write the card he has been thinking of. The person in audience stands and removes the chosen card from the sealed envelope and calls out its name. The slate is turned around and they coincide.
And as it stands it is a clean cut number that makes talk.
The following variation of this popular item you will find to be an acceptable offering with any audience. While the principles are not new its requirements are simple and readily obtained.
A bill, the serial number of which you have on a packet of flap-matches, is folded into a half-inch square and placed in a piece of flash paper about two-inches square. Atop this, upon table, is a piece of paper of similar size and color. Now insert a slip of paper with " I.O.U. one dollar " written on it, into a hole in a medium sized potato, replacing the " plug." A few kitchen matches in your right coat pocket, and a knife at hand.
The potato, which may be produced magically if desired, is placed in sight, perhaps on an inverted tumbler.
Bill is borrowed, and a flap-match is lighted as though to ignite the bill—when the performer recalls the omission the £eman of that essential procedure, the recording of the serial number—this is read aloud from the match-packet held against bill, and match-packet is then disposed of.
Bill is vanished—by your favourite method—and the ' spud ' is cut open to find the I.O.U., and the ensuing repartee with owner of bill suggests good comedy.
Finally, the packet containing bill, and the extra paper covering it. are picked up together, the I.O.U. is folded within the paper, the two small packets held up and shown as one—that containing the bill being against the thumb.
Now place both packets upon left palm, thumb underneath, and steal off the I.O.U. packet in a fingerpalm. Show bill packet upon palm, go into pocket for match, leaving I.O.U. packet. Light flash paper . . . Finale to suit.
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