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It is with a great deal of pleasure that we present this ultimate card discovery of Billy O'C onnor. It is an unfortunate fact that he has written all too little and we are fairly certain that this is his first published article in a magical magazine for some twenty years. Having one of the finest magical brains, plus outstanding ability as an entertainer, he has carried the same act successfully for well over thirty years. He is the man ivho first made use of the short card as a locator, he produced one of the loveliest cut and restored ribbon effects. In an old MAGIC WAND he described a delightful method for changing the colours of liquids. If you don't ivant to look it up you'll find it in the late AI Baker's "P-et Secrets " zvith an added presentation. His " Inst ant o " pack and his " Wallet " trick are just two perfect pieces of chicanery that he marketed, and if you had lived in the twilight of the Golden Age of magic you ivould have seen a lot more. A good friend, a good fisherman and an outstanding magician. Once agan, Billy, many thanks !

The effect to be described has been attempted by many conjurers. Of all the methods published until now, perhaps the best has been Charles Jordan's ' Premo' in Thirty Card Mysteries. Two things however were needed for the accomplishment of this feat, the first being a series of dovetail shuffles and secondly a deal out of the cards to discover which one had been tracked down to its Dove-tail lair. The method to be described does not suffer from such a weakness We are going on apace however, for the newcomer to magic without a copy of Jordan's book at hand, will not know what we are writing about. Here therefore is the effect.

The conjurer removes a full pack of cards from its case, and handing it to a member of the audience requests him to shuffle it, take it into the next room (or to the end of the hall), take a card from the pack, place it back wherever he likes and then shuffle the pack again. When this is done, the pack is returned to the magician who unerringly finds the selected card.

The requirements are very simple indeed.

The reader will require a pack of cards which first of all is assembled in like pairs, i.e. hearts with diamonds, clubs with spades. The back of one card of the pair is treated with roughing fluid whilst the face of its mate is similarly treated. The pairs are then assembled rough side to rough side, to form a complete pack. As most packs of cards are now produced to cater for Canasta fiends and two jokers are thus included, these cards too, can be mated. May I pause here for a moment and offer a word of advice to those who have not dabbled with the rough and smooth principle. There is, in the preparation of such a pack as this, a great need for attention to detail if the best result is to be obtained. It is not enough to take some roughing solution, smear it over the cards and hope for the best. (Though it is not within the scope of this description to give a detailed description of preparing roughened cards, we do recommend to our readers a book which undoubtedly gives the finest instruction in this matter of preparing such cards. That recommendation is Trevor H. Hall's Nothing is Impossible, published by Willane. However, if the reader does not wish to undertake such a task himself, Ken Brooke, of Bradford supplies the best Nu-idea forcing pack that we have seen, and in this case, no doubt would be pleased to make up the special pick requested. He charges, I believe, a matter of 12/6).

With the pack so prepared it can be safely handed to a spectator for overhand shuffling without any fear of the pairs being divided.

This is the presentation of the effect.

The conjurer removes the prepared pack from its case and talcing it to a spectator remarks " Now, sir I want you to take this pack and shuffle it. (As he makes this remark he overhand shuffles the cards himself. Care is of course taken in choosing this assistant, for though a riffle shuffle would not necessarily cause a separation of the pairs, the mixing of what would amount to twenty-six thick cards would call the shuffler's attention to the fact that the cards were not all they intended to be. Actually of course the mere placing of the cards into a person's hands is enough to allay suspicion. The use of cards in a previous effect plus the co-operation of the same assistant would tell the performer whether an overhand or riffle shuffle would be intended).

The spectator commences to shuffle the cards. " Take the cards into the next room, carry on with the shuffling and then place the pack on a table or chair and lift up the topmost card of the pack, look at it and remember it. Then, sir, -place, the ca*d back in the pack wherever you like, shuffle the pack once more and bring the cards back to me. Is that quite clear? Shuffle, look at a card, replace it where you will, shuffle again and bring the cards back, O.K.?"

The spectator carries out his task and the conjurer takes back the cards. He looks at the spectator and then fans the cards faces towards himself. He leafs through, finding two separated cards of a pair, say the four of hearts and the four of diamonds. He immediately knows that one of these cards is the chosen card. " Now, sir (to the spectator) will you please think of the colour of the card you looked at? Yes, I'm certain that it was a red card . . . correct? Thank you . . . Now sir, a little harder this time ... the suit... I think that it is diamonds. . . ." (here the performer must anticipate the spectator saying no, should this guess be wrong. Invariably this anticipation is easy as the spectator's expression is ahead of his speech. If the conjurer is wrong, he immediately corrects himself by saying, " No, sir, it's clear now. The suit is ' hearts!' ")

Once having got the suit the reader is on the home base and he removes which card is correct and places it face down upon the table with the remark, " I'm quite certain about your card now, sir, and have placed it upon the table. I want you to pick it up but before you do so, will you please name it aloud." The spectator do2s so, and then picks up the card to show that the conjurer has been successful.

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The magician shows two slates. On one side of one there is a drawing of a " ghost." The name of the spook, remarks the performer, is " Charlie," and every time he hears his name, he appears. The drawing of the spook is now erased from the slate which is now placed behind its mate. Depending on the performer, either he or the audience now shout " Charlie." The front slate is removed and " Charlie " is seen back on the slate. Once more the drawing is rubbed out and once more on being called he appears. In all he is seen five times.

The apparatus required for this effect, which has proved a most entertaining item with the writer, is to hand in most magicians' houses, namely two similar sized slates and two easily fitting flaps common to each slate. A cloth to rub out the drawing is also needed.

Now for the preparation.

On slate A, a drawing of the spook something like this is made on one side—

A similar drawing is made on each side of slate B and also on one side of each of the flaps. These flaps are then placed one on each side of slate B so that from the audience's point of view this slate is blank upon both sides.

In presenting the effect, the two slates are picked up, and shown that with the exception of the drawing on one side of Slate A, that they are otherwise blank on all side.3. Slate A is now placed on top of B, the drawing rubbed out and A placed under B, the flap on B slate being allowed to fall. The slates are then held in a nearly vertical position and upon the name " Charlie" being shouted the rearmost slate is witharawn with the flap showing that the spook has returned.

This slate A, is now rested once more upon slate B (which on its under side has now a chalk " spook ") and the picture is rubbed out. This time A is not placed behind B, but the slates are again lifted nearly to a vertical position, and slate B is then reversed, the cry of " Charlie " made and then the picture on slate B is shown, care being taken of the flap on the underside.

The picture is erased and slate A placed behind B, the second flap being allowed to fall. The spook is shown and rubbed out.

The remaining picture on slate B, is produced similarly to the third, i.e., this slate is reversed behind slate A.

Stan 9icuUiey6



The performer hands an envelope-sealed prediction to a spectator, asking him to pocket it.

A pack of cards is shuffled and the performer demonstrates what is to be done. " Holding the pack, face-upwards, behind your back, I want you to pull any card out of it, to turn that card face-downwards, to thrust this reversed card back into the middle of the pack, then to square up the cards neatly and to bring the cards to the front once more, laying them on the table, still face-up." This you demonstrate, not putting the cards behind your back however.

Righting the card, that you reversed during your demonstration, you hand the pack to the spectator to do as you asked him. After he's reversed a card, as above, and has placed the pack face-up on the table, you ribbon the cards across the table, the face-down card showing up plainly in the middle of the spread. The spectator is asked to slide this card out, still face-down. He is then asked to open the envelope that you gave him and to read out your prediction. " You will reverse the six of hearts," he reads. He is asked to turn face-up the face-down card on the table. It is the six of hearts.


A double-faced pack is required, the cards being the same on both sides, i.e., a double-faced ace of spades, a double-faced two of spades, etc.. 49 such cards are required, each one different of course. Three ordinary cards are also required, the three needed to make uo a full deck of 52 cards when added to the 49 double-faced ones. One of the " ordinary " cards is a " short."

Put one of the ordinary cards face-up on the table. On top of. it, face-down, put another ordinary card, this is the card which you name in your prediction. On top of these put the 49 double-faced cards. Lastly, thrust the " short"


This is a very easily handled routine. We wonder whether, instead of -producing the final picture, it zvould not be more effective for the spook to leave some message that would indicate that no further appearance, could be made. Such a message could vary with the manner and style of the performer from the mildly humerous to the risque dirt of Orben, who we understand zvas responsible for the "Bra" in "Abracadabra." This matter of finality would stop the smart alec type from making " Charlie " manifest himself after the fifth time.

SfoiethaugAt ordinary card, face-upwards, into the middle of the pack. Turn the assembled pack over and place it in its case.


Remove pack from case and lay it " face-downwards " on the table. (The back of the top ordinary card making it appear to be a face-down pack). Hand out your prediction. Pick up the pack and hold it in the left hand as for an overhand shuffle, but with the " faces" towards the spectators. Overhand shuffle the cards, " faces " to spectators, by pulling out a packet of about 26 or 30 cards from the middle of the pack, with the right hand, and shuffling these off onto the face card of the pack. Repeat this shuffle several times, being careful not to disturb the two cards that are next the left fingers. (The reversed ordinary card and the " top " ordinary card). An alternative method of shuffling is to hold the pack " face-up " in the left hand and to Hindu-shuffle the cards by pulling out a packet from the middle and stripping these off onto the face of the pack.

When you've shuffled the cards, square them up, still " face-up," and in so doing, riffle to the short card and hold a break, above it with the left little finger at inner end of pack. Tell the spectator what he's to do (see " effect"), and demonstrate, without putting the cards behind your back, however. Like this : You pull a card out of the pack, apparently at random, but the card you pull out is the " short" ordinary card; the little finger break making the matter easy. Reverse this card and thrust it, back-up, into the middle of the "faceup " pack. Square the cards and then place them, " face-up," on the table. " Thus we've reversed a card, selected by chance, in the middle of the pack," you say, " Is that quite clear?" As you say this, pick up the pack and run through it until you come to the card you've just reversed. Run through a few more so that everyone can see this reverse card in the middle of all the " face-up "

ones. Be careful though not to reveal the " prediction-card " that is reversed second from what is now the bottom of the pack.

Turn the card, that you've just reversed, faceup in the middle of the pack again and, as you square-up the cards, insert your left little finger under it. Transfer the pack to you right hand, taking-up and holding the break with the right thumb at inner end. Drop the cards on the table and, as you do so, cut the cards by lifting off all the cards above the break and dropping these onto the table, then completing the cut by dropping the rest on top of these. This action brings the reversed " prediction-card" into the middle of the pack and puts the " short " ordinary card onto the " bottom " of the " face-up " pack. Square-up the cards and hand them to the spectator. When he puts them behind his back and " reverses" a card the card won't be reversed because they're double-faced (silly isn't it?!) When he puts the pack on the table, "face-up," you simply ribbon the cards so that the reversed card shows up in the middle of the spread. Push out this face-down card and then square-up the pack again, turn it " face-down" (the back of the short card showing on " top " of the pack) and place it to one side. Conclude as in "effect." Get rid of, or switch, the pack at the first opportune moment.

There's just a chance, a very remote one, that the spectator will select and reverse the " prediction-card " behind his back. If this happens, proceed as follows ; When you ribbon the cards on the table and no reversed card shows up, pick up the cards saying, " Are you quite sure you reversed one?" Under-cover of this, and squaring-up the cards, riffle-off the bottom card (the " short") at inner end of pack and secretly reverse all the other cards on top of it. When spectator says that he's sure he did as you asked, remark that you must have missed his card and proceed to deal off the " face-up " cards, one by one, into a pile on the table. When a reversed card shows up (it won't be the " prediction-card " but the other ordinary card, the " prediction card " is underneath it). You say, " Ah, here it is, let us see which one you chose." Double-lift the top two cards, turn them face-up and replace them on top of the cards held in your left hand. The "prediction-card " is now dealt off to one side and you fan through the rest showing them all " face-up." Pick up the tabled cards, drop them onto the others, turn the pack over, as before and lay it aside. You may like to try this on your brother magicians, by reversing a duplicate of the " prediction-card " in another deck and placing this deck in its case on the table instead of making a prediction. When the " chosen" " brother-magician reversed" card is turned over and named, remove the "prediction-deck" from its case, fan through it and show that you reversed a duplicate of the " chosen " card in this deck. Leave this deck on the table and watch them pounce on what they think is a " Brainwave " deck! (Their pouncing affords plenty of cover to switch your " double-faced " deck for an ordinary one, which is minus the forced card).

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This is a card prediction effect along slightly different lines. The fact that the magician seems to have no control over the cards makes a most effective piece of deception. So far we have come across no conjurer who has given us a correct explanation of the means. Originally we intended to use it as a single prediction, but when showing it way back last October to Wilfrid Jonson in the Green Room at the Scala Theatre, a remark to the effect, that if it could be repeated it would come into the miracle class, straight away made us repeat it and have kept it that way since.

Here is the effect.

Taking the Joker or a piece of paper, the magician writes something on it and then either hands it into the keeping of a spectator, or places it on the edge of the table. (Incidentally let me interpose here with a remark, that this is not intended as anything but a drawing room effect, and though conceivably it might be made into a stage trick, the necessary displaying of the cards would call for the use of a stand or something similar.) A pack of cards is then handed to a spectator, with the request that he gives it a complete shuffle. After this has been done the cards are taken back and dealt into two heaps of twenty-six each. One heap is given to the spectator with a request to do exactly what the magician does, i.e. to ribbon spread his twenty-six cards across the table, the two spreads being parallel. " Now, sir," remarks the magician, " I want you to push any one card out of your line of cards.

Spectator's /

13 Letters

Spectator's /

13 Letters

Pred icted Card the. ¿CT 13th Card

"Just turn it over and let's see what it is." The spectator does this. " The ten of clubs." The magician now counts along his line of cards touching one card for each letter of the word in the card pushed out by the spectator. On arriving at the last letter, he takes the card at that point in the spread and pushes it out of the line (still face down). " Will you please read what I wrote on the piece of paper." The paper is picked up and the spectator reads out, say, " The King of

Diamonds " " Just turn over that card "

pointing to the card pushed out from the magician's spread). The spectator does so and it is seen to be the " King of Diamonds." The effect is now repeated if the magician thinks that it is necessary.

The requisites are simple.

The reader will require a full pack of fifty-two cards (the Joker if it is included can be used for recording the prediction. Use a BB pencil and the writing is easily erased for the second and subsequent performances). Two of the cards, say the king of diamonds and three of clubs have a small distinguishing mark that can be easily seen by the performer. Cards in use generally develop individual markings which can be utilised in this way. Knowing which mark represents which card the magician is set. Presentation.

The pack of cards is removed from its case, the joker taken and the words "king of diamonds" written across its face. The prediction writing side downwards is then either placed at the edge of the table or slipped into a spectator's pocket. Accenting the fact that what he has written will have some bearing on some future occurrence, the pack of cards is handed to a spectator with a request that he gives it a good shuffling. When the spectator is satisfied, the cards are taken back and without a move of any kind the cards are dealt into two heaps of twenty six cards each. As they are being dealt, the performer counts them as they fall, looks for the card which he knows is the "king of diamonds." He notes at what position it comes and in which heap, for this heap will be the one he takes. Suppose that the " king of diamonds" falls at a number between ten and sixteen, i.e. it can be the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth or fifteenth card. If it does this no further action is necessary on the performer's part and straightaway with an instruction to the assisting spectator to do in a similar manner, he squares up the heap and ribbon spreads it across the table.

Let us suppose that the card actually lies in eleventh position. This means that counting from one end of the spread it will be the eleventh card, whilst from the other end it will be the sixteenth card. Now most readers will be aware that the spelling of each and every card in the pack varies between ten letters and fifteen letters. To be exact:

4 cards spelt with 10 letters

13 cards spelt with 11 letters

14 cards spelt with 12 letters

12 cards spelt with 13 letters

5 cards spelt with 14 letters

4 cards spelt with 15 letters

A little thought will show that if the card selected from his spread by the spectator is in the ten card group, the cards are counted along from the eleven end, and after the final letter has been reached, the next card, the " king of diamonds " is turned over.

If it falls in the eleven card group, a straight count will bring the " king of diamonds " out on the final letter.

The question of a twelve card is easily met, the performer counting from the sixteen end, adding the prefix T-H-E to the name of the card and turning up the next card.

A thirteen letter card is dealt with from the same end, the prefix " The " being added again and the final letter revealing the predicted card.

To cover a fourteen letter word, and actually this should have come first, the performer, as the spectator pushes his card out of the spread, takes the end card on the sixteen side, and with it flips over the spectator's card (To make everything fair it should be turned face un so that any idea of fast switching can be eliminated.) If the card pushed forward by the spectator falls within the fourteen letter group, the card used by the performer is either passed to the other hand and casually laid at the opposite end of the row, or it can be used as a pointer. If it falls in the 10, 11, 12, 13, or 15 group it is replaced quite obviously as the " king of diamonds " has now had its position changed from sixteenth to fifteenth position it can be easily counted.

The fifteen letter card is again a straight count from the sixteen end, the next card being turned up.

Now that the main principle has been ex plained, the reader will see that if the card is at 12th and 15th position all spellings are covered by use of a similar subterfuge. In these positions, a pointer card is lifted from the twelve end and retained or placed at the other end if the card contains ten or eleven letters or replaced, at the same end if it is a twelve letter word. Definitely, but of course, casually placed at the fifteen end if the card contains thirteen letters, these cards being spelt with the prefix " The."

If the " king of diamonds" falls into thirteenth or fourteenth position a pointer card is taken from the thirteen end, and replaced if the card falls in the ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen or fourteen group. If it is a fifteen letter card, the pointer card is placed at the fourteen end. This means for a ten letter card, a prefix and spelling from either end, the king of diamonds thus being the card falling at the last letter or the one following, eleven letters means spelling from the fourteen end with the prefix " The." A twelve letter card means a straight spell from the thirteen end and the turning up of the next card. A thirteen letter or fourteen letter card can been spelt from either end, whilst the fifteen letter card has already been looked after.

This has been written with the original thought that the card naturally fell at this position in the deal and believe me time and time again it does. But if it does not, the performer, in picking up his heap, either thumb counts a requisite number of cards that will bring the card to thirteen and fourteen position. (This is the best spelling position), and in the action of placing the cards on the table for the spread makes the pass. Or what is very much simpler and what I do myself, makes a simple estimate of the number of cards that will bring the " force" card to the centre of the packet, making a break at that point and in going down on to the table to make the spread, makes the pass at the same time. Now in spreading the cards the position of the " force " card is noted.

Although this may seem a very involved description, you will find that if you analyse it, most of it comes down to commonsense. The barebones might be summarised as follows :—

1. Have cards shuffled after making prediction.

2. Note position of " Force " card when dealing into two heaps.

4. See that "Force" card occupies 11th to 16th position either naturally or by passing a number of cards.

5. If 11th and 16th position use pointer card from 16 end. If 12th and 14th position use pointer card from 12th end. If 13th and 14th position use pointer card from 13th end.

Please don't read through this and say, there is too much to remember. If you can count the number of letters in the name of a playing card the remainder of the effect falls into line in a most natural manner. The repeat of the effect, simply means exactly a similar procedure, the other marked card coming into play.

Many readers will possibly think that it may be an advantage to have tactual recognition of the " force " cards. Ideal for this purpose would be two corner shorts, opposite corners being used and thus after the cards have been shuffled, the necessary card could be located and brought to the approximate centre of the full pack. Quite obviously in the deal that followed the necessary card would be in one of the positions ready for the performer.

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