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THE peaceful passing of our dear friend John Gambling on March 24th was also the passing of a tradition, for until a few months preceding his death John was performing the magic of a different generation, Parodoxically however, his performances seemed fresh, up-to-date, and full of novelty. We shall be long in forgetting his last appearance before a group of magicians at the Unique Club, and how, despite his eighty odd years, he wowed them with his final and unexpected production of a live rabbit. To the best of our knowledge, he was the inventor of the locking flap slate for magical usage, and the one made to his design in 1892 when he was twenty years old is one of our prized possessions, for it was at the I.B.M. Hereford Convention that he handed it over to us. It is a beautiful and unorthodox piece of craftmanship. It looks like genuine slate and the slate flap is backed with a 1901 piece of the London Times. Nothing gave us and every member of the magical fraternity greater pleasure than the fact that he was made President of the " British Ring " in 1952 and was able to live through and enjoy his period of office. He didn't write a great deal, but in the first volume of Percy Naldrett's " Collected " series he contributed one of his favourite effects. It is honest-to-God magic of an honest-to-God conjurer and one which would well be worth revising by a conjurer who is not afraid to revert to a technique which to-day might be considered old fashioned. So, with the permission of our good friend Percy Naldrett, here is—

GAMBLING'S "GOBLIN GOBLET"

JOHN GAMBLING

THIS effect has occupied a prominent place in my programme for over two years; if well presented it never fails to puzzle and please. The principle is an old one but the method of working makes it entirely new. To describe the experiment I cannot do better than quote part of a report from the Cambridge Daily News of 5th September, 1919:—

" Finally came ' Gambling's Goblin Goblet,' which " met with a most enthusiastic reception. The per" former, addressing the whist players, asked if they " would like some refreshments. One of the mem" bets replied that he would like some lemonade &. " claret. The goblet was then produced. It was a " plain copper vessel about the size of a glass " tumbler. This was filled with confetti. But as " the assistant did not care for confetti, it was " instantly changed to the drink asked for. Another " member, perhaps to puzzle the conjurer, asked " for sherry and lemonade, and in a second this was " produced, much to his surprise and delight. Then " ' smokes ' were asked for, and the goblet at once "produced three fine cigars, with some matches a " moment later to light them with."

The drinks may be chosen according to the class of audience you are entertaining; but I always play for safety, for I once tried to force whisky and soda upon a gentleman who happened to be a non-drinker and since then I have always used the drinks here named.

The properties required can be made by any carpenter and tinsmith. I will describe mine; first there is a folding box which when opened out measures 12" long, 6" wide, and 5i" deep. Four copper goblets high, 3" wide at top, and tapering slightly to bottom. Two glass tumblers, a small Union Jack and some confetti. The only fake required is the ordinary shallow fake to fit in top of one of the goblets; a mushroom shaped knob in the centre of this tray, while concealed by the surrounding confetti, at the same time enables a sure grip to be obtained through the flag, when removing the fake from the goblet. The top of fake has some confetti glued to it.

Preparation—

Fill one of the goblets to within an inch of the top with claret and lemonade, fix fake in top and sprinkle with a little loose confetti; stand this in your box of confetti. Fill another goblet with sherry and lemonade, and into another goblet put

wo cigars or two packets of cigarettes and some matches. Place box on table in front of a black art well large enough to take one of the goblets. Box should be placed near side of table; table should be to performer's left. (The only time I go behind the table is when I load goblet with confetti). Place the other two goblets close behind the box; the one containing the sherry being nearest to performer and just in front of well. The goblet containing the smokes is furthest from the performer. The fourth goblet is stood in front of the box together with two glasses; the small flag is hanging over the edge of the box.

Working—

The performer having two volunteer assistants an the stage, says that he feels sure that they would like some refreshment, and of course gets a smile and an intimation that a drink would be acceptable. " Ah," says the performer, " and what would you like ? " At the same time going close to the gentleman, who we will call Mr. A, and whispering —"What do you say to a claret and lemonade?" (This being the method I use for forcing the drinks and so far has always been successful. " Yes " says Mr. A, " Claret and lemonade." By this time the conjurer has walked away towards the table, and pretending that he did not hear, he again asks Mr. A to name his drink; this time Mr. A has to speak rather loud in order that the performer can hear him. This gives the audience the impression that the gent has had free choice and that this is the drink he really requires.

Performer brings forward goblet and shows it to Mr. A, then takes it to the box and fills it with confetti, letting it run back into box again; he fills it again but this time brings out the faked goblet containing the claret. He offers this to Mr. A, who naturally declines it. Performer now covers it with flag, passes his wand over the top, snatches off flag together with the fake and drops both into the box. He now shows gent liquid in goblet and walks back'to table, and standing with table on his left, picks up one of the glasses in his right hand and pours out the drink and, looking towards Mr. A, lifts glass to level of his face as if about to drink, saying " Your good health, sir!" Whilst all eyes are thus attracted to right hand, the left hand has for a second carried goblet behind box as if to rest it on table ; it is dropped into well and the other full goblet brought away in its place.

Although this may seem a crude move to the reader with me it has always been successful. The audience have no reason to suspect that the problem is not finished, and are, as it were, caught napping. The move is of course to be made naturally and by standing close to the table, nothing could be more simple.

Mr. A is given his drink. The conjuror approaches Mr. B and asks him if he would like a drink too, and quietly suggests sherry and lemonade (this is of course a contrasting colour to the other drink) more often than not the gent falls in with the fun of the thing, and after a certain amount of by-play as to the possibility of getting sherry and lemonade from this goblet, the wand is handed to Mr. B and he is asked to repeat the Spell. The drink is eve ually poured out. (Goblet should now be in • iormer's left hand held by first and second f 0ers only). The table is approached and box of confetti brought forward with empty goblet concealed behind it, leaving the cigar goblet in view on the table, the audience naturally supposing this to be the goblet you have just used. Pretend to offer box of confetti for gentleman to take home—apparently change your mind and stand box on one side, thus getting rid of goblet. Now in a casual way bring forward goblet from table, walk towards Mr. A, tilting goblet so that he may get a glimpse of contents, then ask him if there is anything else he would like. " Oh, yes! " he replies, " Let's have a smoke." Performer looks surprised—more by-play with wand—and gentleman takes a cigar. As Mr. B takes his smoke he catches sight of matches. Ask him if he has all he requires, and he naturally asks for matches.

With me, this plays fifteen minutes, and often when being booked, I have been asked by clients to include the "Goblet Trick." I trust other wielders of the wand will get as mnch out of the experiment as I have done.

I use the following patter. "After so ably assisting me this evening, I feel sure you would like some refreshments. —Yes, I thought so.— Now sir, what drink would you like? (force claret and lemonade). I beg your pardon, sir, what ? claret and lemonale. My word you do drink in

---. Now sir, this is my Goblin Goblet, and here is a box of mysterious mixture which has puzzled the most profound philosophers. Between ourselves it is really claret and lemonade. Imagination goes a long way in this experiment. Now sir, you take the goblet and gobble up the contents and fancy its a nice drink. What, you would rather not have this? Well suppose we cover it with this small flag and pass the magic wand over the top, so. Here we have a most wonderful change—genuine claret and lemonade !

"Your good health, sir. Oh, I beg your pardon, I thought the drink was for me! Now sir (to Mr. B), perhaps you would like a claret and lemonade also ? What's that! Sherry and lemonade ! Do you expect me to get that from a goblet which has just provided claret? Well, ju$t take my wand for a spell. Pass it over the goblet, saying Abracadabra ! There you are! Now perhaps you would like to take the box home with you; well on second thoughts I had better keep it. Now, sir, is there anything else you would like? What! Smokes! And from this goblet too! Very well, work the oracle again with the wand. There you are, and you must have one too, sir ! The next requirement? Matches? Here they are and I hope you are satisfied, and that you will always have a pleasant recollection of ' Gambling's Goblin Goblet!'" Compiler's Note—

Mr. Gambling has proved once again the old magical adage : " It's not what you do, etc." The manner in which the changes " forestall " the audience, together with the element of surprise following surprise, is excellent magic. There are few conjurers, who, given a goblet and a box of confetti, would evolve such a series of effects.

Percy Naldrett

"From time to time I hear magicians discussing the value of magic or the cost of magic. If you see an effect you can't use then any price you pay for it is too great. If you see a trick, or move, or sleight that you can use you can never over-pay for it. After all, once you learn a move or effect it remains with you for life."

Bill Simon—" Sleightly Sensational."

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