Jack Potter

ALTHOUGH I have never met Milton Kort, we have corresponded for several years, and I know he will not mind if I attempt to " improve " his card trick which appeared on the front page of the March Pentagram.

There were two features which rather worried me; the possibiliy of the spectator catching a glimpse of his chosen card during the moves, thus spoiling the grand climax of the trick, and the necessity for the performer to reverse the bottom card of his packet, not an easy thing to do when he is under close scrutiny. Both of these features have been eliminated in the following version.

In the original version, the chosen card was brought to the top of the pack, five cards counted off to the spectator, thus bringing his card to the face of the packet, and five cards counted off for the performer. In my version, it is necessary for the spectator's chosen card to be second card from the top of his packet which is easily accomplished.

After the two packets have been dealt as above, pick up the spectator's packet under the pretence of checking the number and count them as follows. Saying " One, two, three," pass the top three cards one by one into the right hand. Spread the remaining cards in the left hand to show two cards left, saying, " And two makes five," and drop them on top of the cards in the right hand. Repeat these moves with your own packet of five cards to annul any suspicion that this is anything but a simple check on. the number of cards in eadh packet.

The spectator's chosen card is now in position for the following series of moves which were published some 20 years ago by Percy Abbott under the title of " Do as I Do," by Jay Dee. Full credit is due to " Jay Dee," whoever he may be.

The spectator is asked to hold his packet of cards face down in his left hand, and to repeat the performer's moves.

1. Remove the top card, turn it face up, and place it underneath the packet. You, however, leave this card extended about using the excuse that you are doing this to make things clearer for the spectators. The true reason will soon be apparent when you read further. Have the spectator keep his cards squared up.

2. Remove the top card, but without turning it over, place it underneath the packet. You do this, but place the card under the main packet of cards, leaving the first card removed still extended.

3. Remove the top card, turn it face up, and place it underneath the packet. You do this, but place the card extended beneath the first card that was moved.

4. Once more remove the top card, and without turning it over, place it underneath the packet. When doing this, you place this card directly beneath the two extended cards.

5. Now comes the crucial move. If the instructions above have been carried out correctly, the position of the cards in your left hand should be as in the illustration. You tell the spectator this time to turn over the top card and replace it face up on top of his packet, but in your case, the left thumb and first finger grip the three extended cards, C, D and E, by their edges, and the right hand holding the two cards A and B, by their lower edges, withdraws them as one, turns them over, and drops them face up on the three cards in the left hand immediately squaring up the packet.

6. Finally, remove the bottom card, turn it face up, and replace it at the bottom of the packet.

You can now show your packet to be all face up cards. The spectator spreads his cards only to find that one of them is still face down. Ask him to name his chosen card, and then to turn over the face down card. Alternatively, you both turn over your packets, spread them, and the spectator finds a single card, his chosen card, face up among four face down cards, as in the original version.

"We've been asked from time to time why we don't join magical societies. There are a variety of reasons, most of which we think are cogent. But of those reasons, more anon. We have before us as we write, a membership application to one of these societies. It's no better or worse than any of the others. But there is one line that sticks in our craw.

" It asks, impertinently we think, what is the colour of the applicant. If that line and that question belongs in an application for membership in a magical brotherhood . . . then brother the D.A.R. is right 1 " Bruce Elliott, The Phoenix, page 380.

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