Ae Qjoac of the ffiaffiifig iftuHfylwM

EDITOR'S NOTE. The following verse, reproduced by permission of its Editor, appeared in the Christmas number of Ulster Magic (the official journal of the lister Society of Magicians). It struck us immediately as the best presentation of the " Robbers and Sheep " that we had encountered. To those readers interested in methods other than the one described, we would commend them to "Phoenix" No. 7 or " Pentagram " Vol. 1, No. 7.

All that can be desired of any magical effect is that it should entertain and perplex, and if this result can be obtained with a minimum of effort, so much the better for the magician. For this purpose, the " Case of the Baffling Burglars " is ideal, for all that is required are two empty hats, seven small balls of newspaper (or seven ping-

pong balls), and the ability to memorise the following lines of rhyming patter :—

This is the tale of Farmer Brown,

(B) Two barns he had—both empty still, But soon he hoped them both to fill With produce from his little farm, Where safe 'twould be from any harm.

(C) His sheep, which numbered only five, Were white and fat, and seemed to thrive Upon the grass, so fresh and green, Which grew abundantly between

The little barns—and every night

They grazed and grazed till morning light.

But one fine night, when all was still,

(D) Two burglars black, named Jock and Bill, Who, looking for some place to hide,

Each spied a barn and crept inside. Then, wanting mutton on the cheap, Each softly whistled to the sheep, Who foolishly obeyed the call

(E) And soon were captured, one and all. But Jock and Bill, they heard a soun' suspiciously like Farmer Brown ;

And quick as thought, upon the green

(F) The Farmer's sheep again were seen. A false alarm, and that was all—

So once again the whistled call, And once again the foolish flock

(G) Were gathered in by Bill and Jock. Another noise—too late to flee— For Jock and Bill could plainly see That they, alas, had " come a cropper," For Farmer Brown, complete with copper, Was coming fast across the green Where five fat sheep had lately been. And there they were, poor Bill and Jock, Each in a barn with stolen flock.

Then Bill had quite an inspiration— Why not try prestidigitation ? He waved his hand, said magic word, And then a strange event occurred ; When Farmer Brown threw wide the door, He saw there, stretched upon the floor, Just Jock and Bill, both sound asleep, But not a sign of stolen sheep. The other door he opened wide, And quickly searched around inside, But all he found—and all asleep— Were five contended happy sheep.

(A) Localise, by naming any nearby country town.

(B) Show both hats empty, and place on table about 12in. apart.

(C) Place five balls in line between the two hats.

(D) Show two more balls, and place one in each hat.

(E) Commencing with right hand, lift one ball and place in hat to right, then with left hand place one ball in hat to left, and continue in similar manner with each hand alternating until all balls are in hats (i.e.,4 in right and 3 in left).

continued on opposite page

Flashback!

D stands for De Vere

"MODERN MARTVRfX" AT THIS OJftERETTA-lIOUSE.

Under the title of " Modern Marvels " a very clever fcnd enjoyable entert.unujeht was given last night at the Operetta-House by M. de Yere, a conjuror of no mean order, who made his bow to an Edinburgh audience for the first time. Possessed of great skill as a humorist, M. de Yere contrived to give his really perfect performances a m^re than ordinary interest, and, during the whole evening, sustained the attention of a large audience. The programme was divided into three parts, denominated magical, mystical, and optical respectively. Under the first Lead M. de Vere showed some of the most novel and astounding tricks; in a few seconds produced an artistic representation of a serpent by the aid of two silk handkerchiefs; dragged the stock in trade of a baby's underclothing establishment from a gentleman's hat, which was afterwards made to yield a perfect garden of Howers and a series of Chinese lanterns fully trimmed. But of all the "marvels" the "ca;?e and canary" feat carried off the palm. Comia;» to the footlights with a live canary enclosed in a small ca?e and perfectly free|from aids of any kind, M. de Vere assures his audience that he will make both cage and bird instantly disappear, and eveu while he 3p*aifs the bird and cage vanish into space, leaving the audience in bewilderment. Tl;e seance scene, which forms part second, assumes to be ap exposure of so-called spiritual seance, and undoubtedly is a wonderful specimen of experimental phenomena. Miss Lily Edith is an able assistant in this case, and Miss Annie Lonsdale as pianiste fills up the intervals with some excellent music. The entertainment, whicb is as indicated of a very superior order con-chnles with a series of optical pictures, entitled the " x>hantom Statues." /(f / /

From the J. B. Findlay Collection

Magic Qa Jtaund

Our first duty is to apologise to our readers for the lateness of this and our previous issues. A combination of circumstances has led to, this unhappy state of affairs. We sincerely hope that the February issue will be available by the 28tn of that month, while the March issue will set up a record by being out before the due date of publication.

" Abracadabra " has reached its fifth year of publication, a thing which quite rightly calls for congratulation from others besides its Editor, who in Issue No. 208, besides whacking the drum and blowing a fanfare or two, gives a strong sales talk to "his own readers. He adds, after mentioning this bulletin, that his paper is not getting the competition it deserves. We should like to make it quite plain that since we started the "Pentagram" we have never thought of competing with any paper which goes out of its way to cater not only for magicians, but all those who, by being members of societies cr purchasers of puzzles, call themselves magicians.

In the March issue of the " Pentagram " we shall start in serial form a publication of Geoffrey Buckingham's Billiard Ball routine which formed part of his prize winning act at Amsterdam last year. This should be of particular interest to those readers in America, who will have

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