Weuue PJHul

Readers who recall my prediction effect entitled Prevhue, and published in " Pentagram," Vol. 1, No. 7, may be interested in this variation on the same theme. Let me first briefly recapitulate the original effect.

The performer, after a few questions to a volunteer assistant, writes a prediction which is dropped into a hat. The assistant is handed a red, a white and a blue silk, and asked to tie them together in a chain, in any order, and then to hold the chain up by either end he wishes. The prediction, reading from top to bottom, corresponds with the order of the silks in the chain.

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The variation suggested here consists merely of adding a fourth silk, say a yellow. Before tying the silks in a chain the assistant is asked to take any one and lay it aside. When the prediction is read it is in two parts. The performer has written, for example, " You will lay aside the blue silk," and " The order of the colours will be, red, yellow, white."

Both these statements are correct.

The modus operandi is as before, except that two billet holders are used, one in each trouser pocket. Each holder has six divisions, and each division holds two billets, as shown in the diagram. The performer thus has four sets of billets easily available, and each set is identified mentally by the fact that it has one colour out of the four missing. For instance, in the right-hand pocket the set nearest the body has no yellow in it, and is therefore identical with the set required for the original Prevhue—the mnemonic being the same too. The second set in this pocket, on top of the other, has the colour red missing. In the left-hand pocket the set nearest the body has white missing, and the set on top has blue missing.

The mnemonic in each case corresponds to the original one. All that the performer needs to remember is that he must substitute yellow in the mnemonic for the colour that has been omitted from the set, except, of course, for the set which contains no yellow.

If the reader is familiar with Prevhue, he will rapidly appreciate that the extra mental effort is very small, while the added effect fully justifies it.

The diagram shows the actual lay-out of the billets.

AN ACE CHANGE—continued from page 26 brought to the top by any method you prefer. The pack is held face down in the left hand, and a break held under the selected card by the little finger.

The fan of aces is then picked up from the table and placed face up on the pack. The right hand then takes them off together with the selected card. The aces are then transferred one at a time from the top of the packet to the bottom, at the same time they are turned face down. Reading from the top of the packet you will now have, the selected card, the three aces in the order you know, and at the bottom the last ace. The packet is now replaced on the pack, and the four top cards dealt in a line from left to right. The spectators imagine these to be the four aces, but in actual fact the first is the selected card, and following this are the aces whose order, reading from left to right, is known. On top of the pack you have the fourth ace. Next ask the spectator to name any ace

If one of the three you noted is named, then all you have to do is to scoop it on to the pack and turn it face up by means of the double lift, followed by the other two aces without the double lift. This leaves the selected card face down on the table. Of course, if you are fortunate enough to have the spectator name the ace that is not on the table at all, just carry on as before, but without the lift.

Please give this a trial with pack in hand, and I am sure you will like it.

SOCIETY OF MENTALISTS

There will be a MEETING at 3 p.m. on SATURDAY, 12th FEBRUARY, 1949 in

ST. ERMIN'S HOTEL, CAXTON STREET WESTMINSTER, S.W.I.

All interested Magicians will be welcomed. A postcard advising us that you will be present will be appreciated.

UtuMfui SMI

My son, who is a Captain in the Indian Army, was recently home on leave, and he suddenly conceived the idea that a reputation as a sleight-of-hand manipulator with cards might enhance his reputation in the Officers' Mess. Would I teach him one or two tricks that would appear skilful and yet require little or no practice to put over effectively ?—not altogether an easy proposition ! However, here is one of the sleight-of-hand (?) deceptions that I suggested.

First, the effect. A borrowed pack is used (this should be stressed, for it rules out any future questioning as to marked or pre-arranged cards). It is freely shuffled (a genuine one, and nothing false about it), and then it is explained that the court cards, being royal, are superior to the non-picture ones, and so they always try to separate themselves from the common pip-cards whenever they find themselves in their neighbourhood.

" For instance," says the demonstrator, somewhere in this pack which you have shuffled, and which up to this point has never left your own hands, there are four kings, four queens, and four royal knaves. I cannot tell where they are, but if I give them half a chance they will very quickly reveal themselves. Let me experiment with the kings first of all. My trouser pocket, as you see, is empty, and I place the pack inside. Immediately the kings take advantage of the darkness to separate themselves from the commoners that surround them, and here they are—one, two, three and four. We will shuffle them back into the pack, and now we will experiment with the four jacks. Being knaves, they are never happy unless they do things behind other people's backs. So this time I will hold ihe pack behind my own back, but before doing so will you give the cards another shuffle? Thank you. I place them behind me. In a very few moments the knaves force themselves to the front, and here they are— one, two, three, and four. Only the queens are left—four ladies, bless their little hearts ; my own heart goes out to them, and so let me place them here in this breast pocket, and as near to my heart as clothing will permit. First of all, will you, sir, feel in the pocket and satisfy yourself that is as empty as you would expect the pocket of an impoverished peison like myself to be. It's all right ? Good. Now in goes the pack, and here in a royal procession the lovely queens literally force themselves into my questing hand—one, two, three, and four."

The entertainer makes his bow and retires amidst an outburst of well-merited applause (we hope!).

Well, that is the effect. Skilful ? Not a bit of it—elementary, my dear Watson !

But first notice these points, which should be emphasised when performing the feat :

(1) A borrowed pack is used.

(2) It has not been previously seen or handled by the conjuror.

(3) It is genuinely shuffled each time before the court cards are produced.

How then is it done ? O, so simple ! Four kings (from another pack are placed face outwards in the trouser pocket, the four knaves from the same number two pack are suspended face inwards by a paper clip attached to a safety pin under the coat the the back (not too high up, but just high enough to be hidden), and the four duplicate queens are placed face outward in the upper waistcoat pocket (the one where the fountain pen is usually clipped) on a level with the inside breast pocket of the coat. These concealed cards need not have the same patterned backs as those that are to be borrowed, for the simple reason that their backs will never be shown.

The astute reader probably needs no further explanation, but for the benefit of those who are less enlightened this is what happens.

For the production of the kings. The pack is shuffled by a spectator, the trouser pocket is shown empty by the well-known method of wedging the cards in the top inside corner before pulling the lining out. The borrowed cards are placed face outwards in the pocket, then after a certain amount of fumbling and feeling the four duplicate kings are produced one at a time, care being taken not to turn them around so that their backs become visible. Having shown them, the hand, still holding these cards, returns to the pocket to retrieve the pack, and, in withdrawing it, the four duplicate kings are quietly left behind, the pack at once is given an overhand shuffle, the inference being that the kings are being again lost in the pack.

It is advisable at this point to hand the cards to a spectator with the request that he gives them an additional mix-up—this can be safely done, for now there are no duplicates with alien backs to give the show away.

For the knaves the procedure is much the same, only the place of discovery being different. When held behind the back it is very easy to secure the four duplicates from the clip under the coat, and to show them one by one—never, of course, allowing the backs to be seen. The knaves are placed on the bottom of the pack (i.e., faces to the audience), which is then turned round and false shuffled, still leaving them on the bottom. The right hand palms them off, and then goes to the breast pocket to empty it of its contents, e.g.,

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