F FFECT :—The performer obtains the services of a volunteer and hands him a small knife which he is to insert into a previously shuffled pack of cards held by the performer.

The volunteer notes a card below the point where the knife was inserted and is requested to remember same.

The pack is again shuffled and the performer offers to give a lesson in detection: fanning the pack with faces towards himself in one hand, he, with the other hand, picks up the knife by the blade, and peering at the handle states that he can just discern the finger prints of the spectator, then gazing at the cards he removes one, which, he says, bears similar prints. This is shown and proves to be the noted card.

Noting some apparent misbelief amongst the onlookers he then proceeds to prove the existence of the prints; taking a small dredger of powder from his pocket, he sprinkles same on face of card; blowing it gently off, four outstanding finger prints are now visible.

Remarks : Before proceeding further, I would like to say that the final finger print idea appeared a few years ago in a copy of the " Demon Telegraph," but I am sure that Messrs. Gus and George Davenport will forgive me for reviving it and incorporating it in this routine.


One pack of playing cards.

One small knife or dagger.

One duplicate card with matching back to pack, this is prepared by having four " FINGER PRINTS " made on its face.

I prepared mine by pressing my fingers on a violet-inked stamp pad, and then pressing same on to the playing card.

One small dredger (a small salt celler will do) filled with a fine talcum powder.


Place dredger in right pocket; have knife in pocket or on table with pack.

We will imagine our selected card is to be the two of hearts. The normal two of hearts is placed on top of pack, and the marked duplicate near the bottom. Pack then placed in case and you are ready.

Presentation:—Obtain the services of a volunteer and hand him the knife which he will hold by the handle in the normal manner.

Remove cards from case, casually fan them towards audience, concealing those near top and bottom. Riffle shuffle leaving the two two of hearts in their original positions.

Request the spectator to push the blade of the knife into pack. Separate at that point and request him to look at and remember the card below the blade, stating that the one above is visible to you. He removes the knife and as you indicate the card at bottom of upper section, slip the top card (two of hearts) to top of bottom portion and this is the one he looks at, naturally holding it between his fingers and thumb in the act of looking at face.

The card is replaced and you give it a genuine shuffle.

Fan the pack faces to you and then hold it in your left hand. With the right hand pick up the knife by its blade and peer at the handle, then at the card, then at the knife handle and so on. Place knife down, take pack in both hands, faces still towards you, and still peering intently at the cards, cut the normal two of hearts to top of pack. Still appear to be looking for matching prints, and finally remove the marked two of hearts, without showing face, and place it face down on top of pack.

Give your little spiel about the identifying prints, ask the name of selected card, and then double lift top two cards as one and show face of normal two of hearts to audience. Replace the two as one on top of pack, face down. Appear to see some signs of incredulity on the part of the audience and offer to prove your statement.

Pick up top (marked) two of hearts with the right hand, keep back to audience, and place it in left hand, the fingers of which are bent upwards so that the face of the card is still concealed. Produce dredger from right pocket with right hand and sprinkle powder over the face of card. Slowly straighten the fingers of the left hand, blowing off powder at same time, bending the palm of left hand downwards so that the card becomes fully visible to the audience, with the finger prints distinctly developed thereon.

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