MeHext Miltons

EDITOR'S NOTE. It was way back in 1921, that we first saw Herbert Milton give a performance of an origination that was to become a favourite with card workers in general and Nate Leipzig in particular. The effect was, of course, the " Sympathetic Clubs ". All of Herbert Milton's work bears the mark of good thinking and he has an aptness for straightforward " plot ". We consider ourselves most fortunate in being able to present our readers with this miracle card prediction effect.—P. TV.

The following close quarter prediction effect has been a pet of mine for some considerable time and is as straightforward and effective as the most fastidious performer could wish for.


A folded billet containing a prediction is placed in full view on the table. A pack of cards is introduced, openly shuffled and fanned towards a spectator with a request to think of any one card. This card is openly removed from the pack and is kept face down in such a way that the performer is unaware of its identity. The billet is now taken by the spectator, opened, and the contents read aloud by him as follows :—" YOU WILL THINK OF THE—of— the card named being the identical card freely thought of.

Note the following points :—

1. The pack can be freely shown back and front and openly shuffled.

2. Any card of the pack may be thought of—no forcing.

3. Performer need not actually be aware of the name of the card until the spectator reads the billet aloud.


A special trick pack is employed enabling the performer to make a very subtle and simple exchange of billets. If made up with care, it can be handled quite freely at very close quarters. The pack itself is made up of 26 double cards. From the centre of the top card of each double card a rectangular portion is removed and the top card is pasted to the bottom card on three sides, leaving the fourth long side open to form a pocket in which a folded billet can just be concealed. See diagram. To mask the cut-out portion most effectively choose a blue pattern back with a bold inner rectangular design. This latter, when cut out, should leave a margin at both sides of the card of approximately f inch. My own pack which is the usual English size—3£in. x 2^in. has a centre rectangular pattern 2in. x fin. This being removed leaves a margin at both sides of the card of fin., and when it is pasted by three of its sides to the back of an ordinary card, masks the cutout portion perfectly, and the card may be brought to as close as 12 inches from a spectator's face without any fear of the faking being detected.

The size of each of the billets is determined by the width of the margin. Each of my billets is 2^in. x l^in. This, when folded into four, makes the size l^in. x fin., and in this condition it can be inserted and completely hidden in the pocket. A word here as to the method of folding billet. See diagram. The first fold is along the line a b and the second fold along line c d. This leaves a knife-like edge to the billet and it is this edge which should be inserted first into the pocket from the cut-out side. On the billet is written the name of the face card in which it is concealed. Thus each double card contains a hidden billet on which is written its own particular prediction. The paper from which the billets are made should be of good quality and obviously not too thick. I use a good quality paper about the same thickness as the paper used in the production of this " Pentagram ", and when the whole pack is made up, there is no appreciable difference in the thickness of the pack and an ordinary one.

The pack is assembled with one half of the billets on the left side of the pack and one half on the right side, the cards being arranged roughly alternately. Thin ensures the thickness of the pack being kept even, no matter how much the pack is shuffled overhand. A small secret ink mark on the back of each card denotes to the performer which side the billet is hidden. A dummy blank billet is now made up similar in appearance to the hidden ones. This must be kept in a flat folded condition and a good plan is to keep it in the case holding the-pack of cards.


Remove pack and dummy billet from case. Show billet and leave it in full view on table. Run through pack showing both backs and faces and openly shuffle in an overhand manner. In showing at very close quarters, care should be exercised here in not exposing too freely the side edges of the cards. Approach a spectator and fanning the cards upright, face towards him, request him to think of any one card. Take your time over this, requesting the spectator to really concentrate hard on his card. The fact that only one half of a pack is being used is never suspected. Then to

enable the rest of the audience to know which card he is thinking of, ask him to place his forefinger on the index. As soon as this is done, break the pack at this point and openly remove the card, keeping its face away from you and placing the remainder of the pack boxed up and face down on the table. The removed card is then, held face down by its left side, between thumb and first and second fingers of left hand, the thumb being on top. The side of the card contain ng tne hidden billet is to the right. Reference to the accompanying sketch should make all clear.

At this point remark " Well, there is the card thought of ", emphasising this with a slight wave of the left hand, " Here is the prediction ", picking up the dummy billet in the right hand. " It is obvious you have had your own free choice of any one of these cards ". Whilst saying this, place the dummy billet on top of the card in left hand, partly under the left thumb, folded edge to the right, and just alongside the hidden billet, leaving the right hand free to turn the boxed up pack face up on the table and at the same time slightly spreading the cards. Continue " Now, I'll hold the card and you take the billet, open it and read aloud its contents ". At this point the right hand goes to slide the billet off the card, thumb on top of card and first finger underneath. Left hand raises card to a vertical position face to audience, and under this cover the left thumb pushes the billet partly into the pocket. This automatically forces out the hidden billet at the side of the card, where it is gripped between right thumb and first finger and immediately handed to the spectator. This move is the crux of the whole trick and should be practised a few times in front of a

Continued, on page 87

A - Cut-out centre. B - Dummy Billet. C - Hidden Billet» Shaded portion denotes area of double card pasted together.

A - Cut-out centre. B - Dummy Billet. C - Hidden Billet» Shaded portion denotes area of double card pasted together.

ty<Stho4 of fOtdLng Billet.

ty<Stho4 of fOtdLng Billet.





Will give his Entertainment of


At the above School, On THURSDAY, FE BY- 9 th, 1871- at 6 and 8 o'clock. l?he Experiments will consist of Wonderful Menhanical changes, Transmutations, Subleties, Laughable Illusions».

Xtlt oKKAT.

Chinese Traction Trick, &c., Children Id. Adults 2d*

At 6 and 8 o^olock on Thursday, Feby. 9th, 1871.

From the J. B. Findlay Collection


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