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dpjdl, 1947

SWice Gmz SAiCCiny

Sletei Wwdack'd iRMvt

StaMeK and SAeep

SAeep, SAeep SAeep, SAeep,

(Dedicated to the Cotswold Magical Society)

To whom we are indebted for the original idea of this effect I do not know, but I think that most conjurers are familiar with the old version of the Robbers and Sheep, using seven lumps of sugar and two hats. I can well remember how my old friend the late Will Blyth liked this little conceit. Shaman in a copy of the " Phoenix " took the effect several stages further, but because there always seems (amongst children) a definite suspicion of any trick employing cubes, I decided that the sheep must be sheep and the robbers, robbers.

The effect is as of old.—The robbers go one into each barn (represented by hats), followed alternatively by the sheep. The farmer comes along and out come the sheep. The farmer counts them. He goes away and back go the sheep. The farmer

returns again, expecting to find the sheep stolen, but, to his disappointment, the two robbers are found in one barn whilst the five sheep are found in its opposite number.

The effect as I have now made it is partly mechanical, but at the same time it has colourful display which more than compensates for what, in some conjurers' minds, can be considered a strong defect.

Requirements. Five pieces of wood (Balsa wood is recommended for lightness) rectangular in shape, having the following measurements : 3|in. by 2Jin. by fin. (playing card size). This size is arbitary—there is nothing to stop the effect being made in a giant size providing alternative cover is used, i.e., a small screen, wastepaper basket, etc.— These pieces are sandpapered, and on each a picture of a sheep is drawn and painted (the illustration gives the reader a rough design). The opposite can now be either painted black or can be designed to represent the rear of the sheep (the edges should be dead black). The mechanical requirements are the two robbers. To make these, four pieces of wood size 3|in. by 2fin. by fin. are required. These must be absolutely true. From two of these pieces a segment is cut out to accommodate an Eclipse magnet. Because of the shape of the magnet it will be realised that once its lateral movement is stopped, the cut-out holds it securely. This is achieved by taking pieces of card similarly sized to the pieces of wood and glueing them front and back to the wood. Before this takes place, however, the two pieces of wood are hinged with tape (or, better still, fine linen). The illustrations show this in effect. Also a strip of metal is fixed on the nonmagnet piece of wood to act as a keeper. (A strip of metal is essential, don't imagine that a couple of nails will do the job.) The purpose of the magnet is to keep the robber-figure in one tense piece, but at the same time to allow immediate folding. This method is better than spring or elastic hingeing, for if the job is done properly the long figure can be handled as though it were one solid piece of wood. Cover what is to be the front with thin material, cut out the head and shoulders, shape and paint on the features (they don't have to be twins !). On the lower rear side paint a duplicate sheep, and according to whether you have blackened or painted the rear portion of the unprepared sheep, do likewise with the top half of the robber. To finish off, paint the edges of the robber dead black, and over the magnet-keeper and adjacent wood glue some thin linen and paint black. When dry and the robber is folded in half, it should be the ' dead spit' of one of the unprepared sheep. One point which must be emphasised: when making the robbers be quite sure that they will fold flat. Too little attention in hingeing will stop the two halves closing completely. Prior to presentation the operator has the sheep and robbers standing on his table—the robbers should, of course, have some kind of background against which they can rest.

Presentation. The operator borrows two hats which he says will represent two barns in the story he is about to tell. They are respectively placed on chairs at opposite sides of the stage. They are not set squarely on their crowns, but tilted so that the openings are away from the audience. The operator goes on with his story, and picking up one robber places him in the right hand hat. (The robber should be held by the top half, the second finger and thumb gripping the sides. Directly the shape is covered by the hat the third finger pushes against the bottom half, breaking the magnetic connection, and the robber folds up and becomes a sheep.) The second robber is similarly treated in being placed in the left hand hat. Now the sheep go in—one to the right, one to the left, one to the right, one to the left, and, finally, one to the right. The position is that there are three sheep and a robber in the right hand hat and two sheep and a robber in the left hand hat. The operator ■continues his story of how the farmer came along and called his sheep. Going to the left hand hat, the operator takes out the folded robber, showing it, of course, as a sheep, and places it on the table. The folded robber is removed from the right hand hat and similarly placed down. Now a sheep from the left, one from the right and another from the left. The position now being that there are two sheep in the right hand hat. The operator continues and tells how the farmer went away . . . the robbers made a funny whistling noise, and back went the sheep. Into the right hand hat goes an ordinary sheep ; into the left hand hat goes a folded robber ; into the right hand hat an ordinary sheep ; the to left hand hat the other folded robber, whilst, finally, into the right hand hat goes the last sheep. Now the operator has all the sheep in the right hand hat and the folded robbers in the left hand hat. Back comes the farmer once more. He is still suspicious, and so he goes into the barn over here, and what does he find . . . just five sheep (the operator removes them, shows the hat to be empty . . . whilst in the other barn, as quiet as two mice, are . . . the two robbers. In removing the latter, the operator lifts them by the top so that as they straighten they automatically become erect.

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Move a

In 1944 I contributed an item to the British edition of " The Linking Ring " magazine with the above title. Since then one or two big improvements have occurred to me, especially with regard to the final vanish of the glass.

Effect. Performer removes a pocket handkerchief from his inside breast pocket, shakes it out, displays it back and front, then immediately produces from its folds a tot of whisky, which he hands to one of the spectators. After the lucky recipient has ' downed ' the drink and testified to its goodness, the performer takes back the empty glass, pushes it down into his closed right hand, then drapes'the handkerchief over all. The left fore-finger now pushes the centre of the handkerchief down into the right fist, then left hand reaches beneath, grasps the centre and pulls the handkerchief right through the fist, which simultaneously opens to reveal that the glass has vanished completely. Both hands are empty except for the handkerchief.

Method. Take a small whisky glass of the barrel type, half fill with whisky and then fit a rubber ball into mouth ; a rubber (production type) golf ball is ideal. Place the glass upright in the right vest pocket. Have the handkerchief in your inner breast pocket. Incidentally you can carry the glass about like this all day without any worry and you are, therefore, prepared to present it at any time.

To present, reach into the inside pocket for the handkerchief. As soon as the left hand is out of sight inside your jacket, it removes the ball from the glass, carries on to the inside pocket and brings out the handkerchief, leaving the ball behind. With a little practice this can be done in one smooth, unhesitating movement.

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The handkerchief is now shaken out and gripped at the two top corners by right and left hands respectively, first fingers in front, thumbs and remaining fingers behind. Hands are now crossed over, right over left, thus displaying rear side of handkerchief. At this moment left thumb enters glass, fingers outside, and removes glass from right vest pocket. Hands are now brought back to first position, which brings glass concealed -behind left top corner of handkerchief. The right hand now releases its corner, allowing handkerchief to hang down from left hand, glass remaining hidden in the folds at top. Right hand then reaches in, grips glass, travels down and brings it into view at the bottom of handkerchief. The glass is then handed to the spectator for consumption of the contents, and the handkerchief is draped over the right fore-arm.

Taking back the empty glass with his left hand, the performer now pushes it down into his closed right hand. As it goes down out of sight, second and third fingers of left hand go inside glass and lever it out at rear of closed right hand and clip it against left palm. Left hand now moves away, fore-finger points at right hand for a moment, the latter remaining closed exactly as though it still contained glass. The left hand now moves over to grasp the corner of the handkerchief that hangs at the rear of right fore-arm, and as it does so, it will be found that it is in a perfect position to drop the glass unseen, into the right jacket pocket. Left hand now comes away with the handkerchief and proceeds to spread it over the closed right hand. Left fore-finger pokes the centre down into fist, then left hand reaches beneath and takes the centre now protruding below fist, pulls the handkerchief clear through, then flicks the closed right hand with it, which immediately snaps open to reveal the complete disappearance of the glass.

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Editor's Foreword.—

This is a nice angle in prediction and one that, as Mr. Belcher says, can be applied to other coloured objects ... as an example, coloured cubes could be stacked or coloured billiard balls dropped into a glass tube. This little show of colour in a mental item tends to impress the effect on the spectator.—P. W.

The magician tells his audience of how he is ~~

sometimes granted a brief vision of things to come. He proposes to give them an example providing he can get the necessary reactions. Taking a slip of papei", he writes something on it, folds it and drops it into a hat. Three respectively coloured Red, White and Blue silk handkerchiefs are now taken and handed to a spectator with a request that he ties them together in any order he wishes. The operator emphasises that when the silks are knotted their order can be read two ways, thus red, white, blue or blue, white, red, and so on. For this reason when the silks are tied the spectator is asked to say aloud which sequence he desires. The operator then goes to the hat, takes out the billet (and without comment shows the hat to be empty), hands it to the spectator who opens it and reads out the correct prediction of the order of the colours.

Method. A pocket index containing six slips loaded as shown :—

A brief study of this set-up will show how easily it is memorised. The first column (1,3 and 5) gives the colour at the top of the chain. There are now two alternatives according to the order of the two remaining silks. Of these two, one colour will be stronger than the other (the order of strength is Blue, Red, White). The first column not only gives the silk at the top, but also the correct order if the strong colour is in the centre. The second column (2, 4 and 6) gives the correct order if the weak colour is in the middle.

Here are two examples:—

1. White, Blue, Red.—White at top—first column gives white at Number three. Of the two remaining colours, Blue and Red, Blue is in the middle and is stronger than Red, therefore the correct slip is in the first column at number three.

2. Blue White Red.—Blue is at the top and column one gives this at number five. Of the two remaining colours, White and Red, White in the middle, is the weaker colour and, therefore, the correct slip is in the second column—at number six.

Prediction.— The original billet—a dummy, of course, though properly — - written is actually dropped into hat but a very simple, easily made fake, conceals it. I use a silk-lined hat. The sweat-band is separated from the side of the hat for about four and a half inches, and a piece of whalebone or spring is sewn to it, which is sufficient to return the band against the side of the hat if it is separated from it. This secret compartment is propped open by means of a matchstick. The slip is dropped in, and a touch of the finger releases the match which falls inside the lining—the compartment immediately closing up. When the spectator completes his chain, the correct slip from the index is palmed in and the hat handed to another spectator, all in one movement.

Presentation.—The only detail requiring any mention is the lead-in to the effect. The spectator is asked a series of questions by the operator, who requests him to answer immediately with the first word that comes into his head. He makes a note of these replies—explaining that by this means he gets an insight into the spectator's mind and can have a shot at predicting his possible reactions under certain conditions. This is all 'build-up,' of course, but if the ' prediction ' is now written this early part of the effect is dominant in the spectators' minds.

Notes.—1, Make the index of talc or celluloid which can be sewn ; it can be worn all day quite comfortably and never crumples or takes on an awkward shape at the critical moment. The slips are folded over as shown and are easy to locate ; 2, the ' dummy ' billet can be palmed out and the hat fake dispensed with (see " Jinx ") ; 3, if using the hat fake, the match may be left in position until the spectator has completed his chain : if you happen to have predicted the choice correctly, simply turn the hat over, tipping the billet out, and release the match as the hat is righted.

whalebone

SEWN TO SWEATBAND MATCH

whalebone

SEWN TO SWEATBAND MATCH

Smttcia Mtvxtorid

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