Pentagram

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Vol. 5 JV*. 6 McvuA, 1951 iPjace One SAMiny

9ten (ftcdllie. umtea, about

"JJle Sing** of Sate"

Maroc.

December.

Dear Peter,

Another note to let you know what's doing. I'm in Fes now, an enchanting city, straight out of the " Arabian Nights ".

My studio is in the garden of the Sultan's palace, a lovely room with arched windows and mosaics on the floors and walls; a river runs under the studio! From my open door I look out on to a tiled and roofed Moorish verandah, huge scarlet and blue creepers climb over the verandah and droop down into the water below; beyond lie palm trees, cactus plants, orange trees and pomegranates. The trees are full of singing birds, butterflies and white doves flutter about; truly a dream-like existence, this! In the evenings I sit outside a Moorish café sipping mint-tea, a willow tree trails in the river nearby, Arab music fills the air and wisps of hashish smoke come drifting past; from where I sit I can see the " House of the Magician " in the " Street of the Clock ''; more about this place when I visit you in England.

The mentalist squats on the floor, in front of him is a circular brass tray, a Moorish one, resting on tiny legs. The spectator squats opposite the mentalist, on the other side of tray. Mentalist pours a stream of silvery sand on to the tray, then smooths it down with his flat hand till the tray is covered with a flat surface of sand about ¿-in. deep. Mentalist is now blindfolded and retires to a corner of room, standing with his back towards spectator. Spectator thinks of a design or Arab symbol and is then asked to trace this design in the sand with forefinger of his right hand. He is to concentrate on this design for 10 seconds or so, then to smooth over the sand again with the palm of his hand, erasing the design, leaving the sand once more smooth and unbroken. Mentalist now returns, squats cross-legged behind the tray once more, and concentrates. Slowly his right hand approaches the tray, forefinger rigid; a sudden dart downwards and his finger stabs into the sand; it moves slowly, then quicker; jerkily, then smoothly, grinding the sand from underneath it, until the exact (or nearly exact!) duplicate of the " thought-of " design lies there, traced in the sand by the wonder-worker's finger! (Whew!)

Well, that's how I'd like to work it, self-contained; only the tray and sand, but perhaps some hidden apparatus or gimmick; any ideas? What I did, of course, was to prepare a stack of blank visiting cards, about 20 of them, with an Arab symbol on each. (Designs, etc. could be used instead.) These are " set-up " in a known order. Charlier false shuffle and cut, etc. Spread on ground and spec, slides one out. You pick up at place from where card was withdrawn from (a la Annemann), and peek at keycard as you lay cards aside. The effect is good, I think, and capable of many variations, but I would like a self-contained method doing away with the cards.

I presented the effect with all possible accessories; incense smoking away in a container on either side of the tray-table, flickering oil-lamps casting shadows over the room, bags of incantations and mumbo-jumbo, and my forefinger, the one that traces the design, commences to glow in the semi-darkness! This, of course, is the old gag, using the deposit that remains if you burn the striking-surface of a matchbox on a glass or metal surface. I carry some with me all the time, keeping it on a small metal lid, off an ink bottle; this lid is wedged into a matchbox which is in right trousers pocket. You just open the box in pocket and dab forefinger into the oily liquid on lid. A slight rubbing motion with forefinger and thumb starts the glowing business. In daylight, of course, you produce smoke this way, as the glow isn't seen in the light.

An age-old effect, but with a twist to make it appear different, plus a story and presentation which has provided me with a popular item in my repertoire for some long time, is my offering to you.

May I first of all tell the story as I do to my eager-faced children amongst my audience.

" Children, in my travels I have visited many lands, and some time ago I was enjoying the colourful beauties of that ancient City of Baghdad. Whilst wandering around one of their quaint Eastern bazaars I came across a wizened old man thrilling a group of dark-faced youngsters recounting a story and holding their interest with a delightful model of an Eastern temple. I have the very model here, which you see fills one with expectancy as to what it will reveal. This old man removed the minaret top-piece, as I am doing, and, taking the' column of glass, poured out its contents, which you see are lovely coloured beads, into his dark and sinewy hands. There they were, all those brilliantly coloured beads, lit only by the rays of the strong sun. After allowing one or two of the little ones to handle some of them, he poured them back into the glass column. Pulling a strand of silken thread from his mantle, he wound this round his finger and put it in amongst the beads. He replaced the top and set the column into its rightful place. Turning to those onlookers, he asked them to be very, very quiet and still you will follow their example, won't you? Next he removed a leather pouch from his cloak and with a crude piece of paper rolled himself a cigarette with the dried tobacco leaves which it contained. They followed his every movement, but as I haven't a pouch I am going to use this ordinary cigarette with which we are more familiar over here. Placing the cigarette into a beautifully carved holder, he placed it to his lips, lit the end and alternately puffed at it and cried to the skies to shower forth flakes of snow. For there to be snow amongst all this heat was in itself a miracle, but, strange as it might seem, down came the snow. It fell all around that little temple and when the last flakes had fallen he laid aside his holder and cigarette and once again removed the glass column from its base, and after taking the minaret away, poured the beads again into his hands, only to reveal, just as you see here, a necklace made from the beads and silken cord."

The temple is simplicity in itself and is made from the largest size Alka Seltzer tube. The cap is dispensed with and a minaret is shaped from a piece of balsa wood and used as a stopper.

Down the centre of the tube is fashioned a length of polished tin or mirror if you like. Thus we have virtually a mirror tube in miniature. On one side of the tube is the completed necklace, whilst on the other are the loose beads. The length of silken cord is a piece of embroidery silk which is hanging through your buttonhole in your lapel.

A cigarette-holder, which must be Oriental in appearance, is easily camouflaged if you take a modern one and apply a covering of sticky paper, suitably puckering it as you apply it, and then decorate with poster paints. The cigarette has been doctored by inserting one of those " Snow Storm " pellets obtainable from joke stores.

There is a base to take the tube and a cardboard background designed accordingly. The beads

(continued, on page 44)

Flashback!

R stands for Redman

COMEDIAN, ILLUSIONIST, JUGGLER, COMICAL CONJURER. PLATE & BASIN SPINNER & MANIPULATOR, RECITER & VOCALIST.

I roui St. Georg 's Hall, St. James's Hall, the Royal Aquarium, etc., etc. Author of our New National Poem "The British Flag," graciously accepted and acknowledged by

His Majesty The King,

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales,

AND OTHER

members op the royal family.

COMEDIAN, ILLUSIONIST, JUGGLER, COMICAL CONJURER. PLATE & BASIN SPINNER & MANIPULATOR, RECITER & VOCALIST.

I roui St. Georg 's Hall, St. James's Hall, the Royal Aquarium, etc., etc. Author of our New National Poem "The British Flag," graciously accepted and acknowledged by

His Majesty The King,

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales,

AND OTHER

members op the royal family.

Serms.

Ditto with Special Novelties 1 12 C

These terms include most of the above kinds of Entertainmen'

Plate & Basin Spinning, etc., by Arrangement.

Bazaars, Concerts, Soirees, etc., Atte?:df.!>. Special Terms on behalf of Charities. Fat dates and further particulars, address—

12, DociB Street, Ferndale Road,

From the J. B. Findlay Collection

San Slack Qfuumy&

306,6 Me 3Cate I

Here is a card effect of mine that may be suitable for your readers. Hand a pack of cards to be well shuffled and tell the spectator to deal out a pile of cards, first dealing one face down, then the next face up, the next face down, and so on. After he has dealt ten cards, tell him to stop at any time he likes. Let us say that he stops after dealing the last card face down. Tell him to take this face-down card and note what it is. Then he is to insert it anywhere in the pile he has made and hand all the cards to. you. (Should he stop at a face-up card, tell him to take any card from the pack, note it and insert it anywhere in the pile dealt out.) Hold the cards under the table or behind your back and execute the following moves.

Take the top card in the right hand, reverse it and push the next card below it. Reverse the two cards and put the next card below them.

Reverse the three before placing the next one below them (this is just going through the moves for the Slop Shuffle a la Sid Lorraine, but just taking one card at a time). Carry on until one card is left, which goes below the packet. Take out the cards, which will be seen to be a facedown packet. Then say that you will show his chosen card.,

Fan off the few face-down cards from top of pile and a face-up card will show. If this is the selected card, the effect ends there. If it is not, place the fan of cards below the pile and say that you have failed. Now fan off the face-up cards and place them below the pile. Palm off the first face-down card and ask for the name of the selected card. Then produce it from the pocket, remarking that it has been in the pocket all the while.

CUUhwc Cxvctm'*

3Jhe WM&p&i of cut 3xLai

Readers who are on the look out for a novel and dramatic method of revealing a selected card suitable for stage presentation may like to try the following effect, which allows the performer to put to good use any acting ability which he may possess.

A card having been selected and shuffled back into the pack by a spectator, his attention is drawn to a small figure of Buddha which is standing in the middle of a card table. " By the aid of this image," remarks the performer, " I shall endeavour to discover the card which you selected a few moments ago, whether or not I api on the right track will be conveyed to me by whispers uttered by the idol, to which my ears are specially attuned. Before, however, I can make use of this sixth sense, I must sacrifice one of the other five—would you therefore be good enough to blindfold me, and place the figure in my hands.

The performer—who during this diatribe, has been standing behind and at some distance from the table, being duly blindfolded—requests the spectator to cut the pack into three heaps. " Now ", he remarks while standing with the lips of the figure against his ear, " please be good enough to pick up one of the packets of cards. Ah! I distinctly heard the words ' Pas Haki ', which is Tibetan for ' put down therefore your card cannot be there, so would you be good enough to put the heap you hold aside and pick up another. That's better. I heard the words ' Kas Shaga ', which means ' it's here ', so would you retain that heap and put the remaining one aside ".

The helper is then requested to take the chosen heap and spread the cards it contains backs up over the, table, and guide the still sightless magician to the rear of same.

After further '' whispers '' the performer, after due showmanship, places the buddha upon one card, which is found to be the actual one selected by the spectator.

As the experienced reader will have doubtless realised by now, the effect is nothing more or less than the old stabbed card effect, described originally in Lang Neil's " Modern Conjurer ", with an up-to-date dressing, and without the need of sacrificing a card each time. The requirements are few and simple.

1. A small buddha, which may be purchased cheaply at a curio shop.

2. A pack of cards containing a " short " which is marked in some distinctive manner on the back.

3. A large white handkerchief for blindfolding.

The actual working may be dismissed in a few words, as it is the showmanship which counts.

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