Peter Warlock

FIRST of all the magician calls the attention of the audience to a stand on which rest a number of alphabet cards. He goes a little further and shows that underneath each there are two other cards, one also bearing a letter and the other a number. For instance here is a letter " B " and underneath it " D " concealing the number " 2."

A telephone directory is then handed to a member of the audience. Whilst he is looking through it to see that it is a genuine directory, a tumbler containing dozens of pieces of folded paper is taken into the audience. Several specta-

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number being omitted. These pieces of paper are now folded crosswise and crosswise in the opposite way, the fold being left in a springy condition (something akin to a spring flower). This " springiness " is an integral part of the force.

tors are requested to take one each of these folded slips, open it out and read the number written on it. At the same time the magician points out that the slips of paper carry numbers corresponding and equal in number to the pages of the directory.

The person holding the directory is now approached and he is asked to draw one of the folded slips. He too is requested to look at the number upon the paper, but furthermore is to turn to the page in the telephone directory represented by that number. Another member of the audience is asked to give a number from one to four. This number decides the column that shall be used and with this information the holder of the directory is asked to state aloud the name of the subscriber at the top of that particular column on the chosen page.

We'll give an actual example from a Leicester directory which we have used, GREY, T. E. The magician now removes from the main part of the stand the letters with their appropriate " letters " and " numbers " placing them on the top shelf of the stand so that they spell out the chosen name and initials.

The name of the subscriber's exchange is now asked for, and with the reply "SYSTON," the top cards are removed one at a time revealing the word, " SYSTON " underneath. Saying that the coincidence has already exceeded his expectations, the magician wonders whether he can achieve ultimate success. He says that he'll take a chance, and asking for the number of the subscriber, he is given the answer, 861450. Removing the letters forming the word " SYSTON," the number beneath is revealed as 861450!

The Requirements

The reader will have no doubts that this effect is brought about by means of a force, and may think that I have glossed over some detail in describing the selection of the numbered page. Simplicity of method and handling gives this perfect force. The requirements are a large sized tumbler (if working with a London Telephone Directory one would require a pint sized glass), and a piece of thin celluloid or acetate cut to such a size that it forms a transparent partition inside the glass. On say, one hundred pieces of paper measuring approximately one inch square, numbers from one to a hundred are written, the force

Another hundred similar sized pieces of paper are taken and on each the force number is written. These pieces too, are folded similarly and then dropped into one partition of the glass, the vari-numbered slips going into the other partition. The paper should be pushed down so that a space of about three quarters of an inch at the mouth of the glass is free from paper.

Now, if the reader, having made up the necessary fake has it in hand, he will find that if it is held as in the illustration the pressing of the celluloid partition to one side, the glass being held at the fingertips, only one set of papers is offered to a spectator. The interesting part is that the flexibility of the celluloid allows it to conform to the shape of the glass. The need for " springiness " in the papers is now apparent for when the celluloid is moved, the papers on one side of the partition compress easily whilst those on the other side expand.

Apart from the faked tumbler and papers the requirements are:—

1. A stand like that shown in the illustration. My own measures fifteen inches by twenty-four. With a strong hinged strut at the back, four lengths of wood were glued to the front to make shelves for the cards.

2. Two packs of " Lexicon " or lettered cards.

3. A pack of numbered cards.

4. A local telephone directory.

The page which the magician has decided to force should contain a name at the top of the third column which consists of either a four letter surname plus two intials or a five letter surname plus one initial. Taking the name already mentioned, " T. E. Grey," which fulfils these requirements on page 31 of the Leicester telephone directory we have loaded one of the partitions in the glass with a hundred duplicates of this number.

We now go a stage further. On the table we place the numbered cards representing his telephone number, to wit 8, 6, 1, 4, 5 and 0. On top of these in relative order go the lettered cards, S, Y, S, T, O and N, and finally on top of these go the lettered cards giving the subscriber's name, G, R, E, Y, T, and E. These sets of cards are placed in their correct alphabetical order on the stand (see illustration) triple sets of cards and numbers also being set in their appropriate positions. Quite obviously apart from the top letter it is immaterial which cards go beneath the one which shows. When complete the stand and cards should appear as shown in the illustration. Note that an extra "A," two extra " E's " and an " S " are included. With the stand set on the table, the force glass alongside and a local telephone directory at hand the magician is ready.

The Presentation

The magician talks of coincidence and the part it plays in one's life. The attention of the audience is then drawn to the cards upon the stand and it is pointed out that under each lettered card there is another lettered card, and beneath the latter a card bearing a number.

The telephone directory is handed to a member of the audience with a request that he assures both himself and the audience that it is really a copy of the current local directory. Taking the force tumbler and holding it in such a way that the varied numbers are exposed, the members of the audience are asked to take a few slips, satisfying themselves that there is no limitation of choice. Changing the glass over to the other hand the celluloid is pulled the opposite way and the slips now exposed are the ones bearing the force number.

Approaching the holder of the directory, the magician requests that he takes just one slip opens it out and notes the number on it. Further he is to turn to that numbered page in the directory. Another member of the audience is asked to give a number from one to four. The answer will either be " two " or " three." If it is the former number the holder of the directory is asked to ignore the first two columns and look at the third noting the subscriber's name at the top of the column. If " three " is the answer, there is no equivoque. The spectator having found the name and read it aloud, the magician removes the appropriate sets of cards from the stand, placing them in the name order on the top ledge. Now here is a point worth noting. If it is possible to find a name with variance in spelling please use it. For instance in the present case, " Grey." In removing the cards, the letters G, R and then A are taken. With this last letter, the assistant should stop the magician telling him that it should be E and not A. Such a casual mistake instils in the minds of the audience that the selection is one of pure chance. To counteract the possibility that the assistant may not notice the mis-spelling, the magician has under the letter A, the same letter and number card that would be placed under E in this case.

With the placing of the cards on the top ledge the effect is virtually finished and it only remains for the magician to build up the necessary suspense before revealing first the exchange and then the actual number.

Before leaving this effect, I would like to point out that if the performer wishes to make use of a wider range of names there is nothing to stop him. By having two sets of cards on the stand, the choice of top or bottom of a column might be offered. In such a case the name would have to commence with a different letter.

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