Peter Warlock

FROM that delightful publication for the connoisseur, the " Phoenix" emerged an effect that has already been subjected to many variations both in plot and method. I refer to the trick in which, during the magician's absence, one of a number of glasses containing liquid has had added to it an imaginary shot of poison. The magician returns to the room and is successful in locating the poisoned(?) liquid!

As I mentioned before there have been many variations on this in the " Phoenix " (Nos. 212, 215 and 267) and also our very good friend Jimmy Ester, gave our readers an excellent version in the previous number of the " Pentagram." In seeking our own solution we have been guided by two things :

1. The obviation of confederacy.

2. The directness in the presen tation.

Briefly the effect, which is intended for drawing room work, goes like this :

On the magician's table stands a row of six glasses (size or shape is immaterial). Into each a quantity of liquid is poured from a jug.

The magician then introduces a Borgia motif: he mentions how Cesare would choose the victim and his sister Lucretia, administer the fatal dose. Two members of the audience are asked to enact the main characters; the man is seated on the magician's left, whilst the lady sits on his right. In keeping with the plot, the magician picks up a small stone, and asks the man to hold it in his left hand. "The Borgias," he mentions, " were superstitious—the object you hold, and which I don't want you to release until I tell you, is an amulet." To the lady is now given a small glass phial. It is quite empty, but the recipient is asked to imagine that it contains a deadly poison.

The magician now indicates that he is going to turn his back (if thought necessary he can also be blindfolded) and he gives instructions that when it is impossible for him to see what is going on, the man is to fix his mind on one of the glasses and take it across to the lady. His task is then finished, and he can return to his seat in the audience.

The lady is to pour some of the invisible poison into the glass from the phial, and then replace the glass in its original position on the table. So that the magician cannot be helped by noting the possible movement of one glass, all the glasses are to be shifted forward a little and re-aligned. When this has been completed, the magician turns round, and after suitable dramatic play, locates the glass that has had the poison added.

Sliver of Cellotape.

The requirements are as follows :

Six tumbler glasses (the type roughly illustrated can be obtained from Woolworfh's, and is ideal as it has an octagonal base).

A roll of cellophane tape. An empty phial with a cork to fit. A small smooth stone (to represent the amulet). A large jug container to hold some water.

The preparation is simple. At the point shown in the illustration, a small sliver of cellophane tape is attached. This is best achieved by sticking on a larger piece and then cutting away and then scraping off the unwanted pieces with the aid of a razor blade.

With this preparation complete the set up for performance is simple.

The six glasses are lined up on the table with the added cellophane at the rear, so that in effect you have six one-way pointers. The jug of water is to the rear of the table and the phial corked and the amulet are in reach.

In presentation, the glasses are first filled with water, the jug placed aside, and the two members of the audience invited to assist. The man is seated left of the table and the lady on the right.

The man is handed tfte amulet and asked to retain it in his hand, which means that only one hand can be free to pick up the glass at a later stage.

The phial is picked up, uncorked, and handed to the lady, who will either take it with the right or left hand (emphasis must be laid upon the fact that the phial is empty and confirmation should be forthcoming from the assistant). Again note that this assistant only has one hand free.

With the magician turning away and his instructions being carried out as outlined in the effect it will be seen that the picking up, handing over and ultimate replacement of the glass upon the table means that the glass must be given a complete turn so that the cellophane indication on the selected glass must be on the opposite side to the indicators on the five remaining glasses. That is the simple secret. The fresh alignment of the glasses by the lady is not likefy to upset the pointers for whilst each pointer may be shifted up to a matter of 30°, none will equal the full 180° which the selected glass has suffered.

One last word. Don't use stemmed glasses, for if taken by the stem, the slightest movement of the thumb and finger is sufficient to cause a turn of the glass.

And so we have friends of magic who are willing to applaud lustily even at the drop of a gimmick, the wing-wise glance when a thread breaks or an assistant isn't on time. Likewise we have vrould-be friends of any magician for himself alone, perhaps in the case of professionals as a sop to our amateur vanity.—JINX.

BURIED TREASURE

Two Relative Key Locations ALEX ELMSLEY

We take this opportunity of welcoming a new contributor to our pages. In his description of these t?vo most excellent card locations, Alex. Elmsley, knowing that readers of this publication speak the same magical language, has confined himself to bare description and instruction.

A lovely close-up worker, Alex, is one of a younger group of magicians who day by day is taking advantage of the modem technique and with it producing something new in magic. Just recently he has been ' ' slaying ' ' magicians and laymen alike with a delightful vanish of a card from between two others. A description of this will be found in a forthcoming publication to which we have already referred, " Come a little closer \ "—P.W.

IN RELATIVE key locations the position of two or more cards relative to each other is known, and it is upon the keys' relative position that the location depends. Because of this, the pack can be cut indefinitely by a spectator before the start of the effect. The idea of a relative key springs naturally from the idea of a buried key, in which the position of one card relative to the top of the pack is known.

Effect 1. The pack is cut several times, and then it is cut into two approximately equal packets. Two spectators look at the top cards of these two packets. Then each of the packets is cut, burying the two chosen cards. The magician looks through the packets, and cuts each of them. Now the spectators each deal from their packet simultaneously, card for card, and each is told to say "stop" when he deals his own card. The two spectators stop at the same time. M ethod.

Before starting, note the bottom card, and the twenty-sixth card from the top of the pack. The ability to cut a pack into twenty-six and twenty-six is a great help in peeking buried and relative keys. If you cannot do this, you must run through the pack as though to find the Joker and peek the key while doing so.

Now the pack is cut indefinitely, and then it is divided into two packets, approximately halves. The top card of each packet is noted, and the packets are cut. Now pick up either of the packets, and run through it, looking for a key, and also counting the cards. Whichever key you find, cut it to the top of the packet. Now pick up the other packet, run through it and cut the other key to the top. If the number of cards you counted in the first packet is more than twenty-six, subtract twenty-six from the number counted, and cut the resulting number of cards from the bottom of the second packet to the top. If the number counted is less than twenty-six, subtract it from twenty-six, and cut that number of cards from the top to the bottom.

Now the two chosen cards are at the same positions in the two packets, and the denouement is in your hands.

It can happen that both keys are cut into the same packet. In this case, one of the chosen cards will be between the keys, and if two or three cards are between the keys, a little questioning will tell you which is the chosen card. The other card is lost, but a suggested out is to take the packet with the known card on top, and second deal in time with a spectator who is dealing from the other packet. The spectator stops when he comes to his card, and you produce the other chosen card on the same deal.

Effect 2. The pack is cut several times, then it is cut into three heaps, the top card of the centre heap is looked at. The original bottom heap is dropped on top of the centre heap, and the original top heap is dropped on top of both. The spectator deals the cards face up on to a table, and magician stops him as he is about to deal the selected card. Method.

Four keys are used for this effect, although two can be used with less freedom of preliminary cutting. You must note the bottom card of the pack and every thirteenth card thereafter as you run through the pack " to make sure that they are all there." This is less difficult than it sounds, but a knowledge of the Nikola system is a great help. The cards must be remembered in their order from the bottom of the pack. Now work through the effect until the point where the spectator is dealing the cards. Count the cards until one of the keys turns up, and then subtract the number at which it stands from thirteen. Now look out for the next key in the order in which you remembered them. (Explanation : Suppose the keys, in order from the bottom of the pack, were the 1, 2, 3 and 4 of hearts. When the spectator deals, the 3 of hearts is the seventh card. Subtraction from thirteen gives six, and you look out for the 4 of hearts). When you see this key, let the spectator deal as many more cards as the answer to your subtraction sum, and then call "stop." The next card is the chosen card. (Explanation : there are six cards between the 4 of hearts and the chosen card).

You will find that you have plenty of time in which to do your calculations.

If you do not want to remember four key cards, note two cards thirteen apart at about the centre of the pack. Now allow one cut of the pa k before the start of the effect, asking whoever cuts to cut somewhere near the centre. Now carry on with the effect as before.

Pigeon catching from mid-air, pigeon vanish from sucker box, duck production, and the mutilated parasol. At that point several persons of taste and intelligence walked out.—JINX, page 742-

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