Rhodesia Reverse


IN THE May 1952 issue of the English monthly The Qen Bill Simon, the American author of that wonderful book for card lovers, " Effective Card Magic " described an unusual effect named " Cards in Reverse."

The novelty of the approach to the reverse of a card chosen out of three intrigued me and I set out to find a different solution. At the same time I have tried to make the effect even more puzzling —to the laymen and to the magician alike. Have I succeeded ? You will be the judge !

Here is the effect.—The deck is shuffled by the spectator and the magician deals the top three cards face down on the table. (The magician does not cut or manipulate the deck in any way after the spectator's shuffle.)

One of the cards is chosen and looked at. The magician in the meantime turns his back. The three cards are then mixed and left on the table face down. The magician now turns to the audience once more and fans the cards left in his hands. (He shows both sides of the fan and proves the absence of any trickery in this way."

The three cards are inserted face down in the face down fan, which is closed. The deck is cut once and left on the table.

The magician then orders the three cards to assemble in the centre of the deck, to reverse themselves ordering the chosen card to take its place between the other two. Finally the chosen card is ordered to turn over once more so that it will be face down between the other two cards. Now the magician says : " You had three cards on the table. You did not chose the . . ., neither did you select the . . . but your choice was the . . ." While pattering the magician fans the deck once more. This time the backs of the cards are towards the audience. In the centre of the fan two cards are found to be reversed. They are the two cards first named. In between them is another card which proves to be the last card named : the chosen card.

Before explaining this trick to you I want to draw your attention to the following points : A borrowed deck is used and the only manipulation required is a pressure or a two-handed thumb fan.

The advantages over Bill Simon's effect (to my mind at least) are, 1—the cards are freely chosen, 2—the cards are inserted face down into the face down deck, and 3—the cards are named before they are shown.

This last point is very strong as it seems that the three cards together are the same as the three which were dealt on the table previously. Actually only the chosen card is part of the original three.

Here is the handling.—After the spectator has shuffled the cards the magician deals three cards from top in a face down row on the table. While dealing the first card it is seized on the left outer corner—thumb on top, fingers underneath. In dealing this card a secret crimp is made, so the card is distinguishable to the conjuror.

The next card is dealt without any chicanery. A short interval is made now and the magician explains, that he will offer a choice from the ancient magical number "Three."

In the meantime the next card from top is picked up by the right hand, thumb on the inner short side, fingers on the far short side. While pattering this card is bridged slightly and then dealt next to the others.

The position is now: - three cards on the table, one crimped, one bridged and one untouched.

(If an old deck is used the principle of the " Imperfection " may be used. A full description of the principle will be found in Mario's " Mario in Spades." In this case no crimping nor bridging is necessary.)

The magician invites a spectator to select one card. The moment the card is pointed at or picked up the magician makes a mental note of the chosen card and turns his back. The spectator is now allowed to look at at the card. Then he is requested to replace the card on the table and mix the three cards thoroughly, which prevents his looking at the other cards.

Whilst his back is turned the magician turns over two cards of his deck. This should be about the sixth and seventh from top. It does not matter actually which cards are turned, but two cards near the top are preferred.

Now the magician turrs front again and makes a pressure fan, faces towards the audience. As soon as the fan is developed the right hand goes along the topside of the fan with his right hand fingers as if adjusting one or more cards. This actually is done to hide the exposure of the two reversed cards.

The deck is now really adjusted so that the neighbouring cards cover the two reversed cards.

This is all done with the faces of the fan towards the audience. The magician remembers the names of the two cards which stare into his face from the back. Then he adjusts those two cards so that they will not be showing if he turns the fan face down. The left of the two cards may still be exposed as will be seen in a minute.

This adjusting business takes less than ten seconds, but it makes complicated reading, I know. Don't let this upset you, for an actual trial will prove how easy it is.

While the fan is still facing the audience the magician picks up one of the three cards which are still face down on the table. This must be the chosen card. You will find it easily. It's either the card with the bridge or the crimped one or the unprepared one.

Anyway, pick up the chosen card and " ride along " the back of the fan with the right inner corner of this card. Insert the card between the two reversed ones. Let the card protrude about one third in front of the deck and also about half an inch to the left. The card will now cover the index of the lowermost reversed card.

Turn the fan slowly face down while inserting the card. Pick up the next card from the table and insert it about centre of the fan without showing the face of the card. The third card finally is inserted into the left part of the face down fan. All three cards should protrude equally to front and left so that it is absolutely clear that they are not together.

Close the fan and push the three cards home.

Now cut the deck deliberately and place it on the table in front of you. Order the three cards to flock together and tap the deck with your wand—if you are that kind of a magician. Then order the cards to reverse themselves and finally order the chosen card to lie between the two others and reverse itself once more.

Pick up the deck saying: " You did not chose the . . . (name one of the reversed cards you glimpsed before), neither did you select the . . . (the second card is named).

In the meantime you pressure fanned the deck, this time faces towards yourself and backs showing to the audience. You spot right away the two backs of the reversed cards and in between you see the chosen card.

You continue your patter along these lines : " But you selected the . . ." Right away you turn the left hand holding the fan, so that you see the backs yourself.

You find (!) the two reversed cards with another card sandwiched between. Remove all three cards and throw them on the table so that the chosed card is showing.

The importance during the last part must be laid on the point, that you look for the reversed card. This will enhance the idea that you knew the names of all three cards before.

(Just a note for conclusion) After fanning the cards for the last time the faces are showing to the magician's side while the backs are towards the audience. As soon as the chosen card has been seen the left hand with the vertically held fan is pulled back so that the fan rests nearly against the left side of the chest. The magician then—looking down—sees the back as the audience does and without exposing the chosen card he can remove the three cards. The climax then comes in throwing the cards down onto the table).

" People who have reached the peak of their professions continue to practice, and learn, and improve. It certainly should not be too much to expect a magican to learn how properly to perform his effects before performing in public." Bill Simon—" Sleightly Sensational."



RECENT articles in The Magic Circular has prompted me to describe another ver-concerning the effect "Tell tale tea leaves" sion, which whilst using the same principle has to my way of thinking a more profound impression on the audience.

The original effect, one of Norman Hunter's, is simple and direct and is briefly, the appearance of the figures in tea leaves of a previously borrowed coin. The coin was forced or switched and the <late was previously " written " on the plate in flat white paint or white vaseline so that it "appeared" as far as the audience was concerned, "invisible" becoming "visible" when the dry tea leaves adhered to the tacky figures.

In my version the plate can be handled by the audience, and an absolutely free choice of a card is made from an ordinary pack and yet the correct impression is accomplished by the performer. The points to note are, the performer does not touch the cards whilst free selection is made, the plate is used to carry the pack to the audience. The requirements are simple. Tea Cup with some dry tea leaves, about half full is sufficient, small Tea Plate or Saucer, a small " pea " of white vaseline and a set up deck —'Si Stebbins' or 'Eight Kings' etc.. and an elastic band.

" Stick " the blob of vaseline to the cup, near the handle, rear side to audience.

To perform—Remove cards from case, fan to show all different, false shuffle, and cut several times, place on plate, allow spectator to cut and remove top card. Tell him not to look at card for the present but to reverse pack of cards to face up position and place his card face down in the centre so that it may be easily found later, snap band around, place cards on plate and hand to another spectator who is invited to bring them to the platform. Seat the second assisant and ask him to {dace the cards in his pocket, take the plate from him in left hand, show freely and pick up cup with tea leaves in. Let some "run" out on to the floor and with the thumb pick up the vaseline from cup. This is easy and undetectable as forefinger is naturally through handle. Lay cup down and take plate in both hands front side facing audience. Tell the story of the "fortunes predicted in tea leaves," whilst doing so reverse plate so that bottom faces audience.. You will find it an extremely easy matter to "write" the name of the chosen card on the plate. The figure and one letter to denote suit is sufficient, for example 3C. 2D and so on.

Oh. I forgot, how do you know the card when •he spectator reversed the deck, you noted the bottom card and the next in series is the chosen one.

Having done the dirty work, pour some of "•he tea leaves on to the plate, press down lightly. Pell spectator to remove cards from pocket and remove the " reversed chosen card." Throw the tea in the air and show the result to the audience In brief this is an adaptation of the thumb writer.

"One of magic's most profilic writers, Bob Orben, has contributed tremendously to the entertainment value of magic." Bill Simon—" Sleightly Sensational."



THIS IS an effective Card and Coin combination which by the experienced operator, can be performed impromtu. A pack of cards is thoroughly shuffled and a card is selected. A coin is borrowed and the spectator holding the selected card is asked to write on the latter the date of the coin which is now wrapped up in a small sheet of paper and placed in a wine glass. The selected card is taken by the performer and inserted in the centre of the pack which had previously been returned to its case and the flap left open. The inserted card is left partly sticking out with its face and date facing the audience, that is in a reversed position to other cards in case.

The contents of wineglass then vanish by the touch of a lighted cigarette and the performer showing both hands perfectly empty, removes the cards from case and advancing to assistant, directs him to cut the cards at the profruding card. He lifts this portion and discovers the coin which was originally in paper in the wineglass. The performer then deals the four cards lying beneath the discovered coin and holds them high up in his right hand backs to the audience. The spectator then reads date on his card and the performer shows that the four cards in his hand form the date on the coin.

I will first describe the " beginners " routine which involves a couple of elementary sleights which most readers of this bulletin will be familiar.

Previous to performance have say a Penny of which you know the date in the left hand trousers pocket. Place four cards corresponding to date on coin on top of the pack of cards in the reverse order, i.e., if date is 1947, place 7 on top of this a 4 then 9 and then an Ace. A small square of flash paper in right pocket. On table is wineglass, cigarette and lighter or matches. Place the cards in the case and you are all set.

To Perform—Remove cards and give a false shuffle retaining top stock. Allow removal of card from anywhere except top four. Crimp the bottom card of pack with the little finger of left hand by bending the corner a little downwards. Cut pack and place the bottom portion on top of pack. The crimped card is now approximately at centre of pack and next to the four "dated cards." Place the pack in the case with edge of card with crimp visible up (to you). Leave flap open.

Ask for the loan of a Penny and while doing so palm penny from left trousers pocket. Take the borrowed penny in right hand pretend to transfer it to left and drop coin in glass. With right hand remove flash paper from right trousers pocket and leave switched coin behind. Show paper both sides. Take up glass. Allow spectator holding card to look at date on coin and write date on face of card. Take the coin and wrap it up in the usual paper coin fold. Allow it to drop into right finger palm and place " the package " in the glass.

Take the card from assistant with hand holding coin and pick up case with cards with left hand. It will be found an easy matter to insert card at the Crimp i.e., above the " dated cards " and allow coin to slip into pack behind it. The card provides adequate cover and actually assists the easy passage of coin. It will be found that coin rests about half way down pack in case. Leave card protruding. Light cigarette and touch off flash. Grip cards tightly at top and coin will be securely held in break. Show recovered coin and cards forming date. Show wineglass empty.

The expert will find it easy to cull desired cards in a borrowed pack after sighting borrowed coin which may be marked in his case and no switch necessary.

The final effect is the same.

" Many magicians attempt to perform effects which require practice. If they refuse to practice (which is the only possible way to learn technically involved moves) then why don't thev concentrate on the thousands of effects that require no practice." Bill Simon—" Sleightly Sensational."


THE 1954 Banquet at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, proved to be a most enjoyable affair. As of always this social event gives one the opportunity of meeting those members who hail from the country and make this one of the few occasions on which they travel to Town.

Nearly four hundred sat down to a well served dinner. Speeches were not too long, the Common Sargeant of the City of London, Sir Anthony Hawke, wittily proposing the Toast of the Society, the response being given almost in audibly by Douglas Craggs. One gathered that it involved some exciting magical adventures in the Midlands and Malaya; in the latter place, a "half cut" crocodile figured. Francis White, as only Francis White can, loosed a broadside of cutting wisecracks in quick succession before he bade the company rise and drink to " Our Guests." A fine response to this Toast came from that distinguished broadcaster, Richard Dimbleby.

During a break in which the floor was cleared Ken Brooke intrigued, mystified and delighted a closely packed audience in the anteroom adjoining the Ballroom.

At ten o' clock dancing began to the music of Stanley Kilburn and his band ; it was short lived for the clock hands stood at ten twenty and the cabaret (Someday a member of a magical society will find out the true meaning of this word and wonder!) was about to begin! Scheduled for thirty five minutes, it kept to magical society tradition and ran fifty five. In extenuation let us say that it had an exceptionally fine magical content which would have showed off to greater advantage with better stage management and presentation. It did however have a theme and that theme was " Light."

Claude Chandler who finely presented the " Glost" illusion associated with David Devant, wanted, and had to ask for, " Light." Bob Harbin with his sensational " Out of this World " illusion didn't want it and had to say so! Paddy Victor used it for his delightfull hand-shadows, and the Voltaires with their terrific act who closed the magical part of the show, prodcued it at will. A fine looking team of hoofers, the " Gainsborough" girls opened and closed the show.

During the evening presentations were made to Horace King, Peter Newcome and Leslie Turpin.

The committee all did a fine job of work and we offer our thanks to them; they were MacWilson, Horace King, Bernard Lovett, Gil Leaney, Marchant and John Salisse.



WHEN, in the February issue we wrote regarding what we considered the wrongful tendency of modern children's magic we never expected so many conjurers to agree with us and so few to disagree, and yet such was the case, so for once in a time it looks as though we were on the right lines.

We have quite a number of congratulatory letters regarding Jack Avis's " Hole in the Table," and those who have tried out this effect will never leave it out of their repertoire of table magic. It had a very good reception from the magicians who really matter lin America as well, and so too.'did his miracle card stab.

It was with a great sense of regret that we heard of the sudden illness of " Hen " Fetsch which meant that he would be unable to keep the lecture dates which Harry Stanley had arranged at the Unique Studios. We extend our own wishes and those of our readers for a speedy recovery and convalescence coupled with the hope that his visit to these shores will not be delayed too long.

like myself to know that he has a Science Fiction novel readied for publication. The title is "World in Eclipse " and the publisher is Peter Owen.

The first week in May is going to be a busy week. On the 3rd the Watford Society will hold their Annual Dinner at Watford Town Hall. (An amazing Society for at this annual event more than 150

people attend, and yet the Society only boasts some 30-odd members. It has a percentage of really good magicians that cannot be equalled by any other Society we know in this country). The 7th sees the Supper sponsored by the British Ring for Les. Levante, whilst the 9th will see one of those very satisfying Unique Magicians' Club shows at Victoria Halls which only Harry Stanley knows how to stage.

April 25th saw me in Amsterdam giving a lecture to some 300 continental magicians. There are quite a lot of nice things I wish to say about this trip next month but for the moment will be content in thanking Henk Vermeyden and his Dutch colleagues for their marvellous or-

We were most surprised quite recently when reading an article by Kaplan on Nate Leipzig, that he attributed the invention of the Twentieth Century Silks to this very great magician. The date given was 1910. We were surprised because we have looked upon Kaplan as an informed authority Without in any way trying to detract from the very fine work of Leipzig, credit for the initial effect must go to Devant who was performing the effect at the turn of the century. A description of this method is given in " Later Magic," which was published in 1904. At the same time the trick was on sale using faked handerchiefs and advertisements can be found in the very early copies of Stanyon's " Magic."

It is excellent news to know that our friend Will Dexter returns to London at the beginning of May. It is also good news to Science Fiction fans


ganisation and charming hospitality.

Our publisher has a very nice treatise on ring tricks by Hans Trixer, who now, as most of our readers will know, is resident in Rhodesia. When we saw Jack Lamonte at the C.A.A. the other evening he told us that he just completed the illustrations. Also on Holland; Fred Kaps goes to the Lido, Paris for five months commencing in May.

A lecture that we would like to hear again was given by Percy Press at the Magic Circle on "Those were the Days." It was worth the price of two year's subscription. The following week Percy also staged a show of magic at the C.A.A. which was voted one of the most entertaining shows that had been put on and further that it should become an annual event. Those who took part were Jimmy Rodgers, Jack Crossbie, Michael Bailey, Fred Barlow, Margaret Newman and myself.

Peter Warlock




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