Way back at the beginning of the year Ai described this routine and promised that we should have it for the " Pentagram." We would have willingly waited a great deal longer for we think and we know our readers will agree that Al has routined three little methods that could not well stand alone, into an effect in which every idea that may ener the spectator's mind as to the " how is dissipated-as the effect progresses.
The requisites, from the audience's point of view, are a handkerchief, a ring and a borrowed half crown.
The coin is placed m the centre of the handkerchief and the ring, after being examined, is slid over the ends of the handkerchief so that the coin is imprisoned in the centre. Two spectators are invited to assist. Each takes two corners of the handkerchief so that apart from the small '' bag '" formed by the ring and the coin which is uppermost, it is stretched out parallel to the ground. Placing one hand under the handkerchief, the coin is apparently drawn through the ring.
The coin, which of course has been borrowed is handed to one of the spectators, which gives him a chance to examine it.
Again the coin is placed in the centre of the handkerchief and again the ring is slipped over the ends which are Tn turn held by the spectators. Once more does the coin pass through the ring. The specta:ors are requested to examine every article minutely.
For the third time the coin is placed in the centre of the handkerchief and the ring is slipped over the folds. For the third and last time the coin passes through the handkerchief and you can leave the articles with the spectators for microscopic examination.
The requirements for the effect are few. First of all a folding half crown is required. Besides this two rings are necessary. These rings are the type that can be bought at stationers for use in loose.leaf books. They are slightly smaller than a half crown and are hinged to open. One of these rings is taken and at the po'nt where the halves meet solder is applied so that a solid ring is formed. Better than solder is to have a smith weld the two ends. Thus you have two rings which look alike though one can, at a moment's notice, be opened.
The disposition of these articles will be peculiar to .he individual performer, but we suggest that the solid ring be in the waistcoat pocket, the hinged ring in the left hand jacket pocket, and folding half crown in the right hand trousers pocket.
To present the conjurer obtains possession of the folding coin and then either takes his own or borrows a linen handkerchief. This is opened out and placed either on a chair or table, the coin being held in a finger palm position in the right hand. The solid ring is taken from the pocket and offered for examination after which the coin is requested. Taking this with his righ; hand it is apparently passed to the left hand, but in the process is changed for the folding coin which is then placed on top of and in the centre of the handkerchief. (Most workers will havj a favourite method for .his change, but if he hasn't we recommend the one that Kaplan gives on page 236 of the "Fine Art of Magic"). With the coin retained in the right hand the ring is taken back and placed beside the handkerchief. Lifting the four corners of the handkerchief, bringing them together and holding them with the left hand 1he right hand takes the ring and slips it over the four corners of the handkerchief and slides it down until the coin is tightly imprisoned. The two spectators are then asked to assist. They are instructed to each take two corners of the handkerchief turn it over and keep it outstretched. This of course brings the " bag " formed by the ring and the coin uppermost. Whilst he is giving this instruc tion, the left hand obtains, in a casual manner, the hinged ring from the left hand pocket. This is iinger-palmed.
The position now is that the conjurer has the hinged ring finger-palmed in the left hand and the folding coin finger-palmed in the right hand. Because of the size of these articles the hands can be very relaxed and no impediment is offered during the next part of the effect. The right hand goes under the handkerchief whilst the left goes on top. The coin is folded by the left hand pushed through the ring and taken by the right hand which, under cover of the handkerchief, changes it once more for the borrowed coin. • This latter is tossed on to he table. After the coin is released the ring is left lying on the outstretched handkerchief.
The left hand takes the ring and with the remark " Perhaps you'd like to have a look at the coin," the right hand takes the handkerchief leaving the spectators free. The handkerchief is tucked into the breast pocket as the conjuror steps up to the table picks up the coin and remarks perhaps you'd like me to do. it again. Actually he has dropped the folding coin into his pocket and at the same time, on a most beautiful off-beat, switched the hinged ring for the solid ring. The handkerchief is taken and laid flat on the table once more, the borrowed coin is placed in the centre the ends drawn up and the hinged ring slid over (hem and down to the centre. This time the spectators take the handkerchief by the corners so that the " bag " part lies nearest to the floor. Placing his left hand underneath (this don't forget contains the solid ring finger-palmed), he opens the ring (the outstretched handkerchief covers all this operation) and in bringing it up and forward switches it for the solid ring. The coin now lies on top of the outstretched handkerchief. Solid through solid once more.
" Give both the ring and the coin another examination please," says the conjurer, and he passes the solid ring to the right hand, handing this to one assistant whilst with his left hand (this contains the hinged ring) he takes the coin and hands it to the other assistant. The handkerchief is taken away, this time with the left hand, and is tucked into the left jacket pocket, the hinged ring falling inside.
" What," says the conjurer, " you want me to do it again." . . . And so taking all examined articles he performs a miracle for the third and last time. The method you will all know, or if you don't just turn up " Modem Magic." The performer make use of the coin fold. He does it in this way. ... " Look, sir . . . an ordinary handkerchief. Now let me have the coin . . . thank you. That goes in the centre. . . . Look sir (this to the other assistant) right in the centre. At this point of course the handkerchief has been turned back prior to the fold being made. The handkerchief is now rolled and the spectator with the ring is asked to slide it over. The spectators are asked to hold the ends with the bag underneath. Placing his hand underneath, the conjurer removes the coin from the fold and allows ring and coin to drop into his hand. These are brought out from underneath and once more handed for examination.
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From the J. B. Findlay Collection
The medium having been escorted to another room (as usual), the impossibility of ccmrnunica-tion with her (or him) except by telepathic means is stressed.
The Operator, who for the sake of brevity we will subsequently designate " A," introduces two similar pieces of writing paper (these can of course be borrowed).
Emphasising the freedom of selection he asks for a subject matter, i.e., Place, number, adjectives, historical dates, names of things, etc. When a choice has been decided by the company present, the two pieces of paper are given together with a pencil one to each of two volunteers. "A" then requests that six of the items decided upon be called out, and as they are announced the volunteers are to write them down upon their respective pieces of paper.
When this is completed "A" requests ;hat either of the papers be placed in front of him and also that one of the six written items be selected and announced. He then takes an india rubber and erases the item selected.
Nexc he requests one of the spectators to take the second paper to the medium. He hands the rubber over also.
As soon as the medium receives the paper and rubber she /he erases a line on it. On being returned to the company it is found that the line erased corresponds to that erased on the original held by " A."
Please note that there is no confederacy, the paper sent to the medium is not touched by " A," neither is it necessary to send a particular person or have the paper folded in any way.
The secret method of coding the necessary line is in the rubber, which should be of the cheaper kind and bear a trade name. With the rubber placed thus :—
The medium and "A" think of the upper left hand corner as No. 1, the upper right hand corner as No. 2, the lower right hand corner as No. 3 and ;he lower left hand corner as No. 4. The position of the trade name decides positioning.
The only preparation consists of erasing something prior to the performance with corner No. 1. This not only makes the rubber look a more natural and innocent object but is also an important part of the method of coding the selected line.
The rubber, prior to presentation is in " A's " (say) waistcoat pocket, and is casually brought out and laid on the table before "the final selection of the word or line to be erased is made.
If the first line is selected "A" merely uses the No. 1 corner to erase the word or words.
If the second line, corner No. 2 is used for the erasure.
If the third line, corner No. 3 is used for the erasure.
If the fourth line, corner No. 4. is used for the erasure.
If the fifth, any other corner on the opposite side of the rubber.
To do this in a natural manner he starts erasing with corner No. 1, lifts the rubber as though the job is complete, apparently notes that the job is incomplete in some respect and then uses another corner on the opposite side.
If the sixth line is chosen he pockets the rubber and requests that the second paper be taken to the medium who then, for the purposes of the eflect, produces one of her own.
The effect can be performed anywhere and at any time and die freedom of selection coupled with the straightforward action that follows is most impressive and from the operator's point of view a most inexpensive item as the only outlay is at the most two or three pennies.
Needless to say the number of lines could be increased. By using all corners on the opposite side of the rubber, the number of items could be nine. By the introduction of other rubbers, each bearing some little distinctive mark, it would be possible to cover tens of items. The original rubber representing 1 to 9 would be placed on the table, the operator sitting or standing with his hands resting in his pockets. If the necessary selection involves the use of one in his pocket, this could be withdrawn, finger-palmed. In the action of picking up the original rubber for the purpose of erasure, it would be child's play to switch the rubbers, then handing out the duplicate for use by the medium.
My, Zauauiite Gaxd
On Page 46, of Hugard's " More Card Manipulations," No. 3, is described an excellent card trick, entitled, " The Score Card Scores." In Burling Hull's " Bulletin of Latest Sleights and Tricks," Page 12, is described, so far as I know for the first time, the principle of the sliding key or force card. Further descriptions of this will be found in Walter B. Gilson's " Sixteen Master Card Mysteries," p. 5, and " The Royal Road to Card Magic," p. 93. Combining these we have a most effective routine.
The presentation and working are as follows :—
The performer looks through the pack to " find his favourite card, the Queen of Hearts." The Queen is removed and stood up facing the audience, " so that she may observe what is happening." Two spectators are asked to choose a card each, and to note who has the higher value card of the two. Commencing a Hindu shuffle the cards are returned when half the pack is shuff ed off, the lower value card first, and the higher card on top of this. The two cards are returned together, and not separated, in the pack. Continuing the Hindu shuffle the cards are brought to the top of the pack in the usual manner, or the performer may use whichever method of con rol he prefers.
The magician now explains that he will cut the pack a number of times, which will lose the position of the cards, but will not separate them. A series of cuts are made finishing with the chosen cards again on top. The performer explains that the Queen of Hearts has been following all this, and knows just where the cards are, " even if we do not." The Queen is now handed to each of the two spectators, who are asked to whisper the names of their cards into her ear, so as to help her. " I take it," remarks the magician, " that that is the first time you have ever whispered to a Queen! " A third spectator now takes the Queen and is asked to thrust it face upwards into the pack, while the performer fans out the cards.
While talking, and approaching the spectator, the top card is slid over to the right, clear of the other cards, which are then fanned out above it. When the spectator thrusts the Queen into the fan the cards are separated slightly, and the sliding card underneath is insinuated above the Queen. The latter is only inserted half way into the pack, which is now closed, with the Queen projecting face up.
The performer explains that, if successful, the Queen will have placed herself between the two chosen cards. He requests the name of the card of higher value, and opening the pack bookwise with the right hand, shows very clearly that this card is, in fact, above the Queen. Facing right the upper half of the pack is removed, and the top card (the second chosen card) is slipped on to the top of the lower packet, over the Queen. The left first finger points at the exposed card for a second or two, then the right first and second ringers clip the Queen and draw it away while the performer turns round to the left. The name of the second chosen card is now requested, and the top card of the left hand packet is pushed forward with the thumb, and turned over with the first and second fingers, in the usual turn over flourish. The right hand now turns its packet face to audience again, and the two cards are shown around.
As a follow up to this effect, a further item on somewhat similar lines may be performed. The magician looks through the pack to find " his other favourite card, the Queen of Diamonds, also a very remarkable woman." The QD is placed down beside the QH, " so that both may see what is happening."
A single card is chosen, returned, apparently lost in the shuffled pack, but controlled to the top. The performer explains that it needs the two Queens to follow the card when the pack is shuffled, and not merely cut! The pack is then held face down in the left hand, and the Queens placed face upwards on top, fanned out to the right. The spectator who chose the card is asked to take one of the Queens, and whisper the name of his card to her. While he is doing so the other Queen is allowed to go flush on top of the pack, and is then lifted off with the chosen card underneath (double lift). The first Queen is taken from the spectator and placed partly under the double card,' both Queens being face up. " Perhaps," remarks the magician, " you had better whisper your card to the second Queen as well "—the cards are held out for him to do so.
The spectator is now asked to take the pack and riffle it, while the performer thrusts the cards he holds into the centre, with the Queens face up. The cards are pushed in flush and the pack then fanned out, or spread, face down. The face of Queens show, with a card in between; this is removed and shown as the chosen card.
In the first effect, and others of the type where two cards are located by thrusting a third card, or a knife, between them, I believe the cards should be returned to the pack together and the pack cut
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