Supt SAcucpe Sjvlama

EDITOR'S NOTE.—After receiving his copy of our Douglas Decter issue, George Braund rang us to offer his congratulations on an outstanding number. He mentioned Mr. S. H. S harpe's effect and how way back in the twenties he had worked a version that allowed the spectator to cut through the envelope. We asked the "how" and over the phone he described his version. By the nest morning's post we had a sample envelope which solved some of the difficulties that seemed apparent in the <>r'd description. We feel sure that with the choice of Mr. Sharpe's original version, Douglas De.rter's improvement, the method to be described and Mr. Logan's version a much neglected effect will go into manv programmes.—

The Effect.—Taking an envelope the magician cuts away each end so that he has in effect a flattened tube. A three or four foot length of wide silk ribbon is then dropped inside the tube so that an equal amount protrudes at each end. Folding the envelope at the centre, the magician then takes a pair of scissors, and, offering them to a spectator, asks him to cut through the folded centre of the envelope. The spectator does this, and the magician shows, by pulling back the cut edges, that the ribbon is severed. The magician's hand now approaches the cut edges of the ribbon and pulls them upward, thus removing the pieces from the cut envelope, and shows the ribbon restored to one piece.

The Requirements and Preparation.—One foolscap envelope, preferably made from cartridge paper. Taking a sharp razor blade, the magician makes two slits across one side of the envelope ; these slits are parallel, and Illustration 1 shows their relative position. A length of silk ribbon, not less than two inches in width, is taken, and from it is cut a piece measuring in length the distance between the two slits. A spot of secco-tine is smeared across each end of this small piece of ribbon, the latter then being carefully placed inside the envelope so that it adheres to the small portion of the envelope between the two slits. The illustration will make this quite plain. Prior to presentation the length of ribbon is folded and placed inside the envelope, the flap of the latter being turned in. The envelope is then placed slit side downwards on a table. A pair of scissors should be beside the envelope or in the magician's pocket.

Presentation.—With the left hand the envelope is picked up from the table, slit side away from audience; first lifting the flap with his right hand fingers the magician then reaches inside and withdraws the length of ribbon. After placing this on the table the pair of scissors is taken and each end of the envelope is snipped off so that in effect the magicians has a flattened paper tube. Holding the envelope with his left hand in a vertical position sufficient pressure is applied so that the paper bellies out and forms a tube (See Illustration 2). The position of the left hand is such that the left thumb can press against that portion of the envelope between the slits, so the magician really has, though the audience are unaware of the fact two tubes separated by a gap. The right hand takes one end of ribbon and lifts it from the table. It is carried over and above the envelope and the lower end is allowed to enter the top end of the "tube " ultimately emerging at the lower end. When an equal amount of ribbon is showing above and below the envelope, the uppermost end of the ribbon is released. The envelope is then folded over so that the slit portions are inside (See Illustration 3). Taking the scissors, the magician approaches a spectator; the latter is given the scissors coupled with a request that he cuts through the centre of the envelope and, of course, through the ribbon. As he talks to the spectator, the magician casually grasps the two ends of the ribbons and pulls on them. This has the effect of making certain that the centre of the ribbon proper forms a small bridge about an inch below the part that the spectator will cut (Illustration 3). The spectator now cuts through the centre of the envelope and, of course, through the centre of the extra piece of ribbon. When the cut is completed, the magician moves the envelope away from the scissors held by the spectator. With the left hand holding the two parts of the envelope pressed together the right hand fingers separate the pieces at the cut, showing the pieces of severed ribbon. Relaxing the grip of the left hand on the envelope, the right hand fingers go to the envelope and in apparently taking the ends of the cut ribbon actually take hold of the centre of the original piece of ribbon; with a slow upward motion of the hand this is removed from the pieces of envelope, these being crumpled and tossed aside (out of the audience's reach, of course). The length of ribbon is then displayed completely unharmed.

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