Th Dimensional Postal Order


'This IS a little effect off the beaten track and whilst it requiries some apparatus, such apparatus can be made up by even the most ham-handed member of the family. The effect goes like this :— On the magician's table can be seen a small pedestal, a rectangular cardboard chimney and a tray containing a grapefruit-, a lemon, egg and walnut. The performer first shows that the chimney just slides over the top of the pedestal and then removing it calls attention to the various articles on the tray. From his pocket he now takes a postal order and asking a member of the audience to note that the number on the counterfoil agrees with the number of the draft, he detaches the said counterfoil and leaves it with a member of the audience. The postal order is rested against the pedestal.

The grapefruit is now placed on the little platform and then the cardboard cover is placed over it, but instead of as previously sliding it down over the platform it iis rested on it (Fig. 1).

Now the lemon is taken and placed inside the tube and of course on top of the grapefruit. It is followed by the egg which is placed on top of the lemon. Next comes the walnut, and finally the postal order is picked up, folded and dropped on top of the walnut " Now," remarks the magician, " Let me show you a rather peculiar thing."

Taking the chimney he gives it a slight turn and allows it to slide down over the platform until the lower end reaches the table top. It is apparent that all articles apart from the grapefruit must either have vanished or be crushed. At this point the chimney is drawn clear of the platform and only the grapefruit is seen qn the pedestal, the chimney being shown empty and placed aside. Taking a sharp knife, the grapefruit is cut open to reveal within, the lemon. This too is severed and inside is found the egg. Finally this is broken over a glass to let fall from its interior, the walnut. Wiping the latter with a cloth, it is handed to a member of the audience together with a pair of nutcrackers, this person being asked to see what is inside the nut. The nut duly cracked a postal order is found inside, which upon being compared with the counterfoil proves to be that shown by the performer at the beginning of the effect.

The requisites are few. They are :—

1. A small platform on a stand. The size of the platform should be 5 inches by 5 inches.

2. A cardboard chimney capable of sliding easily over the platform. One of the sides has a pocket formed down its whole length on the inside which can easily open without any assistance from the performer (see Fig. 2).

3. A real grapefruit, lemon, egg and walnut. A latex lemon-, latex egg and latex


A siharp knife.

Two postal orders with all but the unit digit similar. The unit digit in one case shoul.1 be " 5 " and in the other case "6." This may mean buying eleven postal orders on some occasions but as the poundage is the only thing you lose, it's not much to pay.

7. A pair of nutcrackers and a glass tumbler.

With assumption that the cardboard chimney and the little platform have been made, the reader's first concern is with the postal orders. With a spot of Indian ink add a stroke which will alter the final digit "5" into a " 6." Then detach both counterfoils and with a spot of latex cement join the genuine counterfoil to the fake "6" draft.

VOLUME 8, No. 12 - 1/6. (20 Cents) - SEPTEMBER 1954

The next step is to prepare the fruit. With the knife slice off neatly one end of the lemon, scoop out most of the contents and slide the egg inside. The sliced top of the lemon is now neatly attached either by means of pins or small slivers of cellotape Actually if the lemon is left to dry out a little an adhesive such as balsa cement can be used most effectively. The grapefruit is similarly treated only this time the lemon is piaced inside. One other piece of preparation has to be done and that is to carefully eaise the walnut shell open separating the two shells and after folding the genuine "6" postal order to place the latter inside and glue the two shells together.

To prepare for the effect, place the pedestal and chimney to the left of the table you are using whilst on tray, on the right are positioned the knife, tumbler, loaded grapefruit, latex lemon, egg and walnut. The faked postal order is placed inside the performer's wallet. The prepared walnut is placed behind a crumpled cambric handkerchief near the rear of the table. Presentation. First of all call attention to the small pedestal and cardboard chimney. Show that the latter can easily slide right over it and down on to the table. Remove the chimney and place it just behind the pedestal.

The wallet is now removed from the pocket and after the postal order has been extracted il is replaced. Have a spectator see that the number on the draft and that on the counterfoil agree and then detach the counterfoil and hand it to another spectator. Keeping the faked postal order within sight of everyone rest it against the base of the pedestal.

The grapefruit is then taken and placed on the pedestal top and picking up the chimney and showing it to be empty, it is placed over the grapefruit in a way previously described and illustrated. The flap inside, if properly made should fall inwards-, of its own accord or at the most require a touch of the performer's finger. Into the pocket formed by the opened flap are placed in turn the latex lemon, egg and walnut. Finally the postal order is taken from its resting place at the bottom of the pedestal, folded in halves and then in halves again and also dropped inside the pocket. Placing his left hand across the top of the chimney the right hand gives it a slight twist so that it slides over the pedestal top and down to the table. This action automatically causes a closing of the pocket insomuch that the top of the pedestal has been forced halfway up the chimney. Commenting on the fact that the walnut, egg and lemon are no longer in sight, the performer grips the pocket side of the chimney between his fingers and thumb and draws it up off the pedestal then showing the chimney to be empty. Only the grapefruit can be seen on the pedestal. The chimney is placed aside. Taking the knife with the right hand the grapefruit is picked up with the left, shown to have an unbroken surface, and then, carefully severed with the knife and revealing the lemon. The knife is laid aside whilst the two halves of the grapefruit are placed on the tray and the lemon shown too, to have an unbroken surface. The knife is taken once more, the lemon severed to reveal the egg. The knife is again placed down, the two halves of the lemon joining the pieces of grapefruit on the tray. The piece of cambric with the walnut (the latter being finger-palmed) is picked up and the egg wiped dry. The piece of cambric is placed down on the table and the egg passed to the hand which has the walnut finger-palmed. With the free hand the tumbler is brought to the centre of the table and egg cracked against it. With each hand holding one end of the egg it is held over the glass opened out and in the action of allowing its contents to go itoto the glass the finger-palmed walnut is released and goes with them. All that now remains to be done is to wipe the walnut with the cambric, hand it to a spectator with the nutcrackers, get him to open it and after removing the folded postal order inside see that the number agrees with the counterfoil.

There are one or two points worthy of mention. The first is that if the reader likes to go to a little more trouble, the chimney can be hinged at the sides and both at the beginning and end of its usage can be folded. The second point is that instead of a postal order a borrowed note could be used. This would call for a different technique insofar (providing the performer proposes to deal with that note only) that the note will have to be switched at the beginning and later loaded into a hinged walnut treated with adhesive in the performer's pocket. Thirdly, please in handling the latex egg, handle it like an egg.

The ultimate result of shielding men from folly is to fill the world with fools.



IN ONE of his books, I cannot recall which, Devant describes an indétectable method of adding a few cards to any number which bave been counted on to the table by the person assist ing the trick. It is a perfectly natural move, never suspected, most Pentagramzsts will be familiar with it, but for any who may have overlooked it here is the procedure : hhe performer, holding the pack in his left hand preparatory Ao dealing, speaks to his assistant: " Will you please count on to the table a number of cards in this way," he then proceeds to deal off the pack, say three cards to illustrate his instruction, then gathers up the cards just dealt, simulating replacement, and hands the pack to his assistant. He has in fact, however, retained the three cards palmed in the right hand. Continuing his instructions to his helper, the conjurer directs him to : " Count the cards as they drop on the table and stop where you like." These instructions being duly fulfilled by the assistant, the conjurer by a sweep of his right hand pushes the uneven lot of cards towards him with the further request : " Square the cards up and place them in your pocket." It is hardly necessary to inform the reader that the palmed cards were added to the pile in the action of pushing the cards across That is the barebones of Devant's stratagem, and

I can vouch for the soundness of. the method, and here is a method of putting it to use in a manner which has a rather novel terminal point.

Ask your helper to count SIX cards on to the table in the manner described, retain three adding them as you push the pile over to the assistant with the request that he places them in his pocket, at this stage you take up a plain card and asking your assistant how many cards he has pocketed, and the reply being SIX, you speak : " Having six cards in your pocket I will write the figure 6 on this card, now the figure six has one quality not common to any other number, in that when reversed in this way, it becomes a 9, will you be good enough to see if our reversing of the figure has in any way affected the number of cards you now hold?

He counts his cards and, of course, finds nine!

The easiest person to deceive is one's own self.



SOMEWHERE, long long ago, I heard or read of a minor prediction effect which I trot out at intervals when a few people are congregated together. It is quite puzzling and perhaps some reader can give credit to the inventor, I cannot, mayhap it was never invented, it just happened Anyhow for what it's worth here is the effect.

You write a number on a scrap of paper fold it and lay it aside: now ask someone to think of a number, any number from one to nine : to double it : to add two : to multiply by five: and then to subtract from the total arrived at, a number which you will state.

The answer will be two figures, the first of which will be that which was thought of, and the second that which you predicted.

The formula is simple : suppose you predict the figure 3, things proceed in this way :—

Think of a number 6

Double it 12

Multiply by 5 70

Now you ask that a certain number shall be subtracted from the total thus arrived at, and this number must be the difference between the figure predicted by you and 10. In the example we are considering 3 was the number predicted, 3 subtracted from 10 gives us 7. So you ask that

7 be taken from the unknown sum which your assistant has in mind, in this case 70 : 70 - 7 = 63. Thus providing the correct answer: 6 thought of by your assistant, and 3 the number that you predicted.

Now what can we make of this? My own application requires a pack of cards, in which the top few cards are arranged, regardless of suit, from ace to 5, these are palmed whilst the pack is being shuffled by an assistant, and added on return as the pack is placed aside. This is done before the effect begins.

Now you will find that if you make your prediction 4 or 5, and subtract either of these figures from any figure thought of by someone, the difference can never be greater than 5, So you ask at the end of the calculations that the two numbers in the answer be subtracted from each other. Hand the pack of cards to the assistant asking him to count to the card standing at that number, to find that it corresponds.

There is one exception when your helper selects the same number which you predict; you are a magician so a small obstacle of this kind should present no difficulty. I ignore the business of subtraction, and take the two figures as either 4 or 5. Anyhow if you think it worth while. I leave it to you.

The greatest of virtues is self-restraint.

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