The Magic Circle

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THE DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS

COMRIE MACKAY

EFFECT. Performer tells spectator he will endeavour to show him one of the mysterious and magical rites of the mystical East. He instructs spectator to select from the ribbon spread pack any one of the four Queens. Magician then states that with this Queen he will try and perform the Dance of the Seven Veils. The Queen is shuffled back into the pack, as, by the Sultan's orders, she is not allowed to show herself and must at present be completely masked. Seven ordinary cards are shown and taken from the pack, each to represent a veil and spectator adds a further card, chosen by him from the facedown pack, the identity of which is not known to either spectator or magician, and which is to represent the Queen's yashmak. The eight cards are taken by magician and by running through them three times, discarding a card or two for veils each time and also showing the cards left, the magician is eventually left with two cards, one of which, he says, is the last veil, the other being th© " mystery " card—the yashmak of the now nearly nude queen. Placing one card on each of the spectator's palms the spectator chooses which will be the last veil — a little amusing by play take place here — the yashmak and last veil is stripped leaving on one of the spectator's palms a face-down card, which, the performer tells him, he will find to be his originally chosen queen— the card is turned over by the spectator who finds that it is indeed his original Queen, in so far as indices go — but otherwise she is completely (or practically) nude!!

REQUIREMENTS.

An ordinary pack of cards and four extra queens, each of which are gimmicked so that the indices and borders of the queens remain intact but the bodies of the queens are replaced by a nude or semi-nude figure of a woman—each performer will have his own way of doing this, but it should be ensured that there is no raised surface on the card. Each queen can be split as in the making of a double-backer, the centre portion of the face then being cut out and the border being stuck again to the back — a centre portion of appropriate size of a nude figure can then be cut out and stuck into the vacant space. The backs of the four gimmicked queens must match the ordinary pack. If the performer is prepared to force the spectator's choice of a queen, then only one matching queen need be prepared, but I think you will find the resultant effect worth the trouble of preparing all the extra queens. PREPARATION.

The four gimmicked queens are placed into the left jacket pocket in any order which can be conveniently remembered by the magician. PRESENTATION AND ROUTINE

Magician engages in opening patter as shown in " EFFECT." Pack is ribbon spread from right to left on table face up and spectator requested to choose any queen. As spectator picks this up finger or card is inserted under right hand end of ribbon and cards turned over face down. Meantime left hand has palmed from pocket a matching gimmicked queen. Left hand placed at left of ribbon and right hand at right, both hands sweeping cards together, left adding palmed card in process. Pack squared up and held in left hand as for dealing, left little finger crimps inner right corner of bottom card, meanwhile magician patters as in " EFFECT " about queen not being allowed to show herself; cards changed to right hand preparing for Hindu shuffle—top card' (gimmicked card) pulled off singly so that it will be new bottom card, shuffle continues and spectator places his Queen in somewhere near middle — this is not picked up as in normal Hindu shuffle but bottom crimped card, is dropped upon it and shuffle continued'. Commence overhand shuffle running seven cards, injog next and shuffle off making sure gimmicked queen at bottom arrives on top, then throw seven cards, up to injog, on top—in shuffling ensure that middle portion

containing regular queen and crimped card is dropped in bulk. Fan pack faces toward spectator centre of pack—apparently lost—only centre of pack need be fanned here. Continue patter that seven ordinary cards will be chosen, each to represent a veil and deal the seven cards off top of pack, showing the faces and ask spectator if he is satisfied with those—normally he will assent. Then say that one further ordinary card is required to represent the Queen's yashmak and that you will leave the selection of this card to him but that neither he nor you should know the identity of that card; have him insert a card face-up (or a knife) into the pack and in taking that part of the pack above the cut make the slip-force bringing the gimmicked queen which was on top down to the cut. Have him take this card and without looking at it place it face down on the other seven cards. Again fan the pack saying that you hope he hasn't by chance taken his Queen (regular); he will, of course, still see his Queen in the pack and as you bring the cards down from the fan casually locate the crimp and cut the pack there bringing the regular queen to the top. Place the pack on one side. Pick up the eight cards (seven veils and supposed yashmak, shuffle saying that you wish to lose the " mystery card " the spectator has just chosen and in shuffling bring it to the position fifth from bottom with the cards in face down position. Now say that the dance begins and the veils will be removed—here the performer can bring in any ingenious patter of which he is capable and suit it to the company he is in—hold the packet of cards in the left hand face-down in position for the glide. Bring left hand up and show bottom card, saying " This is the first veil which the dancer retains " and turn hand down sliding out bottom card, not showing face again, and placing face-down on the table in front of you. Slide off the next bottom card, without showing it, place to one side saying, "The next veil she carelessly discards," making your action appear careless and casual. Slide off the next card, after showing as with the first card, saying, " This veil she also retains;" show the next card (fourth from bottom) saying, " This one she retains as well—she is rather coy and believes in prolonging the suspense;" whilst pattering you have turned hand down and executed the glide and drawn off the fifth card (gimmicked queen) and placed it face-down on table without showing it again as you have done with the other retained veils. Then say, "The next veil she discards— just to keep your interest alive" and draw off without showing and throw carelessly to one side the bottom card you have just previously glided back. Repeat the showing of each of the next two cards, sliding them off and saying they are the sixth and seventh veils which she is retaining. The last card say you'll use as the Queen's yashmak and won't show it for the time being. Pick up packet of six retained cards in glide position—

gimmicked queen is now third from bottom. Movements here are similar to before and need not be described in detail—show first and retain, show second Which you say she is retaining but glide back and put down gimmicked queen; discard next—in all cases showing retained cards (or pretending to in cases of cards glided back) and not showing discarded cards. The last card you again say you'll use as Queen's yashmak and won't show. Four cards left now — gimmicked Queen second from bottom. Show bottom card as if retaining it and ask spectator to tell you what the card is (the magician does not at any time see any of the faces of the cards)—suppose it to be the seven of hearts—turning your hand down, say, " Very well—we'll put down the seven of hearts as a veil she'll retain for the time being," and as you are pattering glide back the seven of hearts and put down the gimmicked queen. Discard the new bottom card unshown (actually seven of hearts) saying, " That is the fifth veil she has discarded—the end will soon be in sight." Fairly discard the next card saying, " That is the sixth veil—all will soon be revealed." Gesturing with the last card left in your hand say to spectator. "This is the mystery card which we have called the Queen's yashmak— for the first time I will let you see it—you are very privileged—you must try not to get excited." Turn over card, which will of course, be an ordinary card; let us suppose it is the three of Clubs and say, " You see, it is nothing after all — you really can never trust these women—theyre full of deception. Well, we'll put down the three of clubs as the Queen's yashmak," and place it face-down on the table. Now pick up the last card in your left hand and the gimmicked queen in the right hand and put them behind your back and make motions as if shuffling them — actually there's no need to really change them. Bring them back to the front, still face-down, and say to the spectator, " We're going to have a little game to see how good you are at' Find the Lady.' Have the spectator extend his hands, palms up, and place a card face-down on each — keep a thumb on top of each card and retain hold of the spectator's hand by placing your fingers underneath each of his hands, thus preventing any impulsive action on the part of the spectator in prematurely turning over either of the cards. An amusing bit of by-play may be had here — i.e. " Surely you are familiar enough with the contours of a lady to be able to recognise which of these cards actually conceals the Queen—after all the last veil is very thin!" Should the spectator try to move his hands or fingers* as they often do, say " Ah! she would not like you to be too free with your hands, sir, she is inclined to be ticklish!"

You will find that the spectator nearly always hesitates over the choosing of a card so the foregoing by-play fits in quite easily. If he chooses

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