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EDITOR'S FOREIVORD. Gil is one of the most modest chaps I have ever met; full of untiring energy, he not only turns out some of the finest workmanship that is to be found in this or any other country, but Jinds time to help in the most practical ways the Magic Circle. In between times he performs delightful shows (in which Bernard and Frankie Lovell assist him) and invents some worthwhile effects. The effect to be described is one that he performed at a special show in honour of a famous visitor, none other than Mr. Paul Flemitig. That was way back i>> the summer of 1948. By dint of persistent " nagging " Gil finally gave me (and that, of course, means the "Pentagram" ) permission to publish the effect. P. W.

There are many ways of performing the " Rising Card " effect, each originator of some particular angle relating to this effect seeing such origination as an improvement. Actually from a point cf view of effect it is doubtful, with perhaps the exception of the Hooker version, that any improvement has taken place ; for after all cards are selected, and if the performer is lucky they riss out of the pack. With the neat version of the " Rising Cards " introduced by Devano, conjurers have become exceptionally " Rising-Card " conscious, and the effect is enjoying a vogue unparalleled in its history. Nevertheless new methods or angles will arise. The method to be described is delightfully simple and disarm-ingly effective. Here is the effect as seen by an audience.

The conjurer introduces a pack of Jumbo Cards, a houlette to contain them, and two pieces of perspex which fit the aforesaid houlette. All items are freely shown, after which the houlette and pieces of perspex are placed down whilst the Jumbo pack is handed to members of the audience for a selection of one, two, three or as many cards as you wish to rise ; these cards are returned to the pack, and the latter is placed in the hou'iette with one piece of perspex at the face, whilst the other is at the rear of the cards. Holding the houlette with the fingers of his hand, the performer commands the cards to rise. This they do as slowly or quickly as the performer wills.

The requirements for the effect are :—

One pack of Jumbo cards.

One houlette the inside measurement of which is enough to take the thickness of the pack plus the thickness of the two pieces of perspex.

Two pieces of perspex (Lucite in U.S.A.) of sufficient size to fit the houlette. One is unprepared (apart from some lines being marked in pattern form on its face), whilst the other has a rectangular portion cut away (see illustration). This cut-out portion is masked by lines similar in pattern to the unprepared piece.

The articles are placed on the performer's table so that the unprepared piece of perspex rests on top of the prepared piece. The cards and houlette lie on one side. Thus set, the performer is ready for the

Presentation. • The two pieces of perspex are picked up by the right hand as one. Remarking " two pieces cf transparent plastic," the left hand takes the rear (prepared) piece of perspex and tilts it over so that the pieces are as shown in second illustration. At this point they are slightly separated, the rear (prepared) piece being tapped against the front (unprepared) piece. Together they are replaced on the table, prepared piece underneath. The houlette is shown, replaced, and the pack is handed to spectator number one for the selection of a card. Supposing three cards are chosen and looked at by the spectators. After this the performer has the card returned to the centre of the pack ; from there either by means of a series of cuts or else a false shuffle the cards are left at the top of the pack.

With the cards held face down, the pieces of perspex are picked up and placed on the back

of the cards ; the unprepared piece, which should be uppermost, is slipped away from the prepared piece and at the same time the hand holding the cards cants them back towards the body ; the other hand is meanwhile placing the unprepared piece of perspex in front. In this state the cards and pieces of plastic are dropped into the houlette. " Complete isolation," remarks the performer, as with a coin he taps the plastic at the front and rear. Slipping his fingers into the small clips at the base of the houlette, his thumb contacts the rear card of the pack through the open rectangle. From that point the cards rise as the performer wills.

EDITOR'S FOOTNOTE. Manufacturing and selling rights are held by Mr. Leaney; those who wish to perform the effect, but at the same time are unable to make their own apparatus, would do well to contact Mr. Leaney, who can do the job for them; his address is: 21, Kenton Park Parade, Kenton, Middlesex.

Flashback!

B stands for Boaz fDiMBVftcii—March 13, i8oa. "Most assuredly the Last Night of

HUfLl^OPBD SI CON

THAUMAXURGICK EXHIBITIONS;

in thc

King's Armt Bait Room, Nigh Street, Op 8ATURDA Yi Thirteenth of March 1803. Impressed with the Highest yense of gratitude for fa* ▼our* received,, Mr boaz is dowbly happy to find that his Exhibitions (during his FORTY-SIX NIGHTS Performance« in this City),, have met with a general and unparallelled applause from the most ' rilli nt and numerous Audiences who nightly honoured then) with their preaencr.' He, therefore, begs leave. tp reti • 1 his sincere thank* to the NoBiufv, .Gkntkz, and Public in general, and begs ¿cave to aiHye then«, tbpt if at any future period, he should be imfured to puf another visit to tfti* city, his chief study shall be to introduce such Novel and tfniyur Piffitrmaneet as mty entitle him'to a repetition of-those'favours Mghifft he hM nowfcecn so amply rewarded with, by a Generous and liberal Pubhc.

On'tlu Evening, The Door* will be opened At Seven o'clock, and Operations to feeghi at half past Siren.

Admittance—Two Shillings each. Ticket« tn lie had at W«jbel's, head of North Bridge, in.1 it Mo« raoativ aid Srtei.VN<w Town. Ladies H'U G-rnctemen desirous of particular seats, are resetted to send a servant Ui keep thtm, and which servant mast.be there a quarter before sevez£ ty See the Posting and Hand Bills, i* B.—i he Wtfek following-Mr BOAZ is engaged

4« ./cxfiRnt 1A the city of Glasgow.

From the J. B. Findlay Collection

Jafui Siiewdey?*,

(jfuMt Stwjy,

The trick which I beg to submit for your consideration brings to memory two names which will ever be columns standing in the Forum of Magical History—Douglas Dexter and Howard Spencer.

A recent issue of the Pentagram was dedicated to Douglas Dexter ; his many attributes will therefore be fresh in. your memories. Whenever his name is mentioned I instantly recall his show at the " Hall " in 1922 ; the manner in which he adapted a few simple effects so that they appeared as stage illusions. With the exception of the dyeing silks in a bowl, which I thought the weakest of the bunch, the entire act could be carried in a suit case.

When the curtain rose one saw a standard lamp, from which was draped right across the stage a length of orange muslin, a similar piece being used for his turban effect. In this he made three cuts, and the material appeared to occupy the whole stage.

Who previously had thought of using the colours jade, orange and heliotrope for the Sympathetic Silks ? Then there was the rising card, using sheet music—colourful in itself—and a green houlette supported by a wide green ribbon. You may well guess there was a complete absence of pillar-box red.

If I may interpolate, it may interest those who are sensitive to colour to know that W. H. Smith and Sons market a useful colour dial which should prove invaluable to the magician desiring to be one ahead of the others.

Proud possessors of Lang Neil's Modern Conjurer will remember the ingenious description for producing eggs from a handkerchief. I have not a copy, but as a boy I borrowed it from the Public Library. Even at such an immature age, I felt the illusion was right up my alley, for it was simple to construct and easy to perform. Came the great day when I tried it on the family. It was one of the few occasions on which I saw my father laugh. He wanted to know why the egg didn't break when it fell into the hat. To appease this unconstructive criticism, I placed a handkerchief in the hat to lessen the suddenness of the egg stopping in its downward flight. But as successive eggs were produced, he enquired in a kindly manner how I prevented the eggs hitting each other. So a gem was discarded from my programme, although I felt father might have chilled my enthusiasm to prevent my using his silk hat.

Then Douglas Dexter gave a lecture at the Circle, and by one clever amendment obviated all the objections. Instead of a handkerchief he used a sheet of stiff paper, so allowing the performer to hold the paper in one hand and with the other catch the egg as it rolled out, then placing it in the hat.

For those whose self-imposed course of study has not included this classic, may I explain it consists in having, as stated, a piece of paper approximately 14 inches square. From the centre of one edge is suspended by thin thread a blown egg, the thread being of such a length that the egg hangs about one inch above the lower edge of the paper.

A hat is on your table or held by the charming assistant in crinoline or state of semi-nudity.

The paper is held at the points marked x by both hands. In reversing the sheet to show the other side, the top edge moves down towards the performer, thus lowering the egg into the hat. The paper is again turned by reversing the process, bringing the egg again behind the paper, which is then bent double by bringing together the two edges marked x, these then" being held by the left hand. If the paper, is brought to a horizontal position, the egg can be rolled out and caught by the right hand, which places it in the hat. The moves are then repeated ad lib, and if needs be, the conjurer relates how he went into an Oxford Street shop, etc., etc.

All will agree, I think, that this is a titanic improvement, and characteristic of Dexter's methods.

Howard Spencer came from a different mould. Possibly he was at his best in a saloon bar, and yet, on the other hand, agents had given him their best society bookings. His name was mentioned more often to me by laymen than that of any other magician. Furthermore, he did the type of trick that was talked about, because it was simple in design and miraculous in effect. No one could possibly forget a performer who merely said, " Think of a card," as he stood twelve feet away and fanned a pack of cards. The card being named, it was instantly produced from a glass of beer or seen on the roof of a distant outhouse.

One of his much favoured items was to introduce half a dozen eggs, reposing in egg cups. One was chosen for the note or card in egg routine. The others were placed in a paper bag. After the requisite build up, the bag was crushed between the hands, the eggs having vanished.

Howard Spencer made the eggs by inflating toy balloons, white in colour, to a suitable size, The neck was then twisted and partially knotted. To describe this process defeats my literary ability, but if you are interested, experiment will no doubt reveal the method. The egg cup, however, greatly assists in preventing a precipitated denouement or premature burst. On placing the eggs in the bag, the neck was unravelled and the egg deflated. Smart Alecs will have correctly surmised that one egg was real and gowd 'elp the bloke in the audience who did not select this for the card nonsense.

By combining the ideas related, we have a mystery ideal in almost every respect ; simple in plot, of the non-apparatus order, suitable for stage or drawing-room, children or adults, but perhaps a little difficult to work at a circus. By that I mean it would be inadvisable to have the audience behind you, although side angles can be covered. Furthermore, it weighs no more than two ounces, and occupies negligible space in the bag.

Now that dealers are supplying excellent rubber eggs, there is no need to use balloons, and I hope the purveyors concerned will suitably reward me for the increase of business which will undoubtedly follow this article.

I commence by casually showing the hat and then loading therein half a dozen lactic eggs, held together by a rubber band. Eggs are produced from the paper as previously described. The production over, they are transferred to a paper bag which is finally crushed to a small compass, thus proving the eggs to have vanished. If you favour refinements, the bundle can be switched for an empty crushed bag, which is tossed to the lions.

My plot for an audience of children is in the nature of a ghost story. Would they like a ghost story ? Perhaps I'd better not, it's rather late—oh, well, if you insist, but don't tell mum, or I'll be blamed for you not sleeping to-night.

I once had a hen called Hettie. One day, for a joke, someone put a brass door knob in her nest. The silly girl thought she had laid a golden egg, and died with excitement. Now, whenever we cluck three times, she returns as a ghost and lays an egg. You'd like to try her out ? Right. We must have a nest. This piece of paper will do beautifully. Fold it in two—ghosts must have dark. Are you good cluckers ? Come on then, Cluck, cluck, cluck. Well, what do you know ? Shall we make her lay another ? (As you open paper and reverse, do it ostensibly to show Hettie sitting on the nest, adding, " I'm afraid it's too light to see a ghost," or " Look, she's still on the nest ").

After producing the six, look at them in the hat and hesitate. You will undoubtedly receive an urgent request to show the eggs, which you do, placing five in the bag. You will soon be reminded that Hettie laid six. Debate the point for a bit, then look in the hat and find the sixth, place in bag and screw up the neck.

In awed tones explain that as the eggs were laid by a ghost, they only remain visible for three minutes, and they too then become ghosts.— Green spot, clock strikes twelve, and hollow laugh heard off.

The combination can be used for adults, although in this category I have only tried it on the type one refers to as " Women's meeting," when similar plot can be used.

For sophisticated bods you must devise your own verbal accompaniment, but I break new ground by telling you what not to say :—Egg-shellant, eggsactly, eggsasperating, hen-fruit, a profitable lay, bad-minded globule with a sense of humour, yoke of an egg are white, this is not a peacock's egg.

On the other hand, it might be excusable to make subtle reference to egg powder and wingless chickens.

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