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Editor's Note.

It was way back in December that Joe told us about this version of the burnt note trick, and we had his promise that we could publish it. Actually as the reader will find out for himself Joe has de-cribed three versions, one of which should be suitable to yourself. In the company of several knowledgable magicians we saw its first performance, and we know that it had them wondering whilst the lay audience were dumbfounded (P. W.)

Effect.—The performer takes from his pocket three envelopes that are respectively numbered in large figures 1, 2 and 3. A member of the audience is now requested to choose one of the envelopes, and supposing that 2 is chosen, this is placed in full view on the table. " Quite obviously we shan't want No. I," remarks the conjurer (as he says this he tears it into pieces, throwing them on the floor). " Neither shall we want this," and envelope No. 3 is also torn into pieces and discarded. A ten shilling note is asked for, and on being handed to the performer the lender is asked to note the number. Taking another envelope from his pocket, the note is placed inside without being folded. The audience is asked to remember the number which is repeated, and the conjurer goes on to say : " 1 wonder whether you know that owing to the losses that have occurred through bank notes being burnt the Bank of England have recently used a special chemical process to render notes non-inflammable. Let me show you." At this point the conjurer removes a lighter from his pocket, snaps the wheel and sets light to one corner of the envelope that he is holding. The envelope starts to burn, and when it reaches the corner held by the conjurer there is a flash. " Well, sir," says the conjurer, addressing the lender of the note, " it seems that the}' put the wrong chemical in your note ! " The angle of accident is built up until finally the conjurer picks up the envelope that has been resting on his table. Handing it to a member of the audi ence asks him to open it. The spectator does so, finds inside a note which on a check of number proves to be the one borrowed by the conjurer. The latter takes it, and advancing to the lender remarks : " And this, sir, I believe is the note that you gave me. Is that correct ? " The spectator answers in the affirmative.

Method No. 1.—In this method there are many who no doubt will regret that the lender of the note is a stooge." This, however, is the method used by the writer, and which to him offers the best effect. The two remaining methods to be described make the performance a one-man set-up without losing anything in effect.

Presentation for Method 1.—Three envelopes are first taken and on the front of each the figures 1, 2 and 3 respectively are drawn or painted as large as possible. Three ten-shilling notes are taken, their numbers being noted, and after being folded to one-eighth of their normal size are placed one in either of the lower corners in each envelope. The latter are then sealed. The performer must make certain which note goes in each envelope. Three other envelopes are taken, and, treating these as la, 2a and 3a, along the bottom cf each are written in soft pencil the numbers of the notes lodged in envelopes 1, 2 and 3, so that to make things quite clear envelope la has pencilled on it the number of the ten-shilling note in envelope 1, and so on. In one of the lower corners of each of these empty envelopes is now placed a small piece of folded flash paper, after which the envelopes are placed in the performer's inside breast pocket. The sealed envelopes are placed on the table, the stooge is given an imitation note (stage money). With a lighter in one of his right-hand pockets the conjurer is ready for the

Presentation.—The three numbered envelopes are first picked up, shown, and one se'ected ; the selected one is placed so that it can be seen all the

FIRE ALARM—continued from page 41 time by the audience. The other two envelopes are torn first into two and then if you like into four, the folded notes, by reason of their position in the envelopes, offering no obstruction during the tearing. The pieces are then dropped either

on to the table or floor (don't forget to pick them up at the end ; they are worth a pound to you!) This tearing of the envelopes is the thing that is remembered by the audience when you have finished the effect. The note is then asked for, and the " stooge " obliges by bringing out the phoney note, and at the same time the conjurer's left hand goes inside his pocket, locates the envelope corresponding to the one selected and brings it out. Taking the phoney note, and without folding it, the conjurer places it inside the envelope. At this point he asks the lender to note the number. For this purpose the envelope is handed to him, and pulling the note slightly out of the envelope, he actually reads the number written on the bottom of the envelope. Someone else is asked to note this, the note is pushed back into the envelope, the flap turned over, sealed, and the performer returns to the stage. Holding the envelope by the corner, the performer starts his patter regarding the invulnerability of new notes to fire, and at the same time takes with his right hand a lighter from his pocket. The lighter is lit and the flame applied to the envelope that the conjurer is holding (it should be unnecessary to add that the corner held by the conjurer contains the flash paper). The envelope with its phone)' note inside is allowed to burn right out, the resultant flash from the flashpaper gets a big laugh when the conjurer brings in the line, " They must have used the wrong chemical!" All that remains now is for the chosen envelope to be opened, the genuine note taken out and the number checked.

Method 2.—Three envelopes are prepared by placing notes inside as in Method 1. About a dozen similar sized envelopes are taken and stacked with the flaps protruding (see illustration). The top one of the stack now has the flap folded back (Sotted lines show this), whilst the three envelopes immediately underneath are treated as la, 2a and 3a, with a slight addition ; that is to say, a small piece of flash paper is placed in each, the numbers of the notes in envelopes 1, 2 and 3 are pencilled on the bottom of each. The addition is that a piece of tissue paper or a phoney note is placed in each envelope. The alteration in the working is that after having an envelope chosen and the other two being torn up, the stack of envelopes is picked up. A spectator is asked for the loan of a note, and taking it the conjurer places it in the top envelope. The stack is tipped towards him, flaps at top and according to the original envelope chosen, the conjurer takes hold of the corresponding flap withdraws it from the stack, the latter being placed on the table. (This is the old envelope move applied to three envelopes instead of the usual one). At this stage the conjurer remembers that the lender hasn't noted the number, so partly withdrawing the fake note from the envelope, the number written in pencil on the envelope is read aloud and noted by the spectator. From that point the effect proceeds as in Method 1.

Editor's Note.—We would make a suggestion that would avoid using three envelopes, namely that the three numbers be written on the top (flap folded back) envelope, and that as the performer takes the note and goes to place it inside, he pauses and reads out the required number from the top envelope.

Method 3.—This is for use when playing a good date. The set up is as in Method 1. The ten shilling note is borrowed after the requisite envelope is removed from the inside pocket. The number is read out as the note is in the process of being placed inside. The note is sealed in the envelope and the whole lot really burned. This makes it a fairly expensive effect over here, but in Canada and the States where dollar notes are in use one wouldn't worry so much.

Incidentally, when I go to give back the note I remark and this is the note that the gentleman gave me. Is that correct, Sir ! " This is, of course, acknowledged. " You heard what the gentleman said this is the note that he gave me. . . . thank you very much, Sir." The note is taken back by me and is placed in my pocket. This gets quite a good laugh, after which the note is of course handed back to the lender.

SMusifuUy ymvco!"

This effect is based on " Hioden Mystery " by Herb Rungie that appeared in the Jinx. The contribution was spoken of highly by Annemann and attracted my attention as a direct and entertaining mystery. In Herb Rungie's version, however, the inclusion of duplicate and stranger cards was necessary. Whilst appreciating the use to which duplicates can be put J. am personally allergic to them. I have accordingly devised the following routine whereby the cffect can be performed impromptu.

Effect.—The performer genuinely shuffles a pack of cards or if preferred the shuffling may be done by a spectator.

The pack is now handed to a volunteer assistant after the performer has removed from it the joker. The assistant is asked to deal the cards on to the table in a face down packet and to stop whenever he pleases. If necessary the performer's back may be turned while this is being done. When the assistant stops dealing he is instructed to look at the last card he dealt, drop it back on the packet, then drop on the balance of the pack, cut and complete the cut, thus losing completely the position of his card. The pack is then handed to a second spectator who selects a card in a similar manner burying it by cutting the pack.

The performer now takes the pack in his left hand and picking up the joker with his right hand announces that he will, behind his back, endeavour to thrust the joker face up into the pack at the position occupied by one of the chosen cards. This he does and on bringing the pack to the front, spreads the cards and has spectator No. 2 remove the joker and the card facing and immediately above it. On turning the two cards over he discovers that the joker is facing the card he selected.

The performer now takes the pack again in his left hand and taking the joker from the spectator he places both the pack and joker behind his back and once more thrusts the joker face up into the pack. When it is brought once more to the front the pack is spread again and the first spectator invited to remove the face-up joker and the card above it. He also finds the joker is face to face with his card.

Requirements.

corner short."

■A pack of cards containing a

Method.—The corner short card is shuffled to the bottom of the pack. If you prefer to have a spectator shuffle, which I do not consider necessary, you will have to cut the short card to the bottom of the pack before handing it to your volunteer No. 1.

Instruct him to deal a number of cards in a face down packet on the table, look at the top one and replace it. The number he deals is immaterial. He then places the balance of the deck on top, thus placing the " short " card directly on his selected card. The cards may now be cut any number of times without disturbing the relationship between the selected card and the short card. Finally, the short card is located by the performer and the pack cut one card below it, thus bringing the chosen card to the bottom.

The pack is now handed to volunteer No. 2. He also deals and selects a card in a similar manner to No. 1 volunteer. "When he drops the balance of the pack on top of his card and cuts the pack you now have the short card with the two selected cards underneath. The pack may be cut any number of times, but finally the performer takes the pack, riffles to the short card * and cuts two below and drops the pack on the table. Now you have the two selected cards at the bottom. Picking up the pack and the joker you place both behind your back, place the joker on top, face up, and cut the pack. This brings the joker face to face with volunteer No. 2's card. When the cards are fanned and volunteer No. 2 removes the joker and facing card, separate the pack here and in re-assembling place the top half underneath. This brings volunteer No. l's card to the bottom.

The procedure of thrusting the joker in the pack is gone through as with volunteer No. 2's card. Thus when he removes the joker and facing card he has but to turn them over to discover his card.

* This riffle should not be obvious. In fact it need not be a complete riffle. If the performer squares the pack it is possible to sight the corner short. Knowing its position and holding the pack firmly in the left hand place the right thumb at the inside end of the pack and the first finger over the top of the pack, just below the short card. By slightly pulling back the cards with the forefinger and releasing them as in a riffle the pack will cut at the short card. To the spectator there has been no riffle and this is a decided advantage in the presentation.

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