Diabolical Influence

a "thought card" trick without impressions, switches,


Of all the bare-face swindles to cross my path, I consider this original effect of Mr. Solomon's worthy of the highest award. I only fear the reader will think it all too simple, and not give due consideration to the effect upon the witnesses. I believe it to be the acme of drawing room conceptions.

Effect: The performer has a deck of cards, a gummed sticker, a pencil and a piece of paper. He starts by taking a card from the deck, for instance, the Two of Diamonds, on the face of which he makes a notation and covers the writing with the sticker. Asking someone for his initials, they are written on the sticker, and the card is placed face down on the table. Fanning the deck, a spectator selects and pockets a card. Placing the deck on the table, the performer leaves the room from where he directs the proceedings.

Someone is asked to call out a number from 5 to 50. Whatever the number may be, he is asked to count down in the deck to that position and remember the card. The performer then tells him to shuffle the deck again, and to write the name of the card looked at on the piece of paper.

Another person is now asked to name any card that comes to his mind, and this is also written on the paper under the name of the first card.

Lastly, a fourth person is requested to name any three numbers from 1 to 100 and, after doing so, he is asked to write them on the paper directly below the names of the two cards.

The performer now suggests that the deck be squared following a good shuffle, and be placed face down on the table. On top of the deck is to be placed the sticker card, also face down. The tabulated paper is to be turned over with the writing side down.

Reentering the room, the performer picks up the deck and, after asking if his requests have been followed, turns the top sticker card face up on the table and, on either side of it are dealt the next two cards face down. The first spectator, who counted down to a number, names his card, and the performer turns up the first of the two face down cards and it's the correct card! The second person, who mentally selected a card now names it, and the performer turns up the other face down card, and that, too, is correct! Next the performer looks at the person who has a card in his pocket and names it correctly! Lastly, the person who wrote the three numbers is asked to add them and announce the total. The initialed sticker is torn off of the Two of Diamonds, and the performer is found to have correctly predicted the sum!

Preparation: The only things needed arc two duplicate decks of cards, two stickers, a pencil and a sheet of paper. The two decks must be stacked alike. Use your favorite system, or shuffle one deck and then arrange the other deck in the same order. On the top of each deck have the Two of Diamonds, followed by a card you know. Keep one deck and one sticker in your pocket. The audience is not to know of this deck.

Routine: Come forward with the other deck, remove the Two of Diamonds and pretend to write a prediction on its face. Cover your prediction with the sticker by moistening only the edges of the sticker, so that it may be removed easily later. Lay this Two of Diamonds to one side, face down, on the table. Write someone's initials on the sticker. Force the next card, the one you know, and have it placed in someone's pocket. Put the deck on the table and leave the room.

The moment you are out of sight, remove the other deck from your pocket together with the sticker. Write on the sticker the same initials you noted on the sticker which you stuck to the card in the other room. Next a number is named aloud and while it is being counted to, you do the same with your duplicate deck and remove the card. When a card is named, remove that also from your deck. When the three numbers are called out, add them quickly and write the total on your Two of Diamonds. Now stick your duplicate sticker over this number. All of this will take but little time and you will have ample opportunity while the folks in the other room are noting the same information on the sheet of paper.

Before you reenter the other room, remove the top card of your deck (the duplicate of the card forced) and place it in your right pocket. Place the deck of cards in an upright position in your left pocket. Now palm the two duplicates of the selected cards, in the order in which they were chosen, with the sticker card as the top card of the three.

When the folks in the other room announce that everything is in order and the deck has been squared up, you enter, move directly to the table and pick up the deck, adding the three palmed cards as you do so. Ask if everything has been followed. As you ask, turn over the top card with sticker and lay it face up on the table. This is a subtle point for they have all seen the sticker card on top a minute before! The initials also are another misleading factor. Then deal the next two cards, face down, one to the right and one to the left of the face up card. As you ask for the name of the first card counted to, your left hand drops the deck into your left pocket so that it lays on its side. At the same moment your right hand turns up the first face down card. Ask for the name of the second card and turn this one up also. Then turn to man with the card in his pocket and name the card. Next ask to have the numbers added. While this is being done, you take the duplicate deck (the upright one) from your pocket, shuffle it carelessly and lay it on the table. When the sum is announced, have someone pick up the Two of Diamonds, remove the sticker and your prediction is found to be correct. Everything may now be examined, and when the first selected card is returned, the deck will be a complete one.

Psychiatric Sorcery
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