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The Premier Book Test

The beauty of this test is, that throughout the experiment, the performer apparently does nothing whatever, and TOUCHES NOTHING USED IN THE TEST. The material used can be thoroughly examined after the experiment is finished. There is the advantage of being able to use ANY MAGAZINE OR BOOK DESIRED. The cards used are an ordinary pack of cards. There are several subtleties used which are practically unknown to magic previously.

The first requires but a slight arrangement of the DECK VALUES only - with no attention being paid to the SUITS. This is so that any TWO Cards taken TOGETHER from ANYWHERE WITHIN the pack, will total, when the values are added - either 14 or 15.

The arrangement in part reads as follows:

SEVEN & EIGHT together. SIX & NINE together. FIVE & TEN together. FOUR & JACK together. THREE & QUEEN together. TWO & KING together. ACE & KING together.

TWO b QUEEN together. THREE & JACK together. FOUR & TEN together. FIVE & NINE together. SIX & EIGHT together. SEVEN & SEVEN together. EIGHT & etc.

until the deck is used up. Except for two aces which are LEFT IN THE CASE when deck is taken out of it.

The deck may now be cut indefinitely without disturbing the order. So much for that.

Taking the magazine or book to be used, it is opened at pages 14 and 15 WHICH WILL ALWAYS BE FOUND SIDE BY SIDE when book is open. The first thirteen words on page 14 are written down in a column and the same done on page 15.

If the same book is to be used indefinitely for this test, I will say it is best for you to memorize the two lists of words, each list of course forming a sentence or part of same, consisting of these 13 words. Then you are ready for the test.

However, if presenting the test impromptu, or nearly so with BORROWED BOOK of MAGAZINE, where you don't want to bother to memorize the lists, use a small end opening notebook. On the inside cover of this, write the two lists and place book in your pocket. In this case, the presentation is the same EXCEPT AT THE FINISH which I shall take up later.

TO PRESENT: Have cards and book at hand. Remove cards from case leaving the two Aces behind. Place deck beside book on table. Walk away. Ask a spectator to step up and take book. Tell him that you want him to select a card from the deck but that you will never even touch deck or see the card. "In fact, " you remark, "You had better take TWO cards to make sure of getting free choice. " Ask him to cut the deck several times, then to cut once and take two cards from somewhere in deck and go to a far corner with the cards and book.

Impress upon the audience the point that NO ONE CAN POSSIBLY KNOW THE CARDS HE HAS - and that it is obvious that he could have taken ANY CARDS in the deck.

Tell spectator to add the values of the cards together. Then tell him to open the book at that page, but to let no one see the page.

Now pick out another spectator and have him step to table, take deck and shuffle it (incidentally destroying all order). Have him spread cards faces down on table. Then to wave his hand over them and turn face up any card on the table he chooses. Ask him to call out the value of the card to first gentleman with the book.

Performer asks first man to COUNT DOWN to the word at that NUMBER - on what ever page he has book opened at. Ask him to remember the word and then close book.

The word is then revealed by any method selected by the performer .

But, you ask, how does performer know which page has been selected? Another subtle point! In any printed matter containing numbered pages, regardless of what it is, when the book or magazine is open before you,the EVEN NUMBER is always on the LEFT - and the ODD on the RIGHT. The performer knows the WORD NUMBER after second man has picked and CALLED OUT the card he selected. When the other man with the book starts to COUNT DOWN TO HIS WORD - just a single GLANCE TELLS the performer whether it is the RIGHT or LEFT page he is counting on. Thus the performer know whether it is the ODD or EVEN page.

In case memorized list from your own book is being used, the effect is concluded by the performer apparently READING THE SPECTATOR'S MIND, and divulging the word LETTER by LETTER.

But with the secret list method. The performer asks spectator to think of the word intently and form a picture of it in his mind, if possible.

Taking the little book from pocket with pencil, performer opens front cover up, writes on top page, tears out same and replaces book in pocket.

Knowing as he does, the page and the word number, it needs but a glance to COVER when he starts to write, to get the word. Then performer writes, "The word that is being thought of is _. " Then the paper is folded up and handed to another party to hold. The spectator is now asked to say the word aloud, after which the man holding paper reads it to all. Thus memory is done away with and the secret, unknown list, does its work.

Another method is when working in front of a seated audience, where it is impossible to see the book and learn WHICH PAGE has been selected. In this case, the selection is narrowed to two words as you cannot help but know the word number in any case.

You ask the spectator to think of the word. Now in every case but very rarely, these two possible words will be of varying lengths, different letters, meanings, etc. , which greatly differ. You are apparently trying to read his mind and after a due amount of thought you name the FIRST LETTER of the word. If he says "Yes, " you go on and finish it or write it down. If "No, " ask him to think harder, while you concentrate again. And this time, you give it correctly. Or you can have him think of the NUMBER OF LETTERS in the word, state the number, and if wrong, you immediately know the word is from the other page.

There are many little kinks that can be used here as it is only a case of knowing which of the two is the correct one.

The Menta'list's Card Staggerer

It is with both regret and pride that I herein release a genuine pet trick of mine.

From the first conception of this advanced effect, it took over four months of intermittent work and thought to develop it to its present unsurpassed form. I want to thank both Mr. A1 Baker and Mr. Stuart Robson, both of New York City for various suggestions and presentation points and also for their patience in watching me do it over and over again in order to improve.

The finished effect has completely fooled more than one advanced card man. None other than T. Nelson Downs commended me upon it as a beautifully subtle effect, and then used it himself. I can only ask that you present it EXACTLY as herein described.

In effect, a pack of cards is shown and shuffled. The spectator deals a row of five cards face down. Any one of these he looks at while your back is turned. The five cards only, are picked up by you and placed into an empty pocket.

One at a time the cards are drawn forth openly from your pocket until but one remains. This one the spectator removes himself from the pocket and finds it to be his OWN CARD.

Everything can then be examined as there is nothing suspicious to find.


All that is needed is a pack of cards, and five extra cards to match. These five are all DUPLICATES. For example we shall call this duplicated card the Ace of Spades. First, take from the deck five cards (among which is the Ace of Spades) from pack. Place this Ace at the FACE of the packet of five and place packet in your inside coat (breast) pocket, faces TOWARD BODY. ALSO PLACE IN THIS POCKET, SEVERAL PAPERS OR LETTERS.

Have the upper RIGHT VEST POCKET empty.

On top of the deck place the FIVE DUPLICATES and between the third and fourth cards from top place a CONTRASTING card from deck. For instance, a red picture card.

You are now ready.

First, turn deck face up and slowly run through it from front towards back, showing cards and saying "If I were to ask you to merely think of one of these cards and then find it, it would be a very wonderful feat. However, I haven't yet advanced to such a stage, although I am very successful upon a smaller scale. "

By this time you are NEARLY through deck (although NOT THE LAST SIX) and you close pack up and turn FACE DOWN. This introduction serves to show the cards all different and well mixed. It also SUBCONSCIOUSLY impresses them with the fact that you are handling the cards freely and carelessly.

With deck FACE DOWN, riffle shuffle once or twice, LEAVING THE TOP SIX CARDS INTACT and on top. Hand deck directly to spectator asking him to deal five cards FACE DOWN in a row. This is a bold move but a SAFE ONE under the circumstances - and he unsuspectingly deals the top five cards out faces down.

Taking deck back you tell him that when you turn your back you want him to turn up and look at ANY ONE of the five cards he wishes -then to replace it - then to move all the cards slightly - so that POSITION OF CARDS can give you no clues.

Caution him not to turn up a corner and look at a card as that might bend it so it can be noticed - but to carefully turn over the card so it does not change it at all.

As you say this last you ILLUSTRATE by turning up and showing the FOURTH CARD dealt in the row (which is the contrast card). As you are about to return it you apparently get an after-thought, push it into deck and deal another fresh from top into its place. This is one of the principal points of the effect and nothing is said except as stated. THE CARDS IN THE ROW ARE NOW ALL ALIKEi Naturally when you turn your back, one is looked at and returned. Although you do not know which of the five, they are all the same. You pick up the five face down cards. Without a word you hold them with RIGHT HAND while your left hand openly goes into inside (breast) coat pocket and removing papers or letters therefrom, lays them aside. STAND SO YOUR RIGHT SIDE IS TOWARD THE AUDIENCE.

Left hand takes cards and as you start to put them in your pocket you LOOK AT SPECTATOR and ASK HIM DIRECTLY IF HE IS THINKING OF THE CARD THAT HE LOOKED AT in the row. This is momentary thought for all which takes absolute attention away from your exact actions although subconsciously they notice everything.

Your RIGHT HAND is holding coat open about five inches from body and LEFT HAND (with cards between thumb and forefinger at end) and faces towards body (See Figure 1).

Immediately turning TOWARD RIGHT the coat is opened a little further SO THAT THE INSIDE COAT POCKET IS IN VIEW - and the audience SEES THE HAND COMING AWAY (See Figure 2) with FINGERS COMING OUT OF THIS POCKET.

But this is what the audience does not see, in that second before coat is swung open. As the left hand goes OUT OF SIGHT into the space between coat and vest (See Figure 1). The cards are PUSHED DIRECTLY down into UPPER RIGHT VEST pocket (See Figure 3) -- and the left free fingers going in to the coat pocket MAKING A VISIBLE "BULGE, " which is slightly noticeable from the audience' view of outside (See Figure 1).

This visible "bulge" of the pocket is taken by the audience to be EVIDENCE of cards going into the breast pocket.

DO NOT MENTION POCKET OR WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Give your audience credit for SEEING you first empty your breast pocket and go through all evidences of putting the cards there. Later, they will see you take them from there also. Therefore, there is no reason for you to mention the action.

Next, ask spectator to HOLD OUT HIS HAND, and with your free LEFT HAND, openly reach into pocket and bring out TOP CARD of heap there. Lay it face down on his open hand.

Repeat with the next three. Do it SLOWLY and OPENLY counting them "TWO" -- "THREE" -- "FOUR" -- as they are removed. When FOUR are out, state that but ONE is left in the pocket.

Tell gentleman to reach in with his free hand and TAKE HOLD of the one card left BUT NOT TO DRAW IT OUT. When he has it, ask him to NAME FOR THE FIRST TIME the card he was thinking of. Then have him draw out the card and hold it up. IT NATURALLY HAS TO BE HIS SELECTED CARD!

At once they can examine all the cards, the cards in his hands, and the deck. It is now complete with 52 cards and there is nothing suspicious to find.


The Psychic Writing

I have here a really new principle for effects of this nature. It occurred to me in the latter part of 1927 while conversing with Max Holden on a principle of which he is the originator.

The first thought was to use the trick as is herein described, with two blank cards of a calling card size, and as a possible publicity stunt to use impromptu and at random when the opportunity was forthcoming. For a while I used it as a sort of "self introducer" where my own name would appear upon the blank and numbered cards. Then I discovered it much more effective to use the observer's name when possible, as it takes but a second to get ready. I first introduced the effect to magicians at the 1928 Lima convention where I was continually "loaded" for as many as 16 names at one time. So upon meeting a performer I could work the effect apparently impromptu. So much for presentation possibilities.

In short, it is the only effect of its kind where with a pencil and two cards, four blank sides are shown and numbered, the spectator actually seeing four blank sides with a different number on each. Yet a name appears, filling one side of a card and everything may be kept and examined. There is neither anything else to add nor get away with.

To prepare: One side of one card is filled with a name or a short message written diagonally across it at one corner. The UPPER LEFT CORNER contains the figure one (1). (SEE FIGURE 4).

The two cards are placed together WITH THE WRITING ON THE UNDER SIDE of the TOP CARD. The NUMBERED end must be NEAREST YOUR BODY in handling cards --at start-- (See Figure 5).

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