This novel prediction is ideally suited for sessions or impromptu performances whenever the first lull seems imminent. Some magicians attribute the operative principle of this effect to Henry Christ, but his popular force from "Stop When Ready" is a different. The approach taken by Marlo alters known aspects and produces a fresh effect. After reading it, you will probably have an immediate opinion. After performing it, your opinion will be more pronounced. Without describing the actual effect beforehand, its details will be apparent as you read and study the description.
Requirements: The only preparation is to have a Stranger Card the same size as the cards in the borrowed deck. The back's color is immaterial. On the back of the Stranger Card affix a postage stamp in the center. Only the upper edge of the stamp is licked and attached, creating a hinge-like condition at the point of attachment. The stamp can now be lifted upwards like a tiny door. Do not bend or crease the stamp. Just lick and affix, keeping it flat. You must know the name of the Stranger Card. Suppose it is the AD.
Set-up: The stamped Stranger Card is placed face up, the side with the stamp resting against your leg as you sit at a table across from the spectator.
Method: Before the deck is borrowed, ask the spectator to remove any Deuce, Four, Six, or Ten. These cards have a blank space in their center to accommodate writing. Explain that this card is your prediction-card. Ask the spectator to thoroughly shuffle the remaining cards.
Pick up the "prediction card"—say, the 2D—and write the initials of the known Stranger Card in your lap (AD). A felt pen is used and these initials are written without the spectator seeing them. Remove a postage stamp from your pocket or wallet, then lick it along its upper edge. Attach it on the face of the prediction-card, covering the written initials in the center. The stamp can be any denomination, depending on your frugality. Since this is an Air Mail Prediction, it will cost more per performance. If you plan to perform this effect on a regular basis, one-cent stamps work as well.
Once the stamp is in place, the prediction-card is placed on the face of the borrowed, shuffled deck and held face up in your left hand. Openly shown it to the spectator. Appropriate small talk should accompany this action.
Ask the spectator to take the deck face up beneath the table. As you say this, take the deck under the table to apparently hand it to the spectator. In the process, secretly add the Stranger Card to the face of the deck. This addition should be smooth. The deck is merely placed face downwards onto the Stranger Card as it passes your leg. Your left hand will have no difficulty accomplishing this move.
With the Stranger Card face down on the face of the deck, stamp-side upwards, the entire deck is face up. In this condition, when the spectator touches the face card on top—apparently his prediction-card—he will feel a stamp and assume that everything is copacetic. After he has received the deck beneath the table, utter these instructions: "Do you have the cards? Oh! By the way, please check to see if the stamp is still affixed to the prediction-card on the face." As a rationale, add: "Sometimes it becomes loose and falls off. Okay ? Now lift a packet of cards off the top and turn them over and face down onto the remaining cards in your hand. Square the cards and bring them above the table."
Take back the deck and immediately ribbon-spread them from left to right, saying: "The facedown cards are the cards you just cut off. The prediction-card faces the card to which you freely cut. The first face-up card is the Ace of Diamonds!"
Gesture towards the appropriate cards as you deliver the patter, then openly separate the spread at the face-up 2D (The gaffed Stranger Card). Square all the face-up cards and leave the 2D on top. The first face-down card of the face-down spread—ostensibly the prediction-card— is slid out and turned face up. It is apparently the prediction-card with the stamp still attached. Give this card to the spectator and ask him to lift the stamp and read the prediction to cap the effect.
There are many methods to dispose of the Stranger Card. For example, you can take the faceup cards(with the Stranger Card on the face)and turn them down in your left hand. The tabled spread is scooped up and placed on top of the talon in your left hand. The bottom card can be lapped as your right hand reaches for the other spread. It can also be copped after the two packets are squared. Our only suggestion, regardless of the disposal technique used, is do not hurry the action, especially when performing for other magicians.
The reason the face-up spread is squared is because the duplicate of the Stranger Card may be noticed by sharp observers if it happens to end up in that section.
August 15, 1969
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.