The Effect. Standing on a table is a glass with an envelope inside. This is on show all the time the routine takes place. You patter about raffles and lotteries suggesting that sometimes it is possible to know w hat will win before the draw.
You have a book of 200 raffle tickets which you throw into the audience asking that two or three people will examine them to be sure that they are all numbered properly from one to two hundred.
After a reasonable examination has taken place, you ask the person who is left with the book to tear out the tickets and to drop them into a large goldfish bowl which you pass to the front row to be handed back to him. He places the counterfoils in his pocket and then gives the tickets in the bowl a very good mixing. To save time, they are not folded as is usual.
The next step is to invite the spectator to take the bowl to any three people in the audience. Each time they are to reach in and without looking remove a ticket. As a ticket is chosen, the assisting spectator takes it, reads it, calls out the number for all to hear and then returns it to the person who selected it from the bowl. This is repeated three times and can be done in a matter of thirty seconds. The spectator with the bowl sits for a moment whilst you explain to the audience that you could have in no way influenced the choice— and now, just in case you have made a correct prediction, you will need some prizes! At this point you call for your own assistant to bring in a tray upon which stand three prizes. Since these are to be given away, they should be reasonably cheap and suitable for male or female. Chocolates and Cigarettes are two good ones and 1 always use a cheap Ball Pen as the third.
All is set now for the draw—you make clear that the envelope contains three tickets which you think should be the winning numbers. If any of the * three people in the audience have one of those numbers—they will get a prize. The interest is thus built up long before the trick is revealed!
You call for the spectator who is holding the bowl. He comes up and puts the bowl aside (anywhere will do as long as it is out of the way). You ask him to bring the envelope from the glass which he does. You slit it open and tell him to remove the contents. Inside are three tickets—a different colour from those used by the audience, each one corresponds to a ticket held by the three spectators. They are all winners and as you hand the prizes to the spectator to give back to the winners—you also hand him a packet of cigarettes "for his valuable services".
The Method. Standing outside the open door to the drawing room is your own assistant who has a tray containing the three prizes. The reason why she is outside is because you want to create a pleasant surprise with the prizes—or so you infer. She also has a book of Raffle Tickets numbered from 1 to 200. They are a different colour from the other book that you have. With this, she has Corinda's Billet Pencil (see page 86 (1)) and as soon as she hears the numbers called by the spectator, she removes their duplicates from her book and loads them into the pencil. She lays the pencil on the tray and when she comes in you call for the envelope and slit it open shooting the three tickets into same. You must give your assistant time to load the pencil, so that is the point when you really explain what is happening— timing is very important. This trick costs you two books of Lottery Tickets and four prizes—an outlay of about 7/- ($1.00) which, for what it costs, is a winner—you try it.
(14) "The Prophesy" by Corinda
The Effect. A pack of cards is shuffled and handed to a spectator who is told to deal about twenty cards in a row on the table. Two rows of ten will do, and the cards are dealt face downwards. The mentalist speaks about the Art of Fortune Telling and of Seeing into the Future, as practised by Romany Gypsies. He asserts that a friend of his, a gypsy, wrote a prophesy naming something that would happen tonight. She told the mentalist that he must place a row of cards on the table and have any person of dark complexion come and choose a card. Her prophesy was written and sealed in an envelope—and that envelope is now produced and placed on the table.
Following the instructions given by the gypsy, the performer stands back and invites the spectator to pick up any card and put it in his pocket without looking at it. When this is done, the performer opens the envelope and reads out from a card found inside "This is the prophesy of Gypsy Nialo. The man of dark complexion will choose a card of fate. A red card with the number that governs destiny—a three. The suit will bring that man a money gain during the next three days—it is a Diamond—The card will be the Three of Diamonds". The performer waves the card to show the written prediction and then turns to the spectator asking him to remove the card from his pocket and look at it for the first time. He must call the name aloud—he calls "The Three of Diamonds". The pack may then be examined.
The Method. To use a current colloquialism, this is a "Diabolical liberty!" However, for all that it is quite a reasonable effect and the story adds to the presentation.
Take twenty cards and arrange them in any order you like—simply A-2-3-4-5 etc. will do—or "Si Stebbins" order. Stack them on top of a deck. False shuffle a bit—mixing the bottom cards but leaving the stack intact and put the cards on the table. Tell the spectator to deal them face down in a row—see that they go in order from left to right and when twenty are down say "that will do thank you".
Now introduce the envelope which in actual fact contains a prediction written on the lines given—naming any one of the twenty cards. It does not matter which one! Having explained what is to happen, stand well back and turn round facing your back to the table. Tell the spectator to choose a card and put it in his pocket and not to look at it for the moment. Having given him reasonable time to do this, turn round and say "Right done that? Good, now push the other cards back on the pack please". As you point to the "other cards" look for the BLANK position which shows where his card WAS! By this you know which one he chose. That is why you must either use one straight line of twenty or two exact rows of ten. The reason being that if an end card is taken—you will also note the space. The necessary information is obtained at a mere glance—after that you avoid looking at the table. Now for the prediction—suppose his card was the Nine of Spades and your Prophesy covers the Three of Diamonds—without batting an eyelid, you open the envelope and MIS-READ the name of the card—wording the prediction as you go with suitable spiel to cover his card! To do this with utter conviction—pretend you have a wee bit of trouble deciphering the writing at some point and for goodness sake LOOK at the card when you are supposed to be reading it.
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To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them