April 1935

Our picture tnls month on the left shows us as of a temper.when things aren't moving in a manner meritorious. It depicts ye editor luring a resounding declaration of principles arai It is with regret that we cannot show you the awed expressions of the staff at large. However, one may rest assured that our firm starai did some good, and the appearance of ___ The Jinx on schedule for the first time during its short but notable career is the result. Henceforth this sheet will be ruled by an Iron hand. An editor can only be as strong as his staff.

Certainly one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long while is to mention the death of John Northern Hllllard. Some people were lucky enough to have known him for many years. My acquaintance Roes back only six years but in that time I was with him on many occasions and never was there a minute wasted for me. Joan Hllllard could spellbind me for hours across cups of coffee In some all night corner restaurant and when a man has traveled the world as business representative and press agent for the world's greatest magicians for thirty years he surely has material with which to spellbind. John Hllllard was the undisputed creator of the telephone card trick. I don't mean a method either. I mean the effect Itself of calling up someone who would name the selected pasteboard. He was one of the few people who could work the original Schlesslnger living and dead test, and doing that successfully time after time, my friends, was no mean accomplishment. As the man who wrote I. Nelson Downs' book 'The Art of Magic' his name will last as long as that perennial textbook. His untimely death has cut short what was to be a continuance of that first writing published in 1907,(and still better than modern works) a continuance of the best magic from that era to date. I can't say much more here because I don't know the right words. He taught me so many things that I'll never be able to forget him. I can finish only bv saying that I would have missed a lot had I never become acquainted with John Northern Hllllard.

Why do magicians always insist upon Insisting that everything they use is fair and aboveboard, empty and unprepared? vihy do they always think the audience can't see whit is going on? And If something is shown empty once why show it the eecond time? Certainly a box or a hand can't be more empty. I remember one magi who featured the back hand routine, and although you couldn't see the cards he always reminded me of a person tring to transmit Anthony Adverse by wigwagging.

Several years ago I ">et a fellow who had Just purchased a set of the then new Petrle-Lewls shears for the Fairy Ribbon trick. He was very enthusiastic about them and talked to great lengths. I nosed around and picking up another set of shears from the same box asked him what they were for. "Those are unprepared," he replied, "and after cutting the ribbon, I switch and can pass the shears out for examination."

Very few things or people can get my goat but the above circumstance was one and likewise any of that type. It was like the story of the magician who wandered away from his first love and became a legitimate thesplan. In his part was an episode wherein he was to stab some ungodly person and for which he was supplied a rubber dagger. "But where Is the real one?" he Is supposed to have queried, eyes lifted and "hatnot. The answer came that the rubber dagger was all that was needed. "But," again butted the former prestoptwte, "suppose I have to hand It out for examination?

Mr. A1 Baker himself quoted something when he gave me the line - "The wicked flee when none pursue." If magicians would stop worrying about handing things out for inspection they would have more time to work tricks. But they wander along, always inciting as well as exciting suspicion by inane remarks such as, 'it is totally unprepared' 'my hands are empty" 'I will put the glass Into the hat' 'and the rabbit has vanished' 'I shall put the egg into this ordinary glass1 and a thousand more. One question. Did you ever see an acroi bat do a headstand and then, while In that position saj "I am now standing on my head."? Not by a damned sight, ivenso that crack would be funnier than some of the jokes they do pull. But think over what I've written. It's one great fault of many otherwise clever workers.

Usually tricks become greater as they become simpler and vice versa. The Lemon stunt by Conrad Bush and on the back page this month Is an example. I hope a good many will try It out. I have and am exuberating. All tricks are simplified through use. I remember a long time ago when I used to use alcohol on the back of an envelope in order to find out what was written on the card inside. Now I have learned to cut out the side of the envelope and handle it in such a manner so that it is never seen. Long ago I deftly (?) applied alcohol and peered valiantly In order to fathom the writing through a partially transparent thickness. Now

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