James Stewart

Our May 1938 issue No. 44 had what now is becoming much discussed, or at least mentioned by various magical mag writers. The prophecy (to a day I) when Austria would lose her independence was offset a bit by "A country, not long ago thought to be strong and stormproof, will offer a very pitiful spectacle." The date given was July 22, and two months later came Munich. This was all Oct. 1937 prophecy business via astrology. However, the spine tingler angle on that Polish monk's seering, (also in No. 44) which, mind you, was foretold In 1788, was regarding the "general world war" to break in 1938, with peace "over the world" only in 1986. If you, you or you can jump ahead 150 years, ring the bell as many times as did that cell-immuned monk, (again in No. 44) and come within a few months, year dates notwithstanding (after all, those higher-plane dreamers went by ephemeral signs and phases), to as good a prognostication describing the mattress updn which humanity in general is now wallowing in expectation of that seething moment when the biting starts, I'll build you a monastery, Sit you in a dank cubicle on a pile of unsold Jinx copies (except Nos.2-3-4-5), and reap aplenty for us both. All of which, and in one sentence, too, is admission that I'm Just about the only purveyor of magical information who has put in-tp type that he actually believes there is something somewhere we haven't mastered, and that always there is the possibility of it being done. Skeptic? Yes. Sooffer? Never!

The first magical dealer we ever knew is dead. On May 24th, In N.Y.'s French Hospital, Frank Ducrot (T.Francis Fritz) passed on to meet, somewhere, a long line of magic masters who had gone before. Few of the magi who have become active in the art during the past decade passed the portals of that gloomy place where trod the feet of Kellar, Thurston, and the elite of the "greats." For the moment, if not for ever, is stopped that unbroken,since 1858, existence of a magical supply house that was Martinka's and Hornmann's. It was in Martinka's 37 years ago that the S.a.M. was founded. Frank was No. 15. Few people In magic have been in contact with the illustrious forebearers of our art as was "Duke." And fewer still, of the present day magi, passed into that inner sanctum where, hidden among towering boxes and dusty accumulations of era after era sat the king in his domain. Duke was a fountain of Information and magical lore. I've sent my suit to the cleaners after a day with feet on the desks, sandwiches and coffee in our lap3, and entirely begrimmed from the handling and pouring through of ancient books and magazine files. No one but he ever knew the system by which heĀ» could find what he wanted, when he wanted It. He would whisper to you as he unwrapped from many foldings a dull appearing little gadget which, in other dealer's places, would be in a brightly lighted case and polished to hell and gone. In Ducrot's grotto you felt that here was a mystery passed on in confidence from a bygone master. Cursed be any violator! Would that I could have my suits-cleaned'a thousand times more for I never left 'thsit eerie, dingy shrine of a million secrets and stories but wha'F""X floated home on a magic carpet woven and controlled by centuries of painstaking effort to build what today becomes more and more a series of "tricks" and "what's new?" Frank Ducrot 3aw us through 12 years of professional magical adolescence.

Fage

He was as kind at the end as when first we met. Of his school there are but few left. So be it.

It's a firm belief of mine that Frank Ducrot saw ahead of him the checkered finish flag of a well run race. I know that for several months he had quietly been clearing up many details of the business. Several days before he went to the hospital his S.A.M. Convention Program copy was turned in. The lower half of the page showed a curtain falling on a stage full of people. The copy suggested, "Ask our Mr. Frank Ducrot about the "Grand Finale." The program was Issued the opening day of the Convention, only several blocks from where services were being held. The ones who knew him well can understand why I think he chuckled a bit when he prepared that page.

We'd like to see the S.A.M. with its own paper M.TJ.M. back in the running. There are not many of the present membership who ever saw the eight page printed publication that the society once had. A revival would bring the members much closer and certainly allow of a wider latitude in reporting than is now possible because of The Sphinx going to so many who are not members. Out of town members should, In all fairness, know Just what is going on behind the doors so as to be able to make their voices and views heard on the controversial matters vitally pertaining to the good of all magic'. From what finally gets into the M.U.M. columns now, it -Is constantly milk and honey.---Jerry Win-

dinfield, (Newark, N.J.) will probably be the only magician in this country to shake hands with the King and Queen of England. A member of the British Royal Air Force, Jerry will be among the few thus honored when Their Majesties stop over at the N.Y. World's Fair. --- Win-

chell may know a lot of things sooner but sometimes it's later - much later. He only recently columniaed a new (?) racket wherein the gamble was to call the last serial number on dollar bills - odd or even. It's the ancient A-B-C-D etc., key letter gag which has been in the simpler trick books for yars and yars. Wonder if the keyhole king knows about the plate mark that hits a certain number of bills and does the same thing in a much more mysterious way? --- Two years and a half have passed since we originated a gag while on the "hangover lap" between Miami and Havana. We sold it to Howard Brooks at the MacFadden-Deauville, but now it is getting around so we'll put it on the record. Make up a funny looking bunny rabbit out of cardboard, cover it with soft white cloth and hang it inside your coat. At any time, show a foulard or large silk, throw over your arm and ask, "What would you like to see the magician produce?" "Rabbit" i3 sure to come up. Dig around and get It. Pull cloth away, look startled, twist the rabbit around so all see just what it is, and remark, in awed tones, "I left him in the suit when I had It pressed!"

Some of the magazines made much to do and described John S. Van Glider's (Knoxville,Tenn.) trips to the World's Fair. Not one mentioned his practically falling over me as he left Rosita Royce's Dove Dance exhibition, undoubtedly racing the birds which leave for home just before the curtain falls on Rosita, John Is said to have made "five detailed inspection trips of the Fair." That's a lot of doves. --- LOOK

(continued on page 404)

[THE JINX is a monthly symposium'

t of mystery published' by Theo. Annemann i

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