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Last September'8 (1939) issue of TOPS contained a photograph of Winston Freer presenting a purported levitation of a girl over a dining table with people sitting all around. A hoop was in the process of proving "no support." In Percy Abbott's own words the illusion had previously been done "on an unprepared nitery floor, with absolutely no setting, scenery or assistance." Also "the volunteer assistant had obviously not expected to be called upon." A girl had been intimidated onto the floor to undergo the test. Mr. Abbott finished by saying "you may see what may be accomplished by the application of time, trial, and experience."

We applied all three of those requisites to very good results. First came the experience. We dimly remembered something away back in the past that strummed a memory chord. Time came next. We spent quite a few hours digging back into the files under all sorts of classifications, finally getting into back magazine copies for yars upon yars. Then it was found - a picture taken of Thurston at the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh on January 8, 1931. The Sphinx ran it in the March issue of that year. Next came trial. Trial by skepticism. We could recognise two of those present. The first, John Northern Hilliard, has passed on. The second. Bill McCaffrey, is as full of trickery as ever. We wrote. Bill answered. "We were giving Thurston a banquet and one of the club members, Mr. Irving Newman, an excellent local news photographer, thought he would take a publicity picture. The girl was placed on a board which was supported by the backs of two chairs and he photographed her in that position. Then Thurston stepped on the table and those of us left stared at where the girl was supposed to be. Newman then printed both pictures together with the result that you have seen. It was a clever bit of work, especially the shadows from the dress that are visible in the picture. They were drawn in by an artist and the effect was that of a miracle happening in a hotel banquet hall. As it happened, the editor turned it down because of the picture being a fake. Newman made up only a few prints for his friends I'

So there you have it. The editor wasn't bewildered, tho evidently quite a few magi got upset and worried not a little.

Even such an originator of a good many impossible mysteries as Brunei White, whose column in London's World's

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Fair is a continental authority on things magical, professed himself stumped and went to some lengths in presenting theories. He could not be blamed though for Britishers never have exactly understood we Americans for spoofing each other. And it was a spoof, wasn't it Percy? Don't you think so, too, Winston?

Without furtner delay we must bow low to the event, on January 8th, which precipitated a son into the lap of Sid Lorraine for him to rock roughly and tear his hair at while he's trying to answer questions for his TOPS column. Maybe he'll have to write himself a few questions now. --- Johnny Giordmaine, Canadian magish we mentioned last issue has reaped a number of press articles ridiculing the Dunninger vanishing battleship idea that we've also mentioned and pictured lately. --- Alden I. Dillenback, who writes of himself, "I am a showman," "I have given you nothing. John Snyder has given you his all," "Will you --- permit a continuance of

Snyder prosperity or will you sit back like silly fools, and allow others to say, again, what you shall and shall not do?" All of the foregoing pertains to the I.B.M. and Mr. Snyder, its present president. We don't know Mr. Dillenback personally, in fact we never heard of him until lately and we've been around magic going on twenty years and have read back fifty, so far. But all that "three sheeting" for John Snyder isn't necessary. The boys who have been to all the conventions, know the insices of all possible candidates and their qualifications, realise that John is their best bet. We've all known the man personally and intimately for a good many get-togethers. There's no need for a self appointed press agent to "band wagon" for a president v/ho already is in. That is, unless the "showman" is building a front in order to high pressure the 1941 convention to his home city. That has more or less been tried before. It's no spoilt plum for a local promoter to bring in a convention like that of the I.B.M. and there's quite a bit of money to be taken in and paid out. A few years back witnessed great repercussions when the reports divulged that $50 and $100 fees

"were shoveled out in giant thumb tips for various local tie-ups and bands to march in the opening day parade. The I.B.M. has found out by trial and error that the smaller cities are best, for fun and profit. 77e know, from what has been printed, that Mr. Dillenback is sincere. He writes, "Scores of replies ask my continuance in the c errespondenc e circle; dozens thanked me for what I was doing —What I have done has been done tecause-—I- know what you have had a right to expect;what you never have been given before." OABBATHA!J i

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AS IN A MIRROR DARKLY (continued from page 501)

little of the backs of the cards.

It is possible to further heighten the assumption that all is fair by using the subtle Hindu Shuffle described of late in several books on card work, and explained fully with effects in Jinx Mo. 56. The deck is first shuffled with faces showing and front of deck held downwards with the attached papers at that end. The audience sees cards genuinely mixed, and several times the performer can show the backs (?) of the cards, saying, "The 52 backs are mixed also but as they all look alike I have my subject think of a face so that there can be no mistake."

'.'/hen the deck is fanned towards the subject he touches his card when he sees it. The performer immediately pulls it upwards in the fan about half an inch, saying, "This is the card you thought of while I was concentrating?" As he acknowledges the statement, or query, to be true you step towards the dish or hat which is behind and to the right of the spectator. As you do this, say, "Then tell everybody what card flashed into your mind. I'll put it here with the prediction I originally wrote for you."

You have cut the deck to bring the selected card to the back and you now are turned so that the face of the deck is towards the audience. At this point it is not necessary to be finicky or too particular about the audience seeing the cards. Remember that they have seen the deck fanned, and seen the spectator find his card. It is therefore impossible for you to do anything underhanded with the cards now. The card is withdrawn, keeping the paper attached covered with the fingers of the right hand and dropped into the container, and at the same time the paper slip is dislodged by a squeeze between fingers and thumb.

Pick up the container with the same hand and give it to another spectator nearby. Ask him to name and show the card which the spectator thought of. Then have him remove the paper and read aloud what you wrote before.

Each performer will work out his particular method of presentation, I know, but it is suggested that he first try it as given here and endeavor always to make it clear that he writes first, has any card thought of, picked from the deck, put into the hat with the paper, and both are shown and read for everybody to know of the performer's correctness.

For those who use only this one effect in their program which requires cards, the deck may be recased and put out of the way. For those who wish to continue with some other effect, there is ample opportunity for an exchange of the deck during the interval when the spectator takes the card and paper from hat to read.

(By Anneraann: The self contained feature of Mr. Brethen's deck carries this effect quite a distance beyond the ways it has been done before, 'ihen body work can be eliminated practically,it always helps both in presentation and servicePage ability. I might suggest the simplest of exchanges with a reason to follow. Have another deck to match on your table 'with the rest of your apparatus. This deck is stacked with your favorite system. Remove the Brethen deck from case, and toss case to table on top or close to the stacked deck. During that finale of disclosure, step back to table, lay your faked deck down behind or into a crumpled handkerchief and at the same time with your left hand pick up the stacked deck and the case. You now are racing the audience at the very conclusion, and excuse your assistants.

Explain that you have shown a test of prophecy, although the critical people before you might disbelieve in that solution and say that it was merely a matter of your will forcing the thought upon the spectator's mind. Put the deck into the case as you say this, and then decide to show how possible it is for you to actually read the mind of the spectator.

Toss the cased deck into the audience and ask whoever gets it to come forward. He removes the cards and gives them a shuffle, but you hurry up the procedure to prevent more mixing by saying, "Put the deck face down on your left hand. (And as an afterthought) You've shuffled the deck - now give it one complete cut."

Continue, "Look at the top card, whatever it may happen to be. Your selection has been made by chance with no conscious liking for any card, or my will-power, influencing you. (Your back is turned during the cutting and picking off of the card) Hold the card against your forehead with your right hand covering it completely." How you turn around and approach him. Take the remainder of the deck from him and toss to the table. In doing so you glimpse the bottom or face card, count one ahead in the system, and you know what he is holding. Touch his forehead hand with your finger tips and slowly reveal the color, suit and value of the pasteboard. Have him acknowledge the correctness with each step. If wrong on any one of them, say that you won't guess, and that he isn't thinking hard enough. Hand him back the deck for a cut and second selection. This never will fail twice once you have tried it out and become acute at letting a person shuffle and stopping him by giving additional directions. I first published the idea in slightly different form back around 1932 and called it "The $1000 Test Card Location." To date it has been (so they say) quite a prized method with seme of the best cardolo-gists, especially the late Nate Leipsic. However, you take it for what It is worth to you, and I suggest it as a finish to the Brethen mystery so that the deck is handled and unobstru-sively shown to be quite unprepared^

Rochester, New York

Dear Ted;

I keep forgetting to tell you that the grandest changing bag in the world for a banquet is simply to fold your napkin as it was v,'hen you sat down, giving it one more fold, if necessary. V/hat could be more easy? Or more innocent appearing for the purpose of switching cards, coins, billets, cigarettes, etc.?

Regards

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