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We beg to attempt a quotation remembered somewhat from an English magician. It fits this situation very well. This pi-eeti-digitatorial pundit mouthed the words, " 'Tis better to have tried and dropped a ball, than never to have palmed at all."

There is no wreath nor piece of crepe on our door to-day, despite the death (or suspended animation? Ed.) of a wish that has been nibbling on our framework since the day when we heard of "Doc" A.U.Wilson's demise, and, out of sorrow, came the thought that we, not quite "dry behind the ears" professionally but well steeped in the magical lore of the printed page, might possibly get a chance to "carry on" the traditional Sphinx magazine in a manner that wouldn't let down "Doc's" battle cry for good and ethical magic.

CXir offer to buy outright or control of The Sphinx Corporation was bon-afied and sincere in the desire to perpetuate a magical mpnument. Last If ay $4000 was deposited, to show good faith, in the Grand Central Branch of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank of N.Y.C.

With John Mulholland in control it wasn't of much use to contact the minor stockholders. Except for one they were polite in their refusals to sell, either for sentimental reasons or because "it's up to John". Mulhol land's letter is reproduced at the right. If, as he writes, more than $4000 has been offered, we humbly kneel, for,after the past sunmer's array of paid advertising in comparison with that in contemporary journals, we seriously considered dropping the offer to $3000 before the final try.

Irony gives us a twinge and others a chance to chuckle, perhaps, for none answered directly the sentence in our letter, to wit: "I will be glad to further inform you of the alms and intentions for a continuance of the world's oldest magical magazine."

We thought it neglectful if not downright mean for we'd put all 33 of our ideas and suggestions into a 5 page mss. (20 copies - $3.06) We only wanted to really show how we could build up the ads, streamline the reports, get along without M.U.M. which should be published by the S.A.M. for its members only anyway, and edit the magazine for quality of tricks. Even if we couldn't succeed on our quest, the editor might have used one or even two of the suggestions. We want to see The Sphinx keep on being the oldest magical publication and our contribution would have been from the heart. But — to paraphrase that age old cry of a Briton for his soverieigns, "The Sphinx is dead ---- long live The Sphinx!"


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"INSTANTO" (continued from page 678)

and the spectator's card shows up.'

There has been no selecting (and putting back) so that this method gets away from the overdone procedure, speeding up the effect and making it doubly miraculous. Through "Instanto" moves the named card is almost instantly cut to the bottom of the deck. An odd card is taken from the center, shown, and dropped face up on top.

The performer is standing alongside the person. He puts the deck behind that person's back with one hand, making the simple one-handed (Charlier) pass, cutting the deck at random. The spectator, behind his back, removes the top card (thinking it the shown face up card) and pushes it into the center. When the cards are fanned for all to see, the previously shown face up card is seen buried, and, naturally, the face down card against it is the one which was mentally chosen and named, not picked.


Using the principle of tearing a twice folded billet in pieces to leave finger-palmed the center section bearing the written name of a card (Jinx No.6 and many times described since) plus an "Instanto" deck and a comely assistant as the "medium", one can play a passive (?) part in the transfer of a thought from a spectator to the lady.

With great display and aplomb the "medium" is blindfolded and seated facing the audience. A spectator is given a slip of paper and pencil. He writes the name of his thought of card, folds the paper and the performer tears it into bits onto an ash tray. The spectator burns the paper while the tfOw performer says that the possibility exists that it all isn't real telepathy and that the medium gets a clue from the spiral of smoke which comes from the ashes. During this talk he has reached into his pocket, opened the stolen center against an encased "Instanto" deck, brought them out together, and in toying with the pack as the few sentences are concluded, glimpsed the name of the card thought of, removed the deck from the case, and re-pocketed both case and paper.

As he cuts the deck (false shuffle if you can) a number of times he steps to the medium and reminds that she is securely blindfolded and no one, including the performer, knows of what the spectator is thinking. Now comes the showmanship angle, for the performer has simply cut the correct card to the top or bottom of the deck without, apparently, having paid the least bit of attention to the cards. The medium raises her hands above her head (which will throw off the wise ones who know about "looking down the nose". She fumbles around with the cards, dropping a few, and finally holds one up with its back to all. The spectator names his thought — she has it.

Simple? Silly? In some ways, maybe, but remember that all of the "build-up" has been towards the medium. The performer is practically a non-entity (That will go hard with a few certain boy8. 3d.) And he has not done anything with the cards other than to cut them a few times with no evident desire to look at the pack. Put all of those details together and you can fool some awfully smart magically-wiseacres.

We start the "wind up" to all of this with the hope that we have not necessarily given you any definite tricks you can do with the "Instanto" deck but have "planted" the thought and realization of its possioilities to-day.

It can be used, as it was when Billy O'Connor first started presenting it, for the cutting of any number of cards called for, i.e., 12,18, 26, 34, etc. Kftowing that the suits are together and that t,ne values are likewise in order, it doesn't take a gigantic intellect to quickly compute tne card at which you must cut. We'll grant that the possibility of doing this feat for ever and again undoubtedly enhanced the advertisements, but a repetitious check-up (even the second time) would prove disastrous to most of us. Cwr own climax, when using the deck for some underhanded purpose which doesn't disarrange it, may be the result of jaded simplicity but it works without too quick moves. Ask a nearby spectator to name a number from 1 to 52, while you're cutting. Getting it, turn to someone else and ask him, "31. How many of the cards in the deck would be left, sir. Ey the way, there's a Joker somewhere among them." The moment he names the figure requested, hand him a bunch and then walk back and hand the rest to the first person. "Count your cards." They do, and you are right.

In short, you use the second person's mental calculation as the stall for your own figuring and cutting. He gets the lower half instantly, and the poor fellow who was first comes last. The audience remembers how fast you hand out the LAST section AS the spectator names the number, and when both parties count and find you correct the audience remembers later that you instantly cut the number of cards mentioned by WO people, instead of one.

Page 680

There probably isn't a reader who does card tricks, even occasionally, who isn't, right now, applying this deck to one or more of the effects he uses in his program. Some won't work out to advantage, but a great many will. It is awfully nice, in too many cases, to be able to secure the card you want, OR EVEN ITS DUPLICATE PROM ANOTHER DECK, when you need it. Can you imagine a "Do As I Do" when the other fellow holds a fair deck and you hold "Instanto"? He cuts when you cut, several times to get everyone used to it, then he takes out a card from the middle of his deck and places it at the face of the pack while you apparently do the same — but don't. He names his card and then you ask him to show it. JUst that interval enables you to locate what he has named and make a pass so that you follow his showing by letting everybody that you picked out the same cardJ It should be worth something to get away from that hackneyed and utterly ridiculous exchanging of decks back and forth.

There are certainly a few of the old timers who will remember when "Instanto" came into being and very possibly fix up a deck and do it exactly as per the directions. There may be amateur magi to-day who have secured such a pack and present it via the instruction sheet. While not deprecating such performances, for solid success in this business lies entirely in personality and showmanship, the purpose of this article will have been defeated if those who make up a pack of cards merely use it to show "Name any card. look. Here it is." We've tried hard to show that the deck is not a trick in itself. Use it as a PART of other tricks you now perform. And then see how those tricks are improved and brought nearer perfection.

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