Sid Lorraine

Walt a minute. I must polish the crystal and rub the black cat In the right direction. It is the year 1954 A.D. (After Diachylon) and the seen« is a super magic shop of that era. Chairs are over-flowing with non-buying magi. Two wizards are setting up decks; another is tring, for the fourth time, to locate the chosen card; the rest are tryingto explain just why they played that two-dollar date.

Chatter ceases when the inventive genius of the day enters/Elmer Slideslip. Recognized as the author of that monumental work, "Tracing the Thumb-tip to its Tepee" his actions are countenanced while, from pockets not made in respected suits, he removes all gimmicks and offers to demonstrate his latest conception, "Knocko-Blffem-Squeezem-Plunk." He will use but one ordinary pea, a bodkin, a bath towel, and a biscuit.

The boys crowd around the genius. I see only their backs. The ^fl trick must be clever for they do a lot

B> 99 ■■■■■ he explains It. The mm SOB sleepy looking fel-^m wL ^S B^S low in the corner springs up. "It's my idea I Scoffing Is generous. The mellow looking gent continues, "Fifteen years ago, Sideslip, you stealthy swing sorceror, I invented that stunt. I should write "Over The Coals" — the column In the Oenlx.""We all know him. It's Dabney Pilch, better known as "One way back Dabney." We had Ignored the guy a lot but there was no doubt but what he was the best wax card polisher In the slick ace business.

"Tomorrow," says Dabney, after being called a blubber buffer by Sideslip, I'll bring proof. See you at 2 P.lli

Hie emporium was packed — Sideslip stood in a corner nervously gnawing upon a new fingertip. He automatically autographed narked cards for the boys. Pilch entered and tossed a legal looking envelope upon the counter.

"Ify proof I" he screamed In the voice which had made him do a silent act in vaudeville.

Everybody looked it over. Addressed to Mr. Filch at hl3 home address it had been registered and postmarked 1939 — Oct. 18, — just 15 years earlier. The flap was sealed with sealing-wax in several places and Dabney*s name plainly written (as plainly as he could write) across the flap. As a further means of establishing the date, a stamp had been placed across the flap and the post-office date mark was there to see.

There was no doubt even among such skeptics as gather around that magic counter. Mailed 15 years ago the envelope, torn open, disclosed a folded, sealed, sheet of paper. The edges were glued together and on the outside was a certificate with a.notary's signature together with the date. The seal had punched right through both thicknesses of paper. They tried to tear apart the sealed paper but It had been fastened so securely that scissors finally were used.

The sheet, unfolded, revealed, In Dabney'a quaint penmanship, a full and complete explanation of "Knocko-Blffem-Squeezen-Plunk." Without the flair for titles. Dabney Filch had merely called it "A trick with a bath towel, a biscuit, a pea, and a bodkin."

So what? In the face of 3uch legal looking proof, Elmer Sideslip backed down and let the Great Filch advertise and sell the trick.

You have read the above. I did. Then I took down a copy of "Higher Magic" by Oscar Teale. I dozed off on an old friend, a folding coin with a bad case of the bends. In my dream I met Filch. He was explaining how he'd fool the boys fifteen years hence.

He'd read The Jin* - Bo. 62 - Oot 14, 1930, and been Intrigued by the item "A 68 cent Patent.- I'll fix that," said Dabney, " and prove priority of invention at any time. He folded s sheet of paper in half. Rubber cement (at all stationery stores) was applied to the three edges. A notary public punched his official (Mr. Dodd and others turn back to page 455)

Page 456

|ARB ACT

TAKE HEED MAGI I THE CARD ROUTINE GIVEN HEREIN IS ONE WHICH. I HONESTLY BELIEVE, CAN ALMOST REVOLUTIONIZE THE PRESENTATION OF CARD EFFECTS. FOLLOWED BY MANY SCJCH A PRACTICE UNDOUBTEDLY WOULD WRECK HAVOC WITH TRICKS OF CLASSIC ORIGIN. IT'S A CASE OF CONDENSING INTO A FEW MINUTES OF TIME THE VARIOUS CARD EFFECTS OF WHICH PAST MASTERS HAVE MADE FEATURES SEPARATELY AND WHICH LASTED FROM 5 to 15 MINUTES. THIS ROUTINE SHOULD NOT HON OVER 12 MINUTES. I SINCERELY OFFER IT AS A ROUTINE WORTHWHILE.

^Jhen I titled this a card "act"

I meant it in practically every sense of the word. The routine was conceived for the purpose of putting into ten minutes the standard, or classic, card locations, each one having its repre sentation.

It seems to be a strict custom that a magician have three cards selected and returned for a subsequent rising from the pack. Then, in order to present, say, the stabbing effect, three more are chosen, returned, and pierced one by one in turn. I have long been an exponent of "two selections" rather than "three" for reasons familiar to my steady readers.

Now I'm going a few steps further but with the objective of a complete and showy routine suitable for night club acts, and especially valuable for the performers who have their half hour or hour of magic and want to Intro

Page 457

duce one trick with the pasteboards. It may well be termed an effort to produce an item that can be shown as a card location routine to end all card locations — that is — as far as the audience in front is concerned.

Uy notes regarding it all date back a bit under three years and I had visions of making profitable use of it myself. On occasion I have detailed the basic plan of action confidentially and received complementary remarks of sufficient strength to warrant offering it in The Jinx. This hesitation about presenting it to readers is because only the tips, hints, wrinkles, and asides are original, the five parts before integration (and after, for that ¡natter) having been picked up from here and there. I have been reluctant to use the "act" in print because of possible criticism that I had produced nothing new, when, my whole aim has been to combine the effects into one smooth and continuous working routine that, to any audience, will appear as something far different and mysteriou8 with cards than which they had seen. Certainly, the combination of tricks will be hard to "follow", with the exception of straight manipulation, in any show by another card expert who must need cards selected.

The lack of apparatus is a vastly important feature. The audience sees you step forward with but a new deck of cards. The few outside objects used are obviously ordinary and can be borrowed. The rest of the apparatus, if it can be called that, is on the performer's person without any discomfiture.

The deck is given someone for a shuffle and in succession five people around the room are asked to choose cards. Upon the return of these cards the performer stands at the front of the room and shuffles the deck. He explains that to find the cards he must resort to different and varied methods, "for like people no two cards are of the same temperament nor do they excell in the same branches of business or hobbies. It is therefore necessary to locate them according to their own pursuits of happiness.

The deck is placed into a stemmed goblet. The performer shows a small embroidery hoop which he passes over the glass of cards several times and tosses aside. This may also be made of rope, like qpoit rings for indoor use, and more easily carried in the pocket. The goblet is held on the outstretched hand and the first person asked the name of his card. Slowly and deliberately the named card rises. It is tossed out and the glass put aside.

Now the deck is inserted into its case and wrapped into the performer's pocket handkerchief. The second card named, it is seen to visibly penetrate the case and silk, and finally that card is tossed out. The case is unwrapped from inside the hank and the cards removed from the case.

The third person is asked to stand and is approached. The performer shuffles the deck several times and asks if he is certain that he knows his card. Then the deck is handed him and the request made that he run through them and remove it. As he begins this the performer takes from his pocket a double banded wallet and toys with it, taking care to keep it at the tips of his fingers in full view. The spectator cannot find his card. The performer has him name it. Very openly the bands are removed from around the wallet. It is a three-fold type of container end the flaps are opened outward. Inside, under the glassine card holder is seen the card. It is removed and tossed out.

Taking the deck back the performer has the fourth man stand. The deck is handed him for a thorough shuffling, and during this interval the performer removes from his pocket an ornamental dagger. This can he a decorative envelope opener, preferably in a sheath for appearance. The performer receives the mixed deck in one hand and returns to the table where he spreads them face down. He quickly wraps the handkerchief around his head and over his eyes, circulates the dagger over the cards and stabs among them. He calls for the name of the chosen card as he whips blindfold off with his left hand. Then he holds up the dagger with the impaled card facing outwards. Correctl

Assembling the spread cards the performer has the fifth and last person stand. He states that two decks are necessary for this part of the proceedings but that one will have to suffice by becoming two. Whereupon the performer tears it in half and lays one half down for the moment. The remaining half is shuffled well and the performer starts to deal them, letting the pieces land on the floor where they may. The spectator calls "stop" at any time and the half card at that point is placed, back outwards, protruding from the breast pocket. The second naif of deck is handled in the same manner and another half card stopped at by the spectator's command. The two half cards are placed together with backs out and the spectator names his card for all to hear. Turned over, the two halves prove to match and make that particular card.

The routine is over and the cards are gone.

There has been no stalling, no duplication of effects, and each revelation has been a decisive one. I honestly believe (tho admitting that I am biased) this to be just about the best possible card routine for shov/men who figure (and correctly) that the effect upon the audience is the thing.

As per the patter, people are different, and each reader will no doubt think of some other pet effect he would rather substitute for one in the routine. Whether this can be done with safety or not I cannot possibly say. It depends upon the individual performer's ability and his selection of tricks. Herein, and were I to perform it professionally myself (I have been using it quite a bit for parties where I was not restricted to my own mental routines), I have made single use of the classic locations, none of which are complicated in their unfolding, and all of which appeal to the eye of the spectator. In short, my selections are elemental, and as such can be depended upon to entertain without confusing or boring.

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