^ he performer puts a single slate and a pack ■B- of cards on the table. Before leaving the the room he asks a spectator to shuffle the deck (all of this after he is out of sight, of course), cut it several times,and then put the top card face down under the slate. The mystic returns when this has been done. He peers at the blank upper surface of the slate. He may state that he is going to prove that man can, with proper training, use his eyes and brain to surmount normally impassible barriers. He draws a picture of a card on the upper side of the slate. He steps away. His picture is seen and named. The slate is lifted and the card beneath turned over. That's It.
A miracle? To the onlookers, yes. To the magicians present, again yes. To you? No. You aren't duly amazed because you know that the deck of cards is both marked and stacked at the beginning. Let's start at that beginning.
Take your marked deck, one which doesn't require too much squinting at in order to decipher the identity of the top card. We'll try to illustrate a practical method later. Stack, or arrange, the cards in the Si Stebbins order or in the Eight-Kings arrange-
ment as you see fit. Now, by a peek at the back of the top card you always can know the one next beneath.
Go away and let someone give the deck a shuffle. As you get almost out of talking distance tell him to cut the pack a couple of times. Then he takes the top card and puts it under the slate. You return, pick up the piece of chalk on the table and concentrate. It is easy enough for you to see the top card of the deck laying close by, catch its identity, and count one back in the stack system. That gives you the name of the card under the slate. Why? And after the shuffle? Simply because a stacked deck can be hastily shuffled by anyone and still remain stacked in sections too many to mention. After this shuffle it is cut once or twice. The percentage is terrific in favor of the top two cards being mates. Therefore, when one is taken from the top and put under the slate, the next can tattle if you know how to read its marks.
It but remains for you to draw its picture on the slate - the card beneath, and, in the remote case of failure, just admit of a "fog" and try again, turning the slate over and having the deck cut again for another selection. It will be an event in your life when you must try the second time.
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