Magic Trick: The Sense of Touch

The performer hands out for examination a euchre pack with the request that it be counted and then shuffled carefully. That done, he takes it back. "This experiment," he says, "depends almost exclusively on the sense of touch, which I have developed to a remarkable degree. In proof of this, I place the pack which you have just shuffled in my pocket," placing it in his left breast pocket. "Now," he continues, "if you will kindly name any card of the thirty-two, I will at once produce it simply by the sense of touch." Let us suppose the Queen of Hearts is called for. "The Queen of Hearts," he says, "very well." Thrusting his right hand into his pocket he produces the right card. "I could do that," he continues, "with my eyes shut. Strange, isn't it?" He places the card with its face toward the audience, against a goblet, which stands inverted on the table, so that every one may see it.

Taking the pack from his pocket, he presents it to a lady with the request that she will draw one card. It proves to be, let us suppose, the nine of spades. The name of this card he calls out, and then holds it up, so as to satisfy the audience. Then he stands the card, with its back to the audience, this time, against a second goblet.

Borrowing a handkerchief, he picks up the Queen of hearts with his right hand, and places it under the handkerchief, holding it there with his left hand. To convince the audience that it is really there, he lifts the handkerchief for a moment with the right hand and shows the card. "Mark, what I shall do," he says; "the card taken from the pack, which is standing against the goblet, shall, at my command, change places with the card that is under the handkerchief. Go!" He turns the card which is resting against the goblet, and lo! it proves to be the Queen of hearts, and lifting the handkerchief he shows the nine of spades.

For this very pretty deception sixteen double-faced cards are used, that is, two different cards are pasted back to back, so that, for example, one side of the card represents, say, the Queen of hearts, while the other side is the nine of spades.

The cards are arranged as follows:

The Ace of hearts is backed with the seven of spades.

The King of hearts is backed with the eight of spades.

The Queen of hearts is backed with the nine of spades.

The Jack of hearts is backed with the ten of spades.

The Ten of hearts is backed with the Jack of spades.

The Nine of hearts is backed with the Queen of spades.

The Eight of hearts is backed with the King of spades.

The Seven of hearts is backed with the Ace of spades.

The Ace of diamonds is backed with the seven of clubs.

The King of diamonds is backed with the eight of clubs.

The Queen of diamonds is backed with the nine of clubs.

The Jack of diamonds is backed with the ten of clubs.

The Ten of diamonds is backed with the Jack of clubs.

The Nine of diamonds is backed with the Queen of clubs.

The Eight of diamonds is backed with the King of clubs.

The Seven of diamonds is backed with the Ace of clubs.

As will be seen the highest card of hearts or diamonds is backed by the lowest card of spades or clubs, and this arrangement is followed with the whole pack, proving a great help in remembering the order. To prepare these cards, they are soaked for about an hour in cold water, after which they are split apart, and the faces are then pasted (not glued) together, back to back, and put in a press to dry.

A holder is then made by taking two letter envelopes of heavy manilla paper in which the cards will fit easily. These are cut to the proper length, which is a little less than the length of a card for one and a trifle shorter for the other. They are sealed and the flap sides are pasted together. In one envelope group No. 1 of cards is placed and group No. 2 in the other; when ready the holder is placed in the inside breast pocket of the coat. With very little practice it will be found an easy matter to produce any card.

Everything being ready for the trick, the performer hands out a fair pack to be shuffled, and when it is returned he puts it into his pocket alongside the holder with its prepared cards.

When a card is called for, say, the Queen of hearts, he thrusts his hand into his pocket and produces it, taking care that the reverse side is not exposed, and stands it against the goblet, with the Queen of hearts facing the audience. When the performer takes the unprepared pack from his pocket he runs over it rapidly and finds the card that is back of the prepared Queen of hearts, and forces it on the lady who is to take a card. While she is looking at it, the performer shows that the cards are all different, and while doing so, finds the unprepared Queen of hearts and places it on top of the pack. When the nine of spades is returned to him by the lady who draws it, he shows it, by holding it aloft, and then exchanges it for the top card (the unprepared Queen of hearts) and stands it, with its back to the audience, against the second goblet.

As he lowers the handkerchief, after showing that the Queen of hearts is really there, he gives the prepared card a turn, so that the nine of spades will show when he removes the handkerchief.

At the close of the trick, both cards are placed on top of the pack, the prepared card at the very top, and this the performer palms, so that if, required, the pack may again be examined.