Magic Trick: The Card in the Pocketbook

A card is freely selected from a thoroughly shuffled pack and marked. It is shuffled back into the pack around which is placed a rubber band. The pack is then returned to the person who drew the card, with the request that he hold it. The performer now takes from his breast pocket a large letter case or pocketbook, which is securely tied with a string. He cuts the string and takes out a sealed envelope from the book. Tearing off one end of the envelope he asks the one who drew the card to put his fingers into it and take out the contents. When the request is complied with the marked card is brought out. On examining the pack it is found that the card has left it.

The successful performance of this trick depends, in part, on the skilful palming of the bottom card of the pack. The peculiar arrangement of the pocketbook and the envelope are also essential features of the trick. Any letter case or pocketbook may be used, provided it is the proper length, which is about four by six inches. In it is placed a sealed envelope, which has one end neatly slit with a sharp knife, at the part AA, shown in Fig. 57. Into this open end is inserted two strips of rather stiff paper, each an inch and a half wide and four inches long; two inches of each going inside and the other two inches remaining outside. The outside ends are slightly curled outwardly or, better still, each is folded over the side of the book. The book is then securely, but not too tightly, tied around, twice each way, with a string. This cord must be separated at the open end far enough to admit of the card being slipped into the envelope. (See Fig. 58.) The pocketbook is kept in the right breast pocket of the coat.

Fig. 57

Fig. 58

Fig. 59

When the drawn card is to be replaced in the pack, the performer has it put about the middle and making the "pass" brings it to the bottom. This move he follows with a false shuffle, which leaves the card undisturbed. Taking the pack in his left hand, the thumb on top and the fingers below, the performer takes from his vest pocket with his right hand a rubber band, and stretching it over his thumb and the first two fingers, slips it over the pack. At the same moment the fingers of the left hand close up and palm the bottom card, as shown in Fig. 59. The palming of the card and the affixing of the rubber band being made simultaneously, conceal the stealing of the card. The performer now takes the pack in his right hand, while his left hand goes into the breast pocket, and slipping the card between the strips of paper, pushes it down into the envelope. The strips of paper are then pulled out and left in the pocket, and the cord is properly adjusted. The pocketbook is now brought out; the pack is handed to the person who drew the card and he is told to find the card, but fails in his quest. The performer then removes the string from the pocketbook, tears off the open end of the envelope, and requests the one who drew the card to take it out of the envelope and identify it.

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