Magic Trick: The Disappearing Queen

A pack of cards is shuffled and afterwards all the spot cards are taken out and laid on the bottom of an inverted glass or tumbler, which is then covered with a handkerchief.

Picking up the court cards, the performer shows the bottom card to one of the audience, whom he asks to take the card and place it in an envelope, which the performer hands to him.

Then the bottom card is shown to a second person, who, in turn, is asked to take it from the pack and place it in another envelope, as in the first case. And so the performer continues, showing the bottom card, and having it placed in an envelope, until all the court cards are disposed of.

Returning to his table, the performer requests them to call out simultaneously, when he shall say, three, the name of the card placed in the envelope. "Now, then," he says, "one, two, three," and with one voice there is a cry, "The Queen of Hearts." "What, every one the Queen of Hearts? Impossible!" says the performer. "Why think for a moment. There's only one Queen of Hearts in the pack, and here it is," he says, and taking the handkerchief off the cards that are on the tumbler, he picks up the top card, and shows that it is the Queen of Hearts. The audience are now asked to open their envelopes, and, to their surprise, each one finds an entirely different court card.

For this trick are needed a pack of cards, a tumbler, a handkerchief, a pack of envelopes, and a half Queen of Hearts of another pack, as shown in the illustration, Fig. 60.

Fig. 60

Fig. 61

When the cards have been shuffled and the spot cards are removed, including the Queen of Hearts, which the performer places on top of the others, he runs the cards over before the audience, so that they may see all are spot cards, taking care not to let the Queen of Hearts be seen. The packet of spot cards he lays on top of the tumbler, and covers it with a handkerchief. Picking up the court cards, the performer secretly places the half-Queen at the bottom of the pack. Taking the pack in his right hand, he covers the lower part of it, the forefinger covering the lower edge of the half-card, as shown in Fig. 61. Then going to one of the audience, he asks him to remember the bottom card, and then to remove it and place it face down in an envelope. At this, the critical moment of the trick, the performer lowers the pack and places it, face downward, in his left hand, the thumb near the top edge, the fingers beneath. With his right hand he grasps the pack, his thumb at the end toward the body, the fingers at the opposite end. Without changing the position of the left hand, which grasps the half-card, the right hand moves the pack forward a trifle. The result will be that the top edge of the half-Queen will be about the middle of the bottom card and be covered by the left forefinger. When the right hand is withdrawn the man who is assisting will take the bottom card, which he believes to be the Queen of Hearts, and place it in the envelope. Again the performer places his right hand on the pack, while the left hand moves the half-card to the front once more. The same procedure is repeated until all the stock of court cards is exhausted. With the last card care must be taken to press the half-card well against it and to palm the half-card neatly.

The persons who assist in this trick should sit well apart, and the cards should be held close to their faces, so that they may not be seen by those who draw them or by others. Of course each one imagines he has the Queen of Hearts in his envelope, and there is no little surprise when that card is found on top of the inverted tumbler, and a different one in the envelope.

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