Magic Trick: The Lady's Own Trick

Fig. 35.

Say that you have now done quite sufficient yourself, and think it time someone else had a turn. Bring the card to any portion of the pack you please, so long as you know where it is. Take sixteen cards from various portions of the pack (you may have them selected if you please), taking care that the chosen card is included in the number, and arrange them in four divisions. Now, say that this trick must be done solely by a lady, and, giving your wand to one of the fair sex, ask her to point to any two divisions. The exact words you will use are, "Kindly tell me which two divisions I shall take." The word "take" is intentionally ambiguous, as, if one of the two divisions pointed at contains the chosen card, on which you are, of course, keeping a sharp eye, you will understand it to mean that you are to take those two and continue with them. If, on the other hand, they do not contain the card, you will assume that they are to be removed, and throw them aside accordingly. Two divisions will now remain, and you ask the lady to point to one of them, using the words, "Now, which do you prefer of the two?" This is, again, ambiguous, and you can do as you wish about taking or leaving the division pointed at. Four cards now remain, and you ask that two of them shall be selected, and, on two cards remaining, you repeat the request. If the chosen card is then pointed at, you allow it to be taken up; if the other, remove it, leaving the chosen card to be picked up by the chooser. You must endeavour to impress spectators with the idea that it is all sleight-of-hand, and never do it twice. Some tricks (not very many, though) will bear repetition, although it should always be avoided if possible. If there is no help for it, endeavour to vary the method as much as possible.

Another very rapid single-handed pass is depicted at Fig. 35. As it is only useful for passing one or more cards from the top to the bottom, or, rather, from back to front, it is not in in general use, but forms almost a separate trick by itself. The cards, which should not exceed twelve or fifteen in number, should be held at the top corners by the first finger and thumb, and the third finger inserted beneath the card to be brought to the front. This card is then, by means of the middle, third, and little fingers, which hold it, brought from behind and passed round the others, care being taken to bring all together evenly. In executing this pass, the pack is first held up with the faces of the cards towards the audience, and is then turned downwards for a moment. When the pack is again held up, it is seen that the front card (the bottom one) has changed. The trick can be thus worked: Place secretly at the back of the pack three of any denomination of card, say, the fours. At the front, place the other four, which suppose to be the four of clubs, and request one of the audience to say into which other suite the card shall change. You will know the order in which the three fours at the back are placed, so you will only have to place the third finger beneath the one named and pass it to the front. If it is the actual top card, you will bring it forward alone; but if it is the second or third, those above it must come forward as well. As this pass cannot be effected without noise, it is always best to pretend to pass the card chosen as the one into which the original four is to change from some cards held in the other hand. Ruffle these cards with the thumb and say, "Did you not hear it go?" The slight noise heard will be accounted for by the cards passing from one pack to the other. If a duplicate four of clubs is held at the bottom of the second pack, it can be exhibited as the one changed in the other pack. But the best trick performed by means of this pass is by the aid of two duplicate cards, say, the knave of clubs and the ace of hearts. A pack must be held in each hand. At the top of the right-hand pack put the ace, and at the bottom the knave. At the top of the left-hand pack put the knave, and at the bottom the ace. The cards at the top are placed there secretly; those at the bottom openly before the audience. Hold the faces of the packs towards the audience, and, calling particular attention to the positions of the cards, say that you will make them change places. Turn the packs face downwards, with a flourish, executing the pass with both hands, saying, "Presto! pass. Did you not see them go?" On holding the cards up again, it will be seen that the knave has gone over to the left-hand pack, and the ace to the right-hand one. This is very effective indeed.

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