Magic Trick: La Carte Générale

This is, perhaps, as pretty a trick as can well be conceived. Force a card, say the eight of hearts, have it replaced in the pack, and re-force it on someone else so far removed from the first chooser that the possibility of their seeing that they have both selected the same card is avoided. Have the card replaced in the pack and reforce, repeating the operation four, five, or six, or even more times, according to the size of the room and number of the audience. Now and then it is as well to pass the card to the top, palm it, and then have the pack shuffled by one of the audience, or, at least, to shuffle it yourself. When you have forced the card a sufficient number of times, bring it finally to the top of the pack, from which select haphazard a card. Show this card to one of the choosers, and ask if it was the one selected. A negative will of course be given. Look neither surprised nor satisfied, merely exclaiming "No?" inquiringly. Show the card in turn to each of the persons who selected, asking if it belongs to them. When you have completed the round, turn to the first chooser, changing the card unperceived for the one (the eight of hearts) on the top of the pack, and holding it in front of the person, face downwards, so that no one can see what it is, say, "Well, since this card belongs to nobody, will you kindly tell it to go away?" As the words "go away" are uttered, run the thumb sharply along the edges of the cards held in the left hand, and "flip" the eight of hearts with a finger of the right hand, so leading the audience to believe that some miraculous change had taken place. Now hold the eight of hearts to the person whom you addressed, saying, "Is not that your card?" On receiving, as you will, a reply in the affirmative, turn the card face downwards and proceed to the next chooser of a card, and so on, until all are satisfied. As all are supposed to have chosen different cards it is imagined that each card is invisibly changed for the next one required. Commence another trick immediately, or otherwise divert the attention of the audience, or the drawers of cards will begin to "compare notes," and so discover that they all drew the same card. Although this discovery does not actually spoil the trick, it diminishes the effect immensely. It adds to the effect of the trick if the performer pretends to place each card, as chosen, upon a table, or other prominent place. Upon each occasion, however, he must change the forced card for an indifferent one. The last time the eight of hearts is actually placed with the rest. The supposed chosen cards are then held up, fanwise, together, and the choosers asked if they do not see their cards amongst them. As they all see the eight of hearts, they reply in the affirmative, and thus the idea that only one card has been selected is very unlikely to be entertained. To effect this valuable addition to the trick, great facility with the change is absolutely necessary, as it has to be so frequently executed.

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