The performer borrows a pack of cards, which, if desired, may be thoroughly shuffled either by the lender or by another spectator. Without arranging the cards in any special order, and without "sighting" any of them, the magician deals four packets, of five cards each, face down on the table. The entire procedure is exactly as if a game of poker or nap were about to be played.
Any member of the audience selects one of the four hands. No force, direct or indirect, is employed. The three packets not chosen are returned to the pack. The person holding the selected hand is requested to choose one of the five cards and to make a mental note of it. Without showing its face to the performer he places the card in the pack, which the latter opens for this purpose. Without any false or suspicious move the pack is squared up and placed on the table. This may be done by a spectator.
The conjurer now enquires the name of the chosen card and, having obtained the required information, he picks up the pack from the table. Without shuffling the cards or manipulating them in any way he immediately spells out the name of the card as in the standard version of the effect. This can be done, no matter what card may happen to have been the one selected.
The experiment can then be repeated with the remaining four cards of the hand, or, if preferred, another set of five cards may be selected, or a card may be chosen from the pack itself.
- NO FORCING is used at any stage of the experiment.
- The performer does not know the name of the card until he has been told by the spectator.
- No matter what the chosen card may be (even the Joker, a blank card or a "score" card) it is AT ONCE spelt out by the magician.
- The only way in which the effect can go wrong is when the spectator is careless enough to forget the name of the card. Even in this case the conjurer can produce the card actually selected.
- No manipulation or sleights are essential to perform this improved version of the Spelling Bee.
- It goes without saying that no confederates or assistants are employed.
- It may be done anywhere, under any conditions, and with the audience all round the performer. Any make of cards may be used.
1st edition 1930; 13 pages.
word count: 3649 which is equivalent to 14 standard pages of text