It was in 1972 that Fred Snook first drew my attention to the "Cannibal Cards". A little later, I was lucky enough to see Matt Corin performing his version of the trick. He told me that he had published it in "Kabbala" a few months previously and that the original idea stemmed from an effect by Lyn Searles. I was able, shortly afterwards, to obtain a copy of the Corin routine.
Earlier on, in 1966 I had purchased a copy of Harry Lorayne's "Close-Up Card Magic" and had, for some time, used the Jay Ose version of the Garcia "Apex Ace", described in that excellent book. When I began to work on the "Cannibal Cards", it very soon occurred to me that the first part of the Corin routine, could be combined with the "Apex Ace" to enable a third "missionary" to disappear. It did not take long before a complete presentation emerged - a presentation that I have used almost daily for nearly ten years.
Obviously, when an effect is being worked commercially and informally at every opportunity, it tends to grow in the presentation, as more and more gags and bits of business are added. Certainly this is true of the "Cannibal Cards", which grew from being a three minute routine into a ten minute close-up act. In this book, I intend to explain the complete act, exactly as I now do it, omitting nothing, however slight, and also mentioning ideas, which I have tried and discarded over the years. It is not suggested that everybody do exactly the same things as I do, indeed many of the items can be extracted and used as separate tricks and flourishes in their own right (after all, that is what they were, before I incorporated them into the routine). However, please do study how the act has been put together. Notice that, from the moment the cards are taken out of the case to the finale, there is always something happening. The construction of the act is such, that the opening consists of a rapid-fire series of tricks and business calculated to capture the attention of the audience and draw them into the longer, more involved "cannibal" plot.