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A Model Dialogue

In which is shown how the drawing-room juggler may be
permanently cured of his card trick.

The drawing-room juggler, having slyly got hold of the
pack of cards at the end of the game of whist, says:

"Ever see any card tricks? Here's rather a good one; pick
a card."

"Thank you, I don't want a card."

"No, but just pick one, any one you like, and I'll tell
which one you pick."

"You'll tell who?"

"No, no; I mean, I'll know which it is don't you see? Go
on now, pick a card."

"Any one I like?"


"Any colour at all?"

"Yes, yes."

"Any suit?"

"Oh, yes; do go on."

"Well, let me see, I'll--pick--the--ace of spades."

"Great Caesar! I mean you are to pull a card out of the

"Oh, to pull it out of the pack! Now I understand. Hand
me the pack. All right--I've got it."

"Have you picked one?"

"Yes, it's the three of hearts. Did you know it?"

"Hang it! Don't tell me like that. You spoil the thing.
Here, try again. Pick a card."

"All right, I've got it."

"Put it back in the pack. Thanks. (Shuffle, shuffle,
shuffle--flip)--There, is that it?" (triumphantly).

"I don't know. I lost sight of it."

"Lost sight of it! Confound it, you have to look at it
and see what it is."

"Oh, you want me to look at the front of it!"

"Why, of course! Now then, pick a card."

"All right. I've picked it. Go ahead."
(Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle--flip.)

"Say, confound you, did you put that card back in the

"Why, no. I kept it."

"Holy Moses! Listen. Pick--a--card--just one--look at
it--see what it is--then put it back--do you understand?"

"Oh, perfectly. Only I don't see how you are ever going
to do it. You must be awfully clever."

(Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle--flip.)

"There you are; that's your card, now, isn't it?" (This
is the supreme moment.)

"NO. THAT IS NOT MY CARD." (This is a flat lie, but Heaven
will pardon you for it.)

"Not that card!!!! Say--just hold on a second. Here, now,
watch what you're at this time. I can do this cursed
thing, mind you, every time. I've done it on father, on
mother, and on every one that's ever come round our place.
Pick a card. (Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle--flip, bang.)
There, that's your card."

"NO. I AM SORRY. THAT IS NOT MY CARD. But won't you try
it again? Please do. Perhaps you are a little excited--I'm
afraid I was rather stupid. Won't you go and sit quietly
by yourself on the back verandah for half an hour and
then try? You have to go home? Oh, I'm so sorry. It must
be such an awfully clever little trick. Good night!"

Stephen Leacock