Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

With it being Memorial Day, I figured a story that had something to do with magic, soldiers, and war would be in order. Not an easy combination. However, I did find something in "52 Amazing Card Tricks," by Rufus Steele, published 1949. I think you'll enjoy it. The story appears below exactly as in the book.

In 1917, a company of soldiers was attending a church service in France. One soldier took out of his pocket what most of those present thought to be a prayer book. The Captain, however, observed that it was a deck of cards. He ordered the soldier to put the cards away. The soldier refused to do so, was arrested, and taken before a Major. When the Major asked him why he disobeyed orders, the soldier explained that the deck of cards to him was the same as a prayer book:

The Aces represent the One true God.
The two spots represent the two beings, Man and Beast.
The threes spots: the Holy Trinity.
The four spots: the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
The five spots: the five wounds in the Savior's body.
The six spots: God created the heavens and earth in six days.
The seven spots: He rested on the seventh day.
The eight spots: the eight persons kept alive on the ark, Noah, his wife, and his three sons and
their wives.
The nine spots: the Nine lepers who were cleansed but did not return thanks.
The ten spots: not only the Tenth Leper, who did return thanks, but the Ten Commandments written on two tablets of stone at Mt. Sinai.
The Jack of clubs was cast aside by the soldier, as he remarked that the three other Jacks represent the three men who crucified Christ.
The four Queens: the four women who anointed Christ after death, the Queen of Hearts being his mother Mary.
The four kings: three represent the Three Wise Men who came to worship Him at His birth. The King of Spades represents the one Church He founded.
There are 365 spots on a deck of cards and 365 days in the year; 52 cards in a deck and 52 weeks in a year.
The diamonds represent the pillars of the Church.
The 13 cards in a suit are the 13 lunar months.
The 12 royal cards in the deck are the months of a year.
Then the soldier picked up the Jack of Clubs and said, “He represents Judas who betrayed Christ, and also the Captain who betrayed me to you.”

The major reached into his pocket and pulled out a few dollars and gave them to the soldier, telling him to go out and drink his health, for he was the cleverest rascal who had ever appeared before him.

I’m not a Christian, but I still get a kick out of the story. I’d also like to mention that I’ll only consider myself to have “made it” as a working magician when I perform at a USO show.

Hope all of you had a meaningful Memorial Day.


Blogger Courtney said...

Here is some more information about this story using a deck of cards that you might find useful.
I once used this story in a sort of, "Sam the Bellhop" type routine for a youth group my wife works with at church.

3:23 PM

Blogger Nate said...

Interesting idea, courtney. I guess this goes along with the idea that cards can represent more than mere symbols on thin pieces of paper.

11:40 PM


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