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The Lamorna Wink


(New York: Viking, 1999)

Still wearing his cabby’s cap – he ought to put it in his act, this cap, because it looked so unlike what a magician would wear – Johnny was sitting at the gaming table palming cards. He brought the Queen of Hearts to the top of the deck again and again, as if it were marching right up there of its own volition.

It was dead simple; it always astounded him that people couldn’t suss it out. Magic was kind of like murder or like a murder mystery: distract, dissuade – that was the way. Put a clue here and at the same time call attention to something quite different over there. The way a magician uses his hands. Keep looking at one hand and so will your audience. This leaves the other hand free and offstage.

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