I Heard Yesterday by Hannen Swatter

Thirty Years with One Firm

And Then--the End !

(Picture Caption)CARDINI-a card wizard, who was too good for our theatres.

UNEMPLOYMENT is only a statistic when it is a figure 3 with a lot of noughts at the end. But Sometimes you are one of the ten cases that make up the least important nought.

A man shocked me yesterday with the truth.

He had just met a supervisor in a factory, where, last Saturday, 20 women received notice. One of them, 55 years old--she had been with the firm for 30 years--went dull in her dismay.

"I think I shall put my head in a gas oven." she said

The supervisor replied,"So would I , if I were you"

Then explaining this to my friend, she said,"Well after all, what else could I do, if I were in that woman's position?"

That story brings it home, doesn't it?

The Miracle of Cardini

Yes, if you go along to the Palladium to see Cardini, who can manipulate cards with his gloves on more cleverly than almost all the other conjurors do with bare hands, and whose polish and poise are perfect, you say "Oh yes another of those American acts."

Yet he is Richard Valentine Pitchford, of Swansea, South Wales, and he learned some of it while they said he was mad!

"Learning how to do card tricks saved my reason," he tells me. "Twice wounded in France and shell-shocked, I was in a military hospital in Liverpool. All day long I practiced tricks. Indeed I was so constantly manipulating cards that the doctors, thinking I must be insane, put me in a mental ward."

London Rejected Him!

When he left the Army and applied for compensation the authorities asked what he would like to do.

"Become a musician he said.

So they arranged for him to show before the manager. He thought nothing of him. Of Course not. He was a manager. Determined not to give up, Pitchford got a job as a demonstrator in the tricks and games department at Gamage's.

When his war strain began again he was ordered a sea voyage, and became a steward in an Australian line. On board, his sleight -of-hand got him to a music hall manager.

After showing in Australia, he went to the United States, where, very soon, he topped the bill! Now London is seeing him for the first time and is amazed.