I just received The Magic and Methods of Ross Bertram
, a wonderful book (bought used from Jim Jorgensen (aka Kid Iowa), who was prompt and responsible, at the Collector's Marketplace section)...sprinkled throughout the book are wonderful anecdotes, the following gave me a big laugh (p.61)
A Nice Card Trick
Back in 1932, Dai Vernon was in Wichita, Kansas with his family, Jean and Teddy who at that time was five years old. Faucett Ross had an apartment adjoining Vernon's.
Early one evening, Faucett dropped into the Vernon apartment and he immediately saw that all was not well. Little Teddy was standing in one corner and it was obvious that he had been crying. He was still whimpering. Apparently he had been punished in some way by one of the parents.
Dai didn't pay any attention to him at first but presently he looked over at him and said, "Teddy, come over here, Daddy wants to talk to you." Teddy looked at him and very reluctantly walked over towards him. The Professor said "Teddy, here, sit on Daddy's lap." Teddy said "Daddy, what do you want?" The Professor said, "Look Teddy, I'm sorry for what's happened but sit on Daddy's lap and Daddy is going to make you very, very happy."
Teddy sat on the Professor's lap and put his arm around him and little Teddy was full of anticipation. The Professor said, "I want you to be a good boy and in just a minute Daddy is going to make you very happy." Teddy looked very trustfully into his face and said, "What are you going to do, Daddy?" The Professor reached into his pocket, took out a deck of cards and said, "Teddy, Daddy is going to show you a nice card trick."
Well, Teddy gave a loud scream, fell on the floor and started screaming hysterically. Jean rushed in from the kitchen, looked at Dai and said, "You brute, what do you mean by torturing that poor child!"