Leading article: Magical mystery

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Here's an intriguing headline if ever there was one: Mind reader expelled from the Magic Circle for "bad behaviour". What was the miscreant magician doing? Extracting the club treasurer's PIN number without his knowledge? Cheating in charades at the Christmas party? Nothing so fanciful, it seems.

Spyris Melaris claims he was expelled for drawing attention to "conflicts of interest" among high-ranking members of the club. He is now threatening to sue. The Circle itself is saying - to quote one of its famous members - "not a lot". Which is actually quite appropriate really since the club's motto is: "Indocilis private loqui" - or "not apt to disclose secrets". Very wise. Might make it a bit difficult if this dispute goes to court though.

But we cannot help feeling that this should be settled in a more traditional way. How about: whoever can pull the most coloured flags out of a top hat in a minute wins. Then the losing party can be chained up in a sack and thrown in a river. Hey presto! Problem solved.

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