Thomas Hardy the III — son of great magician and inept mathematician, Thomas Hardy IV — was, as the British are keen to say, keen on helping the younger, newer, more fragile and feminine magicians find their footing.
Some have said this is simply a dressed up way of saying father was a cad and a shoe-fetishist. Those who knew him best have publicly denounced this criticism but never under oath.
See, expert testimony of Harry Blackstone, Jr. in Commonwealth v. Hardy from 1968:
Q: “How well do you know Tom Hardy, aka Li’l Tom Hardy America’s Foremost Psychic Entertainer?”
A: (Mr. Blackstone) “I would say pretty well. He worked with my father’s show and later on mine.”
Q: “Is he a cad and a shoe-fetishist?”
A: (Mr. Blackstone) “‘Cad’ is such an ugly and anachronistic word. I think he liked to help the younger, newer, more fragile and feminine magicians find their footing.”
Q: “Is that just another way of saying ‘He is a cad and a shoe-fetishist?”
A: “I don’t know. I read it on his publicity poster, right under ‘America’s Foremost Psychic Entertainer.’
Q: “So while you would quibble with the term ‘Cad,’ you are in agreement with his shoe-fetish?”
A: “I do not have a shoe fetish.”
Q: “No, I mean, strike that. Let me start over. Does Mr. Hardy have a shoe fetish?”
A: “Again, I don’t mean to, as you say, quibble with terms but ‘fetish’ can have different meanings depending on the context. For instance, it could be a psychological dependency upon an object; or, a magic charm; or, an item used in bizarre pseudo-religious or savage worship; or, of course, just looking to obsess, photograph, draw doodles of, buy expensive telescopes to see, shoes on young women.”