The routine can be presented under close-up, parlor, or stage conditions.
Ask a spectator to assist you with the experiment. Show the cards, explaining that they all have different symbols and colors. Leaf through the cards showing this is so. Next display the two sets of felt markers, two each in each of the different colors. Also introduce the two pads of paper. Place all of the materials on the table.
Take your blindfold and after having it inspected, put it on. Pick up the face down packet of cards. It is best if you close your eyes to add authenticity to this. Keep your eyes closed throughout the routine and only open them when you need to make the secret peek.
Once you are holding the packet face down, either give it a Charlier Shuffle which is natural with jumbo cards, or if you don't know that simple false shuffle, give the packet several straight cuts. Fan the cards and have the spectator select one. After he has drawn his card from the packet, casually cut the packet so that the card above the spectator's selection goes to the face of the packet. By casually tilting the packet face up as you give the spectator instructions to look at his card, and decide on one symbol remembering both the symbol and color, you are able to secretly glimpse the black symbol on the face card of the packet. By counting forward one more in the system, you will immediately know what the first symbol (the red one) on the spectator's card must be. This red symbol is your "key".
Once the spectator has made his selection of a symbol/color, hand him back the packet and have him shuffle it freely. By knowing the 'key" symbol on his chosen card, you will be able to simply calculate any one of the three other symbols on the card by adding 1,2, or 3 to it and recalling the proper numerical symbol and the color order. The colors, of course, always follow the same order of red, green, blue, and black.
Have the spectator place the packet aside face down. Tell him to pick up one of the four sets of markers and a pad and hand them to you. Once he has done this, have him take the remaining pad and pick up the marker that is the color of his selected symbol. As soon as he picks up the marker, you'll know what symbol of the four he's chosen by adding 1 to your key if the color is green, 2 if the color is blue, and 3 if the color is black. Of course, if the red marker is picked up the selected symbol is the "key".
Have him draw the symbol in the proper color as large and as clearly as possible to help him or her to "form the clearest mental image of the symbol." I'd suggest you turn your back and walk away from the spectator as the symbol is drawn.
As the symbol is being duplicated, you open up your pad. Ask the spectator if he is finished. Once he has affirmed that he has, slowly drop the pens that are not the correct color into your side coat pocket, one by one, retaining only the pen of the correct color. Pause for a moment, then rapidly draw the correct symbol in the correct color without letting anyone see what you have drawn. Cap the pen and drop it in your pocket. Remove the blindfold and ask the spectator to display his symbol to the audience. Turn your pad around to show that you have duplicated the mentally selected symbol and take your applause.
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