The Acrobatic Jacks

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In effect. The Jacks are placed by the company at top, bottom, and middle of the deck, and keep constantly changing positions in most remarkable manner.

Sleights. One Hand Shift, Two Hand Shift.

Patter and Execution. "Ladies and Gentlemen: You have all doubtless been interested or amused, at one time or another, by the remarkable performances of educated animals. The dog, the pony, the elephant, and even the pig, have all been carefully trained to understand and obey each word or sign of their masters. But have you ever witnessed the performance of an educated pack of cards? You do not know that cards can be educated? I assure you that it is quite possible, and I shall demonstrate the truth of my assertion. Moreover, I have discovered in my efforts to educate my fifty-two pupils, that they, like the members of any other family, possess certain individual characteristics or temperaments, and I have endeavored to develop the special talents of each, in the direction most in keeping with the natural bent.

"I shall select the four Jacks for the purpose of illustrating how an original athletic tendency that was early manifested by them has been developed by a system of training, until they have acquired a degree of skill in acrobatic feats that is truly remarkable. I wish two ladies or gentlemen in the audience to assist me, by each holding two of the Jacks." (Give two red Jacks to spectator, whom we shall designate as A., and two black Jacks to second spectator, whom we shall call B. Then to A.) "Will you, sir, place one of the red Jacks on top of the deck? Thank you. And will you (to B.) place one of the black Jacks in the middle of the deck?" (Open pack with left thumb bookwise, ready for the "Charlier Shift," and when Jack is inserted shift packets.)

"Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have a red Jack on top, and a black Jack in the middle, and as a first display of their intelligence and training, I shall order them to change places. Ready. Go!" (Click deck with little finger and show change has taken place. Hand Jacks back to A. and B.) "You see that they are quite active and very obedient. We shall try them again and place them farther apart. (To A.) Place your red Jack at the bottom. (To B.) Place your black Jack on top. Now observe, I shall not touch the cards," (Make gesture with the right hand as if to show that this hand would be the one necessarily employed, and as attention is attracted to it, shift with the left.) Abut shall command the Jacks to perform a somersault from the top and bottom and meet in the middle. Attention. Go!" (Click deck, show top and bottom cards, then show Jacks in middle. Close deck with little finger between Jacks, and shift with both hands.) "That was a forward somersault, ladies and gentlemen, but they perform backwards just as easily. I shall show you. Ready. Go!" (Click deck and show Jacks again at top and bottom.)

"I trust I have impressed you somewhat with the intelligence and agility the Jacks possess in themselves, but for fear you may fancy that I have anything to do with their performance, I shall call upon all four Jacks t<> execute their ground and lofty tumbling at the same time, and I need not say to you, ladies and gentlemen, that however clever I might be, I could not possibly, of my own power, instantaneously change the positions of four cards at four different points." (Give back Jacks to A. and B., and have A. place his at top and bottom, and b. place his two in middle. Insert little finger between middle Jacks and make shift with both hands.) "Now, please remember the order. The two red Jacks are at the top and bottom, and the two black Jacks are in the middle. This time I shall order the four to play leap-frog, and each take the place of the other. Ready. Go!" (Make click and show the changes have taken place.)

"I cannot doubt, after this demonstration, that you are quite satisfied the Jacks have been fairly well trained; and I am now going to make them perform their acrobatic feat very slowly, so that you may all see just how it is clone." (Give back Jacks to A. and B. Then to A.) "Place your two red Jacks again at the top and bottom;" (then to B.) "And now we shall have yours again in the middle. But stop! On second thought, as you are to see how it is done, I shall have the Jacks execute their somersaults while the deck is in your hands. I assure you they will perform equally well, and the moment you place your cards in the middle I wish you to hold the deck yourself A (Apparently cut deck in the middle, but really make two-handed shift without bringing the two packets together again, holding the right-hand packet a few inches over the left when shift is made. Have Jacks placed between, and immediately close packets, putting deck in B's hands.) "Now, sir, don't hold them too firmly, and watch them perform. I shall order all four to come together at the middle. All ready. Go! Did you see them go? Nor even feel them go? That is strange, for they certainly obeyed me. Look at the top and bottom cards. They have gone! Now look in the middle and you will find them all together as commanded."

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