Effect: Here is another method Mr. Elmsley worked out for the Cards to Pocket; this one dating from sometime in the early 1950s. It is designed for less challenging performance conditions than those that inspired the previous method. Here it is assumed that your audience is more traditionally settled, with no one behind you.
The effect follows the standard: six cards, an ace through six, travel invisibly, one by one, from the hand to an empty pocket. Additionally, they do so in order (an embellishment first exercised by Dr. Jacob Daley; ref. Stars of Magic, p. 101). The action is clean, rapid and straightforward.
As was discussed in the preceding method, the final two cards are always the most troublesome to vanish. Pay particular attention here to Mr. Elmsley's solution to this problem. Even if you have another handling for this effect with which you are satisfied, you may quite possibly wish to adopt the concluding sequence offered below.
Method: One thing that is particularly pleasing about this method is that you need to palm cards only once during the entire piece; and the palm Mr. Elmsley uses is very nearly automatic. An easier method is har d to imagine.
Eight cards ar e required: an ace through six of any suit, and a duplicate of the five and the six. For best visibility, one of the black suits is recommended. Set the packet in this order from top to face: five-six-ace-two-three-four-five-six.
Hold the packet face-down in left-hand dealing grip, and procure a fourth-finger break under the top three cards. Display the packet as six cards, in ace to six sequence, as follows:
Insert the right fingers deeply into the break and grip the top three cards near the inner end, right fingers extended across the face of the triplet. Lift the three cards as one from the packet and turn the face of the triple card directly toward the audience, showing it as an ace. Thumb over the next card of the packet, the two, and take it onto the face of the triple card, fanned to your left. Then take each of the remaining four cards similarly onto the face of the fan. The ace through six are clearly displayed and their order is retained (Figure 143). Call the name of each card as it is shown.
Now open the left hand palm-up, fingertips directed outward, and close the fan by bringing its left side against the left fingertips. Keep the faces of the cards toward the audience as the fan is closed (Figure 144). Grasp the closed fan by its opposite long edges and hold the packet upright, left fingers on the lower edge, left thumb on the upper.
Move the right hand in front of the packet and square the ends. At the same time secretly riffle the back two cards (the duplicate five and six) off the right thumb and take a break between them and the packet with the left fourth finger (Figure 145), (Alternatively, you could form the break with a fourth-finger pull-down action.)
While retaining the packet in your left hand, draw attention to your right trousers pocket, which should be empty. With an obviously empty right hand, turn the pocket inside-out to demonstrate its depleted state. Make a leftward body turn as you exhibit the empty pocket, and leave the lining turned out for the moment. You will stand throughout the rest of the trick with your right side presented to the audience.
You now execute L'Homme Masque's one-handed spring palm; as noted earlier, the only palm required In the trick. (For the history and evolution of this palm, see Gaultier's Magic Without Apparatus, pp. 91-92; then Hugard's Card Manipulations, No. 5, pp. 130-131; and finally Fred Braue's application to a packet in his "Cards to Pocket Palm", Hugard and Braue's Miracle Methods No. 4: Tricks and Sleights, pp. 31-32.) The movements are not difficult, but must be precisely timed. Words and actions are married for deception:
"We have an ace at the back of the packet..." Insert the tip of the right second finger into the break and pull the ace to the right for about half its length (Figure 146). The illusion of the ace being drawn from the back of the packet is perfect. Push the ace flush with the packet again.
.. and a six at the front." Tap the face of the six with your right fingers. Then, with the right hand, grasp the packet by its ends, transferring the break to the right thumb, which should rest at the upper right corner of the packet. The packet faces the right palm.
"Remember, an ace at the back..." Swing the right hand outward, simultaneously turning it palm-up. This presents the back of the packet to the audience.
"...and a six at the front." Reverse the right hand's action, replacing the packet In the left hand. However, as the swing is made, press the fingers and thumb inward against the ends of the packet,
forcing it to bow toward the right palm (Figure 147). Then let the six cards forward of the break snap off the right thumb and into the palm (Figure 148).
Take the remaining two cards by their opposite sides, holding them at the left fingertips, in the same position the packet occupied moments before. Drop the right hand, with the six cards hidden in classic palm, to a relaxed posture at waist level. Through the agency of the duplicate six, now visible in the left hand, nothing seems to have changed, and the action of the display has concealed that of the palm.
Now say, "Just the six cards and my pocket," Here, glance down at your pocket and notice that its lining is still out. With the right hand, tuck it back in, without comment, leaving the palmed cards behind. The secret actions of the trick are now ninety percent completed: yet, to the audience, everything is still to happen.
With the right hand, turn the two cards in the left hand face-down there, using the same firmness of action you would use for a packet of six. Lay the cards parallel with the left fingers, and bring the left thumb down on them, trapping their inner ends in the fork of the thumb (Figure 149). Then raise the left hand to your left, turning it back outward, so that the cards are
completely concealed from the audience. The left fingers are stiffly extended and the thumb is bent awkwardly onto the palm.
Bring the right hand about six inches below the left and snap your fingers (Figure 150). Then reach with this clearly empty hand into your trousers pocket and bring forth the ace, which lies nearest the body. Display the card and toss It aside. Turn the left hand palm outward to expose the cards It holds; then turn the back of the hand again to the audience. Snap the right fingers again under the left hand, reach into the pocket and remove the two.
Repeat this sequence twice more to produce the three and the four from the pocket, each time turning the left hand briefly to show the cards there. Of course, you can introduce any by-play you like as the cards pass, and the pocket can be shown empty between each flight, using Hardin's top-of-the-pocket ruse (explained hi the preceding routine, p. 221).
After the four has been taken from your pocket, turn the left hand palm-out and separate the two cards it holds. Display the five and the six, one in each hand. Then lower the hands, so that the backs of the car ds are seen, and slip the five above the six. Lay both cards, face-down and squared, on the left fingers, just as they were before, and turn the left hand back outward.
Snap the right fingers below the left hand and turn the left palm outward. Take the two cards from the left hand, holding them squared as one, face toward the audience. While grasping them firmly, give them a sharp fillip with the left forefinger, promoting the idea of singularity. Only the six seems to remain. Replace the double card face-down on the left hand, as before, and turn the hand back outward again. Then let the right hand be seen empty and draw the five from the pocket. Bring it out very slowly. This is not only for drama; the action serves an important purpose:
As everyone is fascinated with the slow disclosure of the five, lower the left hand momentarily to the left side, which is still turned away from the audience, and drop the two duplicate cards into the leftside jacket pocket. Then casually return this hand to its previous
position. Because the cards have been concealed behind the hand throughout the trick, their new absence will not be suspected.
Display the five and toss it aside. Snap the right fingers a last time below the left hand. Then begin to make slow crumpling motions with the left fingers, as if the last card were gradually vanishing behind them. Turn the left palm outward, showing the last card gone and conclude by producing the six, with a flourish, from your trousers pocket.
This is exactly how Mr. Elms ley performs the trick. He has always found the drawing of the five from the pocket to be sufficient misdirection for disposing of the left hand's car ds. However, for those who feel insecure with this, the misdirection can be augmented in the following way:
Place your right hand into the pocket to bring forth the five. Pretend, though, that you do not find it. Fumble around a bit in the pocket, palming the five as you do so. Withdraw the hand and star e at the pocket with an expression of disgust. Move your gaze slowly down to your right knee; then reach down with the right hand and produce the five from behind the knee. At this moment, pocket the left hand's cards. The misdirection is irresistible. The trick is then completed as explained above.
The construction of this handling is appeallngly concise. The few moves used are shrewdly masked by natural action and strong misdirection; and the effect is as clear and direct as ever one could wish.
January 8, 1955
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