Face Your Brothers

Effect: Three cards are removed from the pack by as many spectators. Each person is asked to relax and let his dormant clairvoyant faculty operate as he replaces his card face-up at a position of his own choosing in the deck.

Each then removes from the pack his card and the card that faces It. When these adjacent cards are turned up, each is seen to be the exact mate to the selection beneath it—all which lends support to the theory of subconscious clairvoyance.

Method: A simple six-card setup is required. Stack any three cards and their mates in a mirror or palindromic order. For example, if the eight of clubs, king of hearts and three of spades are used with their mates, the eight of spades, king of diamonds and three of clubs, they would be set in this order from top to face: eight of clubs, king of hearts, three of spades, three of clubs, king of diamonds and eight of spades. These six cards rest on top of the deck.

The top three cards must now be forced. Mr. Elmsley finds the venerable cross-the-cut force well suited here. Give the deck a false shuffle that reserves the top six cards, and place it face-down on the table. Ask someone across from you to cut the pack In half. When he has done this, pick up the bottom half and set it at a cross angle on the top half. This, you explain, marks the cut.

Now ask a person on your left and another on your right if they too would help with the experiment. This request provides the element of time misdirection necessary to the success of the force.

For purposes of explanation, we shall refer to the right-hand helper as Spectator A, the left-hand helper Spectator C and your central assistant (who just cut the cards) Spectator B.

Return now to the deck and lift the upper half from the lower. Ask Spectator A to take the top card of the tabled half—a card he should believe has been randomly cut to by Spectator B. Have Spectator B take the second card from the packet, and have Spectator C take the third. From right to left, the selections read eight of clubs, king of hearts and three of spades.

Pick up the balance of the tabled half and place it onto the half you are holding. This brings the three mates of the selections to the top of the pack. Set the pack back on the table and ask that Spectator A cut off about a third of the cards for himself. The same request is made of Spectator B. The remaining third is claimed by Spectator C.

Explain that when you turn your back, each of them is to turn his chosen card face-up, thrust it anywhere he wishes into his packet, square the packet and place it face-down on the table before him. When they have done this, face them again and gather the packets from right to left. Your three-card stock is once more on top of the deck.

You will now execute an extension (devised by Mr. Elmsley) of a Hofzinser spread control technique. Take the deck face-down into left-hand dealing grip and push the top card to the right. Draw this card onto the right palm, with the front end lying just behind the length of the forefinger. Draw the next card from the deck square onto the first. Take the third card squar e onto these two. The right hand's grip on these cards is important: the thumb rests along the right edge of the packet, barely overlapping the side of the cards; and the second, third and fourth fingertips lie lightly against left edge of the packet (Figure 43).

As you deal these three cards quickly into the right hand, you explain, "Once when I performed this experiment, someone forgot to turn his card face-up before pushing it into the deck; since that time I always check to make sure all three cards have been reversed."

Immediately spread the next cards off the deck—without reversing their order—onto the three right-hand cards. Receive this spread slightly forward and leftward of the three-card packet, outjugged about three eighths of an inch, and left jogged for roughly the same distance. The right thumb conceals the sidewtse overlap. To you the inner end of the packet may be visible under the spread (Figure 44), but it is not obvious from the audience's view. In any event, don't worry about the packet being perceived by the spectators. Their attention is focused on spotting the face-up cards in the deck.

You now run quickly through the pack, confirming the presence of the three reversed cards; and in doing so you secretly load the mate of each selection just above it. This is accomplished as follows: As you spread the cards, the right thumb catches the right edge of the spread, helping to control it, but it does not actually grip the spread. This permits the thumb freedom to move a bit, which it does. With a small leftward motion it lightly pushes the top card of the three-card packet about a quarter of an inch to the left. The right fingertips assure that just one card moves off the packet.

Spread the cards into the right hand until you reach the first faceup selection. Widen the spread at that point to expose the selection atop the left-hand portion. Do not break the spread here; rather, move the left hand's cards to the left just far enough to permit the right edge of the selection to clear the left edge of its mate: the jogged card beneath the spread. Thus, the right edge of the selection is slipped under the left-jogged card (Figure 45, right forefinger moved to expose the action). Pause at the first faceup selection as you ask whose card it is. Spectator A on your right will respond.

Utilizing the misdirection this brief exchange provides, with your right thumb push over the next card of the mate packet, jogging it about a quarter of an inch leftward under the spread.

Resume spreading the cards from left hand to right, feeding them above the right hand's two-card packet, until you arrive at the second selection. Pause again and ask to whom it belongs. As you do this, move the hands slightly apart to let the right edge of the face-up selection clear the left edge of the jogged mate. When Spectator B answers that the card is his, resume spreading and feed the second selection between the right-hand's remaining two cards.

Continue to spread the cards from left hand to right, until you reach the third face-up selection. Pause once more and say, "This must be yours then," addressing Spectator C on your left. And as before, move the hands slightly apart until the right edge of the selection clears the left edge of the last right-hand mate and passes below it. When the spectator confirms your words, close the spread into the right hand. This places the third selection below its mate. The work is done.

Notice that the right forefinger, stretched along the front edge of the spread, conceals the position of the cards reserved beneath. While spreading through the deck, it is also wise to tilt the front edge slightly downward. This further hides the arrangement of the cards and at the same time provides the audience with a better view of the faces and backs as they go by.

The loading of the mates above the face-up selections is over quickly. Throughout the effect, strive to minimize your contact with the deck, giving the impression that everything happens in the hands of the spectators. Hand the deck to Spectator A and ask that he remove his card and the face-down card that lies directly above it. He is then to pass the deck to Spectator B so that he may do likewise. Spectator C follows suit.

When all three hold their selections and the cards that rested above them, have each in turn turn up his face-down card to discover that it is the mate to his selection. Obviously their subconscious clairvoyance is perfectly tuned.

Mr. Elmsley suggests that the mate to the second selection be made a card of the same value, but of the opposite color; e.g., the king of hearts and the king of spades. Then, when at the finish Spectator B turns up his card and finds an Imperfect match, explain to him that the true mate to his selection was most probably not present in the portion of the deck he held. Therefore, he clairvoy-antly located the closest match available.

The introduction of the near miss is extremely shrewd. It adds an extra bit of verisimilitude to the effect, while providing an unexpected touch that increases interest and eliminates any element of anticlimax. Instead of attention dwindling after the revelation of the second match, it is heightened as the audience waits to see if the third person matched his selection perfectly or at all.

The under-the-spread loading procedure of the three cards might seem demanding to those unfamiliar with the techniques. However, a few trials will prove it is not overly difficult and can be executed with speed and total deceptiveness. The technique can also be modified to load more or fewer cards.

Here is one small touch that occurred to me (and which has received Mr. Elmsley's approval): When you initially deal the top three cards into the right hand, jog the third card roughly a quarter of an inch to the left as you take it onto the previous two. The right thumb, stretched along the right side of the packet, conceals the Jog (which is purposely exposed in Figure 46). This eliminates the need to push over the first card while spreading through the pack, and makes the handling all the easier.

As mentioned above, the basis of the loading procedure employed here is Hofzinser's spread control (ref. J.N. Hofzinser's Card Conjuring, p. 26), The application of Hofzinser's technique to loading a card can be traced to Gibson's 1927 book, Two Dozen Effective Practical Card Tricks where, in Gus Bohn's "Face Up Location" (p. 34), a selection that has been controlled to the top of the pack is secretly introduced above a card inserted at random and face-up into the deck. Mr. Bohn's trick was later included (without credit but with a small, interesting variation in the displacement handling) In Paul Olive's 1946 compilation. Card Tricks Without Skill (p. 53 in the first edition, pp. 77-78 in the third) under the title "Face Your Neighbour", and this was the Inspiration for

Mr. Elmsley's elaboration. The loading maneuver used by Gus Bohn was almost certainly in circulation long before it appeared in Mr. Gibson's collection. Indeed, Jon Racherbaumer has unearthed a description of a closely related forcing procedure (occasionally attributed to Hofzinser) in the April 15th, 1918 issue of The Magic World (Vol. 2, No. I, p. 7). In recent decades, the mechanics of the Hofzinser spread control have been further exploited, most notably by Edward Mario in 1947 (ref. Mario in Spades, pp. 8-9] and Tony Kardyro in 1966 (ref. T.K's Simple Simon Move).

January 1950

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