Hidebound Forecast

Effect: A shuffled pack is spread face-up to allow a spectator the fairest possible choice of a card. When one is indicated, the pack is gathered and put aside. The performer now brings out his wallet and opens it. From the wallet he draws a single playing card—on e with a back design different from the deck on the table. When the face of this card is shown, it is seen to be a duplicate of the card just freely selected.

That the wallet is ungimmicked and there is only the one card in it are elements that will not go unappreciated.

Method: In essence, this is actually a method for loading a chosen card secretly into a wallet, and it could be presented as a card-to-wallet effect. However, Mr. Elmsley has added several subtleties to change the outward appearance to one of precognition, and in doing so he has created a mystery all the harder to fathom.

The wallet, as stated, is ungimmicked. It must, though, be of a certain design. It is a breast-pocket model with two main compartments, one on each side, with their openings lying along the fold of the wallet. These pockets must be deep enough to take a card lengthwise. In them place a few bills and papers, the things that one normally carries in a wallet. Beneath the items in the left compartment—which will receive the card—you should place an envelope, to act as a guide, so that when the card is loaded, it does not hang up on other articles in the compartment. Close the wallet and place it in your right, inner, breast pocket.

Also required is a full deck topped with a card from a pack with a contrasting back. Carry this deck in a case that matches the odd card.

To begin the performance, bring out the pack and remove it from the case. (An even more elusive procedure would be to perform several tricks with a normal deck, the back of which matches the top card of the prepared pack. Then switch decks just before introducing this effect.) Give the cards a brief face-up shuffle, retaining the odd card on top, and ribbon spread the face-up pack, inviting someone to touch any card he wishes. Point out that no freer choice could be imagined, and ask if he wants to alter his choice. When a card has been decided on, push it forward an inch or so, making its identity clear to everyone. Then smoothly gather the cards without disturbing the outjogged condition of the selection.

You now perform Mr. Elmsley's center-card rear palm [Volume I, pp. 130-133} as you push the selection flush and fan the face-up pack in your left hand,

'You could have thought of any card, but you thought of the..Here you name the selection and point with your right forefinger to a card at the center of the fan. His selection is no longer in the deck, but the audience isn't given a chance to ascertain this. Miscalling the card in this fashion, after the steal has been accomplished, is a highly deceptive stratagem, which can take in the most knowledgeable.

Close the fan, either with just the left hand or with the aid of the right forefinger—without, of course, exposing the palmed card or the back of the fan. Then lay the pack face-down on the table.

"In my wallet I have a prediction card from another pack." Having said this, use your right hand to hold open the right side of your Jacket as your left hand extracts the wallet from the inside pocket. Bring the wallet into view, holding it just above waist height In front of you. Flip the right side open, clipping the left edge of the wallet hi the fork of your left thumb while letting the right side hang free over the left fingertips, broadside to the audience. Elevate the fingertips slightly, so that the left compartment of the wallet lies angled backward roughly thirty-degrees from the horizontal; that is, tipped just beyond the audience's line of sight.

Bring the right hand palm-down over the wallet and insert the tip of the second finger into the opening of the right compartment, roughly a third of the way from the left end of the wallet. Let the other fingers rest outside the compartment. This posture naturally positions the inner left corner of the rear-palmed card at the opening of the left compartment, where it can be slipped easily inside, beneath the guiding envelope (Figure 39).

With just your right second finger, prize open the right compartment and gaze into it. Seeing that the card is not there, look up and quietly say, "Sorry, wrong side." As the audience's eyes rise to meet yours, several small actions are neatly executed: the heel of

the right thumb eases its pressure on the palmed card, releasing it; and the left hand moves forward several inches with the wallet, loading the card into the left compartment. The card is butted against the base of the right fingers as it is pushed into the wallet, while the right hand exerts a light downwar d pressure on the card. N.B. The right hand does not push the card into the wallet, but the wallet moves forward, around the card. Handled in this manner,

As you move the wallet under the right hand, also rotate it clockwise about ninety degrees, until the left end is directed forward, toward the audience. Keep the right hand stationary and bring the end of the wallet to it. Since some portion of the loaded card is likely to protrude from the compartment, the right hand's position helps to prevent any exposure of the card. With the right hand, grasp the end of the wallet, thumb above and fingers below (Figure 40). The instant the right hand has a secure grip, continue turning the wallet clockwise, bringing the end in the right hand to your right. With your left hand, grasp the left end of the wallet, thumb above (near the spine) and fingers below (Figure 41). From this position the thumb can contact the card and finish pushing it into the compartment. Outwardly, all you have done Is turn the wallet one hundred eighty degrees clockwise, in a horizontal plane, bringing the second compartment forward: but during this turn you have shielded the loaded card from view and completed the load.

Now grasp the near side of the wallet In the fork of the left thumb, precisely as was done when the wallet was previously opened (see Figure 39), and insert the tip of the right second finger into the forward compartment. With that fingertip, pull the left inner (nonindex) corner of the selection into view. Leave the corner of the card there is no hint of a loading action.

there is no hint of a loading action.

protruding from the compartment as you now draw the forward portion of the wallet inward and under, folding the wallet inside out (Figure 42). This maneuver turns the card face-down, allowing for a more dramatic revelation.

Have the spectator draw the card from the wallet and hold it facedown for a moment. Ask him to remind everyone of the card he freely selected from the deck. This naturally draws attention to the tabled pack, and subtly stresses the difference in the backs of the deck and the prediction card. Then have him display the face of the card from the wallet, revealing its identity.

Once the full effect has been realized, replace the card in the wallet, case the deck and put everything away. The top car d of the deck still disguises its true back pattern, and this may suggest that a color-changing deck effect might be considered. This tempting course, however, is not advised, as it might jeopardize the method for the prediction. But Mr. Elmsley has successfully followed this effect with his "The Red and the Blue" (pp. 133-135), which, thanks to the introduction of a second deck with a contrasting back, obscures the situation sufficiently. Whether performed in this combination, or alone, the prediction effect is as direct and baffling as you could wish; and the wallet loading technique is obviously of wider utility (see, for example, "Signature Piece", pp. 192-196, and "En Voyage", pp. 233-240).

One last thought: In his notebook from the 1950s, where Mr. Elmsley first recorded "Hidebound Forecast", he considered using a blank-backed deck for the effect. On each blank back was printed: "I predict that you will think of this card." In the minds of the spectators, the blank back would likely dissociate the prediction card from the deck even more effectively than would a different back design.

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