Incommunicado

Effect: Four spectators each note a random card In the pack. Then, in rapid succession, the performer names the first selection and produces it from his pocket, names the second selection and shows it face-up in the center of the deck, then names the third selection and brings it from a card case that has sat untouched throughout the trick.

One card remains to be found. The person who chose that card Indicates any of the three previous selections, which now lie on the table. She then names her chosen card. The performer rubs the Indicated card on the table and it changes into the last selection.

Method: In structure this trick is closely related to "Between Your Palms", and was developed during the same period In the early 1950s. It is another of Mr. Elmsley's methods that does not require a duplicate card. Instead, a centuries-old swindle is brilliantly exploited: a card that no one has chosen is passed off as one of the four selections, and each of the spectators assumes this card belongs to one of his companions. The construction of this trick Is so cunning, it may even deceive you the first time you read through its explanation.

Only one small bit of preparation is necessary. When you remove the deck from its case, secretly leave behind one card. This can be any card, but you must know what it is. Close the case and set it to one side on the table. You can now proceed with a trick or two that is not affected by the absence of the card left in the case. When you are ready to perform "Incommunicado", make sure that the facedown deck carries a convex bridge along its length.

Hold the deck face-down in left-hand dealing grip and ask someone in front of you to call stop as you riffle through the cards. Explain that four cards will be selected In this way, from four different parts of the pack. Suggest that he stop you somewhere in the u pper portion of the deck. Riffle your left thumb down the outer left corner of the pack until you are told to stop. With your palm-down right hand.

neatly lift away the packet above the break and display the card on its face to the spectator, asking him to remember it. As you replace the packet on the deck, execute the Kelly-Ovette bottom placement (see Volume I, pp. 261-263), slipping the selection to the bottom.

Turn to another person in front and ask that she stop you a bit deeper in the deck. Stop riffling where she commands, show her the card at that position, and use the bottom placement to control it to the face of the pack.

Turn now to someone on your far right and ask that he stop you somewhere in the lower half of the pack. Show him the card he stops you on—but this time do not execute the bottom placement. Instead, simply hold a left fourth-finger break between the two packets. (Note that the bottom placement is most vulnerable to exposure at the left, and turning to your right presents that weak side to the audience. Therefore, you use a spectator on your right at the one point hi this selection procedure when the bottom placement is not used.)

Explain that you need one more card chosen and turn to someone on your left. Ask that he stop you somewhere toward the bottom of the deck. Riffle the cards off your thumb until told to stop. But this time, instead of cutting honestly at the specified spot, you execute a riffle force (p, 247), lifting away all the cards above the fourth finger's break. Show the card at the face of the raised packet to the fourth spectator and, as you replace the upper packet on the lower, bring the chosen card to the face with the bottom placement, (Two things here are worthy of note: first, the riffle force Is extremely deceptive in this context, as the audience has Just seen you cut honestly at random spots during the previous three selections; and second, the bottom placement is done this last time only when the angle is best suited to it.)

Four cards have now been chosen; but what your audience doesn't know is that the third and fourtli spectators have noted the same card, so there are really only three selections for you to deal with, and all three lie together, in order, at the bottom of the pack.

As you recap, mentioning that four cards have been chosen in four parts of the deck, spread the pack casually between the hands and, as you square it again into the left hand, form a left fourth-finger break above the bottom three cards and reverse them with a half pass (see Volume I, p. 70). Immediately bottom palm or gambler's cop the lowermost of the reversed cards and follow through by performing a swing cut with the deck in the left hand. Complete the cut, burying two of the reversed cards somewhere near center. This cut is easily done with a card held out in the left hand. While this may seem like quite a bit of work all at once, the half pass and bottom palm marry most efficiently, and the whole sequence can be comfortably executed in about five seconds.

As you complete the cut, glance down for an instant at the hands and glimpse the face of the palmed card. Look up again and say, "If I'm not mistaken, one of you chose the seven of diamonds. I know that, because the minute you thought of it, that card flew to my pocket." While you name the card you have just glimpsed, grasp the deck by its ends in the palm-down right hand. Then move your left hand to your left trousers pocket and produce the palmed card from there. Display its face to everyone and toss the card face-down onto the table.

As the audience is recovering from this surprise, you will learn the identity of the third selection by executing a peek devised by Mr. Elmsley in the late 1950s (the general concept of which is shared by Edward Mario's square-up glimpse in his Fingertip Control, pp. 18-19):

Bring the left hand palm-up under the deck and grip it by its opposite sides, thumb on the left; second, third and fourth fingertips on the right. The forefinger is curled onto the face of the pack, where it applies light pressure to ensure that any gap caused by the reversed cards near center is eliminated.

Immediately turn the deck to a vertical position, with its left edge upward, back to your right. Also raise the outer end of the pack just enough to tip the upper edge of the cards beyond the audience's line of sight. While making this adjustment, do not relinquish the right hand's contact with the ends of the pack, but let the tips of the right fingers and thumb slide down to the lower corners in a casual squaring motion. Then reverse this motion, sliding the right fingers and thumb upward over the ends. At the instant the right lingers cover the entire front end of the pack, relax the left thumb on the upper edge of the cards, and the left forefinger on the face, allowing a break to open above the reversed cards at center. The opposing bridges in the pack and reversed cards make this break formation automatic. If you now glance down at the upper edge of the pack, you can look directly into

the narrow break and, at the outer end, sight the index of the upper reversed card (Figure 168). If the gap isn't broad enough to allow a clear glimpse of the index, the right fingers and thumb can widen the break sufficiently for your purpose. Having glimpsed the card, immediately apply pressure to close the gap again, and slide the right fingers and thumb down the ends of the deck to conclude their squaring actions. The right fingers conceal the outer end of the pack—and thus the break—-just long enough to sight the card, and there is no perceptible pause in the right hand's squaring action as the glimpse is made. Conclude this series of actions by lowering the deck face-down into left-hand dealing position,

"The queen of clubs was also chosen." Thus naming the card you have just sighted, snap your fingers dramatically over the pack, "If I do this, she turns over in the deck." Spread the cards neatly from left hand to right, stopping at the face-up selection when it comes into view. Take care not to expose the second faceup card below the first.

With your right hand, carry away all the face-down cards above the exposed selection and slip them square beneath the left hand's packet. Then execute a double turnover, turning down the top two cards as one, and immediately thumb off the top card, dropping it with the previously produced selection on the table. This new card is the second spectator's selection.

"The next card is the four of hearts, and it goes like this." The card named here is the one you have left behind in the card case. Riffle the deck toward the closed case. Then set it down and, with obviously empty hands, pick up the case. Open it and produce the card inside.

Set the case aside as you display the card. "So far I have found your card, your card and your card. Right?" You indicate the first, third and fourth spectators. They must agree, as they have all seen their cards. What no one understands is that the persons on your left and right have both chosen the same card; and that the card just produced from the case belongs to no one, though each thinks it is another's selection. You do not, of course, give them time to discuss the matter, or to say anything at all, other than "Yes," Through this ruse you have achieved a remarkably clean card-to-case effect.

Toss the bogus selection face-down with the two cards on the table, and spread out these three cards, positioning the second card (the one that has been switched) in the center. Turn to the second spectator and say, "Yours is the only one left to go. Point to one of these cards," The optimum psychological choice is the center card of the three, and this will be her choice most of the time. If she should point to one of the end cards instead, use a quick equivoque sequence to arrive at the desired card.

Rub the face-down card briskly on the table. Then ask the spectator to name her card. Snap your fingers over it and turn it up to show the card changed to the final selection.

The entire presentation, from the opening selections to the final transformation, should be done at a spritely pace. This not only makes the sequence of productions more impressive, but it is necessary for the success of the central swindle. You want silent acquiescence from the spectators as the first three cards are produced. The last thing you want is a helpful "That's mine" from the third or fourth spectators, who have chosen the same card. If you keep things moving briskly (though not rushed), you give no one time to offer undesired support. For the same underlying reason, you do not want the spectators discussing this effect among themselves once the trick is over. Proceed immediately to another piece and keep things moving. Those with experience in audience management will quickly see what is required. This series of productions can be breathtaking if done with assurance and a touch of panache.

Chapter Five: Coinages

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