Separating The Men From The Boys

Effect: All twelve court cards are openly removed from the deck and shown. The four queens are set aside and the face-down jacks are neatly alternated with the face-up kings. The four queens are waved over the combined kings and jacks in a magical manner and with no hint of subterfuge, then are set down again. The held packet is now fanned, showing four face-down cards still interlaced with the face-up kings—but when the fan is turned over, the face-down cards aie seen to be the queens, not the jacks; and the jacks are found on the table, where the queens were thought to have been.

All this is performed to a tale of innocence, paternal love and an exposé of the evil ways of big-city women. It is also done without recourse to gaffed or extra cards. Just the twelve court cards are used. Here Mr. Elmsley once more demonstrates how a potentially confusing effect can be clar ified and enhanced by an entertaining presentation.

Method: It was the title of this trick that first came to Mr. Elmsley, after which he invented an effect to fit it. He finds that this inverted practice of using a phrase or cliché as a springboard for invention can be a fruitful avenue to creativity. This is certainly borne out here.

To prepare for this excellent trick, openly remove the jacks, queens and kings from the pack and put the remaining cards away. Arrange the twelve court cards with the jacks at the face, the queens on top and the kings in the middle. Suit order does not matter.

Hold the packet face-up in left-hand dealing position and spread over the first four cards, briefly displaying the jacks. Square the jacks back onto the packet, then immediately thumb off the foremost jack onto the palm-up right hand. Continue to deal the jacks, one by one, from the packet into the right hand as you say:

"These Jacks stand for four boys; country boys, but they were nearly grown up. Likely lads."

With the right fingers, flip the Jacks face-down in the right hand, square them and slip them honestly under the left hand's packet, Jogging them forward about an inch (Figure 105).

Briefly fan the kings on the packet, then square them again and deal them, one by one, into the right hand, just as you did the jacks,

"The kings are four men. They were the fathers of the boys, and one holiday they all took their boys to the Big City to see the sights,"

Flip the kings face-down and slip them beneath the jacks, similarly outjogged under the packet. Now fan over the four queens and, with the aid of the right hanH square them and flip them face-down and square on top of the packet. As you do so, catch a heel break between the queens and the packet, as exposed in Figure 106. (This maneuver is known as an Altman trap.) It is now an easy matter to transfer this heel break to the tip of the left fourth finger. Simply press down with the left thumb on the outer left corner of the packet, levering up the inner right corners of the queens. Then tighten the fourth fingertip against the edges of the cards, taking the break, as you relax pressure with the heel of the thumb, permitting the break to collapse there.

"These queens of course are four ladies,"

Immediately, execute a block push-off, dealing the four queens as one card into the right hand. Without hesitation, deal the next three cards (jacks), one by one, onto the block of queens, outjogging them slightly.

"But these ladies were not the wives of the men, and these ladies were not the mothers of the boys."

Slip the right hand's cards neatly back onto the left hand's packet. Then turn the right hand palm-down and apparently remove the queens again from the packet, grasping them by the ends. In reality, only the top three cards, those jogged forward, are removed, leaving the queens atop the packet. The act of replacing the queens on the packet should seem to be done only to allow the right hand to change its grip. Drop the right hand's cards face-down onto the table. These are three jacks.

"These were four Wicked Ladies, sitting in a café in the Big City, watching the passers-by."

Flip the left hand's packet face-up and fan over the four kings.

"Now the men were worried about the safety of their boys," Take the fanned kings into the right hand, letting a jack be seen on the face of the left hand's packet. Then smoothly flip the left hand's cards face-down in dealing grip, and set the fanned kings, outjogged for about half their length, onto the outer right corner of the packet. Clip the kings in place with the left thumb, as shown in Figure 107. The face-down car ds should be held securely squared in mechanic's grip.

Bring the right hand, palm-up, to the inner right corner of the face-down packet and, with the right thumb, draw the top card inward, leaving the rest of the face-down cards perfectly squared (Figure 108}. Grip this card by the corner, thumb above and fingers beneath, and pull it neatly from the group. Then slip it, still facedown, between the uppermost pair of kings, leaving it outjogged for roughly an inch.

"So they decided that they would walk arm in arm.,." In the same fashion, remove the next card from the top of the face-down packet, and slip it between the center pair of kings.

"...linked together..." Remove the next face-down card from the packet and insert it between the lowermost pair of kings.

".. .in a chain." With the palm-up right hand, grip the remaining two face-down cards by their inner right corner and draw them from under the fan while pivoting them around the left fourth finger (Figure 109), turning the double card end for end. These two cards should already be in perfect register, but if there is any minor misalignment, it can be corrected as the pair is drawn by the fourth finger. This action has the added benefit of making the double card appear disarmingly single. Place it at the bottom of the fan, outjogged like the others but slightly more so. To all appearances, you have just alternated the face-down jacks with the face-up kings.

(Alternatively, rather than pivoting the double card from under the fan, you can leave it in left-hand mechanic's grip while the right hand grasps the fan and shifts it inward, bringing the double card into the desired position under the fan.)

With the palm-up right hand, grip the entire fan and push it closed against the heel of the left thumb; immediately raise the packet in the right hand, briefly exposing its underside to the audience, displaying the face of a jack at the bottom (Figure 110). Because this card, actually a double, projects slightly farther than the other outjogged cards, there is no danger of the faces of the queens being accidentally exposed. Resuming our story:

"That way they thought everybody would be safe," Lower the packet back onto the left hand: then bring the right hand over the packet and push the face-down cards flush. In this action, side slip the bottom card (the jack) into the right palm.

"But though the men could keep the boys safe, who was going to keep the men safe?" Delivered with the proper inflection, this observation should bring a chuckle from the audience. The misdirective quip is timed to occur as the right hand leaves the

packet and casually picks up the face-down pile from the table, adding the palmed card to it.

"The ladies walked up the street past the party from the country. And then they walked down the street and passed them again." As you say this, pass the right hand's packet over the left hand's cards, then under it. Keep the packets far enough apart to assure that no suspicion of manipulation is aroused. Then set the right hand's packet down again.

"And I don't really know how it occurred, but a short time later, there were the four men..Fan the packet in the left hand, showing the face-down cards interspersed with the face-up kings.

*'.. .walking aim in aim with the four ladies.,." Raise the left hand, exposing the underside of the fan and revealing the queens alternated with the kings.

"...while back In the café there were the four boys, wondering what had happened." With your right hand, flip over the tabled pile and spread it to display the four Jacks.

"But you and I know what had happened, because that's what separates the men from the boys."

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