Shakedown

Effect: This is a wonderfully thought-out handling of that old standard. The Card Through Handkerchief. Mr. Elmsley's treatment is extremely direct and contains elements that will perplex those who know other methods. In effect, a card is peeked at in the pack. The deck is immediately wrapped in the center of a pocket handkerchief in an entirely convincing fashion. The bundle is shaken, upon which the thought-of card slowly penetrates the handkerchief, clearly emerging from the center of the pack. Yet, when the deck Is unwrapped, no slits or holes are found in the handkerchief. All can be examined.

Method: The handkerchief fold used here is not new in principle, but it is quite dilferent from the original fold for Card Through Handkerchief (first published in 1895 by August Roterberg in New Era Card Tricks, pp. 57-59). While the original fold has remained popular with magicians over the years, there is another method—a superior one—that is relatively little known. The earliest record of it seems to be "L.W. Card Through Silk" by William Larsen, Sr. and T. Page Wright (ref. Genii, Vol. 5, No. 1, Sept. 1940, p. 9). However, Larsen and Wright state, "It is only in the detail of handling that this version differs from others, but there is sufficient variation to justify us in offering this description." This appears to suggest that the fundamental method of folding the handkerchief is not original with them, though it is conceivable that they might be referring to the method from Roterberg, or Nate Leipzig's effect. Ten years after the publication of the "L.W. Card Through Silk", another method for attaining the same configuration of handkerchief and cards was explained in Rufus Steele's booklet, Paul Roslni's Magical Gems (p. 27). The Elmsley handling about to be revealed differs considerably from its predecessors.

In your right pocket have a man's linen handkerchief handy. If you also install a concave, lengthwise bridge in your face-down deck, you are ready to begin.

Ask someone to call stop as you riffle through the pack. With the deck held in standard left-hand peek grip, riffle the upper right corners off your right second finger until told to stop. Let the spectator sight the card there. As you lower the pack, silently release the selection off the tip of the right second finger and take a left fourth-finger break above it. Momentarily move the right hand away from the pack to gesture, as you caution the spectator not to forget his card. Then bring the right hand over the deck to square it, and in doing so execute a half pass (see Volume I, p. 70), reversing the packet below the break. This faces the pack and delivers the peeked card face-up to the bottom. Settle the deck into left-hand dealing position, but with the front end resting just behind the length of the forefinger, in preparation for a gambler's cop.

With your right hand, bring the handkerchief from your pocket and snap it open. Hold it between the hands by two adjacent corners to display it, while keeping the hands near waist level, so that the reversed bottom portion of the deck is not accidentally exposed. Now bend the right third and fourth fingers inward, trapping the right corner of the handkerchief against the palm. Then clip the top edge of the handkerchief, near center, between the right first and second fingers (Figure 120).

Release the left hand's corner and draw the handkerchief back and over that hand while you take the deck into the right. But in this action you also secretly steal the bottom card from the deck and carry it below the handkerchief. Simply use the left fingers to buckle the card away from the pack and retain it in the left hand. At the same time, with your right hand, openly grasp the deck by its ends,

forefinger at the front, thumb at the back, and carry the deck inward along the line of the left forearm (Figure 121). Fully extend your left forefinger and let the card drop onto the palm, while using the tips of the left fingers to support the cloth above it. If this is neglected, the palmed card may show through the fabric.

As you drape the handkerchief over the left palm, the hand should rest just behind center: that is, the center of the handkerchief lies nearer the left fingertips. The inner corner of the handkerchief should rest on your left forearm, and the ends of the palmed card should be pointed toward the hanging left and right corners of the handkerchief (Figure 122, with handkerchief made transparent).

As soon as the handkerchief is in place, set the deck onto the covered left hand, directly over the palmed card. Lower the left hand at the wrist, so that the palm angles downward at roughly a forty-five degree slope, and the deck on the handkerchief is clearly displayed to the audience. Curl the left fingers a bit as you do this, to keep the cards from spilling or separating at the face-to-face juncture. Also extend the left thumb away from the palm, assuring a bit of slack in the cloth when, in a moment, the left fingers bend inward (Figure 123).

You must now turn slightly to your left, as you bring the palm-down right hand to the deck, apparently to square it. In fact, a half pass of sorts is executed with the bottom portion of the pack:

The right hand grasps the facedown half of the deck by its ends, forefinger at the outer left corner, thumb at the inner left corner. If you press the tips of the right third and fourth fingers down on the right side of the pack, the bridged halves will rock against each other, opening a break between them at the left side. This aids in making a quick and clean separation at the face-to-face juncture. Now, as the right hand tips the top half of the pack up to an almost vertical position, packet facing to your left (Figure 124), the left fingers close, turning the bottom half—and the selection beneath the handkerchief—up onto their left edge (Figure 125). All cards now face left. Immediately settle the right hand's half onto the left hand's, trapping the selection between them in a fold of handkerchief. Figure 126 shows the configuration of cards and cloth in schematic form. The entire action takes less than a second, and is completely hidden from the audience by the back of the right hand.

Finish this action by running the right fingers and thumb along the ends of the deck to square them; then grasp the deck by the ends while the left hand squares the sides through the cloth. Release the right hand's hold while regripping the pack in the left hand, thumb extended along the upper edge and the fingers curled completely around the lower edge. Now turn the left hand palm-down, letting the handkerchief fall over the deck (Figure 127).

Move the left thumb onto the face of the covered pack. The back of the deck should be toward the audience. With your right hand, straighten the folds of cloth by tugging the right, then the left corner of the handkerchief—those corners hanging off the ends of the deck. Then draw these same corners forward and gather them on top of the pack (Figure 128). This conceals the folds around the trapped card at both ends.

With the right hand, grasp the gathered corners, holding them in a fist below the deck (Figure 129). Then, with the left hand, give the deck two turns, twisting the cloth tightly around it while trapping the pack inside. As you do this, do not pull the cloth so taut that the selection is forced from the top edge of the bundle.

Turn to your right as you extend the right hand and revolve it so that the wrapped pack now hangs below it, back still toward the

audience. At this point the spectators should be convinced that the deck is securely trapped in the center of the handkerchief. The illusion is perfect.

Shake the bundle gently to cause the selection to appear slowly from the bottom edge of the pack (Figure 130}. You can turn the right hand a bit as you shake, allowing the audience to see that the card is emerging from the center of the wrapped deck. Continue to shake the bundle until roughly half the card is in view.

(Occasionally when shaking the card out of the wrapped deck, it will start appearing very slowly; then, as the handkerchief loosens, the card will fall completely out and onto the floor. This, regrettably, diminishes the effect. If, as you shake the deck, your right fingers gather in the increasing slack in the handkerchief, this dropout problem can be greatly reduced if not eliminated entirely.)

You have so far kept the back of the card toward the audience. Ask the spectator to name the card he sighted in the center of the deck. When he does so, turn the right hand to expose the face of the penetrating card. Then, with the left hand, pull the card completely from the pack and display it.

Transfer the selection to the right fingers as you take the wrapped pack into the left hand, fingers on the face, thumb on the back. The side of the deck with the fold of cloth trapped in it should rest on the base of the fingers. Shake the left hand, causing the handkerchief to fall open around the pack. Then let the pack settle face-down onto the handkerchief-covered palm, holding it loosely in the cupped left fingers. Tilt the hand down at the wrist, until the deck lies at a forty-five degree angle, outer side downward and back toward the audience. Then, with the right fingers, grasp the inner corner of the

handkerchief and pull it smar tly back over the left forearm, tugging the bight of cloth out of the deck. The pack is left resting on the middle of the handkerchief, and everything can be examined.

You cannot fully appreciate the economy of motion and the extraordinary illusion of this trick without trying it with deck and handkerchief. It is a wonderful effect that never fails to astonish. As an added benefit, it will baffle those familiar with the original method for Card Through Handkerchief, making it suitable for audiences of varying sophistication.

Chapter Four:

Marsupial Favorites

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