Here is an exceedingly clever method for controlling one or two free selections, derived from elements drawn from two earlier Elmsley inventions: the fan shuffle control and "Calcolate x 2" (ref. Volume I, pp. 96-98 and 361-362),
One element that makes these controls so impossible in appearance is that the selections are returned to random spots in the pack, all the time with the cards out of the performer's hands. Yet, with two quick shuffles, the selections can be delivered to the bottom or the top of the deck, where they may be produced or palmed off for later production, as the performer sees fit.
To begin, you must have a known card resting twenty-sixth from the top of the pack, and an edge-marked card on top. This can be accomplished with an unprepared pack in a few moments by glimpsing the twenty-sixth card during a faro check, then nail nicking or scraping one side of the top card.
Set the deck face-down on the table and have a spectator cut off roughly a third of the pack. Turn away as he notes the car d at the face of the cut-off packet. Then have him bury his packet in the center of the remain hi g cards. That is, tell hiin to lift about half the cards remaining on the table (this cut must be below your center key), drop his original packet onto the bottom portion, then replace the raised packet on top of all. This sandwiches the original top portion in the middle of the bottom portion. It also produces a very useful circumstance: the number of cards now resting between your two key cards, when added to the number of cards lying below the selection, equals twenty-six.
Pick up the pack and, while squaring it, tip it up on edge so that you can sight the edge-marked card, which should lie about a third down from the top of the pack. Divide the pack at a point a few cards below the marked key and step the top portion of the deck approximately half an inch to the right at the right end (Figure 217). Then adjust the grips of both hands to the ends of the packets, taking the bottom portion into the left hand and the top portion in the right, both in position for one-hand fans. Separate the packets and simultaneously fan them, fanning the faces of the packets in an upward direction to expose the indices of the cards in the right hand.
Briskly brush the two fans lightly over one another. As you do this, quickly sight your memorized key (the card that originally rested at center in the pack)—it will be in the right-hand fan—then insert the left hand's fan between this key and the card in front of it (Figure 218). Rest the lower edges of the fans on the table and let them fall closed into each other. Those familiar with this "shuffle" know that when it is done at a brisk pace the cards appear to interweave as the fans close, when in fact the situation is much simpler: one packet is inserted as a block into the other. (For further information on the fan shuffle flourish, see Volume I, pp. 96-97).
If you now give the deck one in-faro shuffle, the chosen card is delivered directly above the edge-marked locator, and can be cut to the top or bottom of the deck, as desired.
Or, when dividing the pack for the fan shuffle, you can cut at the edge-marked locator, making it the bottom card of the right hand's packet. If you now fan the packets and insert the left-hand fan two cards before the remembered key card (that is, two cards closer to the face of the right hand's fan), when the fans are squared together the selection will rest twenty-seventh from the top of the pack, and can be transported to the top with one in-faro.
The Fan and Weave Double Control
Managing two selections is no more trouble than controlling one. Begin, as before, with an edge-marked card on top of the pack and a known card at twenty-sixth position. Have one spectator cut off about a third of the pack (this must be less than twenty-six cards), and a second spectator cut off a second packet of roughly equal size. If there is a small tray, a book or magazine handy, Mr. Elmsley likes to set the deck on it, then hold it out to each of the spectators as they cut. Doing this emphasizes that the pack is out of your hands, and therefore out of your control. It also aids in obscuring the transposition of the two cut-off packets when they are returned to the deck, as follows:
Each spectator peeks at the card on the face of his packet: the card he cut to. Then the first spectator places his packet onto the remaining portion of the deck; and the second spectator puts his packet onto the first's. This procedure reverses the top and center sections.
Pick up the deck and cut it at a point several cards below the edge-marked locator. Take the top portion into the right hand and perform the fan shuffle, inserting the left hand's cards into the right-hand fan immediately before the remembered key card. Then square the deck, divide it at center and perform one perfect in-faro shuffle. At this point the first selection lies directly above the edge-marked key, and the second selection rests above the first. By sighting the marked card and cutting it to the top of the pack, both selections are delivered to the bottom, and can be dealt with in any fashion you like.
If the fan shuffle and faro are performed in a brisk and casual manner, it appears impossible that you could be controlling even a single card, let alone two at once. The method is as efficient as it is diabolical.
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