The Fiddle With The Biddle In The Middle

Effect: A card is freely selected from the pack. Two jokers are then placed together face-up in the center of the deck. The deck is dropped onto the chosen card and the card vanishes. When the deck is spread, the selection is found sandwiched between the reversed jokers.

The three-card sandwich is removed from the deck and the deck is given to a spectator to hold. The two jokers and selection are displayed—yet, when these cards are pressed between the performer's palms, the selection disappears, leaving just the jokers. When the spectator spreads the deck, which he has held the entire time, he finds his selection reversed in the center of the pack.

Method: This trick was recorded in the notes of Jack Avis on April 9th, 1966. Cy Endfield's fine effect, "Two to Divine", served as the model for the opening sequence (ref. Cy Endfield's Entertaining Card Magic, Part One, pp. 10-14), Mr. Endfield also suggested the idea of getting the deck into the spectator's hands. The economy of action exercised creates a delightful and straightforward effect, while providing several magical and surprising moments before the trick is over.

You will need two duplicate jokers that match the deck in use. Display the jokers and hold them by their inner ends face-up in your right hand. Spread the upper joker a bit to the left, so that both cards are clearly in evidence.

Hold the face-down deck in left-hand dealing grip and riffle your left thumb down the outer left corner, asking that someone call out stop at any time. Halt the riffle honestly at the point they designate and swing the free ends of the jokers into the thumb's break. Because of the manner in which the jokers are spread, the corner of the upper Joker enters the gap first. The instant it does, release two cards quietly off the left thumb. Slide the inner ends of the jokers farther into the deck, letting the released pair of cards pass between them. When the jokers are parallel with the pack, but still outjogged for roughly half their lengths, press down firmly with the right thumb on the jokers, bowing them somewhat. Then use the jokers like a pair of forceps to extract the double card from the deck. The double will remain perfectly aligned between the jokers—a most disarming double lift. (A fuller description of the forceps double lift can be found in Volume I, pp. 293-294.)

Briefly turn the right hand palm-down to display the face of the double card. Turn the hand palm-up again and set the right-hand cards onto the deck, with the face-up jokers lying square with the pack. The face-down double card still rests between them, outjogged for about half its length. You can display the face of the double card a second time if you like, by turning the left hand palm-down with the deck, then palm-up again.

You will now switch the selection, using a push-in change. Bring the palm-down right hand to the outer end of the double, preparing to strip it from between the jokers. Grasp the outer end of the double and, with the right fingertips, push the under card slightly inward. Simultaneously extend the left forefinger and contact the outer end of the under card (Figure 76); then secretly push this card (the selection) inward until it is flush with the jokers and the pack.

Pull the face-down upper card from the deck and, without exposing its face, lay it before you on the table. Openly cut the deck, burying the face-up Jokers somewhere near center. Then drop the deck squarely onto the tabled card. Tap the pack, or make some other magical gesture over it. With the right hand, lift the deck and revolve it face-up, showing that the selection has vanished from the bottom.

Take the face-up deck into left-hand dealing position and neatly spread it from hand to hand, until you reach the face-down jokers near center. Between them is seen the face-up selection. Ask the spectator to extend one hand, palm-up. With your right hand, set all the cards above the sandwich face-up onto his hand.

Spread the three-card sandwich to the right and, with the right fingertips, flip all three cards over on the left-hand packet, displaying

if the faces of the jokers. You will now execute a familiar Kardyro-Biddle steal sequence:

With the palm-down right hand, grasp the left hand's packet by the ends. Then draw the packet to the right while

■¿J maintaining pressure with the left thumb on y the uppermost joker, _ Peel the joker from the face of the packet onto the left palm (Figure 77). Bring the packet back to the left and repeat this maneuver, drawing the face-down selection from II the packet and onto the left hand's joker. This card is now stolen back, under the face-up packet, as the second Joker is drawn off. Bring the packet over the left hand's two cards to draw the second face-up joker into the left hand; however, in this action, bring the first joker and selection squarely into contact with the underside of the packet, and with the left thumb and fingers "milk" just the top and bottom cards from the packet (Figure 78). These cards are the two face-up jokers. There should be no interruption of rhythm as the steal is made. Casually drop the packet from the right hand onto the portion in the spectator's hand. This sandwiches the face-down selection in the middle of the face-up deck. Have the spectator place his other hand onto the deck, trapping it between his palms.

(This milking variant of the Kardyro-Biddle steal was first clearly described in Cy End field's Entertaining Card Magic, Part One. The idea of working from a half pack to load the stolen card reversed into the center of the deck was explained in Elmer Biddle's "Biddle-thru" [The Gen, Vol. 16, No. 3, July 1960, p. 69). To the best of my knowledge, this is the earliest description of this half-pack handling.)

Bring your empty right hand over the left hand's packet and execute a half pass, secretly reversing the lower card of the pair. This brings the jokers back to back. At the finish of the half pass the cards are replaced in left-hand dealing position.

Move the right hand back over the left hand's cards, almost as if you were about to palm them, and squeeze the palms together. Pause a moment, look up at the audience and smile, "No, it hasn't happened yet." Raise the right hand and expose the packet still in the left. Transfer the cards from the left palm to light-fingertip pinch grip.

You now perform a two-as-three Stanyon-style false count to display a face-down card between two face-up jokers. Then proceed to vanish the selection from between the jokers by performing Mr. Elmsley's prayer vanish. Both the Stanyon count and the prayer vanish are described on pages 126-127.

After you have dropped the two jokers face-up onto the table and rubbed them back and forth to prove the selection is truly gone, ask the spectator to spread through the deck he has been holding the entire time. In the middle of the face-up deck he will find a face-down card. When he turns this card over, it proves to be the selection— concluding a very strong effect.

If duplicate jokers aren't available, you can use court cards of matching values and colors (e.g., red jacks, black kings) in their place. This does create a discrepancy when the Stanyon count is performed. See the comments on page 128 concerning this problem.

March 1992

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