David Arthur

Paul Gertner gets credit for the basic premise - where four coins assemble and then immediately jump back to the four positions from which they started (see Apocalypse Vol. 2 No. 11). Paul's method uses six coins and an expanded shell - David's uses only four coins. There is no preparation, though you must be working on a close-up mat. You can be either standing or sitting.

Start by placing four half dollars in a square formation on the mat. Take any four cards from a deck and allow the audience to examine them (they can examine the coins, too). Take the cards back and hold them in your palm-up left hand, slightly spread face down (fig. 942). The grip is important because of the steal that occurs later - your fingertips rest on the face of the bottom card (fig. 943 is an exposed view). You should be able to move your second and third fingers and straighten them while your first finger and pinky support the cards from beneath.

Move your hands toward the coin at the outer left, pausing when each hand is about two inches from the coin (fig. 944). A couple of things are going to happen rather quickly. Start moving your hands together so they're just above the table. You've got to time things so that your right second fingertip is near the coin when the right long side of the fart hest - to - t he-right card is about to cover the coin (fig. 945).

As your left hand moves to the right to cover the coin your right second fingertip snaps to the left, straightening and kicking the coin to the left (fig. 946). With a bit of practice you'll be able to kick the coin right between your second and third fingertips (fig. 947). Your third finger moves onto the coin's inner edge and presses downward, tilting its outer end upward so your second finger can slip beneath it (fig. 948). Press these fingers together, clipping the coin between them.

There's more. A second after your right finger kicks the coin your thumb and fingers grasp the uppermost card. Your left hand moves to left with the stolen coin beneath the three cards it still holds (fig. 949). Table the right-hand card.

The point of all this detailed technique is to avoid the common faults of this type of move. It often looks like your left hand moves over the coin (having moved too far to the right) and then moves back again before your right hand covers the coin with the card. There's usually some kind of tip off in the left hand's movement. David's move looks exactly as it should - your left fingers appear to be nowhere near the tabled coin (and they aren't!). There's no back and forth movement of the left hand, either.

That's the basic steal, and it'll be used again later in the reverse assembly sequence. To continue, your right hand moves back to your left hand to take the next card. It approaches palm up, finger straight and together. Your thumb moves onto the back of the top card while your fingers move beneath your left fingers (fig. 950). By relaxing your left second and third fingers the coin will fall flatly onto your right fingers. Your right thumb draws the top card to the right and, as your right hand moves away, the card moves over the stolen coin, covering it. Place that loaded card onto the coin at the outer right, being careful not to let the coins clink.

Take one of the remaining cards in each hand and place them onto the coins at the inner corners, angled toward the center (fig. 951). Your palm-down hands approach the outer cards, your thumbs moving onto their inner sides and your fingers onto their outer sides (fig. 952). Turn your hands, angling the cards to match the inner two. As you do you'll find that your right thumb will contact the secretly loaded coin beneath the outer right card and push it. That's okay - you're positioning it for the Pickup Move.

Relax your hands, letting go of everything and patter about the four coins under the four cards, etc. Move your right hand to the card at the inner right and your left hand to the card at the outer right, grasping the cards as you would for the Pickup Move (which I'll describe, and you'll do, in a moment) (fig. 953). Lift both hands, your left hand doing the Pickup Move so that only one coin is seen beneath its card. Like this. The card is grasped between your thumb (on the inner long side) and second finger (on the outer long side), with your first fingertip resting lightly on top - directly above the coin (fig. 954). Slide your hand away from you until your thumbtip feels the coin hitting it and, as soon as you do, lift the card's inner side. The coin will come with it, held between your thumb and first finger (fig. 955). Lift the card off the table and allow its outer long side to snap off your second finger (fig. 956). All of this is done in one smooth motion. Note that your left thumb is parallel to the card's long side - that'll become important later on. The position is slightly different from Al Schneider's original handling.

Okay - at the same time that your left hand does the Pickup Move with the outer-right card, your right hand lifts the inner right card. Replace both cards. Snap your fingers and, with the same hands as before, pick up the same cards again. This time your right hand does the Pickup Move and your left hand does not (fig. 957). Two coins appear beneath the card at the outer right, while none appear beneath the card at the inner right.

956 957

Lay the left-hand card onto the inner-left card and lift both, a coin seen beneath (fig. 958). Place both cards on top of that coin. At the same time your right hand covers the two cards at the outer right. There are now three coins beneath the outer-right card.

Snap your fingers. Simultaneously your left hand does the Pickup Move with the inner left cards, and your right hand lifts the outer-right card (fig. 959). Three coins are at the outer right and none at the inner left.

Say, "That leaves one coin under here." Your left hand descends to just above the table and guides the outer left corners of its cards beneath the center of the outer-left card (fig. 960). Your left thumb holds the concealed coin firmly against the face of the bottom card. As soon as they're able, your left second, third,

and pinky fingers pull the outer-left card flush with the lower cards (fig. 961). Your left hand continues to slide until it's exactly where the outer-left card originally was. Raise your hand leaving the coin on the table (fig. 962). It appears as if you've lifted the cards to display the coin. (The move is based on an item of Frank Paglia's which appears in Apocalypse Vol. 1 No. 8).

Place all four cards together and hold them in face-down dealing position in your left hand. Say, "The last coin is the most difficult - it'll jump from here (indicate the outer left) to here (indicate the outer right and, as you do, casually arrange the coins as in figure 963 with your right fingers)."

Spread the cards in your left hand in preparation for the basic steal that you used to start the routine. Move your hands over the single coin at the outer left and cover it, simulating the steal, but not actually doing the move. One card is left over that coin. Move your hands over the coins at outer right in position for

the steal with the innermost coin (fig. 964). Do the move, your left hand moving away with the coin and two cards as your right hand covers the two (thought to be three) coins there (fig. 965). Note that the outer edges of the two coins are left sticking out from beneath the card.

Your right hand takes the upper card and places it at the inner right, while your left hand takes the lower card (with the coin hidden beneath it) and places it at the inner left. The inner cards are angled as before.

Angle the outer cards as well, your right hand pushing the coin on the right (sticking out from beneath the outer-right card) back a bit (fig. 966).

Your left hand lifts the outer-left card showing a coin beneath it as you say, "This coin will jump over and join the other three." Immediately slide the card forward again covering the coin,

Snap your fingers and say, "Oops, I think it backfired." As you speak your left hand grasps the inner-left card and your right fingers grasp the outer-right card. Both hands pick up their cards at the same time your right hand slides its forward until the inner coin hits your thumb and immediately does the Pickup Move, your left hand simply lifts its card (fig. 967). One coin is seen beneath each card.

Again, both hands move at the same time. Your left hand lays its card onto the outer-left card and lifts both, while your right hand slides the card it holds beneath the inner-right card doing the Paglia loading move already described and lifting both cards (fig. 968). The coins have jumped back!


The C.S.B.Q. Coins Across

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