THE WTJ count is an incremental evolutionary step in the development of a convincing Elmsley-style Gemini Move. It may not be the final step but it is, in my opinion, the best offered to the fraternity to date, and it's easy. The basic idea for the move derives from a Larry West technique called the Mirage Count, which is essentially a handling variation of the Olram Subtlety; but the WTJ Count hides two cards while showing two cards twice during an Elmsley-style Count. In that respect, the Mirage Count and the WTJ Count are functionally, though not procedurally, like the Gemini Move, the Rhythm Count and its progeny.
NOTE: You will have noticed that I refer to Bro. John Hamman's sleight as the "Gemini Move" rather than the commonly accepted "Gemini Count." I feel this change of terms is necessary, as the Hamman sequence is a display based on a means of creating a Center Double Lift in a small packet. It is an illogical sequence, and is typically performed without rationale. Because of this, it is not usually and should not be presented as a count, as doing so merely highlights the illogic. It would be equally illogical to refer to the Diminishing Lift Switch sequence—a slightly more logical but functionally similar concept—as a count. Thus, to properly reflect the nature of the technique and the best-advised application of it, I submit that the Gemini Move is the preferable nomenclature.
Some time before its appearance in the pages of Apocalypse (Vol. 12, No. 1, January 1989, page 1590), Jonathan Townsend showed me a Count he had devised.
His Count hides two card surfaces, but only one card, while apparently showing the faces and backs of the four counted cards. His procedure combines an Elms-ley Count—actually, what is sometimes known as a "Broken Elmsley"—with a strategically placed open turnover. The WTJ Count accomplishes the same end as the Mirage Count and Gemini Move, using a procedure similar in appearance to the Townsend Count. The combination is mine. It has the advantage of appearing more logical than the Mirage Count, while what it accomplishes is a more productive and difficult-to-achieve result than the Townsend Count: hiding two cards.
You will apparently show the faces and backs of four cards. Begin with a faceup four-card packet. The two cards at the face of the packet are the only two faces that will be seen. We will assume they are two red Queens. We will further assume the other two cards are black Eights.
Beginning with the four cards face up in left-hand Dealing Grip (see the Notes at the end for another option), the red Queens should be uppermost. The right hand approaches the left-hand cards, palm down. The left thumb moves the top card (a red Queen) to the left just enough to allow the right fingers to grasp the three cards below this Queen in Flexible Count Grip (Figure 289).
When the right hand has grasped the three cards, it moves back to the right, turning palm up in the process and leaving behind one face-up red Queen in the left hand (Figure 290).
As the hands are separating and the right hand is turning palm up, the left hand flips the card it holds face down into Dealing Grip. (It is not absolutely essential that the card be taken into Dealing Grip but it does make the sequence that follows more reliable.) The cards are now in the same position they would be after taking the first card in a face-down Elmsley Count: one face-down card in the left hand and three cards, also face down, in the right hand (Figure 291). That's exactly where you need to be.
Briefly rotate the right hand palm down, giving your viewers a flash of the red Queen on the face of the packet. Immediately turn the right hand palm up again as you move the hands together and perform the switch action used in an Elmsley Count. In other words, your right thumb pushes over a two-card block from the right-hand packet and your right fingertips steal back the card from the left hand, taking it under the remaining right-hand card. You will complete this sequence with two cards in each hand. The audience should believe they have seen the two cards in the left hand but not the two in the right. This is not true but is accepted for the same reasons operative in the Olram Subtlety and Flushtration Counts.
In some applications, such as a vanish in an assembly, the two left-hand cards might now be carried to the table, but you can simply continue to hold these cards in Dealing Grip. Thus, the count can be used when no table is available, unlike most variants of the Gemini Move (including my Virgo Move in Pasteboard Perpensions, page 20).
in right-hand Flexible Count Grip. Extend your right second finger past your thumb but above the cards (Figure 292). Clip the two cards between your right first and second fingers while you raise your thumb and move your third and fourth fingers aside to allow the two cards to rotate inward, end over end, face up
between the first two fingers (Figure 293). The first finger ends up above the cards. Use your thumb to press the two cards against the right second finger (Figure 294) as you move the first finger below the cards and beside the second finger. This puts the cards back into right-hand Flexible Count Grip, but they are now face up.
Count the two face-up cards fairly into the left hand, reversing their order if desired. If you're doing the entire count in the hands, simply lever them face down, bookwise, onto the cards already in Dealing Grip. Alternately, flip them face down and carry them to join those on the table.
NOTES: If you time the rotation of the first Queen as you turn it face down in your left hand so that the turn is completed as the right-hand packet moves over the back of the Queen, that back can remain completely hidden. The timing here is similar to that used when doing any Wrist-Turn Concealment. If your right hand holds the front end of its packet tipped up at a slight angle, comparable to that used when necktieing a deck, the timing is even less critical. After the exchange has been made, during this second take, you'll need to maintain the alignment of each hand's pair of cards to within a white-border width. If, after you spread and display the faces of the two Queens in your right hand, you let the Queens slide square again as you flip them face down together onto the left-hand pair, you will have concealed two backs—one belonging to a red Queen, the other to a black Eight—as well as two faces. In other words, the backs of both under-cards remain unseen throughout the Count. It is rather amazing that in the process of apparently showing the faces and backs of four cards, two faces and two backs are not seen.
Those who have read my previous writings on counts (see Pasteboard Perpensions, page 1) will be aware that I believe it can be quite confusing to an audience if a count that starts in the left hand also ends in the left hand. The construction of this Count somewhat mitigates this issue, but use of this count in a routine involving other Elmsley-style counts would argue for consistency in pattern. With that in mind, I suggest that you can begin this Count with the packet face down in right-hand Flexible Count Grip.
To do so, rotate the right hand palm down as it approaches the left hand for the first time. The left thumb then moves the red Queen on the face to
the left, drawing it into left-hand Dealing Grip. The right hand moves back to the right, taking the remaining three cards and turning palm up in the process. You then continue as has been previously described.
I have not included specific effects that employ this Count but I can foresee application in treatments of "Flight-of-the-Blues" handlings. (I use this term, rather than Searles' "Ultimate Aces," because I find it more communicative, not for its historical accuracy.) Such applications would not be possible with the traditional Gemini Move or my own Virgo Move. It might also be applied to routines such as Jim Swains "Capitulating Queens" (Don't Blink: The Magic of James Swain, 1992, page 49), Walton's "Cascade" (a marketed manuscript, nd.), etc. The purpose of this description is to provide a tool to be applied as your creativity permits. After all, I don't want to "bogart" the good stuff. (If you don't understand the last comment, ask someone who was around in the Sixties.)
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