The Spread Displacement

Push the out-jogged card partially back into the packet so that a bit less than half of its length protrudes from the front. Grip the top card (face down) and the out-jogged card (face-up) by the right side at the area where the two cards overlap. Your right thumb should be above, your first and second fingertips

This next sequence, the essence of the move, may prove easier to accomplish if the right first finger pushes up very lightly on the out-jogged card. Slide the two cards to the right for about half their width and something over a quarter of an inch forward. Immediately, using your left thumb and fingers, spread the

cards remaining in the left hand (Figure 37). The right hand's cards should not be lifted during this left-hand spreading, which should be as wide as is practical. As the left-hand spread is being completed, the right hand continues to slide its cards to the right until the near left corner of the out-jogged card is clear of the right side of the card beneath it. As it clears, the jogged card drops slighdy on the left side, as though it were being pulled on. Actually, it bends because of the downward pressure necessarily exerted on the pair of cards to keep them together. The right side of the uppermost face-down card of the left-hand group easily slides into the opening between the face-up jogged card and the face-down card above it (Figure 38, exposed for clarity). The left edge of the out-jogged card also slides above the second card from the top of the left-hand spread. Note how the slightly advanced position of the right hand's cards helps to conceal the insertion. Through all this the spread must not be broken. When this action is complete, push the spread closed, positioning the two overlapping right-hand cards slightly forward as you do so, to conceal the card that has been slipped between them.

Move your right hand over the packet in a duplication of the magical gesture you performed earlier (Step 5). Repeat the Spread Displacement again as you reveal that the face-up card has sunk one card lower in the packet. This time, however, you will need to count off the top card fairly before you begin. The top card is held in the same manner as the overlapped pair but is spread to the right

for half its width (Figure 39). You will find that the card above the double card does not affect the mechanics of the technique. As you create the spread, point out that the face-up card has dropped to the third position in the packet.

8 Repeat Step 7, this time counting two cards fairly before beginning the Spread Displacement actions. Alter your comments accordingly. Again, the cards above the overlapped pair do not affect the mechanics.

NOTE: Depending on my sense of how the audience is responding to the effect, I will sometimes abbreviate the sequence by displacing the face-up jogged selection all the way to the bottom during the actions of Step 8, making it sink from third to fifth position in the packet in one step. This requires that the third and fourth face-down cards enter between the faceup out-jogged card and the face-down card directly above it. This does not change the fundamental mechanics, as brief experimentation will reveal.

9 As you simulate the actions of the Spread Displacement, showing the out-jogged card to have sunk, by stages, to the bottom (whether in Step 7 or Step 8), slightly in-jog the second card from the top of the face-down packet. Openly move the face-up, out-jogged selection to the top of the spread and square the cards, forming a break under the in-jogged card. You will be holding a break under three cards.

Say, "Actually, I've been holding out on you. Not only will the card sink down in the packet, it can also rise. If I put it on the bottom..." As you finish saying this, execute a Hit-style Triple Lift. This is facilitated by the break. Transfer the three cards to the bottom as though they were one. Now, as a magical gesture, pass the packet through your hand, performing the Vernon Through-the-Fist Flourish, but without reversing the packet. That is, simply, place the packet onto your left fingers with one edge at the crease formed where the innermost phalanges meet the palm (Figure 40). Close

your hand loosely around the cards as you rotate

your hand to palm down. In effect the packet has —\

turned end for end but not side over side, though /J^y the impression created is that it has been turned J

over. Push on the end of the packet with your left / /

thumb and the packet will slide along the crease till y^/

it protrudes out the fourth-finger side of the hand \

(Figure 41). The crease acts as a track, keeping the packet in good alignment. When the packet is "through the fist" the right hand approaches and takes it by the front left corner. If the right first finger contacts the left edge while the second finger contacts the front edge (Figure 42), the packet can be pivoted against the left fourth finger until it has turned end for end and the right thumb can lower onto the back (Figure 43). The packet will stay in near-perfect alignment during this pivot.

NOTE: 1 have found a better, albeit slightly more difficult, alternative for the Through-the-Fist Flourish, which I use here. It is my variation of Cer-vons Novrec Turnover, which I refer to as the Semaj-Novrec. Til describe it shortly, when we reach the point where the version involving the secret reversal is used. If you wish to use this alternative, perform an Ail-Around Square-Up, end-for-end twist of the packet. This twist sets up the pattern for the later technique.

Next you will execute a JEHHFOWJ Count. Hold the packet as for an Elmsley Count with the cards in whatever grip you normally use. I use what I term the Mario Flexible Count Grip, which I described in Pasteboard Perpensions (page 4), and will redescribe here for completeness.

THE MARLO FLEXIBLE COUNT GRIP

Take the packet into Pinch Grip, with the right thumb above and the first two fingers below, positioned near the center of the right side. The tip of the right

fourth finger lies against the edge of the packet at its near corner to give added assurance for alignment during the count (Figure 44).

NOTE: 1 have altered the grip position from Mario's, who pinched the packet close to its near corner (see Mario's "Flexible Count" in the December 1963 issue of New Tops, Vol. 3, No. 12, page 22; and also in M.I.N.T., Volume /, 1988, page 37). It should be noted that Mario described the Flexible Count as a left to right hand count with the left hand's Pinch Grip at the near corner of the cards. My grip position also differs slightly but significantly from that described by Mario in his later discussion in Marios Magazine, Volume Three (1979, page 77), in that the tip of the fourth finger provides an alignment stop for cards taken back into the right hand. This left-right alignment stop is more useful, in my estimation, than the front-back alignment stop provided by the finger positioning suggested by Mario.

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