This is a variation of the "Surprise Collectors", described in Mentzer's "Card Cavalcade". I have featured it extensively over the last three or four years and during that time have considerably altered the handling.
Take the pack and with the backs of the cards towards the audience run through, upjogging the four kings. Remove the kings, placing them in a face down packet on the table. Do not allow anyone to see their faces yet. Explain that you will show the cards to the audience in a few moments.
Take the pack, face up in the left hand and spread the cards into the right. Make this spread as wide as possible. Turn to a spectator on your left and ask him/her to point to any card in the face up spread that he/she thinks will be easily remembered.
When a card has been pointed to, break the spread below this card, so that it is the bottom one in the right hand. Turn the right hand back upwards and deposit the chosen card face down on the table in front of the spectator. Place the rest of the cards back in the left hand and hold the pack face up there. Ask the spectator on the left if he/she can remember the name of the card. Whatever the answer, turn up the card with the right hand, showing its face and repeating its value. Replace it face down on the table and have the spectator place his/her hand over it.
Turn to a spectator on your right and spread out the cards to have.a second one chosen. However, this time a sleight is executed. The pack is face up in the left hand and its thumb pushes the top card to the right to begin the spread. The second card is pushed off in the same way. The third and fourth cards are pushed over together. They need not be in alignment, so long as they are pushed over together in the same movement. The right fingers now reach for the fourth card pulling it under the spread of three until it is about an inch further to the right than the third card. This enables the fifth card to be pushed between it and the card. In other words it is pulled out of the spread, which continues over the top of it. This is one of Fred Robinson's moves, originally designed to be used as a force.
Continue to spread the cards over the top of the original fourth card, until a fairly wide spread has been attained. Then invite a spectator on your right to point to one.
A good piece of misdirection to use to hide the steal of the fourth card is as follows. As you reach the point at which you push off the third and fourth cards together, suddenly turn to the spectator on your left and say, "You haven't forgotten that your card was the..." and pretend to dry up as though you have forgotten it yourself. This can look quite funny, as well as affording plenty of cover for making the move.
With the cards held in a wide spread, have the right hand spectator point to one. Break the spread below this card, so that it is apparently the bottom card of those in the right hand. In fact there is the original fourth card secretly below it, but well over to the right.
Turn the right hand back up as though to place the card face down on the table as previously. During the turning, the right fingers straighten out, causing the stolen card to slide across the backs of the others and end up where the chosen card should be. It is this card and not the chosen one that is placed on the table in front of the spectator. Ask him or her to put one hand over it.
Reassemble the pack, so that the second spectator's card goes to the bottom of the face up pack. Spread out the cards so that a third spectator can point to one. Place this one face down in front of that person, in exactly the same way as with the first card chosen.
Put the two halves of the pack together and take it face down in the left hand. The second spectator's card should now be the one on top. Get a left little finger break below this card.
Call attention to the four kings on the table. Pick them up with the right hand, fanning them, faces towards the audience. Drop them face up on the pack and square thejji,, at the same time picking up the top card of the pack with them. Move all five cards to the position shown in Fig.l. All the actions from first picking up the kings to arriving at this position should be made in one continuous movement.
When the cards are in the position shown in Fig.l, the left middle finger feels for the edge of the top card of the pack, and pushes it upwards thus creating an opening between the top card of the pack proper and the rest of the
cards. This action is completely masked by the packet of kings. The action can be facilitated by the left thumb moving the top card to the right ever so slightly. Fig. 2 shows the position.
Under the guise of showing the four kings separately the following actions take place
1) The right hand removes the face king from the packet, shows it back and front then returns it to the bottom of the packet. It goes directly below the spectator's card (not into the opening held by the middle finger).
2) The second king is taken and shown on both sides. This is apparently placed on the bottom of the packet, but in reality it is inserted into the opening below the top card of the pack. It is lined up with the packet though, to aid the illusion.
3) The third king is taken and this is also placed into the opening, going below the second king.
4) With the right hand, point to the fourth king, but do not remove it from the packet. At this point the left second finger can release its break.
The right hand now apparently lifts the packet of kings clear from the pack and places it down on the table. What in fact happens is that the right hand takes the packet from above, in the Biddle grip (fingers at the outer end, thumb at the inner) and slides it to the position shown in Fig. 3. The left first and second fingers plus the right little finger assist in this action by pushing on the right edge of the packet. (The right hand is not shown in Fig. 3 for the sake of clarity).
When the cards reach the Fig.3 position, do not pause, but straight away, begin to move the top three cards of the packet forwards in the direction of the arrow shown in the diagram. These are the three cards above the pack. As soon as the packet begins to move forward, the left forefinger comes up beneath the packet and pushes the two bottom cards flush into the pack. It is vitally important that you do not glance at the hands during this move.
When the two lower cards are safely in the pack, directly below the top card, lift the packet clear and, by releasing the hold of the middle finger, cause the packet to snap smartly into the position shown in Fig.4. It is held between the forefinger and thumb.
The position will now be, that instead of four kings as the audience suppose, you are holding two kings, with the second spectator's card reversed between them. In the pack are two reversed kings with an indifferent card on top of them. The three spectators, each believe that they are holding their own chosen cards, but in fact the second spectator (the one on the right) has an indifferent card.
Place the king packet face up on the table, neatly squared.
Turn to the spectator on your left and ask him/her to name the card he/she is holding. While doing so, obtain a break below the second card and set the pack for the well known Tilt move.
Insert the first spectator's card, face down into the break, saying that you will push it into the centre of the pack. The card will now be between the two face up kings. Allow the break to close, then take the pack in the right hand and dribble it onto the table, emphasising that the card is really lost.
Pick up the pack and place it back into the left hand. Under cover of this action, get a break below the top card and hold this with the left little finger.
Undercut half the pack and place it on top, without losing the break. Take the third spectator's card and insert it into the break. Release the break but do not push the card right in. Leave it projecting for about half its length.
Take the pack into the right hand and hold it aloft, allowing all to see that the card really is going into the middle of the pack. Return the pack to the left hand and push the card home, at the same time obtaining a little finger break above it.
Finally, take the second spectator's card and, without showing its face, drop it on top of the pack and cut the cards at the break, completing the cut. An important psychological point here, is not to lay stress on what the cards are but on where abouts in the pack they go. The audience have just seen one card fairly pushed into the centre, so emphasise that the third card goes into a different place by putting it on top and cutting. In this way, stress is taken off the identity of the card.
At this point the audience should believe that the three chosen cards Eire lost in the pack and that the four kings are on the table. In reality only two kings are-on the table with one of the chosen cards between them. On top of the pack is a chosen card, with a face up king below it, beneath that is the second chosen card with another face up king below it. The pack is in the left hand.
Pick up the kings, in the Biddle grip, with the right hand. Explain that they are the four collector's and that they find chosen cards, but they have to be livened up first. To do this you rub them against your left elbow. During this bit of business the pack is completely hidden by the right arm. Take advantage of this to quickly thumb count four cards from the top and obtain a flesh break below them with the base of the thumb. As soon as you have this break, stop the rubbing and resume a normal position.
Hold the pack at table level and hold the supposed four kings, still in the Biddle grip, about 18 inches above it. Dramatically count one...two...three... On the count of three, slap the kings down onto the pack, but do not release the right hand's hold on them. With the right middle finger and thumb seize all the cards above the break. Do not lift the cards clear of the pack. Move the pack away to the left. Do not hesitate in moving the pack away. The pack should move away the instant the packet of kings touches it.
Place the kings on the table and spread the packet, revealing three face down cards between them. The cards will be in the correct sequence. The one on the left will be the left hand spectator's, the middle one will be the third spectator's and the right hand one the right hand spectator's.
This is a very startling effect when correctly performed. Get the timing right, study the misdirection and you will have an excellent piece of magic.
We have decided to bring the magazine up to date — at a stroke. You may have noticed that we have jumped from August Vol.4 No. 12 to January Vol.5 No.l. This will no doubt cause confusion, not only to future collectors, but also to present readers who skip this column.
A letter from Donald Crombie called our attention to the 'Cry Wolf' effect in the Phil Goldstein issue in which some sleights required in the effect were not explained. These can all be found in Jerry Mentzer's book Counts, Moves and Subtlety. This is a 'must' for newcomers to small packet card tricks, however I will give a brief explanation of the sleights next month.
This is a Walt Lees issue — his second one. Walt recently lectured to members of the Magic Circle and sold many of his notes — indicating that they liked what they saw. The Professor who was there punted for a set and had remarked favourably on the lecture, specifically with regard to the clarity of both the diction and the explanations.
The enthusiasm of the Professor (part of his secret) continues unabated — he has been seen working on Eric Mason's 'The Problem is...' — see Vol.4 No. 10. Eric continues to gain approval for this effect and 'Beauideal' described in the following issue when performing in the Blenheim Bar.
Obie O'Brien writes to say that the New York Luncheon Table now meets at the 'Gaiety', 224 West 47th Street on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from twelve noon to two pm — that Derek Dingle does the pass better than anyone he has yet seen — that there is a little town in the State of Illinois called Divernon.
Some issues back we mentioned Bill Spooner's work with the hooked coin and at the time did not know the price of his booklet Here's "HOO" with Coins. Bill informs me the price is three dollars plus fifty cents if you want it mailed. Ken Brooke has it in stock and will be happy to sell visitors to The Magic Place a copy.
Thanks to Ron Macmillan for allotting us space at his always successful International Day of Magic enabling us to meet and chat with old friends in comfort.
Had hoped to bring this column up to date together with this issue. Hopefully, this will be done next month. The Blackpool Magic Club's 27th Annual One Day Convention is on Sunday the 25th of February — see you there.
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