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I usually follow 'The Problem is '
described in Vol,4 No.10 with this effect, the impact being stronger, makes a good finish to the routine. The same cards are used on these occasions, but I will describe it as performed when used as a separate effect.
The spectator sees four face-up cards magically turn face-down, one at a time — their backs then change — each assuming the same multicoloured back. Finally all four cards are seen to have different coloured back designs and are immediately handed out for examination.
It should be performed standing up. You will require a double-backed card, one side being blue with a geometrical pattern as subdued as possible, the other brightly coloured. Also required are the ace, two, three and four of either clubs or spades (black cards are better visually than red). These four cards are chosen from different packs and should have vividly coloured backs, even brighter than the one on the double-backer. The greater the contrast, the more startling the climax.
Arrange the four cards face up in numerical sequence with the ace at the top, and place the double-backer geometrical side up between the two and the three.
With the packet of five cards squared perform the Ascanio Spread which reveals the four face cards only, the blue back of the D/B being hidden behind the two. Remove the two and the D/B as one card and place them, still held as one, on top of the ace as you remark "I am going to cause the ace to turn face downwards."
Square up the packet and Ascanio Spread to reveal the two, three and four still face up with one face down. This face down card which the audience accept to be the face down ace is the D/B with the ace hidden beneath it. Take the D/B and ace as one and place on top of the packet remarking that you will cause the two to do likewise.
Square up the cards and Ascanio, which will show the ace, three and four below the face down top card. Hie audience believe this to be the two which is in fact hidden below the ace. Retaining the spread held in the left hqnd, with the right remove the face down card (the D/B) and push it between the three and four. Saying "I will now cause the face down two to change places with the face up three" Ascanio spread showing, the two now to be face up together with the ace and four. The three is hidden behind the two the audience believing it to be the fade down three. Place these two cards as one, underneath the four at the bottom of the packet and square.
Ascanio to show the four has turned face down — actually it is hidden below the D/B. Place these two cards as one second from the bottom and square. Ascanio once more revealing all four cards face up, the D/B being hidden behind the two. These two cards are placed as one on the bottom of the packet.
You now remark that you are now going to ascertain how closely they have been watching by asking a few questions. "What is the colour of the backs of the cards?" you ask. Whatever the answer you show the backs of all four cards to be of the same design — not blue with a geometrical pattern as they expected, but backs of a bright colour. Actually it is the colour side of the D/B which they see four times by using the "Caboodle" move as explained in Vol.4 No.l.
This sudden change in colour of the backs of the cards is something of a stunner which enables me to bottom palm the D/B and lose it by putting it casually in my pocket. At this moment the audience are somewhat bemused, giving plenty of misdirection making the disposal of the D/B a simple matter, especially as I am at the same time holding out the cards as if for them to be examined, but without letting go of them. This is a 'tease' as the spectators will feel a desire to take a look at the cards, and someone will assuredly extend his hand to take the cards in order to take a closer look, but as his hand is about to make contact I move the cards back out of reach and say "What you have seen may have been some kind of trickery — do you recall how I started? — the cards were in Ace, two, three, four order." Spread out the cards face up and rearrange them, not in their original order, but merely in a manner which appears that you are casually showing the faces once again. This is a continuation of the teasing business — it is the backs of the cards which the spectators are really interested in seeing and by denying them this privilege for a moment or two makes the climax, which is in any case a knockout, even moee effective.
Square up the cards and hold them as shown in sketch (1) the right hand taking the top card. The right hand now takes the next two cards as one from the left hand leaving the first card taken beneath the two in the left hand. This is the wellknown Elmsley Count move, but instead of continuing the count in the usual way the right hand turns over bringing the two cards it holds backs uppermost (2) and takes the remaining two cards, one at a time, from the left hand on top of the two face down cards it is holding.
During the above action it should appear that the cards are being shown separately and not being counted to prove that you are only using four cards. As each card is taken the hands move well apart using rather broader gestures than is the common practice when the Elmsley Count is being performed.
When the right hand is turned over after taking the two cards as one, it is done when the two hands are well apart, and as the right hand is returning to take the third card. To enable this and the subsequent fourth card to be taken with the right hand it is necessary for the index finger to move to the outer end of the two cards and the tips of the second and third fingers to press on the face of the card. The right thumb is now free to move off the cards which are now held with the fingers. See sketch (3) for a worms eye view. As the right hand takes the third card the left thumb pushes it to the right feeding it into the right hand above the two face down cards, the right thumb pulling it more or less square with the two face down cards. The left hand pushes the remaining card into the right hand above the three already there and then transfer the packet to the left hand.
The passing of the cards from the left hand to the right hand should be made as casual as possible and whilst the spectators may get a flash of the back of a ckrd as the right hand turns the two cards over and the third card is taken it is not really important and any attempt to prevent this happening is wasted effort as it will be accepted as the, back of the multicoloured card which has been safely disposed of.
The four cards — two face up followed by two face down — are now Elmsley Counted using the same grip as shown in (1) and the third card will be face downwards displaying a multicoloured back different from the one previously seen. When this appears during the count it should be jogged forward, and after the fourth card is taken on top, this face down card should be stripped out and placed (still face down) on the bottom.
Still using the same grip, the right hand takes the two face up cards at the top of the
packet one at a time and turns over as shown in (2). Simultaneously the left thumb spreads the two cards it holds showing them to be backs uppermost, as, without hesitation the right hand returns and slides the two cards it holds beneath the two in the left hand, and in one continuous movement (with the thumbs on the backs of the cards and the fingers below) spread the cards to display them showing each card to have a distinctly different multi-coloured back design.
In making the above spread the inner ends of the cards should be raised, sketch (4) gives the spectators view, and by moving the thumbs back and forth cause them to be kept in motion for a second or two without actually separating them. This movement is difficult to explain, but the visual effect bears some resemblance to that achieved when performing the Ascanio Spread, different parts of the backs of the cards being brought into view during the action.
This latter part of the routine in which all the backs are seen to have different designs is a complete knockout to the audience and is greatly enhanced if the performer has sufficient acting ability to convey his own disbelief at what is happening to the cards.
Conclude by reluctantly? handing the cards to a nearby spectator.
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