Whatever concept youlogiXmtM you could use a

SSd Ihe selection Whatever procedure you choose, die spectator's rani » now on top and you know what it fa We will assume it is die Nine of Hearts.

Mold Ihe deck face down in left-hand dealing jxKition as your right hand picks up die Ace farthest to your right and uses it as a scoop to gather die odier three Aces. Thus you end up holding die four face-up Aces in your right hand. The order of the Aces doesn't matter, as long as you get the Ace matching the suit of the caul you've just glimpsed to the face of the Ace packet. In our case, tliis would be die Ace of Hearts. While attention is on that hand, your left little linger obtains a break below die top card of the deck.

You will now use the Braue addition to exchange the Ace of Hearts for the Nine of Hearts. Momentarily place the Ace packet onto the deck and, using die mechanics detailed in uThe Secret Addition of Cards" (Volume lt page 208), secretly add the facedown Nine of Hearts below the (ace-up Aces. (The illustration shows the last phase of die addition procedure.)

Now, using die actions of the Braue addition (Vfjlume /, page 204), show each of die firet tliree Aces as you flip them face down onto the deck. Set die fourth Ace (lets say it is the Ace of Spades, with the Nine of Hearts hidden beneath it) face up on die deck and point to it.

The procedure that consists of die secret addition and die Braue addition can be justified by explaining, "The Aces will help in determining the identity qj'your ami. Take the face-up Ace of Spades into your right hand and turn it face down as you place it to your right on the table. Then deal the next tliree cards, supposedly the other three Aces, from right to left, to die left of die Ace of Spades, fonning a factMiown four-caid row. Lets define thfr* cards as King at Positions A, B, C and D, workingfrom left toright. Your audience believes tiiese carets to l>c die four Acre. However, the canJ diinl from the left (at Position Q is die spectator*

chosen card, the Nine of Hearts.

, rbv asking him, "Please name a number ^Ouscardonthespecr^ not neCessary to say "between one

You are now fi^o&M and choice to two and three, since this of these numbe^ co fonvald _____

As an added subtlety you can use die following ruse: As soon as he says the number— for instance, two—look hack at die four cards on die table and gesture from D to A as you explain, *Sb there are one, two, three,J\pur Aces, and you will determine one. "Accompanying your worrls, you point to each card from D to A individually, casually establishing tJuit D is one and A is four. Look up again at liim; "What did you say?" He will repeat "two", whereupon you count, "One, heo," again starting at D and stopping at C. This strategy removes any possible doubt in the mind of die thinking spectator diat you could have niisinteq:>reted die spectators choice by counting from die odier end Of course, if he says, Three," you use exactly the same strategy, counting from A to D.

T\im the three Aces face up on die table. It is pleasing to the eye if you do it with an even riiythm in this way: Your left hand turns the Ace at A lace up, dien your right hand turns up the Ace at D, following which your left hand turns up die Ace at B, all with a smooth, even riiythm. The result is shown in the illustration.

, uu yuu ° 1 ne MS»MSoijbwrt In my experience, this happens rarely provided you have «tetotahed a good rappoit with your audience ¡nd t aunojeie of cu lenge. Simply proceed briskly into the coi^s choire wZ™

page 440) turning he Aces face up in the pKXS* You M eventually arrive at die desirS

wh'011 ™ 1 ^sPec,iaiorhaschosenthe Aceol 11« ui s Ask him the

selection and act «pitted when he tells you it was a heart card * I told iioil the cmls awimmmm m cards krum "Althoughthis is only a small surprise, it adds charm and intrigue to the procedure and adds dramatic believability to what is about to happen.

Take die face-down card at C, the Nine of r---v

Hearts, which the audience believes to be die Ace of Hearts, and hold it as depicted in the illustration. Slowly bend the canJ back and forth producing a curious cracking sound, intended to symbolize the ritual of transformation. Then slowly turn die card face up, as Dai Vernon often mentioned, first toward yourself and dien towani the audience, adding a touch of suspense and drama to die revelalioa If you look at die can! as it is turned over and change your facial expression as soon as you see die face of the card, you can add to the effect of diis dramatic bit

As you hold die card face up in your right hand, casually | rick up the deck in face«lown lefl liand dealing |x)sition( in readiness for the top changr (Volume 1, page 233; see as well Tbp

Cliange Covers" in Volume i, page 236).

The effect dial has just taken place is impressive to any audience, and the spectators will show their appreciation through dieir reactions. Pause a few seconds to let diis moment develop, then use the top cliange to switch die Nine of 1 (earls in your right hand for the top card of the deck, the Ace of Hearts. Place the Ace of Hearts—supposedly die Nine—fare down at Position C, the position it apparency occupied a minute earlier, lb justify picking up die deck, you can briefly fan it widi the faces toward die audience (taking care not to flash the Nine of Hearts on top) as you comment, "Awl you C0iM have taken any other ami. Vic cards stW would have known. "Nowquietly drop the deck lace down at die inner left sector of the tabletop, where it receives die least attention. You now introduce the final phase.

Begin by fuming the Aces again fare down, as diey were in the begfnnlng-die drele begins to close. Tb strengthen die construction of die handBnft use the same actions you used earlier to turn die Aces face up: The lefl hand turns the Are at A down, then the right hand turns die Ace at D down, and finally the left hand turns the Ace at B d< >wri

For die unexpected finale, turn the four cards lace up again revealing aD four Am » at die start: You, left hand ili* turns up die Ace at A, then the nght hard turns ij>ilieAa aI U

then die lefl luuid turns up the Are ¿it B and, after a HU,,,u'n! s ik ql lt^sii u, > the Ace at C. 11 lis is o insistent with your previous handling and adds a pleasing a*ht Oc

touch that nms iJiiDUgh the presentation as a connecting visual thread To end, hand out th< four Aces to the same spectator who inspected them in the beginning, bringing to an end 1

amazing effect dial offeis great chaim c 1

1 I have experimented with different fin-ishes, in which the spectator selection Ls ref>roduced in one way or another after it has vanished Howevtr, IVe found it added nothing to die effect; on the raitraiy, it diminished same of the inherent nwtey If the control, die Bnuie addition and the top change are conrpetentjy executed, the spectator will experience die sensation of the Ace dianging into their card and then back to the Ace, like the aj >parition and Vanish of a ghost in a Scottish castle in a cold winter night clouded by thin fog etc.

1 This routine is a wonderfi il exercise for Iiractidng the top change, as it conies at a completely unexpected moment. The spectators won't register die change, even if their eyes see it. My experience, though, has taught me not to execute the top dhange too early. If you do it While the audience is still reacting, and react they will, they might diink lack When you titer show die Ace of Hearts, and realise that you switched die (are! when they weren't looking. I low right thev are and what a dilemma

Final Notes diis is. The solution I found is to keep die transformed Nine of Hearts (ace up over Position C (previously occupied by the card ), as 1 leisurely and casually pick up the deck. 1 keep the card face up and motionless for five seconds or a little longer, which is the time die audience needs to react. Thai HI relax, leaning very sliglidy back, which is enough to bring the card over the deck, where il is switched for die Ace. I immediately lean forward once more, and hold die now face-down can! again over Position C, as my left hand retains die deck. When I have everyone's attention, 1 drop the card in my right liand face down into Position C, but a little forward in die row, so thai when the spectators look back at the spread they remember the image you established earlier. I liave found dial by managing die movements and the positions in tiiis manner, more clarity is achieved and it makes it easier for the audience to lielieve, in a tiieatrical and an artistic sense, dial die Nine lias changed back into die Ace.

slow Henry

A^ve been a^mblmg smce Ponsin described a basic version with a faced deck in I,is NouvdleMagie Blanche Dewillfo," if hot earlier. Many years later Lin Searics introduced the notion that the Aces might travel singly, that is, immediately filter an A«- liad Nanished fnim its pile, this Ace was shown to have arrived in the leader pile. This was (hen rv, >eated with the other two Aces, until all the Aces had gathered Dai Varum was responsible for p<ipulariang the plot, especially in English-speaking countries.« The Professors work luts inspired num> othere to derive pereonal interpretations, of which those by Aituro de Ascanio are among Ihe most remarkable.« My involvement with tins plot lias also lieen influenced by a version Frank Garcia described in his Suiter Subtle Card Miracles, in which the Aces unexpectedly fly from the leafier pile to the pile occupied by Uie third Ace.1' Other influences were Peter Kane's "Jazz Aces"41 and Darwin Ortiz's "Hitchcock Aces".1,1

Effect Xjj

Four Acts <ire each covered with diree indifferent cards. T\vo Aces vanish one after the other, from their piles and assemble in the leader pile, commanded by the Ace of Spades When the last Ace apparently fails to undertake its voyage, it is seen that it lias attracted all the Aces from die leader pile—and tliat pile now contains four indifferent cards!

Constnict ion, Management and Script

There is no noteworthy preparation necessary, aside from seeing dial the four Act's ;ire distributed more or less evenly throughout the deck. You have a lot of leeway, since all that matters is dial no two Aces lie side by side For die puipoae of this explanation well assume dial when you spread the deck face up in your hands, you will first rim acmes the Ace of Spades, then the Ace of Hearts, the Ace ofCluhs and finally die Ace of Diamonds. We will also say that about a dozen cards lie above the Ace of Spades.

Having the Act* in diis order easily te you to establish the pnrftai of each Aoe in the

start from a shuffled deck (sec- Final Note) using the sition clearer and therefore stronger. Actually, it is easy to obtain die required amm*

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