Traveling With Mike

After Hours Magic: A Book of Al Thatcher Card Magic

Encyclopedia of Card Tricks

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One of my favorite Magic books of all times is Stars of Magic, if you do not own this book, it has recently been reprinted and Is one of the best books available on close up magic.

Stars of Magic is were I first read Dai Vernon's Travelers, I loved the trick but had a hard time at the time with one of the palms which involved pivoting the top card of the deck into the left hand while removing the deck with right hand. I just couldn't make it look right at a point when the heat was on. So I made a few changes and came up with this version I have been using for quite a while.

In my version the final card ends in up in an envelope in my wallet. I am aware some magicians do not agree with having the final card kicker, arguing that it demeans the previous three cards in the pockets. I disagree, In working for real people I have found the finale works to just let the routine build, also the envelope has my contact info on it, giving the spectator a souvenir than can sell on Ebay for the big bucks.

Set Up

In my left inside jacket pocket I have a Balducci Wallet, this wallet has an entrance in it to receive a card and load it into the envelope. Alternatively you could use a stack of envelopes loading the card in to one in the center. The envelope idea is from Paul LePaul, and in print in the card magic of Paul LePaul.

I have a sharpie available.

The envelope that goes into the wallet has been prepared by cutting a hole near the bottom with a pocket knife, then the envelope is sealed and inserted in the wallet in preparation to be loaded. I also stamp fragile, open with care over the envelope just for decoration, most importantly though I have a label with my contact information over the seal in the envelope.


I have one of the spectators name a number from one to ten, removing all the cards of the value they named. Lets say they say two, all the twos get removed from the deck and handed to a spectator to my far right, this assists in covering angles in loading the wallet later. I have the spectator initial all four cards.

While the cards are being initialed I ask someone else if they want to see it the easy way or the hard way, 99.9% of the time they will say hard way. While asking easy or hard way I casually top palm (I use the one handed top palm) an indifferent card off the top off the deck and place it in my right Pants pocket.

I put the Sharpie away, and fan the deck face up in front of me and take one of initialed cards and insert it into the fan fifth from the top of the deck outjogged, the other three cards are inserted outjogged into the deck in the bottom half of the face up deck in preparation for a Simple Multiple shift which I believe is Ed Marlo's, If I am wrong I hope someone will set me straight.

I close the fan keeping the four cards outjogged for about half of their length, Holding the deck face up in my left hand the left forefinger pushes the four cards into the deck while the left thumb maintains light pressure on the top card of the face up deck. This action causes a block of cards to protrude from the inner end of the deck, I grab the protruding block of cards and

Strip them out of the deck and in a continuing action Hindu shuffle the cards onto the deck. When this is done, on the top of the deck I will have four Indifferent cards, then the four selections (the Two's). I take the deck (face down) in my right hand and over hand shuffle the top four cards of the deck, leaving the selections on the top off the deck. My patter at this point is that I could find the cards the easy way by looking thru the deck,. To match the patter I quickly fan the cards face up in front of me, The reason for this is to double check all the cards are on top. As I close the deck I get a break above the top two cards of the deck(two of the initialed twos.) I then state they wanted to see it the hard way. As the deck is being removed from the left hand by the right hand I bottom palm the two selections into the left hand. I tell the spectators about a little magic move called the wiggle (not to be confused with the Wiggles), With my right hand, I wiggle the deck a little. The left hand falls naturally to my side with the two palmed cards as I wiggle the deck. The right hand then places the deck back in my left hand on top of the palmed cards.

Showing my right hand empty I reach into my right pants pocket pulling the indifferent card halfway out of the pants pocket and then putting it back in. I confidently state that's card number one. My right hand takes the deck from the left hand without pausing, the left hand goes into the left pants pockets with the palmed cards and then pulls one of the palmed cards halfway out of the pocket. I transfer the cards back to the left hand so my right can open my jacket. I state the third card is in my jacket pocket, then transfer the deck back into my right hand in preparation for a one hand top palm. I open the left side of the jacket with my left hand stating the last card is in the inner left pocket.

While showing the inner left jacket pocket I palm the top card of the deck into my right hand.

Then acting hurt as though nobody believes me the deck is tossed into the left hand, my right hand goes directly into my right pants pocket with the palmed card, Pulling the card out of the pocket displaying the initialed card from my left to the right. I either table the first initialed card or in walk around situations handed to the person on my right who initialed the card. My right hand takes the deck so my left hand can pull one of the initialed cards from the pocket. While pulling the card out of the pocket with my left hand, my right hand top palms the top card.

The initialed card is displayed and given to the spectator to hold, the deck is tossed back into the left hand as the right hand goes to the inner left jacket pocket and loading the card into the wallet. This is the reason I have the card initialed by some one on the right, my body is naturally turned to the right when giving them the previous card blocking any angles into the jacket as the wallet is loaded.

I act as though something has gone wrong and I can't find the card, In a bit of a panic the left hand takes the deck as my right checks its back pants pocket. Not finding the card there, the deck gets transferred back to my right hand and my left goes into the left pants pocket searching for the missing card. While in the pocket the left hand takes the card in the pocket into palm.

Acting as I know where it went, the left hand comes out of the pants pocket and goes directly to my right inner jacket pocket producing the card from there.

This part of not finding the card takes just a couple of moments and looks like I just lost something important and am searching somewhat franticly for it.

With one card to go I hand the deck to someone to hold as my left hand opens the left side of the jacket while my right hand pulls the inner left jacket pocket open so I can peek inside, acting like I am perplexed I pull the wallet out of the pocket so I can get a better look in the jacket pocket. Suddenly my eyes go the wallet and have a revelation, Opening up the wallet I open the zipper and pull out the envelope tearing it open, showing it from left to right, then having the spectator who initialed the card pull it out of the envelope confirming it has there initial on the card.

Of course I let them keep the envelope with contact information.

I am left with an indifferent card in my right pants pocket that I put back into the deck as a walk away. Resetting the envelope takes about 3 seconds as I go to the next group.

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