Gather Round Mystery For The Club Night

by Mystico

At last, something for the card manipulators which is not only intriguing and mystifying in itself, but exploits the suspicion of the audience (a rare thing), and dumbfounds the knowing ones! On top of all that, it has humour which mounts in value and is not merely left until the last moment.

"Chasing the Ladies" is essentially an item for a club evening, or one of those affairs where the lads and lassies can gather round. It may sound a little complicated as you read through the routine for the first time. Actually it is a very workable idea; so read it at least twice—and then work it on yourself. The result will be "Ah, yes—I must try them with that one". Well, here goes:—

The four Queens are removed from the pack and laid face upwards, whilst the performer patters to the effect that ladies are invariab'y difficult to follow but, nevertheless, have a habit of hanging together through thick and thin. To prove this, he places the Queens face down on top of the pack, turns it over with faces uppermost and shuffles.

The shuffle is false and as it is somewhat unusual, is given here in detail, since it is the master key to the trick.

Holding the pack in the RH, irregular numbers of cards are transferred to the LH— which holds them between thumb and first finger—being alternatively placed over and under the cards already held in the LH.

Just after the middle of the pack is passed, two cards are s!ipped beneath the cards in the LH—as part of the normal shuffle —but are actually slid between the first and second fingers of the LH, where they are held. This is concealed by cards in front. The rest of the pack is now shuffled into the LH, care being taken that the last half dozen go under the pack in the LH.

On squaring the cards, the two beneath join their brethren, and the pack is turned up —the top six being two ordinary cards followed by the four Queens.

The performer now announces that the Queens are somewhere in the pack, he "knows not where". This usually brings a challenge concerning the bottom and/or top card (or pretend to hear one). The bottom and top cards are therefore shown and replaced in the pack.

The performer then says he can only find the Queens by using the magic number 16. Just as he is about to continue—or earlier if challenged—he again shows the bottom and top card—removing them and rep'acing them in the pack (This now leaves the Queens on top). As can be seen, a great deal of by-play is occasioned by arousing the audience's suspicion.

The cards are now dealt into four piles, as follows: 1, 2, 3, and 4. (This gets rid of the Queens). Now the performer completes his four piles of 4 by dealing two cards on to pile 1, and another slyly from the bottom (not too quickly—so it can be spotted). After showing reluctance to let the audience see this card it is turned up—and replaced.

Piles 2, 3 and 4 are now completed by adding cards from both top and bottom of the pack as though a crafty method is in full swing (and how!). Most spectators insist on seeing two or three of the cards being dealt— giving more occasion for reluctance to show them, and so on. Naturally, they only see ordinary—not court—cards. If no one challenges at this stage, during the dealing, a card is looked at as though you want to change it for another. The spectators usually bite on that!

A pile is now turned over and one Queen only is seen. The performer admits defeat, but asks a "victim" to assist him.

Collecting up the four piles they are re-dealt again, leaving the Queens all together in pi'e 4. The victim is now told he can have three chances to find the ladies.

First he is invited to indicate one pile, from pi es 1 and 2. Whichever is chosen, the performer hesitates, says "Well-er-let's look at this one," and turns over the one nof indicated.

If the victim insists on seeing his "chosen" pile, turn it over and show him—or proceed to a choice between piles 2 and 3 (or 1 and 3 as the case may be).

CHASING THE LADIES—Continued

The performer now tel s his victim that he has had two out of his three chances and there are only two piles left; so, to help him, he will take away one of the pi'es—giving a hearty wink to the audience so that the victim sees it a'so.

The performer takes now the pile No. 3, containing ordinary cards, and waits for the victim to bite.

In 99 cases out of 100 he does the 'smart a'ec' stuff, and asks to see the cards you have taken away—in which case the laugh is right bang on him.

If not, say before you turn the pack on fable over, "How clever of you to choose the correct pile from the one I left you," and the victim gets it just the same !

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