Take Three

PETER WARLOCK

THOUGH a spectator has to assist the performer with this card trick, he doesn't have to take a card!

The pack is removed from its case and placed on the table. A spectator is then invited to shuffle the cards, replace them face down on the table and cut the pack into three approximately equal piles.

One of these piles is chosen and the remaining two returned to the card case. Taking the heap chosen the performer ribbonspreads these cards asking the spectator to push out any three cards. When he has done this the performer removes three visiting cards from his pocket, places them on the table, and once again troubling the spectator he hands him a pencil, he asks him to note the name of each card on one of the visiting cards. When this has been accomplished, the three cards still face down are returned to different parts of the packet. The visiting cards are turned writing side down and mixed by the spectator. One of these is chosen and without looking to see what is written on it the performer places it upon the pile of cards and taps it three times with his first finger. "Just look at the name on the card and tell me what it is," says the performer to the spectator. The latter looks at the card and possibly reads out, "Ace of Clubs". "Believe it or not, sir, with a continuation of the '3' motif, when I tapped the pile of cards three times your card vanished with the intention of joining the cards you discarded and which were replaced in the card case. Just see for yourself." At this point the performer turns the pile of cards on the table face up and ribbonspreads them. The selected card is missing. Carefully removing the remaining cards from the card case, the performer ribbonspreads them face up across the table. Near the middle of the spread one card lies face down. "Just remove that card" says the performer to the spectator. He does so and on turning it over finds that he holds the missing card, the "Ace of Clubs".

Now whilst there are very many ways in which the above result could be accomplished, my chief thought has been that of allowing the spectator a free handling of the cards until the actual climax of the trick. As a table trick, one can impress so many times on a spectator that he shuffled the pack, he cut the cards into three heaps and so on. With this thought in focus, a gimmick was brought into play, a gimmick whose task is to place the necessary card face up in a face down pack packet of cards. It is easily made from a strip of tin which equals in width the inside breadth of the card case you will be using. This strip of tin is first bent into this shape:

and then, with a pair of pliers pinched in so that it looks like this:

This piece of shaped tin is now cut so that it exactly fits into the card case.

With a pack of cards and some visiting cards plus the card case and gimmick and you are almost ready for the presentation. It is important that one of the visiting cards can easily be identified from the printed side. That is a matter for the individual. Any form of marking used should be subtle even though the spectator has little opportunity for close inspection. This marked visiting card is placed on top of a dozen or so undoctored visiting cards which are slipped inside the performer's wallet.

JULY 1955

One card, say the "Ace of Clubs", is removed from the pack and is slipped inside the tin holder which in turn is pushed inside the card case. If the gimmick has been made correctly the card will take up a central position. About half a dozen cards are now removed from the remainder of the pack. This incomplete pack is divided into halves each half being placed inside the card case with the card in the gimmick dividing them. Because of the abstraction of the six cards from the pack proper, it will be found that all these cards can be slid out of the case without any chance of disturbing the anchored "Ace of Clubs". The flap of the card case is now tucked in and with a pencil in a convenient pocket the performer is ready to commence.

Presentation. Seating himself at the table, the performer turns to a spectator on his left asking for assistance. At the same time the card case is picked up, the flap opened and all the cards with the exception of the one in the gimmick, are allowed to slide out. The performer keeps the open end of the case towards himself so that there is no possibility of anyone spectator glimpsing the anchored card. The pack is passed to the spectator who is asked to give it a thorough shuffle. When this is completed he is further requested to cut the pack into three approximately equal heaps.

At this point, though it doesn't matter a Tinker's Cuss which heaps are .eliminated, later the performer has to force one of the visiting cards upon the spectator and therefore it is preferable that a similar form of selection be adopted here.

"Just touch two heaps", says the conjurer, and the spectator oblingingly does as he is told. The untouched heap is placed to one side, and the performer takes these two heaps assembling them into one pile, turning them over and ribbon-spreading them across the table. The purpose of this, without any audible comment, is to show that the cards are all facing the same way and that no one card is face down. The cards are now gathered up and replaced in the card case so that the anchored card not only goes amongst them, but also that it is facing the reverse way. The card case is now placed down this time the spectators being allowed to see inside the case.

The third heap of cards is turned face up and ribbonspread to show that every card is different. With a finger flick the spread is turned face down and the spectator asked to touch three cards which are then pushed out of the spread. The remaining cards in the spread are now gathered up into a facedown pile which is placsd near the edge of the table.

At this point the conjurer removes his wallet and taking out the packet of visiting cards, counts off three, one at a time, in front of the spectator. The effect of this will be that the marked card which was on top of the packet is now the bottom card of the pile of three. The remaining visiting cards are now replaced in the wallet and the pencil taken and handed to the spectator.

"As I name the cards that you have chosen from this pile (the performer indicates the pile near the edge of the table) I want you to record very briefly their values on the three cards I have given you. One name to each card."

The performer now picks up one of the cards with his left hand brings it over to his right, looks at it and names it. At this point he allows his right hand to drop a little so that the spectators can see the face of the card. The spectator having written the initials of the card on the top visiting card, places this aside and the conjurer takes one of the remaining cards with his left hand once again bringing it across to the right and placing it behind the first card. Again he names it and the spectator writes. Again the right hand drops a little so that the index of the second card can be seen. And now the performer speeds up the tempo. "And thirdly," taking the remaining card with his left hand, "the 'Ace of Clubs'." His action this time differs slightly for he brings the third up, glances down at it, and whatever it may be miscalls it the 'Ace of Clubs'. He places it behind the other two cards so that they just kill the index. If the action of picking up these cards is perfectly natural, there should be no suspicion in the minds of the spectators that there has been a miscall. In any case at this point they have no knowledge of what is to come.

The three cards in the conjurer's hand are now turned face down and taking the pile of cards near the edge of the table, and keeping the faces down, the performer takes the topmost card of the pile of three (this is the miscalled card) and pushes it halfway into the middle of the pack. The second card goes halfway in a few cards above it whilst the third also halfway in a few cards below it. The packet is now turned face up and the spectators have a sight of three cards protruding from the pack. The face of the one they see is, of course, the first card called. The packet is now turned face down and three protruding cards pushed into the packet which is squared up and placed once more near the edge of the table.

The spectator is then asked to take the three visiting cards, turn them writing side downwards, and mix them, so that neither he nor anyone present can have any idea which card bears the name of a particular card. When he has done this the conjurer takes them and places them side by side on the table. "Now, sir," says the conjurer to the spectator, "will you touch two of the cards." If he touches the two unmarked cards, the performer is well away, for these two cards are taken and placed aside. If, however, the marked card is included, the untouched card is placed aside and the spectator asked to lift one of his hands from the cards he is touching. This works to the conjurer's advantage each way. If he frees the marked card, the conjurer says, "Thank you, let's place the other one aside."

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