The Atomic Aces

Effect: The four aces are removed from the pack, along with four spot cards. The aces and indifferent cards are clearly alternated in one face-down pile. Yet, with no other action, they separate, the aces collecting at the Lop.

The ace of spades and one spoL card are Lhen nominaLed as leaders for Lheir groups. The oLher three aces are placed face-down behind the ace of spades, and Lhe Lhree indifferenl cards behind their leader card. When the packeLs are switched, the cards magically conform Lo maLch the leader cards now before them. This is demonstrated several times.

Next the aces are laid out in a row, wiLh Lhe ace of spades above them, and three indifferent cards are dealt onto each. Though there is positively an ace in each packeL, Lhree of Lhem cleanly vanish, and are found Lo have joined Lhe ace of spades as ifs Lhree accompanying cards.

This lasL effect is repeated under even more rigorous conditions. The ace of spades is this time buried face-up in one half of the pack and this is given to someone to hold. Indifferent cards are again dealt onto the other three aces and, Lhough they are clearly seen in the packets, they vanish completely. When the spectator spreads through his packet he finds the vanished aces face-up with the ace of spades. This concludes Lhe rouline, and Lhe pack can be examined, as Lhere is nolhing to find.

Method: This is a thorough revision of Brother John Hamman's "Final Ace Routine". When Harry Stanley began selling Brother Hamman's routine in England, he made a present of a set lo Mr. Elmsley. Thinking highly of the routine, Mr. Elmsley began to explore other possibilities using the fekes and Brother Hamman's ideas. His experimentation resulted in a four-phase routine considerably different from the original. Where Brother Hamman performed an ace assembly four times in succession, each Lime under more exacling conditions, Mr. Elmsley varied the effect, reserving the assembly for the final phases; and while Brother Hamman's influence is distincLly present in these assembly phases, Mr. Elmsley made major changes in the handling. Additionally, while the Elmsley routine employs feke cards quite similar to those used in the Hamman trick, in the end the fekes are secretly retired, leaving the pack clean for examination or for further card work.

Mr. Elmsley wrote out a description of his routine and gave it to Harry Stanley for possible publication in The Gen as "a routine with the Hamman Aces". Instead, without consulting Mr. Elmsley, Stanley decided to release the routine as a marketed item: "Alex Elmsley's Atomic Aces". Mr. Elmsley was surprised and embarrassed by this action of Stanley's, and when he eventually met Brother Hamman, he apologized profusely. Brother Hamman, in his characteristically generous fashion, passed the incident off as nothing at all.

The routine requires six feke cards. The faces of these cards are prepared by altering one of the indices. Such cards can be fabricated with the dry-transfer card pips available from magic dealers. However, the very cards needed for this routine are specially printed by several companies, and are less expensive than transfer pips. In England, they are currently available from the Supreme Magic Company; and in the U.S., they can be had through Hank Lee's Magic Factory.

Three of the fekes are low spot cards, like twos, threes and fours. One is a heart, one a club and one a diamond. One index number on each card is altered to appear as an ace of matching suit to the card. The other three fekes are an ace of hearts, clubs and diamonds, with one index "A" changed to a low number, like a 2, a 3 or a 4. Examples of the six cards are shown in Figure 232, The fekes are further prepared by pencil dotting their backs at one corner. The end marked is that corresponding with the ace index of each card.

Also needed is a standard deck that matches the back design of the fekes. Locate the six indifferent cards represented by the fekes and put them aside. They are removed from the pack to avoid the possibility of duplicate cards accidentally appearing during the routine. Also arrange nine low spot cards on top of the pack and remove the four genuine aces. Place the aces of hearts, diamonds and clubs face-up on the bottom of the face-down deck, and set one facedown indifferent card under them.

On top of the deck, stack the three spot-card fekes in hearts, diamonds, clubs order from the top down. Arrange all pencil dotted corners at the inner end of the pack. Direct the dotted corners of the ace fekes outward and insert them into the pack as follows: the ace of hearts feke is placed approximately tenth from the top; the ace of diamonds feke roughly twentieth and the ace of clubs feke about thirtieth. Finally, insert the normal ace of spades roughly fortieth from the top. Figure 233 illustrates the setup.

Because of the complexity of the initial arrangement, it is impractical to set it up in the middle of an act. The routine must be used as an opening piece, or a deck switch made. For an example of excellent deck switching psychology, study the two switches on pages 143-146 and, in Volume II, "The Tale of the Old Timer".

spot Jekes: hearts diamonds clubs indifferent block ace of hearts Jeke indifferent block ace of diamonds Jeke indifferent block ace oj clubs Jeke indifferent block ace oj spades indifferent block face-up aces of hearts, diamonds and clubs face-down indifferent card

First Phase: Oil and Water

Bring out the pack and check the pencil dot on the top card to assure that the deck is turned with the dotted end nearest you. If it is not, don't turn it around. The problem can be corrected as you turn the deck face-up. If the dot is at the wrong end, turn the deck over lengthwise to bring it face-up. Otherwise, flip it over sidewise.

Spread the cards from left hand to right, searching for the aces. Remember that three of the genuine aces lie face-down under the face card of the pack. To keep them hidden, begin your spread by pushing over a block of at least four cards. The first ace you come to will be the ace of spades. Outjog it for approximately two-thirds of its length and continue spreading to the next ace. This will be the ace of clubs feke. Outjog it as you did the spade and spread on to the ace of diamonds feke. Outjog this and the ace of hearts feke as well. The indifferent indices of the three fekes are hidden in the pack, and the handling looks ordinary and casual.

Square the spread into your left hand and flip the deck sidewise and face-down there. With your right hand, grip the four outjogged cards and strip them from the pack. Holding the four cards squared, turn them face-up, using just the right thumb and fingers, and adjust your grasp to the inner end of the packet. Then perform a one-handed fan, displaying four aces. Lay the fanned cards face-up on the table.

"The ace of spades is the most powerful of the four, and has a strange magnetic attraction over the other aces. I can demonstrate this if we add four other cards to the aces." Fan the top four cards off the deck and take them into the right hand. Turn the hand over and display four indifferent cards. Three of these, of course, are the spot-card fekes with their ace indices concealed.

With the left hand, set the face-down deck aside. Then square the right hand's fan face-down into the left hand. The pencil dots should still be at the inner end of the packet. Count the four cards into a face-down pile on the table, reversing their order. "One, two, three, four; as many cards as there are aces."

You now pick up the fan of aces, but in a particular way. Bring the palm-down right hand over the fan and press the fingertips firmly on the faces of the cards. Then dig the right thumb under the near ends to lift them from the table (Figure 234). Bring the left hand palm-down over the fan and push the face-up aces square (Figure 235). Retain the packet in the fork of the left thumb and turn the hand palm-up. This casual action displays the aces until the instant the hand turns over, rotating the packet to a face-down position. You have also subtly turned the cards end for end, bringing the pencil dots nearest you.

Drawings Ice Cubes

Pick up the tabled pile in the right hand and alternate the cards of the two packets, first thumbing off a card from the right, then a card from the left, a card from the right, and so on. Notice that all the pencil dots are currently at the inner end. A regular indifferent card is at the face of the packet, and the ace of spades is on top.

'The aces act like oil in water when they are mixed with common cards. Look!" Take the packet into left-hand dealing grip and count the top four cards into the right hand, reversing their order. The right hand's cards are taken into dealing grip as well; then the grip is altered: Press the right thumb against the right edge of the packet and, using the right fourth finger as a pivot post, swivel the packet counterclockwise, bringing the cards parallel with the length of the fingers. Stretch the right forefinger around to the right side of the packet and grip the cards by their opposite edges, between the first and fourth fingers (Figure 236). With the tips of the second and third fingers, pull down on the outer end of the packet, levering it up at the inner end (Figure 237). Then place the tip of the thumb on the face of the packet, near the lower end (Figure 238). You are now in position to fan the packet, displaying four aces. Don't fan too widely, or the large pips of the two spot-card fekes will be exposed. Lay the

face-up fan on the table and grasp the left hand's packet by its inner end, right thumb below, fingers above. Turn the right hand palm-up and at the same time fan the packet to show four indifferent cards.

Second Phase: Follow the Leader

Bring the palm-down left hand over the right hand's fan and square the cards {Figure 235 again). Then grasp the packet in the left hand and rotate the hand palm-up, turning the cards both facedown and end for end. This positions the pencil dots at the outer end. With the right fingers, draw the normal spot card from the bottom of the packet and turn it face-up. Lay this card to your left on the table and place the rest of the packet face-down behind it.

With the palm-down right hand, pick up the fan of aces by their inner ends (Figure 234), and repeat the actions just performed with the first packet. Lay the face-up ace of spades to the right of the faceup indifferent card, and set the face-down packet behind the ace. The dotted ends of this packet are now inward.

"These two cards are indicators or leader cards. If I switch the two piles behind them..." Here suit actions to words, exchanging the two face-down piles, "...the cards no longer match their leaders. But if I wave this spot card over the ace of spades, the power of the ace transforms it into an ace." As you say this, pick up the right-hand packet and place it into left-hand dealing grip. Push over the top card and grasp it by its inner end, right thumb at the left edge, second finger at the right, and forefinger curled lightly onto the back. Wave this card over the ace of spades (Figure 239), then press down with the forefinger and let the right side of the card snap off the second finger. This causes the card to flip face-up, revealing it as the ace of diamonds. It is actually an ace feke, and as you are left holding the card by its inner right corner, the thumb naturally covers the false index (Figure 240).

Bend the right second finger inward and with it engage the very corner of the card, just behind the thumb (Figure 241). Press down with the second finger and ease the thumb's pressure, allowing the card to turn inward and face-down (Figure 242). Lay the card onto the ace of spades, letting it overlap just the inner end of the ace. The dot on this face-down card is now at the inner end.

Set the two-card packet in the left hand behind the ace of spades, but lay it crosswise, giving it a clockwise quarter turn and bringing the dotted ends to the right.

Repeat the same actions with the packet behind the indifferent card, causing the top card to transform into a spot card. When you have laid this card face-down over the face-up indicator, and the

balance of the packet crosswise behind them, the situation is as shown in Figure 243. Note that the positions of the pencil dots are exactly the reverse of the cards behind the ace.

Exchange the two crosswise piles. Then pick up the one on the right and place it into left-hand dealing position, giving it a second quarter turn clockwise to bring the pencil dots to the outer end. Repeat the previous display actions to show that the fop card has magically changed to an ace.

Turn it face-down and lay it in overlapping fashion on the ace pile. Place the remaining card in the left hand crosswise behind these cards, turning its dotted end to the right. Repeat these actions with the left-hand pile to show the top card has conformed to its indifferent leader card.

Switch the positions of the final two crosswise cards. With the palm-down right hand, pick up the card now behind the ace pile by its right end, in position to snap it face-up. Wave it over the ace and do just that, showing the fourth ace has followed its kind. Using the same actions as before, turn the card face-down and lay it onto the overlapping ace column. Repeat this sequence of actions with the last left-hand card and lay it with the other spot cards.

Third Phase: The Assembly

Slip the face-up spot card from beneath the column of face-down spot-card fekes, turn it face-down and use it to scoop up the other three cards. I .ay the four-card packet face-down on the deck, keeping the dotted ends outward. Then slip the ace of spades from beneath its column, turn the card face-down and gather the three face-down ace fekes in the same fashion. The dots on these cards are inward. In the action of scooping up the aces, with the right hand, grasp the packet at its outer end, thumb on the back, fingers on the face. Then turn the hand palm-up and perform a one-handed fan to display the faces of four apparent aces. Since only the indifferent indices on the inner ends need be concealed, the fan can be generously spread.

"This time I will separate the aces more widely still." Close the fan face-down into the palm-up left hand and leave the packet there. In doing so you have positioned the dotted corners at the outer end. Deal the first three cards into a face-clown row, from right to left, and lay the fourth card (the ace of spades) face-down in front of the row.

Pick up the deck as you explain thai you are going to place a few cards onto each ace. Spread off the first three cards (the spot-card fekes) and lay them onto the forward ace of the spades. Do this without counting them or reversing their order. Using identical actions, lay three indifferent cards onto each of the cards in the row. Then nonchalantly draw off the top and bottom cards of the pack and insert them into the middle. No attention is given this action; it is treated as

a bit of toying with the cards as you talk. The displacement is necessary to remove the bottom cover card from beneath the three reversed aces, in preparation for the final phase. Set the pack aside.

With the right hand, pick up the right-end pile of the row and transfer it to left-hand glide position. Curl the tip of the left fourth finger in onto the index corner of the bottom card. "Remember, each of these piles contains an ace..." Rotate the left hand palm-up and briefly display the ace of hearts feke. The fourth fingertip covers the discrepant index number (Figure 244). Turn the hand down again and execute a glide. With the right hand, lay the substituted card face-down and sidewise at the right end of the row. "...and three other cards." Return the right hand to the packet and draw the top card onto the right fingers. Draw the second card onto this, jogged about half an inch to the left; and take the last card, similarly jogged, onto the previous two. This reverses the positions of the cards and forms them into a narrow fan. Rotate the right hand palm-down, turning the face of the fan toward the audience. They see the indices of three indifferent cards. Then lay the face-up fan somewhat over the inner edge of the right-end card. This positions the fan with the exposed indices outward.

Repeat this glide and display sequence with the other two piles of the row. The resulting layout is shown in Figure 245. You will now use the same snap-over display employed in the second phase (Figures 239 and 240) to reveal the vanish of the three aces. With

its face-up fan and pick it up by the right end. Wave it over the forward pile, then snap it face-up to display an indifferent card. Place this card into the left hand, letting its full face be seen. Then repeat the vanish procedure with each of the remaining two face-down cards in the row. When you have finished, lay the three indifferent cards in your left hand face-down on the deck. Simultaneously, with the palm-down right hand, pick up the face-down forward pile by its inner end, thumb on face, fingers on back. Turn the hand palm-up and fan the packet narrowly to show four aces. Set the fan face-up before the row (Figure 246).

Fourth Phase: The Second Assembly

Gather the three fans of spot cards in any order, placing one on another, and turn the cards face-down, end over end, into the left hand. Square the packet and lay it onto the deck. This places the ace fekes at positions one, four and seven from the top of the deck, with their dotted ends outward.

With the palm-down right hand, pick up the fan of aces, gripping it at the inner end. Turn the hand palm-up and close the face-down fan into the left hand. Hold the packet in left-hand dealing position.

dotted ends outward, and immediately deal the first three cards into a row, working from right to left as before,

'This Lime I shall separate the aces more widely still." Snap the ace of spades face-up in your left hand and, wiLh Lhe righl hand, cuL abouL half Lhe pack Lo one side. Lay Lhe face-up ace onto the botLom half of Lhe deck and give Lhis half a cuL, sending the ace to the middle. This also places the other three normal aces face-up above the spade. Hand the packet to someone and ask him to guard it.

Take the oLher half of Lhe pack inLo lefl-hand dealing position as you say, "Again Lhree cards go onlo each ace." This Lime deal Lhe cards from Lhe deck onlo lhe aces, working in rolalion from right Lo left, as if dealing cards for a game, only backward. This delivers Lhe three ace fekes to Lhe righl-end pile. All dolled ends should be pointed outward. Set the balance of the pack to your left.

With your right hand, pick up Lhe righl-end pile by ils inner end and Lurn ils face Loward you. This brings Lhe ace indices of Lhe four fekes Lo the lower end of the cards. With the aid of the left hand, shift the righl hand's grip Lo lhe lower right corner of the packet and form a narrow fan. The right thumb should cover the ace index of lhe card on the face (Figure 247). Reach out with the right hand toward the person holding the half deck, and wave the fan of cards face-down over his packet. Then turn your hand over, exposing the faces of four indifferent cards. Let the vanish of the ace register; then turn the fan face-down again and return it to the right end of the row.

With the right hand, pick up the center pile and form a fan with it, exactly as you did with the previous pile. Wave the fan face-down over the spectalor's half deck and Lurn the right hand up to display the face of the fan. To drive home the vanish of the ace, this time count the cards from hand to hand, displaying Lheir faces more fully. To do this, lay Lhe face-up fan inlo the palm-up left hand, but do not release the uppermost card (a spot-card feke); continue to grip it by its inner right corner, covering the ace index with the right thumb. Separate Lhe hands, Laking the first card from the fan on the count of "one". On the count of "two", return the right hand to the left and take the next card of lhe fan onto the feke, letting it now hide the improper*

index. On "three and four", reverse count the remaining two cards from the left hand onto those in the right. Turn the packet face-down and return it to its posilion in the row, spreading the cards a bit.

With the right hand, pick up the left-end pile by its inner end and form a fan as you have with the previous packets. Wave the fan over Lhe spectator's half deck, Lhen Lurn Lhe fan face-up Lo show

the third ace has vanished. This time, instead of reverse counting the cards, set the fan face-up into the left hand and retain the uppermost card (the spot-card feke} in the right hand, concealing its ace index with the right thumb. With the left fingers, spread the other three cards more widely. Then turn both hands slowly over and back again, clearly displaying fronts and backs of all four cards. With the hands once more palms-up, rotate the feke inward and end over end, until it is face-down, as you did in the second phase (Figures 241-242}. Simultaneously turn the left hand's three cards face-down with just the left fingers and thumb.

Use the right hand's card to scoop up the fanned right-end pile. Drop all these cards on the center pile and pick up the lot. Drop these onto the three cards in your left hand and lay all twelve onto the free half deck. This gathering pattern neatly delivers all six fekes to the top of the packet.

Take the half deck into left-hand dealing position as you now draw all attention to the person holding the other half. Ask him to spread carefully through his cards, looking for the ace of spades. Illustrate what you mean with your own packet: spread the cards from the left hand to the right, and injog the seventh card when you come to it. When he starts to spread through his cards, square yours back into the left hand and press down with the right thumb on the injog, forming a left fourth-finger break beneath the six fekes. When the spectator discovers all four aces face-up in his half, palm the six cards away and pocket them, leaving the deck free of fekes. The misdirection here is so powerful, one's palming ability can be fairly crude and still suffice. Do not, however, rush to the pocket with the palmed cards. Wait for a moment when attention is relaxed, or provide motivation for going to the pocket, by bringing out some article required for the next trick. Alternatively, you could avoid palming entirely by bringing the left hand over the left coat pocket and releasing into it the packet above the break.

This is an impressive and tightly routined piece of card magic. The fekes help to create effects that sleight-of-hand could only approximate, at the sacrifice of an exceptionally clean handling. On reading the method in its entirety, it may seem forbidding. None of the sequences, however, is difficult, and if you learn them a phase at a time, you will find you have mastered the whole routine in a quite reasonable period.

c. October 1957

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Knife Throwing Techniques of the Ninja

Knife Throwing Techniques of the Ninja

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