Show the five cards to the spectator and allow him to examine the three envelopes. Demonstrate what you want the spectator to do while your back is turned. State (and show him at the same time) that he is to hold the packet of cards design sides down. He is to then begin transferring one card at a time from the top of the packet to the bottom of the packet. He is to continue doing this as many times as he wishes. (Note: You have stopped after transferring the third card from the top of the packet to the bottom during this demonstration.)
Tell the spectator that whenever he stops, he is to turn the top card of the packet face-up, remember it, and shove it between the remaining four face-down cards. As you demonstrate this, you will be inserting the cross design face-up between the third and fourth face-down cards.
Pick up the smallest of the three envelopes, holding it seam side up between the thumb on one edge and the remaining fingers on the opposite edge. Gently squeeze and the envelope will pop open. Insert the five cards (four face-down and one faceup) into the envelope and close the flap. (Note: Do not seal the envelopes; you can use them again).
Hand the envelope to the spectator seam side up. Tell him to turn the envelope over and verify that the designs on the cards cannot be seen through the opaque envelope. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The envelope appears to be opaque because the bottom card of the stack is the yellow circle. It is the only one of the five designs that can't be seen through the manila envelope. The color of the envelope filters out the yellow of the design.
Since you know the original cyclical order of the designs, to determine which design the spectator turned face-up, you must learn the identity of the bottom card of the packet. The reversed (face-up) card will always be one higher than the design on the bottom card of the packet. For example: if you see the cross on the bottom,the spectator's design is the wavy lines. If you see the wavy lines, the spectator's design is the square, and so on.
Retrieve the envelope from the spectator and remove the five cards making sure that you hold the envelope seam side up as you do so. Spread the cards and locate the face-up cross. Remove it, turning it face-down and place it on the bottom of the packet. The cards are now back in their cyclical order. Make sure the spectator knows exactly what he is to do. Hand him the cards and turn your back. Even though you have previously demonstrated what he is to do, don't take any chances. Repeat the instructions, one step at a time, while your back is turned.
While the spectator is transferring cards one at a time, pick up the smallest of the three envelopes on the table and hold it seam side up in your left hand, behind your back. When he has completed turning up his selected design card and has inserted it between the remaining four face-down cards, gently squeeze the edges of the envelope so that it pops open and instruct the spectator to place the packet of cards face-down into the envelope.
Turn toward the spectator and immediately bring the envelope from behind your back. The seam side of the envelope should be facing the spectator. Pick up the middle size envelope and, holding it with the seam side facing yourself, insert the smaller envelope into it. As you do so, you'll be looking at the plain side of the smaller envelope. One glance will immediately reveal the design showing through the envelope (unless the yellow circle design is on the bottom, and nothing will show, in which case the spectator's card will be the cross).
You know the spectator's selected design because it will be one higher than the design you spotted through the side of the envelope. Since you have previously demonstrated the opaqueness of the envelope, the spectator will not suspect a thing. Hand the two nested envelopes to the spectator and have him place both in the largest of the three envelopes. It's all over now, except the revelation and applause. Pick up a piece of cardboard and a felt tipped marker and, after due concentration, duplicate the selected design.
On many occasions, when the cross is selected, you can even allow the spectator to examine the small envelope a second time, before inserting it in the middle size envelope. This happens quite frequently and when it does, you've got a real brain-buster on your hands. England's great Paul Daniels thought enough of Psycho II to feature it on one of his BBC television specials.
If you have a problem obtaining the necessary colored E.S.P. card, contact Haines House of Cards. Check your local magic shop to see if they carry the European made Piatnick "Magic Christian" E.S.P. cards. These packs contain blank backed, colored E.S.P. cards that are suitable. Failing all that, make up your own using colored marking pens and white "campaign cards" from your local printer.
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.