Encyclopedia of Card Tricks with Rudy Hunter • 11m
I DON'T know where Mr. James got his title for this mystery, but any time anyone can produce such a problem I'll be the last to argue over what it is to be called. Certainly no concocted effect has in years been so original in effect upon the watchers. I have used the problem any number of times since learning it, and I have yet to find people who aren't amazed at the outcome. I won't go into any reason why it works because of limits in space, but it does work, and that's about the most important. The performer has a pack of cards and two pieces of paper with a pencil. The pack maybe a borrowed one which has been in constant use. A spectator mixes the cards, and the performer asks if he prefers black or red. Without touching the pack or seeing any of the cards, performer now writes a prophecy on one of the papers and puts it with the writing side down on the table. The spectator is now asked to remove the cards from the shuffled pack two at a time and turn them face up. If two reds are together he is to keep them in a pile before him (we are pretending he wanted red-if black he'd keep black pairs). If two blacks are together he is to put them in a pile before the performer, and if the two are of opposite color, they are to go into a third or discard pile. The spectator does as directed, taking the cards off in pairs, and putting them in their correct pile. As soon as all of the cards are separated in pairs, the performer asks the spectator to count the number of cards in his pile and then the number of cards in the performer's pile. Then the spectator is asked to look at and read aloud the written prophecy which has not been touched. It reads, 'Your pile will have four more cards than mine.' AND IT'S RIGHT, despite the fact that the performer did not touch the cards after the genuine shuffle by spectator. Immediately the performer tells another spectator to gather together the cards and shuffle them thoroughly. He writes a prophecy on the second piece of paper AND THEN ASKS spectator which color he wants for himself, telling him to place pairs of that color in front of himself, pairs of the other color in front of the performer, and pairs of mixed colors to the side. Again, the cards are separated and again the two piles are counted. The prophecy, this time, reads, 'We will both have the same number of cards this time.' And everything may he examined] as there is no trickery to find. This trick practically works itself. It is based on the actuality that, if a full pack of fifty-two cards be so separated after a genuine mixing, the red and black piles will always contain an equal number of cards. There is no way of telling EXACTLY HOW MANY will be in each pile, but they positively will be the same. Before starting, or during another effect, steal four cards of one color from the pack. We shall say red. By stealing four cards of a color you unbalance the pack so that the red pile will be four cards less than the black when finished. If you steal four black cards, the black pile will be four less than the red. You can also steal two or six cards of a color and the pile of that color will be two or six less, but four is about right. Don't ask me why it works. It does. Put these four stolen cards facing the body in right trousers pocket. Now have the pack shuffled. Ask first spectator which color he prefers. Then write the prophecy to fit. If he wants the 'short' color, write that his pile will have four less than yours. Now explain how he is to separate the cards and let him go ahead. The outcome will be as you prophesied. About half-way through the cards you drop your hand to pocket and palm the four stolen cards. All eyes and attention being on the two piles, you carelessly pick up those in the discard, square them, and put back, you have added the stolen cards which set you for the second time. No one ever pays any attention to the discard. The first prophecy having been found correct. the performer, without touching the cards, asks that they be picked up and mixed again. This time you write the prophecy BEFORE asking the spectator which color he wants. As the pack is now complete, the piles will be the same and it doesn't matter. Now try out this masterpiece and you'll find it to be one of the best card mysteries in years.
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