What you will find here in Take Off has its origins in a trick by Roy Walton written in his booklet CARDBOARD CHARADES. I have changed the handling a little bit here and there, adding some subtleties. It is an almost impromptu routine requiring only a very small set up and offers a heavy impact on the audience. Try to study the routine with the props in your hands so that you may appreciate fully the power of each effect.
A selected card is placed into an envelope between two Jacks. The card vanishes and reappears face up in the middle of the deck!
A deck of cards and a manila envelope (slightly bigger than a playing card) with a hole in the middle approximately one inch in diameter. Cut off the envelope flap.
Openly remove the two black Jacks from the deck and at the same time secretly place the J and the Q on top of the face down deck (the J is on the top followed by the Q.) Keep the deck face down in the left hand. Place the two black Jacks face up onto the deck. Square them and, at the same time, add the first face down card below the (J). The three cards are held from above in the right hand (Biddle Grip). The left thumb peels off the top Jack onto the top of the deck. Using the right hand cards, flip the Jack face down. Immediately drop the right hand cards on top, then flip the second black Jack face down on top.
Reverse the order of the top two cards and take them with the right hand, thumb on top and fingers below at the upper right corner and show them face to the audience as in Figure 1. The index of the J is hidden by the fingers so everything looks fair. Do it casually, without drawing too much attention to this subtlety. Place the two cards face down onto the table.
Do a False Cut and then Double Turnover the top two cards as one face up onto the deck, showing the Q. Repeat the Double Turnover bringing the two cards face down, take the top card with the right hand and place it onto the table.
With the Braue Reversal, turn the top card face up into the deck. (At the end of the Braue Reversal, the left hand places its half below the right hand cards so that you have a card reversed in the middle of the deck). Turn the deck face down and keep it into the left hand dealing position.
While holding the deck in the left hand, insert the black Jack (say, the J) into the envelope. You can show it on both sides as the center pattern of the face card will be taken for the Q. Place the envelope (opening toward you) onto the deck, card face down. The right hand picks up the J and, without showing it, places it below the envelope. Place the J face down on top of the envelope. The right hand from above squares the cards onto the deck and secretly leaves the bottom card (J) on top of the deck. The right hand moves to the right with the envelope and the top card, while the left hand places the deck aside onto the table.
Perform the Eye Count by Victor as follows: Grip the card and the envelope in the left hand, thumb on top and fingers below (same grip as for the Elmsley Count). The right thumb peels off the top card into the right hand. On taking the envelope into the right hand, the right hand card is retaken into the left hand and the envelope drops into the right hand (apparently above the first card). The right thumb then takes the card from the left hand onto the envelope. You have apparently shown two cards and an envelope sandwiched between them.
The right hand turns the J face up on top of the envelope. Apparently the J is taken from below the envelope, but what really happens is that the right forefinger slides the card out from inside the envelope backwards by contacting the card through the hole in the envelope (Figure 2). Remove the card and show it, then place it face down beneath the envelope. (You now have an empty envelope sandwiched between two cards.) The right hand then moves the top card away and you point out the back of the card that shows though the hole. (It is apparently the card inside the envelope but it is really the bottom card which is below the envelope. The illusion is perfect). Replace the J on top.
Magic gesture! Spread the cards and the envelope showing that the envelope is empty. Spread the deck face down and the Q will appear face up on the middle!