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Tattle Tailed

by Michael Murray
Copyright 2013 by Michael Murray

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in

any form without written permission from the author and publisher.

For further information please contact me via email at:


“I dedicate this book to you the reader, your interest in

my work is appreciated beyond words. It is my sincere
hope that this effect will in some way inspire your own
creativity and that some day I will have the opportunity
to read your thoughts. Until then, please enjoy.”

Michael Murray, April 18th 2012


Introduction - 6
The Effect - 7
Performance - 9
The Tale- 15
Closing Words - 18
Tattle Tailed

My first commercially released effect was a marked ESP deck entitled
“Beyond ESP”. From the moment they landed I have always carried two
sets of the five cards in my wallet.

My all time favourite effect to perform with them was one titled “Jazz
Mentalism” which was created by my very good friend Dave Humphrey. 
If you are not aware of this routine then I strongly urge you to pick up
a copy of my Submodalities DVD from www.magicbox.uk.com which
contains a detailed explanation of this.  

Having performed the above effect for many years I firmly believed that
I would never find anything to surpass it.  Step forward around ten years
and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of Peter Turner’s
limited edition book titled “Bigger Fish”.  The very first effect in the book
“Tattle Tail” made a very strong and lasting impression upon me.  “Tattle
Tail” is a five for five ESP match up routine which is performed between
two spectators.

I was so taken with this routine that I dedicated a huge amount of time in
developing my own handling for it.  I’m proud to present you with the
fruits of this endeavour, but before we go into the handling itself I would
like to offer my sincere thanks to Pete who has allowed me to emulate the
patter and presentation of his original effect.

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by Michael Murray

The Effect:
The mentalist requests the help of a married couple to participate in a
simple experiment.  The volunteers are each handed a set of five ESP cards
which they proceed to mix sight unseen.  

With the mixing complete the female of the couple is asked to deal her
cards face down onto the table creating a small row of five cards.  As each
card is dealt her partner is asked to place one of his cards face up behind

With all of the cards dealt to the table the male is then asked which
“single” adjacent pair of cards he believes will match. He is cautioned to
take his time over this so that a conscious decision can be made.

After making his choice the face down card is then revealed (logic dictates
that the chances of the pair matching will be one in five).

It is reasoned that any successful outcome in this demonstration would be

attributed to chance alone. It is then proposed that the couple repeat this
exercise for a second time with a slight difference.

Each partner is requested to gather their respective cards and mix them
for a second time, however this time rather than look at the cards, they are
asked to hold each others gaze.

Whilst holding their partners gaze they are asked to very slowly and
deliberately mix the cards. As they do this the remaining audience is
witness to something quite remarkable. The two spectators appear to be
working in harmony and their sets of cards slowly begin to pair up.

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Tattle Tailed

Once the spectators have mixed their cards as much or as little as they
desire they are reminded that any other mixing (more or less) would have
resulted in each packet being in a different order. The spectators both

The mentalist then recounts an amazing story during which it is

revealed that the spectators have unknowingly taken part in a
subconscious connectivity test. The spectators themselves turn each of
their cards face up in turn revealing that they have somehow mixed each
of their respective packets into the exact same order beating the extreme
odds of one hundred and twenty to one. 

For this effect you will require two sets of five ESP cards.  The “Beyond
ESP3” deck will work perfectly for our requirements. For those of you
who wish to perform this routine in an impromptu setting you can just as
easily draw a set of ESP cards upon some business card stock.

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by Michael Murray
“I have here two small packets of cards, each of these comprises of five cards
with varying geometric shapes and symbols printed upon them.  For those
of you who aren’t familiar with these cards I will detail their exact purpose
in a few moments time.  For now though, I’d like each of you to give your
packet a thorough mix.”
Once they have done this have the female spread her cards so that she can
see each of the symbols. Request that their partner stand opposite so that
they may follow the same actions.

Positioning yourself so that you can see the faces of the females cards you
request that she place any one of them face down onto the table -

“Could you please place one of your cards face down onto the table”

You must watch as she does this so that you can identify which card she
removed. You now ask the male to place any of his cards face up behind
the tabled card -

“Could you please place one of your cards face up onto the table behind the
tabled card”

This is then repeated with the four remaining cards creating two rows of
five cards (in a similar fashion to figure one). Performed this way it is
very easy to remember the order of the females cards as they are dealt to
the table.

Note: It may help to think of the ESP Symbols in their number form -

Circle = 1, Cross = 2, Waves = 3, Square = 4, Star = 5

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Tattle Tailed

Note: If you are using marked cards you can simply read the
order from the back of the cards as they are dealt to the table.

“I’d now like you sir to make a conscious choice as to which one of the
single face up/face down adjacent pairs may match.  May I caution you to
take your time over this, really make a conscious effort to make this work.  I
will give you around ten seconds to do this and once I snap my fingers I’d
like you to simply point to the pair which you believe will match.”

Once the spectator has pointed to the adjacent pair which they believe to
be a match, you will casually gather up the four remaining face up cards
discreetly placing them into the same order as the face down group
(with the obvious exception of the remaining tabled card).  You will then
casually drop this face up group onto the table. The tabled cards should
now resemble figure two:

You will now request that the female turns over the face down card to
check on her partners success. More often than not the pair will not

You will then continue - “Please do not feel disheartened as the odds were
stacked against you. The chances of a successful outcome were simply one

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by Michael Murray

in five.”

Note: In the rare instances where the pair are found to match you will
simply congratulate the pair on their good fortune and continue with the
rest of the routine.

“I would now like you to repeat this exercise again however this time we
won’t be relying on blind luck but instead we will add a little chemistry.”

As you say the above you will casually place the males remaining card
into its respective place within his (face up) packet. The order of the males
cards (from top to bottom) will now match the (right to left) order of
the females cards.

Flipping the females card face down you will now gather up her cards
(one on top of the other) in a face down condition (working from right
to left). This completed packet is then also placed face up onto the table.

The two face up packets should be in the mirror opposite order ie. the
face card of the females packet should match the bottom card of the males
packet (in our example the face card of the females packet would be the

Note: The fact that the two face cards of each packet differ will re-enforce
the fact that packets are still in a “shuffled” condition.

“Please take each of your packets and hold them face up in your hands. I
would now like you to hold each others gaze for the remaining duration of
this experiment. I do not wish for you to look at the cards as I do not want
you to feel influenced by anything you may see. I would like you both to

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Tattle Tailed

begin dealing your cards singly into a pile onto the table. You may both stop
dealing at any point you may desire.”

Note: These are being dealt into two separate piles.

The spectators are then allowed to follow this instruction.

Note: You will often find that both of the spectators will stop dealing at
the exact same point. Should they do this after dealing either two or three
cards then the remaining onlookers will notice that either the face cards
of their un-dealt packets or the face cards of the tabled piles will match.

This happens because the centre card of each packet already matches.
Should this happen then I will point this out to the spectators mentioning
that the couple are beginning to work in unison. As an added subtlety for
when this does happen, the spectators will also note that the other visible
cards do not match which reinforces that their packets are truly mixed.

You will then continue - “Should either of you have any remaining cards
please flip them as a group face down onto your tabled piles so that when
you gather up your cards you will not be influenced by anything you see.”

Despite the fairness of the above procedure it will only serve to reverse the
order of each of the spectators packets. This mixing procedure is credited
to Bruce Bernstein who first used it in his amazing effect titled “Eat at

“I would like you both to repeat that mixing process for a second time
however as you do this I would like you to remember two things. Firstly it
is very important that you hold each others gaze and secondly I must advise

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you that you do not have to stop the dealing at the same time. The choice
must be yours alone.”

The spectators will then repeat the dealing procedure once more
affording you a second chance to reveal a match with the middle cards
(should they fail to do this upon their first deal).

When both spectators have decided to stop dealing for the second time
you will continue - “Just as before I would like you to flip any remaining
cards face down and drop them onto your respective packets. You may now
repeat this procedure as many times as you wish. I hasten to add that you
need not do this the same amount of times as your partner so long as you
feel in your mind that you are happy with the order of your cards. Now
which of you would like to deal again?”.

Note: The last question (“Now which of you would like to deal again?”)
subtly implies that only one of the spectators should deal again. Although
this isn’t required it will facilitate a stronger ending.

The spectators are then allowed to continue until they are both content.
With the mixing complete you will be in one of two positions -

If both spectators completed the mixing procedure the same number of

times then their packets (irrelevant of their face up/face down condition)
will remain in the mirror opposite order.

If one of the spectators performed an additional mix (irrelevant of their

face up/face down condition) then the two packets will now be in the
exact same order. If this is the case then no further instruction is needed

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Tattle Tailed

at this moment and you may simply close the routine with the story over
the page.

If they are in the mirror opposite order then you will have both
spectators face each other and whilst retaining their eye contact they
are asked to gather up their packets and deal them into a row from left
to right. Because they are facing each other their left and rights are
transposed and so when they deal out their cards one of them will be
reversing the order of their cards for you. This means that each and
every adjacent pair will match!

Note: If in any doubt you can simply read the top cards of each packet to
see if they match.

You will now close the routine with the following story...

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by Michael Murray

The Tale:
“You have both mixed your cards several times in varying ways (Here I
mime the shuffling actions that they performed at the beginning of the
routine). Be honest, if either of you had decided to mix your cards once
more or perhaps once less then your cards will have ended up in a different
order. (This is perfectly true and so the spectators will be forced to agree).
Before we reveal how you have done I’d like to tell you a short story about a
young couple by the names of David and Joanna.  

David and Joanna  lived in South Carolina in the United States, they
were considered by many to be “loves young dream”. However after
spending four happy months together they slowly began to drift apart.  
David was so desperate to make their relationship last that he made a very
conscious effort in everything he did but sadly despite his best intentions
things were just not working out between them”.

If during the initial “conscious” test the male failed to locate a match then
you can reference how this ties into the story.

“Joanna had decided in her mind that their relationship was over and
called David to break the news. To say that David was devastated was an
understatement and despite his heartfelt pleas to Joanna she hung up,
refusing to speak further.

Overcome with emotion David wrote a simple note declaring his love for
her. Perhaps he thought, if she refused to speak then this note would show

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Tattle Tailed

just how much he cared for her. He jumped into his car and set off over to
her house. Sadly he never made it.

The very next morning Joanna was woken by a loud banging on her door.
It was a policeman. He had been sent to inform her that late the previous
night her boyfriend had been involved in a road traffic accident which killed
him instantly.

In a bid to comfort her he handed her the letter which was found at the
scene. With trembling fingers Joanna opened up the letter which simply
read “Without your love I loose my life”.

News of this remarkable story landed upon the ears of a Dr. Joseph Rhine
who was very unlucky in love himself. As a result Dr. Rhine developed a
series of simple tests in order to discover what it was that made a
relationship last.

The results of these tests were conclusive. It was not the conscious efforts
made by a couple that would determine their compatibility with each other
but rather the unconscious connection that existed between them.

I have had you both unknowingly partake in one of Dr. Rhines tests and in
doing so we are about to find out just how successful YOU have both been.”

Each of the cards can then be revealed showing an amazing five for five
match as dictated by the cards. You will then conclude by congratulating
the couple on their compatibility and how amazing it is that they have
beaten the odds of one hundred and twenty to one.

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by Michael Murray

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Tattle Tailed

Closing Words:
If you enjoyed the contents of this book then why not take a closer look
at my bigger book entitled “A Piece of my Mind” which contains a
collection of my greatest mentalism routines.

My most recent solo releases include -

ATM (Actual Thought Manipulation) -

A devastating PIN revelation effect with a kicker ending.

Brave New World -

An impromptu handling of the “Out of this World” effect which may be
performed with a borrowed deck.

Springboard -
The ultimate spectator as mind reader card effect.

For further information on any of the above please don’t hesitate to

contact me at: trytheimpossible@me.com

Best Wishes Michael Murray

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