Jean Hugard - Silken Sorcery
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" c A f c K B M
e f O R C M T " BY
Published by MAX HOLDEN 220 W. 42nd St., New York City SYDNEY
WILL ANDRADE MELBOURNE
Coprighted 1937 by Max Holden
"SILKEN S O R C E R Y " CONTENTS Chapter
I. Methods of Folding Silks for Production
II. Sleights f o r Manipulating Silks W i t h o u t Accessories
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III. Methods f o r Producing a Single Silk
IV. The Production of a N u m b e r of Silks
V. Various Methods of Vanishing Silks
VI. Dyeing the Silks
VII. T w e n t i e t h Century Silk
VIII. Useful Accessories
IX. Liaison Tricks
X. Tricks with Silks
XI. Ties and Flourishes
XII. T h e Stillwell Silk Act
The State Library of Victoria "ALMA CONJURING COLLECTION"
SILKEN SORCERY (SILK 'N SORCERY)
The use of handkerchiefs in conjuring probably dates as far back as the introduction of these articles to popular use, but the oldtime magicians used them only as accessories, for instance to cover some smali object, such as a coin, or egg, which was to be made to disappear, or to cover a piece of apparatus, sucli as a cage in which another object was to appear. Robert Houdin, however, mentions several tricks with handkerchiefs, The Vanishing Handkerchief (by means of a pull up the sleeve, the earliest description of this useful gimmick), The Handkerchief from which Sweets and Gifts to his audience were produced, The Handkerchief Burnt and Restored, and one or two others. The use of silks to make complete tricks in themselves must be accredited to Buatier de Kolta. Thanks to his inventive genius and the expansion of his methods by modern conjurors, the use of silks lias become a well defined branch of the Magic Art. The subject has been treated in part in various books and magazine articles but no book has as yet appeared giving an exhaustive survey of the subject. I propose in these pages to describe, as far as possible, all the sleights and tricks with silks that have been evolved up to the present time. For convenience for reference the subject will be divided into various sections—Methods of Folding Silks, Productions, Vanishes, Color Changes, and so on. CHAPTER I
METHODS OF FOLDING SILKS FOR PRODUCTION 1. A Single Silk a. Spread the silk flat on the table and fold two diagonal corners to the middle; fold these doubled portions in half again and continue the operation until a roll, or band, is obtained about 1 y ins. in width. Fold about two inches of tlie right hand end over to the left, on the rest of the silk, and turn its tip upwards at right angles. Roll the silk, beginning at this folded end, right up to the left end, and tuck this into the folds on the side opposite to the protruding corner. A silk, thus balled, may with a little care be manipulated after the manner of a billiard ball with perfect safety, yet, by gripping the projecting corner and giving the silk a quick shake, it will develop to its full extent instantly. 2
The projecting corner can also be gripped between the middle and third fingers, thus allowing the silk to be finger-palmed, either at the front or the back of the hand. b. Fold the four corners to the middle; do the same with the new square thus obtained; repeat this a third and a fourth time. A compact little bundle is thus obtained. To hold it ready for production, procecd thus: Thread a needle with about four inches of thread and tie the ends together making the knot as large as possible. Pass the needle through the vest from front to back about three inches above its lower edge. Lift the edge of the vest and push the needle into the bundle in such a way that the folds are held together. A silk thus prepared may be placed on the right or left side of the vest and to secure it, the hand, falling naturally to the side, will have to merely bend the fingers under the vest, grip the silk and draw it away, the needle, of course, offering no resistance, being held back by the short thread. The silk is then palmed ready for production as required. c. Fold three corners only to the middle of the silk as in Fig. 1. Fold the sides AB and CD till they meet in the middle making a band. Roll this very tightly, beginning at the end opposite to E, keeping the folds inside the roll. Secure this under the vest as in a. with needle and thread. fl
d. The Accordeon Fold. To avoid the use of a pin or needle and to obtain a very quick development of the silk when required, make a fold about l /? in. in width along one of the sides; turn the silk over and make another fold of the same size, thus making it of double thickness; turn the silk again and repeat in the same way until the whole silk has been folded. Repeat this accordeon fold along the length of the band thus obtained, the final result being a square bundle. Tie this round with a weak thread, or, if preferred, pass a band of tissue paper, of the same color, round it and gum the ends together. This band can be broken at will by the fingers and then crumpled up and allowed to fall unnoticed to the floor. This method of pleating should always be used for very large silks or flags. e. A Quick Fold — The Finger Roll. Take a corner of the silk between the left first finger and thumb, letting about an inch of the silk project over the finger tip upwards; wind it tightly round the 1
finger until the other end is readied. Slip the little bundle oft" the finger and tuck this end in the folds on the side opposite tlie projecting corner. If it is desired to make the bundle very small use a hairpin. Put one corner of the silk through at the top and pull it upwards about an inch, then wind the rest tightly round the hairpin. With good quality silk it is surprising into liow small a ball a fairly large silk may be rolled by this plan. f. The Trap Fold. This fold is necessary when a silk is to be pushed through a trap, or upwards into a bottomless tumbler. Spread the silk out flat and fold the corners inward to the middle; repeat the operation until a parcel is obtained of the size required. The silk should be loaded with the corners outwards. g. The Rose Fold. By this method a silk can be folded to so closely resemble a rose that it may be fastened to a plant amongst real roses without the deception being detected. It may be plucked and then changed to a rose with charming effect. Fold the silk from two diagonally opposite corners into a strip about two inches wide and some fifteen inches in length. Wind it round carefully to resemble a half-blown rose and fasten the folds with a pin. Fig. 2.
II. SEVERAL SILKS a. Fold each silk diagonally as explained above (Method a) for a single silk, place them all one on the other and turn the right hand ends over inward together. Roll them all from these folded ends into a tight ball and tuck the loose ends into a fold in the same way as with a single silk. To develop the silks palm the bundle in the left hand, the projecting corners downward; pull these out with the right thumb and forefinger. The effect of the brightly colored silks thus issuing from the hand is very pretty.
b. The Star Fold. First fold each silk in half from one corner to the corner diagonally opposite, then lay them across one another to form a star as in Fig. 3, which shows four silks folded and placed star fashion. Fold the ends in to the middle, beginning with the lowest silk and continuing with the next in order. Continue thus folding inwards to the middle until a compact bundle is obtained; tie this with a weak thread, or push into a hollow ball, ends first. This method should be used when it is desired to produce a bunch of silks all at once. When gripped by the side opposite the ends and shaken out, they expand at once, making an effective display.
c. Folding for Production Singly. Spread one silk out flat. Place a second on it and fold its corners to the middle, making a smaller square, then fold the corners of this smaller square in to the center in the same way. Fold a third silk on lop of the second in the same way and continue in the same way for as many silks as are to be produced. Turn the corners of all the folded silks together towards the middle and turn the resulting parcel over on the first silk which has remained spread out. Fold this around the bundle and fasten the last corner with a pin. When the load has been placed in position for production, from a hat, for example, remove the pin, unfold the covering silk, and the centers of the other silks are ready to be taken hold of. By giving each silk a gentle shake as it is produced a very pretty production will be made. e. The Stickland Roll. This clever method is the invention of Wm. G. Stickland, the English conjuror. For a description of the use he makes of it to produce a large number of silks, culminating in the appearance of a huge rainbow foulard, I must refer the reader
to his book, "Interesting Tricks", published by the author and obtainable from the magic dealers. Take two silks 15 in. square and one 18 in. of different colors. Tie the two smaller ones together by two corners with a square knot, upset this and draw it fairly tight. They will hold together but can be drawn apart easily. Lay these on the table stretched out. Fold each with the diagonal corners to the middle and continue to fold tlrem until they form a band of about 1 y in. wide, the knot being between them. Roll up each silk separately from the free end towards the knot as tightly as possible. Fold the larger silk in the same way and wind one end once round the two silks, then roll this silk up tightly in a ball, bringing it against the other two. The resulting bundle may be secured with a weak thread, or better, with a narrow band of tissue paper of same color as one of the silks. Fig. 1. The production is made by getting the. bundle into the right hand, breaking thread or band, and throwing out one of the smaller silks, allowing it to unroll from the finger tips. This is taken by the ieft hand, the upsetting of the knot allowing this to be done freely. The right hand at once produces the second silk, which is also taken in the left hand and the third silk follows. Tlie production is made smoothly and without haste, the right hand being held well away from the body throughout. By using half silks, apparently much larger silks can be produced. d. The Zigzag Method. This method is also very effective for the production of silks from a load, singly. Lay the first flat on tlie table, on it and square with it, lay tlie second so that it overlaps halfway across the center of the first. Fold the top edge of No. 1 over No. 2 until it is even with its own bottom edge. Lay a third silk on these two, but overlapping on the opposite side and on it fold No. 2 in half. Continue in the same way with all the rest. By lifting off the top silk the next is ready for production in its turn. 2
CHAPTER II S L E I G H T S F O R M A N I P U L A T I N G SILKS W I T H O U T ACCESSORIES a. The E n d Roll P a l m . T o p a l m a silk it is necessary to convert it into a c o m p a c t ball. Take it by one corner b e t w e e n the tips of the right finger and thumb. T u r n to the right and raise the left hand about breast high, holding it vertically. T h r o w the silk over the back of the left hand, drawing the corner b e t w e e n the t h u m b and finger. T w i s t this corner round several times w i t h the right t h u m b and forefinger a n d place it on the m i d d l e of the left palm. At once put the right p a l m tightly on the left and m a k e a rotary m o t i o n w i t h both hands, the right going f r o m right to left and vice versa. B y this action the silk will be rolled into a ball round the twisted corner as a nucleus, and the m o r e tightly the p a l m s are pressed together, the m o r e c o m p a c t will be the result. That part of the silk h a n g i n g over the left hand will be d r a w n u p gradually w i t h pretty effect. W h e n the last corner of the silk is arrived at, turn to the left, bringing the back of the right h a n d to the front, and clip t h e corner b e t w e e n the roots of the right middle a n d third fingers. Compress the right p a l m slightly, just e n o u g h to retain the balled silk, close the left fingers, not tightly, o n the p a l m , but p u f f e d out as if the hand held the silk, and m o v e it a w a y to the left, the right h a n d r e m a i n i n g stationary f o r the m o m e n t . This is m o s t important, the. w h o l e illusion is destroyed if the right h a n d is at o n c e m o v e d away. Then, keeping the eyes fixed o n the left, w i t h o u t haste drop the right hand w h i c h m a y get rid of the silk into a pocket or take hold of the wand. T o facilitate the rolling up of the silk a tiny piece of rubber, or better, a little ball of tissue paper of the s a m e color as the silk, m a y be s e w n in one corner. A similar preparation of the opposite diagonal corner will m a k e the hold of the last end b e t w e e n the fingers m u c h easier to accomplish. b. E n d Roll Flourish. Having m a d e the E n d Roll P a l m , extend the left a r m well over to the left, keeping the eyes fixed on the left hand. Raise the left leg, bending it at the knee, and point to it w i t h the right forefinger; suddenly slap the left hand d o w n on the left thigh and lift the hand s h o w i n g the silk has vanished. Quickly place the right hand just b e l o w the left thigh and release the silk f r o m the grip of the palm, but keep hold of the corner b e t w e e n the m i d d l e fingers. T h e silk will unroll, falling to full length w i t h pretty effect, as if it had passed right thru y o u r leg.
This little feat is not only excellent practice for the End Roll Palm, but can be introduced in manipulations with good effect. c. The Center Roll Palm. Standing with the right side to the front, throw the silk to be vanished over the left hand, held vertically, palm towards the audience, the center of the silk lying against the middle of the left palm. Bring the right hand over to the left, pick up the center of the silk and twist a little of the fabric several times with the tips of right thumb and finger, to form a nucleus for the ball to be made. Press the palms tightly together and make the same rotary motion as for the End Roll. The result will be that the silk will be drawn into the hands from all sides at once with much greater effect. As soon as the ball is made and rolled tightly, the action is the same as before, left hand is moved away, puffed out, right hand remaining stationary. In this case, also, in the early stages of practice, a piece of rubber may be sewn to the center of the silk, or a small glass bead, cut in facets, may be put on the left palm and the silk spread over it. This will render the rolling up of the silk a very easy matter. It should be noted that while this sleight is most effective for a complete vanish, it is not suitable in cases where the silk is to be reproduced. d. Change Over Palm, Etc. Once the knack of rolling up a silk into a tight ball has been acquired, it will be found that many of the standard billiard ball moves can be done with the silk with almost equal ease. , For instance, having palmed the silk in your right hand and having shown the left hand empty, point to the left palm with the right forefinger almost touching the left wrist. Then swing round to the right, and, as the palms cross, relax the pressure of the right palm and contract the left palm 011 the silk, at once pointing with the left first finger to the empty right palm. Both hands have thus been shown empty. A little practice will show that many other ball sleights can be done with silks. The balled silk can also be held at the roots of the middle fingers by bending them a little inwards. In this position there is, perhaps, less danger of an accidental expansion. e. The First Vanish. Hold the left hand almost closed, the back of the hand upwards and the opening of the fist a little to (he left of the body. Throw the silk over the left hand so that the center is just over the opening of the fist. With the right forefinger push the silk into the fist by repeated strokes. When all of the silk is in the left hand, and while the index finger is making a last push, stretch out the right thumb below and behind the left thumb and
under the crumpled silk which it at once pulls out of the left hand against the right palm, where it is held by bending the second, third and fourth fingers on it. Move the left hand away as if it still held the silk, while the right hand remains stationary for the moment, the forefinger outstretched and pointing to the left hand, on which the eyes are fixed. The movement should be practiced before a mirror to get the right angle for the withdrawal of the silk from the left hand. f. Vanish by the "Thimble" Palm. Taking a small silk by one corner wrap it round the tip of the right index finger and push the free end under the folds to hold it tight. In exactly the same manner as for the vanish of a thimble, place the right forefinger on the left palm, displaying the silk, close the left fingers over it and under the cover thus afforded, rapidly bend tlie forefinger, leaving the silk in the crotch of the right thumb and extend the finger again into the left hand. With the left fingers make a pretense of pulling the silk off the first joint of the forefinger and move it away half closed. Follow it with your eyes, of course. g. Vanish by Throwing. Having rolled the silk into a compact ball with the end tucked in, toss it from the right hand to the left which catches and returns it. Do this two or three times, but at the last throw palm the silk in the right hand and only make a pretence of throwing it. The left makes exactly the same gesture of catching the balled silk as before and is carried away upward, half closed and followed intently by the eyes. Done with simple natural movements the action is completely illusory. h. Back Hand Palm. If tlie silk has been securely balled it is quite possible to vanish it by tlie back hand movement as is done with cards and coins. In order to secure complete safety in making the movements for this sleight a small tie clip can be inserted in the liem of the silk and secured by a few stitches. Having rolled the silk into a ball it can be held securely by means of the clip. After the manipulations, and it is desired to produce the silk, a simple pressure on the clip will release the folds and allow the the silk to develop. i. The Hollow Ball Vanish. In the course of various tricks with silks it becomes necessary to insert a silk into a hollow ball, egg or lemon. The usual way of doing this is to have the hollow object between the hands, letting the silk hang down from the finger tips, then while waving the hands up and down, the fingers gradually push the silk into the egg, lemon, or whatever the object may be.
A m u c h better, and m o r e effective method, is to p a l m the holl o w article in the right h a n d w i t h the opening outwards. W i t h the s a m e h a n d spread the silk over the left hand, at the s a m e lime pushing its center well into the opening w i t h the left t h u m b . T h e n holdi n g the left h a n d flat, press the h o l l o w object firmly against its p a l m and m a k e a rotary m o t i o n w i t h the right h a n d f r o m left lo right. Tlie silk will be rapidly d r a w n f r o m all sides into the ball, egg, or w h a t e v e r the object in use, w i t h fine effect. C H A P T E R III M E T H O D S F O R P R O D U C I N G A S I N G L E SILK a. Silk Rolled Into a C o m p a c t Ball. A silk h a v i n g b e e n rolled into a c o m p a c t ball as in Method a, Cliapt. I, m a y be so placed that it can be easily and quickly p a l m e d w i t h o u t arousing suspicion. F o r instance, it m a y be placed behind a n y object on the table, such as another silk c r u m p l e d up, a book, a box, etc. T o secure the silk lift s o m e other article w i t h the right hand, s h o w i n g it a n d l o o k i n g intently at it. Drop the left quietly o n the silk and p a l m it. Later the change-over m a y be m a d e and tlie silk p r o d u c e d as m a y be desired. Again tlie silk m a y be on a s m a l l servante at the back of a chair a n d secret possession taken of it, either in m o v i n g the chair or placing s o m e article o n the seat. Care m u s t be taken to turn the h a n d w i t h its b a c k to the audience w h e n the p a l m is m a d e . Properly rolled the silk m a y be secreted u n d e r the vest o n either side. T o cover the necessary slight b e n d i n g of the a r m so that the fingers can take the ball, a turn of the b o d y m u s t be m a d e to cover the operating a r m . A pretty production can be m a d e b y taking a f a n in the right h a n d and an empty, s m a l l cardboard tube in the other. B y holding the f a n naturally w i t h tlie a r m bent, the load can be secured b y the right fingers w h i l e f a c i n g the audience, at the s a m e t i m e call attention to the tube, s h o w i n g it e m p t y . T h e n w h i l e f a n n i n g this, held vertically in the left hand, disengage tlie end of the silk that is tucked in a n d s i m p l y let it fall. T h e current of air f r o m the f a n will open out the silk and it will appear to h a v e dropped f r o m the tube. A silk m a y b e secreted in the armpit f r o m w h e n c e it is a l l o w e d to drop into the h a n d in pulling u p the sleeve or it m a y b e s i m p l y pulled out casually and w i t h o u t r e m a r k . Effective productions of single silks m a y b e m a d e f r o m v a r i o u s parts of the clothing. F o r e x a m p l e , a s m a l l opening is m a d e in the trouser leg and to this, inside the trouser a l o n g n a r r o w p o c k e t is
s e w n . Into this, by m e a n s of a pencil, w i t h rounded end, p u s h a silk, to one end of w h i c h has been s e w n a n inch of strong black silk to w h i c h is tied a little black bead. T h e bead is a l l o w e d to h a n g outside the pocket. T h e fingers find this without f u m b l i n g and the silk can be pulled into v i e w so rapidly ,tliat there can be no suspicion aroused that it w a s s i m p l y loaded in the clothing beforehand. F o r this production the use of the half-silks can be strongly r e c o m m e n d e d , since they take up only half the space and cost half as m u c h as the full size silks. A g a i n the silk m a y be secreted b e t w e e n the collar a n d the coat collar. U n d e r a n y colorable pretext, b e n d the a r m so that the point of the e l b o w is presented to the spectators, the other h a n d r u b b i n g it or pointing to it. T h e fingers are thus b r o u g h t right to the silk and can secure it and p a l m it w i t h o u t a n y false m o v e . b. From Behind the Ear. Roll a small silk of line texture into a thin sausage, about 1Y2 in. long, a n d r o u n d it w i n d a piece of the finest florist's w i r e t w o or three t i m e s to hold it in shape. B e g i n at o n e end a n d at the other let the w i r e extend a n d b e n d it into a half circle about o n e inch in diameter a n d finish b y b e n d i n g the end into a T shape. H a n g this on the back of the right ear so the T end of the wire passes to the front, w h e r e it will be quite unnoticeable. In the action of turning back the sleeves the right h a n d is b r o u g h t close to the right ear and, under cover of a turn to the right, the fingers take hold of the T shape and carry off the silk at the back of the right hand. B r i n g the left h a n d up to the right and u n d e r its cover pull the silk b e t w e e n the hands. B y r u b b i n g t h e m together the silk is f r e e d f r o m the w i r e and this is a l l o w e d to fall u n n o t i c e d to the floor. T h i s clever p r o d u c t i o n is b y M. R e m i Cellier, author of M a n u a l Pratique d'lllusionisme et de Prestidigitation w h i c h u n f o r t u n a t e l y is not available to E n g l i s h readers.
c. From Under the Vest. Thrust a large black-headed pin into the l o w e r part of the vest f r o m the front to the back, point d o w n w a r d s . On the pin i m p a l e the balled silk: the pin s h o u l d be so placed that the silk is held about half a n inch a b o v e the edge of the vest. T o p a l m the silk, turn the side of the b o d y o n w h i c h it is secreted a w a y to m a s k the a r m , a n d w i t h as little m o v e m e n t as possible, s i m p l y b e n d the fingers u n d e r the vest and d r a w the silk off the pin. T w o , or e v e n three, silks can be safely carried u n d e r the vest b y this m e t h o d . T h e h e a d of the pin m a y be perforated a n d the spike of a safety-pin p a s s e d t h r o u g h it. T h e safety-pin can t h e n b e f a s t e n e d in p o s i t i o n t h r o u g h the lining of the vest.
d. Loop of Florist's Wire. Round a tightly balled silk twist a short piece of very fine florist's, wire by placing the silk against the middle of the wire, taking the ends round once and then twisting them, one on the other several times. Then twist the ends of the wire together to make a loop or ring, big enough for the easy insertion of the thumb tip. Thus prepared the silk can be placed in a vest pocket, in the top opening of the vest, or between two of the vest buttons, the ring of wire projecting outwards so that it is readily get-at-able. It is a simple matter to engage the thumb in (lie loop and draw the silk out so that it rests against the palm. After disengaging the silk from the wire, this is simply let fall to the floor. In a similar way the silk may be put on a small servante at the back of a chair, in a table wall, on a headless nail at the back of a table, and so on. In the mere action of laying some article down the load can be secured with ease and certainty of not arousing suspicion. e. Silk Appears Magically in Coat Pocket. Pass the looped end of a length of black elastic through the bottom of the outer pocket, under the coat; carry the other end round the back and fasten it to a trouser button on the right hand side. Push a silk through the loop and place it under the left arm as in Flower in the Buttonhole Trick. Release the silk by throwing up tlie left arm in the course of appropriate patter and the silk will instantly appear at the top of the pocket. Remove it from the elastic loop which remains out of sight in tlie pocket. d/. By Misdirection. Roll a silk into a small ball by means of the Finger Roll, p. 4, and tuck it carefully in the top of your right trouser pocket. With the left hand make a clutch in tlie air, high up, at the same moment hook the right thumb into tlie trouser pocket, pull out and transfer it to the finger palm. Holding the left hand puffed out as if something had been eauglit from the air, place its imaginary contents into the right hand and then shake out the silk. Well timed, tlie misdirection is perfect. e/. Another Method. To the inside of the right forearm tie, with a flesh colored thread, a silk which has been folded by the Trap Fold Method, p. 5, the ends lying against the arm. With the left hand draw the right sleeve back a little, clasping the arm and so covering the silk, and show the right hand empty. While doing this, stand with the right side to the front.
Turn to the left, repeating the action in the same way to show the left hand emtpy. Repeat the first movement but this time break the thread and carry away the silk palmed in the left hand. Bring the hands together and develop the silk. f / . Variation Using Wrist Watch Strap. Roll a silk into a compact ball by the Finger Roll, p. A, and tuck it under the strap of your wrist watch. Show the right hand empty, pointing to it with the left forefinger. Turn to the left and show your left hand, also empty, right forefinger pointing to it. Bend the other three right fingers in and work the silk from under the strap into the palm as you turn the left hand to show it back and front. Then w.ith a little jerk of the right hand shoot the silk to the right finger tips and immediately seize it with the left hand and shake it out. g/. With a Thread. Roll a silk by the Finger Roll and tie a short length of weak black thread round it. Attach the free end to one of the buttons on the sleeve at the back of the wrist. If the silk has been put in the left sleeve, draw back the right sleeve with the left hand and show right hand empty. Then with the right hand draw the left sleeve back a little, and push the right thumb under the thread as both sides of the left hand are shown. By the mere action of putting the hands together the silk is imperceptibly pulled between them. Develop the silk slowly as if it materialized by degrees. Display the silk with the left hand and with the right hand adjust the left sleeve, unobtrusively breaking the thread off the button and dropping it to the floor. h/. From Back Hand. To prepare for this effective method, sew a fine black silk thread, about 12 in. long, to one corner of the silk and then roll it up tightly from the opposite diagonal corner by the Finger Roll. Wind the thread round and round the balled silk, leaving a couple of inches to twist round the tip of the right forefinger. Holding the silk clipped between the right first and little fingers, as in the front finger palm with a card, make a clutch in the air, catching nothing. Turn to the right, back-palming the silk under cover of the turn, and jerk the ball into the air from the back of the right fingers. The thread unwinds and as the silk expands, catch it at the finger tips. A large knot at the free end of the thread will enable it to be clipped between the fingers.
i/. Finger Ring and Thread. Take a length of fine black silk thread, about three feet long, and lie one end to the lowest button hole of the vest; run the other end through a finger ring and then sew it to the center of the silk to be produced. Roll the silk by the Trap Fold, p. 5, pass the thread round the middle of the bundle once and tuck it under the vest, or, in the case of a dress vest, at the top on the left side. Put the ring in a lower vest pocket so that it can be easily secured. To produce the silk, get the ring secretly 011 the right middle finger, the thread passing under the palm. Make a quick outward and upward catching motion with the right hand and the silk will be pulled into it instantaneously. While shaking it out to display it quietly break off the thread. This method can be used al the closest quarters. j/. Instantaneous Production. To two adjacent corners of the silk to be produced fasten a strong thread, slightly longer than the side, of the silk. Fold the silk in half, bringing the two corners to which the thread is fastened, together. Then fold it by method d, p. 4, in accordeon pleats into a band about 2 in. in width. Starting from the end opposite to that which has the thread, fold this band in the same way arriving at a square packet about 2 in. in size, the two threaded corners at the top, outside the packet and the thread loop free. Take one corner and draw it round the silk so that the bulk of it is enclosed in a kind of pocket. Place the packet under the lower edge of the vest, the two corners, to which the thread is attached, being downwards and loop the thread upwards over the third button of the vest. To produce the silk, insert thumbs in the loop, lifting the thread off the button, and carry the arms forward to full extent, first downwards and then upwards, spreading the hands apart. The silk will appear instantaneously. The thread must be strong enough to bear the strain. k/. Large Foulard or Flag. Fold the silk or flag by Method d, as in the previous paragraph, and roll it up as tightly as possible. Around the resulting bundle gum a band of black tissue paper. To each of two adjacent corners, thin wire loops must be sewn firmly, of such size that the thumbs can be inserted easily. Place the bundle in the opening of the vest at the top, or in coat pocket on the right
hand side. Draw it into the right hand by placing right thumb in one loop and quickly put the hands together. Insert the left thumb in the other loop and jerk the hands apart instantly developing the silk or flag. The tissue paper will drop unnoticed. 1/. Thumb Method. Wrap a red silk tightly round the tip of the right thumb and tuck the free end in under the folds at the base of the thumb nail; hide the silk by keeping the thumb bent in a little. Show both palms empty by putting the right thumb on the back of the left hand, fingers pointing upwards. Turn the hands down to show the backs, turning the right thumb in towards tlie palm, bring the hands together, bending the thumbs inwards under the fingers and work the silk off the thumb. Let it appear gradually. m/. Finger Stall Production. Obtain a rubber finger stall to fit easily over the left little finger and roll it up carefully, inside out. Wrap a small silk tightly round the first joint of the left little finger and roll the finger stall over it. Do not tuck the free end of the silk under the folds, let it remain loose, the stall will hold it and the final production will be easier. Show the hands with the finger tips pointing straight forward, the stall will be invisible. To produce the silk simply put the hands together, the right hand fingers covering those of the left, work off the stall and gradually develop the silk. The best way is to push it up over the finger tips with the thumbs. n/. With a Rubber Band. Place a small red rubber band over the second joints of tlie right hand second and third fingers. Fold a silk into a small oblong bundle about IV2 in. long, and place it between the two middle fingers, so that the front part of the band is under the first fold of the silk. Push the bundle through tlie two fingers to tlie back of the hand, taking that part of the band with it, and close the fingers tightly together. Show the front of the hand and, in turning it over with a sweep to the left to show the back, open the fingers and let the silk pass through to the front of the hand. Making a catch in the air, clench the fist, pulling the silk from under the band into the palm. Open the hand quickly and the silk will instantly expand with surprising effect. For close quarters wbrk it is advisable to rub a little French chalk over tlie rubber to tone it down.
o/. A Second Method. Make a band of narrow flat elastic, of the hat band variety, jnst large enough to hold the silk to be produced when it is tightly balled. On the outside of the band sew a fairly large button and on that put a dab of good, adhesive wax. Place the band round the silk with the waxed button on the side away from the palm. To show the palms empty, cross the arms, the right palm passing over the back of the left hand, all fingers pointing upwards, and press the silk on it, making it adhere by means of the waxed button. Recover the silk in making the reverse movement. After developing the load the elastic band can be dropped on the table in putting the silk down. The method is quite practical for a fairly large silk. p/. A Third Method. To prepare for this simple, but very effective production, place a band of fine grey elastic lengthways on the forefinger so that one end will project about half an inch over the finger tip. Wrap the silk tightly round the middle of the band and the finger, as in the Finger Roll, slip the finger out and tie the bundle with black thread: do not tuck the end into the folds. The two ends of the elastic should protrude from the ends of the silk bundle: slip the little finger into one loop and the thumb into the other, bringing the silk into the palm of the hand. To produce the silk, bring the hands together, turn to the right, and under cover of the left hand slip the right fingers under the elastic, bringing the silk to the back of the right hand. Open the hands again, showing the palms empty, the silk being safely hidden at the back of the right hand. Bring the hands together again, letting the silk slip back into the right palm and close the right fingers on it. Insert the left thumb and forefinger in the opening of the right fist, seize the inner corner of the silk ball and draw it daintily upwards. If the band is a fine one, toned down a little with French chalk, it will be invisible at a short distance. With a little practice the familiar back and front moves, as with cards, can be applied to this method and the silk produced with one hand. q/. From the Wand. Fold a silk by placing two diagonal corners to the middle, then double the pleats on one another until you have a roll about IV2 in. wide. Wrap this around the end of the wand tightly enough for it to be securely held, but not so firmly that a noticeable effort must be made to slip it off. Tuck the free end under the folds. Take the end of the wand in the right hand and tap the left palm with the other end, then place the silk end
under the left arm. Pull back both sleeves, carelessly showing both hands empty. With the left hand take the wand by the end nearest to it and at once grip the silk end with the right hand. Withdraw the wand from the right hand with the left, leaving the silk behind. Tap the right hand with the wand, opening it quickly and allowing the silk to expand. r/. Using a Playing Card. Bend a card lengthways, as for the Back Hand Palm, and slip a rather broad elastic band round it. Fold a silk by the Trap Fold Method p. 5, and put it under the band, which must be tight enough to hold the silk securely. The smooth side of the bundle must be on the outside, the folded corners lying against the card. Thus prepared, the card may lie on the table, behind some small object, and in putting the wand down, clip it at the back of the hand, back palm fashion. With left side to the front, point to the empty right hand with the left forefinger, reverse the card to the front of the hand as you drop the arm to the side and turn to the left to show the left hand empty and point to the left palm with the right forefinger. Bring the hands together and slowly develop the silk. Do not be tempted into frantically waving the right hand back and front as in the usual back hand manipulations. Three small silks can be loaded on a card in the same way and produced one by one. s/. From a Lighted Candle. A little preparation is necessary. Put a drop of glue on the lower side of a thumb tack and push the pin through the corner of a silk. Let it dry thoroughly. Ball the silk by the diagonal fold method, roll it up tightly towards the end with the pin attached, then push the pin in making all secure. Load this under the vest, on the right hand side. Take the lighted candle in the left hand, at the same time palming the silk. Push tbe thumb tack out with the right thumb and press it into the candle just behind the flame. With an upward motion of the right hand let the silk unroll. Grip the last corner between thumb and finger and jerk the pin loose with a little backward pull. The candle must be held firmly in the left hand. t/. |From the Body of a Candle. The candle is made from a piece of heavy paper with an outside covering of white glazed paper the same shade as a candle. Push a silk inside this tube and insert a small piece of candle at the top. To produce the silk, wrap the candle in paper, tear the paper and candle in half, extract the silk and crumple up the remains, tossing them aside. The method is an easy one, but it is hard to make a clean break and a satisfactory extraction of the silk.
u/. Fancy Silk, such as a Mickey Mouse Design. For any fancy silk which has a black part in its design, roll it by turning the diagonal corners in to the middle, proceeding in such a Way that finally the black part only shows on the outside. Tie the bundle with a weak black thread and impale it 011 the point of a pin which you have thrust through the cloth of the trousers, point upwards, at the back of the right leg, where the hand will rest naturally when dropped to the side. While pattering, gesticulate with the right hand, letting all see it is empty. Turn to the right and make a catching motion with the left hand, high up, closing the fist as if something had really been caught from the air. Under cover of this palm the silk from the pin with the right hand. Turn to the front and make a pretence of transferring the catch to the right hand. Work the fingers about, breaking the thread, then quickly open th6m letting the silk expand freely. The method can be worked effectively with a large silk. v/. From a Match Box. The original method, introduced by De Kolla, was to push the silk into the back of the cover, letting the drawer protrude at the front. After taking a match the silk was naturally pushed out into the hand by the mere action of closing the box. Unfortunately the method has become widely known. A later method is to glue the drawer to the cover and cut away the bottom of both. Roll the silk by the Trap Fold, tie it with a weak thread and push it into the box. Make a small hole in one end of the drawer at the top and push a couple of matches in, letting the heads protrude. Pick up the box, extract a match and let the silk fall into your palm. Always have two matches in case of a misfire. Another way is to tie the folded silk against the bottom of the box and stand this on its side, the silk being to the rear. Pick up the box between thumb and fingers of right hand, put it in the left hand and push the drawer out with the right thumb. Take a match with thumb and first finger and with the other fingers break the thread allowing the silk to fall into the left palm. By having a small well in the table top, or a small hole in a cigar box, the box can be set down flat. Care must be taken not to expose the silk when lifting the match box. A third plan is to make a false bottom in the drawer just deep enough to hold a single row of matches, then cut away the front half of the real bottom of the drawer and the rear half of the bottom of the cover. A small silk, tightly rolled and tied, is loaded into the front part of the drawer as this is pushed into the cover. When the
box is opened, the open part of the bottom of the drawer will be brought above the cut away portion of the cover and the silk will fall into the hand. Fig. 6.
w / . From the Lapel. A small pocket is required under the left lapel with the opening at the top. Roll a silk by the Finger Roll Method and tie one end of strong black silk thread round it. Put the silk into the pocket and to the free end of the thread tie a pin. Push this into the coat so that a short loop of thread will hang down. To produce the silk, show the palm of the left hand, pointing to it with the left forefinger, then with a half turn to the right, show the right palm and point at it with the left forefinger, but in turning slip tlie left thumb under the loop of thread. Gazing intently upwards, make a sudden lunge with both hands up into the air and catch the silk between them. The flight of the silk from the pocket to the hands is invisible. x/. ' From the Bend of the Elbow. For this excellent method, also introduced by De Kolta, make a small fold in the middle of the left sleeve, the opening being towards the left hand. Fold a small silk and tuck it into the fold hiding it by slightly bending the arm. To get the load pull up the right sleeve with the left hand, then the left sleeve with the right liand, the fingers pulling the silk out of the fold into the right palm imperceptibly. To produce a very large silk, or several silks at once, by this plan, use a small bag of dull black silk, with an opening along one side. Roll three or four silks by the Trap Method and push them into the bag one after the other, then simply put the bag on the arm at the bend of the elbow and bend it a little to hold the bag in place. Get possession of the bag in the same way as described above for a small silk and develop the silks one by one. The bag itself may be lined with brightly colored silk so that, by turning it inside out and crumpling it up it has the appearance of being another silk and is carelessly tossed on the table. y/. From a Spool. Load a small silk into one end of a spool which has been bored out sufficiently to take it, leaving the other
end intact. Set this on the table with the good end to the front. Pick it up, break off a length of thread, getting possession of the load at the same time. Roll the thread between the fingers and apparently produce from it a silk of the same color. A larger silk can be produced by this method by having a special spool made as shown in Fig. 7. When the thread is broken off the tube B. remains in the hand and A. is put on the table, hollow end downwards. Push the thread into the lower part of the fist and pull the silk out of B. at the upper side. B. can be pocketed or dropped into a well in putting the silk on the table.
z/. A Japanese Method. Fold a small silk of the finest possible texture into a strip about 1 in. wide by the diagonal fold method, -then with a hairpin start the roll and make a ball of the smallest possible dimension. Do not tuck the last in as usual but simply wrap a small piece of heavy lead foil round the silk. Squeeze the little parcel very tightly, reducing it to the smallest compass possible, and put it in your mouth, just behind the closed lips. To produce the silk, show the hands very slowly, pull back both sleeves and again show the hands with fingers wide apart. Taking a sheet of tissue paper, tear off a small piece and roll it into a tiny ball at the tips of the fingers of both hands. To facilitate this, wot the tips of the right first and second fingers at your mouth. Do this a couple of times very openly, but the third time nip the lead foil packet between them. Continue rolling the tissue pellet and gradually develop the silk from the foil. Under cover of pushing the silk into view, roll the foil tightly into a tiny ball and secrete it at the roots of the second and third fingers, or simply let it drop to the floor with the tissue. If covered by waving the silk they will never be noticed. This is a beautiful feat for silent work. Space will not permit the description of a large number of gimmicks made specially for the production of a silk. These can be obtained at any magic store.
PRODUCING A SINGLE SILK al. The Hollow Wand. One end of this special wand is hollow; a silk is folded, then rolled tightly, so that it will fit easily in the empty space, and tied with a thread: piece of fine black florist's wire is passed under the thread at the top of the silk parcel. Load the silk into the wand so that the little Joop of wire protrudes; it will be imperceptible at a distance of a few feet. To use it, make a small cornucopia from a sheet of paper, twist the point tightly and hold it mouth downwards, the point in the left hand, after showing it empty. Pick up the wand and push it up into the cone, twirling it as further proof the cone is empty. Grip the point and the wire loop under the paper, withdraw the wand leaving the silk behind and twist the end of the cone tightly to retain the wire loop. Turn the cone mouth upwards, accidentally making a dent with the left thumb in one side. Dip the right hand in to straighten this out and take the opportunity of breaking the weak thread round the silk which is then ready for production as required. By making the cone of flash paper and dropping it into a glass it can be flashed off with fine effect. b/- Bottomless Bottle. The illustration practically explains this ingenious apparatus. The silk hangs from a thread which is held in the neck of the bottle by the cork. This is pulled out to allow a little of the magic fluid, "one drop of which will cause anything I wish to appear", to be apparently poured on the hand, the silk drops into the fingers, the bottle is put down, the hands are brought together and the production follows.
THE PRODUCTION OF A -NUMBER OF SILKS After having magically produced one silk it is not a dillicult matter to obtain a load, made up of a number of silks, by using the single silk a? a cover. The most effective presentation of a silk act is that in which no help is obtained from tables, chairs or apparatus, all the loads being obtained from the body. A description of the most ingenious methods of arranging these loads follows. It is impossible to give all the variations in use: each performer will apply his own ingenuity to modifying those given or arranging new ones to suit himself. a/. From the Sleeve. If the first silk, produced by one or other of the methods explairjfd in Chapter III, is a white one, to prepare for apparently multiplying it into a i\umber of silks, take another white silk, of the same size, and spread it out flat on a table. Fold three others, same size but different colors, separately by the diagonal fold and place them one oil the other. Twist apd twirl them rather tightly together and lay the resulting roll on the white silk as shown in the Fig. 9. Roll this rather tightly round them and continue until corner C is reached. The colored silks will be safely ensconced in the white and as long as the corners at A are held they cannot be seen. Prepare two rolls of silks in this way, remove your coat, take one roll in each hand, holding them by the corners A: put on your coat, so arranging that the ends A remain out of sight near the ends of the sleeves at the inner side of the wrists. To produce the ffrst load, display the single silk, holding it up in the right hand and stroke it downwards with the left. Bring the left hand up to the right to repeat the action, but this time nip the corner A of the load and draw this out of the sleeve by the downward sweep of the left hand. On no account must the right hand be moved, such action would suggest a removal of something from the sleeve and would destroy the illusion entirely. The moment the load is clear of the sleeve, seize its lower end and that of the single silk with the right hand and twirl them together. To the audience it will appear that one silk only is still in view. Release the grip of the left hand, letting the silks untwist and show a white silk in each hand. Throw c
the single over the left arm and hold the load with the right hand; shake it to free the colored silks from the folds of the white one and draw them out, one by one, by their lower ends. By a repetition of the same moves with opposite hands obtain the second load from the right sleeve. b/. From the Vest. In a similar manner a production can be made from the vest, the end of the load being made to protrude from between the buttons. In this case, however, the first silk produced must be of a dark color, purple for instance. To make it an easy matter to grip the load, a tiny knot can be made in the end of the silk covering it. c/. Tubular Pockets for Vest Productions. Under the vest, on each side, you have a small tube, preferably of black sateen, sewn to the lining, the mouths coming almost to the lower corners. They must be large enough to hold six 18 in. silks, doubled, without binding; they must come out easily. Tie a tiny knot at the extreme corner of each silk and slip these knots into a wire letter clip, Fig. 11. Double the silks over and, inserting a pencil into the doubled part, push them into the tubes, allowing the knotted ends to protrude. Produce the loads under cover of silks already in hand. Display these in both hands just in front of the body and gather an end of each with the right thumb and forefinger, the hand being just at the left corner of the vest. As you do this grip the wire clip with the other fingers of tlie right hand and pull the visible silks and the load through the left hand with an upward motion to the left. Under cover of shaking the silks as they multiply visibly, slip the knots out of the clip and let it fall to the floor. The clip should be blackened. The second load is obtained with the left hand in the same way.
d/. For Large Loads. Take a piece of glossy cardboard, about 8 in. by 6 in. in size; at about an inch from each end fasten a length of broad, flat elastic with paper fasteners, tlie heads being on top of the elastic and the ends pushed through this and the cardboard, then separated and flattened underneath. Two of these gimmicks will be necessary. On one end of each glue a piece of broad tape, to each end of which attach a safety-pin. Prepare the loads by
laying out a dozen or more large silks flat, one on the other. Fold them diagonally opposite corners to the middle and then fold all over once lengthways. Fold the parcel thus made in half and insert it under the band near the safety pins and the middles under the lower band. Fig. 12. Pin the gimmicks thus loaded under the vest, one on each side. Fig. 13. Under cover of silks already produced, it is an easy matter to grip the middle parts of the loads and pull them out imperceptibly.
e/. Special Bag for Large Loads. Cut a piece of black silk to the shape shown in the figure. The dimensions may be varied in accordance with the size of the load to be produced, but the measurements given will provide for a load large enough for most purposes. To prepare the bag fold C over D, letting it overlap about half au inch, and fasten the two flaps with pins, Fig. 15. Fold flap B over these two and fasten it also with pins, making a bag with the end A open. Into this insert the silks. They must be folded by the Trap Fold Method and the largest pushed in first, silks of smaller dimensions following in regular order, the last being the smallest. Fifty, or more, silks can be loaded in and the bag should be filled to its utmost capacity. Finally fold A. over B. tightly and fasten it with a pin. Tie a thread crosswise round the parcel, remove the pins, and the load is ready. Fig. 16.
The bag thus prepared can be carried in a special pocket under the coat on the left side near the armpit, or it may hang under the coat by a thread, the free end of which is fastened to the top of the vest near the arm hole. It must be so placed that the end from which the small silks will emerge, will be uppermost when the load is taen. Whatever method of concealment is used, as soon as the load is obtained it is only necessary to break the thread and the silks will well out and drop from above those already in the hands with very pretty effect. By timing the fall of the silks, and not being a hurry, the supply will seem very much greater than it really is. The bag itself, when fully opened will pass for a silk and may be let fall with the others, thus there is nothing to get rid of. There is a special artifice which should be mentioned here whereby the number of silks produced is apparently doubled. Cut a number of them in half diagonally and have the cut side hemmed. When held up by a corner they appear to be complete. Fig. 17. f / . Another "Bag" Method. Cut a circular piece of black sateen letting its size be governed by the number of silks to be produced. Sew a silk to this, center to center, then with a needle and strong thread run a thread around the edge of the circular piece, which should be hemmed, and tie the ends together making a small loop. Fig. 18. Fold the attached silk in to the middle and fold the silks to be produced by the Trap Fold Method, place them all on top of the first silk and by pulling on the thread loop draw up the circular piece round them. Push as many more silks into the bag thus made as it will safely hold, draw the thread tight and tie it off. Fasten a catgut loop to the bag so that it can be liung on the thumb. The load may be placed in the opening of the dress vest or in a pocket with a vertical opening on the inside of the coat. By inserting the thumb in the loop the load can be secured under cover of silks already produced. These are then put down, the hands are brought together and the fingers break the thread fastening the mouth of the bag. Tlie circular piece opens out flat and the silks may be made to well out gradually from the hands with beautiful effect.
g/. Dr. E. G. Ervyn's Method. Roll a red silk by the diagonal fold into a small ball and impale it on a pin, stuck point downward just under the edge of the coat on the right hand side. Pass a thread through the corners of three others, held together and let the thread extend beyond about half an inch; tic a large knot in the end of it. Twist these three together and drape them around the body inside the trousers on the left side, the knot in the thread protruding between the second and third buttons of the trousers flap. Asking someone to think of a color quickly, turn to the left and make a grab in the air with the left hand, closing it and holding it as if something had been caught. At the same moment pull the silk off the pin and finger palm it in the right hand. Pass the right hand over the left, dropping the silk into the fist, the fingers opening slightly to receive it. Draw it downwards from the bottom of the fist. Tlie chances are greatly in favotr of red being the color thought of, but you don't hesitate. Hold it by two corners, right hand close to the knot in the thread, and turn the left hand over to the right in a circle to show the other side, then back. Release the end from the left hand, seize the knot and quickly draw the red silk and those from the trousers upward through the left hand with a jerk. "Any other colors? Quick," you call out. Then shake out the silks showing the different colors. h/. Several Silks from a Candle. Roll up several silks by the Finger Roll Method, but do not tuck the ends in; tie each of them with a weak black thread. Fasten a gut loop to each little bundle by running it under the thread, make each loop double, one small by which each bundle can be hung on a headless brad in the sides of the table wells, or the back of the table, the larger loop being for the insertion of your thumb. A match box is placed just in front of one of the wells and, in picking it up, take up also one of the silks by running the thumb through the larger loop. Open the match box by pushing the drawer out towards the audience, take a match, strike it and light the candle. Break the thread round the silk and make a pretence of nipping it from the flame, at the same time releasing all but one corner. In putting this silk on the table, get possession of a second in the same way, and so on with the third. After getting a bundle in the hand it is possible to show the hand empty by swinging it to the back of the hand and then back to the palm, but the move is a difficult one. It seems to me to be much better to produce the three smoothly and cleanly without any flourishes with the hand which, after all, are always suggestive of manipulation. /
i/. Using the Wand. Roll six or more silks by Method a., Chap. II and tie them with thread. Fasten a loop of black florist's wire to the thread and place the bundle at the top of the dress vest, bending the wire loop forward so that it is at right angles to the body at the front of the vest. Hold the wand in the right hand by one end, the other pointed towards the loop. Show the left hand empty and drop it to a position several inciies in front of the body, level with the load. Under cover of this hand slip the free end of the wand into the loop and, with it, lift the load from the vest into the left hand, drawing in the stomach at the same time to aid its extraction. Grip the load with the left hand and raise it upwards and outwards, while the right hand continues the upward movement of the wand and taps the back of the left fist with it. Place the wand under one arm and develop the silks. This clever method appeared in that Treasury of Magic, The Magic Wand. j/. From the Front of the Table. If your table has a black velvet cover, a small pocket can be made in it behind the braid which generally runs round the edge. Into this place the load of silks, properly rolled and folded, with a loop of black florist's wire protruding from the mouth. In the course of your productions lay one or two silks on the edge of the table near the wire loop. In taking these up engage the thumb in the loop and so obtain possession of the load. k/. From a Magazine. This novel idea can be introduced effectively as an interlude in sleight of hand silk productions. Prepare a magazine, any one of the monthlies will do, by removing the cover and cutting the pages diagonally from a point about half way up the back to another point about half way across the bottom. Glue the cut edges together and then fasten the cover on again. Fold a number of silks to fit the cavity, arranging the corners so that the silks can be pulled out one by one. Take the magazine and ruffle the pages, the unprepared end being towards the front. Roll it up into a tube, look through it at the spectators, turn the prepared end upwards and pull out several of the silks. Unroll the tube, riffle the pages and repeat the production. This is an arrangement by Mr. Fred. Mintz. Finally, large loads may be set behind tables, chairs or fancy stands, and obtained in picking up silks which have been laid down in front of or over them, as they were produced by the methods already explained. All these are legitimate and can be arranged to one's own taste, all except that wherein the performer leaves the stage and comes back with his coat bulging out in front as if he had a hunch back on the wrong side. I have seen this done by an eminent magician.
CHAPTER V V A R I O U S M E T H O D S OF V A N I S H I N G A SILK a/. B y a Pull. Various kinds of pulls can be obtained f r o m the m a g i c dealers. I do not take up space in describing these since the reader can easily obtain o n e to suit h i m s e l f w i t h o u t a n y trouble. H o w e v e r , there are several simple pulls w h i c h o n e can m a k e very easily. 1. T a k e a piece of black cord elastic, run it up the right sleeve across the back and fasten the end to a trouser button o n the left side. T h e n m a k e a loop at the other end, the length of the cord should be such that the loop will lie n o r m a l l y b e t w e e n the e l b o w a n d the shoulder. D o u b l e the handkerchief t h r o u g h the loop and bring the ends d o w n to the cuff. T o use the pull, take the handkerchief f r o m the sleeve, gripping both ends, so pulling d o w n the l o o p w h i c h y o u slip over y o u r thumb. W i p e the h a n d s lightly and put the handkerchief in y o u r pocket. P i c k up the silk, or silks, to be vanished, and pass t h e m through the loop. R u b t h e m b e t w e e n your hands, standing w i t h left side to the front, and let t h e m fly up the sleeve, but continue the rubbing m o v e m e n t f o r a f e w m o m e n t s before s h o w i n g the h a n d s are empty. 2. In place of elastic use a black cord, arranged in the s a m e w a y but w i t h a gut loop on the f r e e end. T h e l e n g t h of the cord is such that w h e n the a r m s are extended to full length, the silk is d r a w n up the sleeve. T h e a r m m u s t be bent to obtain possession of the gut loop so that this m e t h o d is suitable only f o r an opening trick or after a trip off stage. 3. Instead of fastening the cord to a trouser b u t t o n it is let h a n g d o w n outside the a r m h o l e of the vest o n the opposite side a n d has a ring fastened to the free end. T o v a n i s h the silk, after doubling it t h r o u g h the loop, the left t h u m b is inserted in the ring a n d a sharp pull is m a d e o n the cord w i t h the left hand. T h e silk disappears so quickly that the eye cannot f o l l o w it. B y h a v i n g a s m a l l object, a n egg, ball or l e m o n under the silk in the right h a n d a n d m a k i n g a n u p w a r d t h r o w as the jerk is m a d e w i t h the left hand, the silk will appear to h a v e c h a n g e d in mid-air. T o avoid friction a b o n e ring should b e s e w n at the arm-hole of the vest, a n d the cord passed through it. Instead of a cord m a n y p e r f o r m e r s p r e f e r to use a strong silk thread. 4. T o F i x a n Ordinary Pull. T h e pull provided b y the m a g i c stores vanishes the silk b y m e a n s of a cup w h i c h is pulled u n d e r the coat. A great i m p r o v e m e n t in its w o r k i n g is m a d e b y h a v i n g a loop
of elastic sewn to the trousers near the suspender button; this must be large enough to stop the cup without letting it pass through. This acts as a buffer and ensures a smooth and silent vanish. The elastic cord of the pull should go right around the body and end in a small loop, which is slipped over one end of the suspender buttons, instead of being fixed to the back of the vest as is usually done. In ord.gr that the cup may be easily obtained without fumbling, sew a dress hook, point downward on the hip, in such a position that the elastic can be passed under it and hold the vanisher just hidden by the coat. This is then easily secured by one hand as the silk is shown in the other. After the silk is all in the cup this is allowed to slip quietly under the coat at the moment that the hands sway near the body, but the forward and backward movement of thte hands is continued, and the hands are finally stretched out well away from the body before being separated to show that the silk has vanished. b/. Gas Chimney Vanish. Fasten a gut loop to a cord and a small strap to the other end. Attach the strap to the right arm just above the elbow, then pass the cord and loop across the back and down the left sleeve. The length of the cord and gut loop must be so adjusted that when a silk is doubled through the loop it will be drawn out of sight up the sleeve. Slip your pocket liandherchief through the loop and draw it into the sleeve, the ends remaining near the wrist. When the pull is required draw the handkerchief down by gripping both ends, wipe the hands and under cover of this slip the gut loop over the left thumb; push the handkerchief into the right sleeve. Show the silk to be vanished and put it through the gut loop while stroking it; push it into the gas chimney so that the middle of the silk is at the left end of the gas chimney as it is held between the palms of the hands. As this is being done the arms must be kept firmly pressed to the sides. To vanish the silk simply raise the glass tube, allowing space for the silk to pass out by lifting the left palm slightly, and at the same moment throw the elbows outwards. The silk will disappear instantaneously. c/. Another Glass Tube Vanish. A small piece of mirror glass, just large enough to slip into the gas chimney, is required and on the back a small bag of tlie same color as the silk to be vanished must be glued. Pick up this gimmick under cover of the silk to be vanished, and push the silk into the bag under the pretense of merely rolling it up; then push the gimmick into the chimney with the bag side to the front. Hold the glass tube between the palms, give it a half turn in raising it slightly and the mirror will create the illusion of the silk having vanished. The tube can be slid into a well in laying the tube on the table.
d/. Glass Tube Vanish Without Pull. This is an effective variation and does away with the bother of arranging a pull. Use one of the balls with a spring winder inside for changing a silk to a billiard ball. These can be obtained at the magic stores. Place the ball on the table under the silk to be vanished, pick up both at once and palm the ball. Take the glass tube in the same hand with the opening of the ball upwards, Fig. 19. Push the silk into the tube with the wand, and engage it in the hook. Then push the sleeve well back, hold the tube firmly and press the stud, releasing the spring and the silk vanishes in a flash. Get rid of the ball in laying the glass tube down. e/. Hollow Ball Vanish. A small hollow ball with an opening just large enough to admit the tip of the thumb is required. Palm this from the vest as the silk to be vanished is shown with the left hand. Stroke the silk with the right hand and transfer the ball to the left hand, with its opening upwards, and at once clench the fist. Push the silk into the ball with the right forefinger; when it is all inside the ball show the right hand empty in the course of gestures accompanying the patter and at the same time bend the left wrist inwards towards the body. Insert the tip of the left thumb into the ball and bring it outside the fingers. Fig. 20. With the right forefinger make a final motion of pushing the silk right home and, under cover of this, extend the left thumb, carrying the ball into the right hand which palms it. Fig. 21. Withdraw the right forefinger slowly and very openly so that it is plain nothing is being carried away with it. Rub the left fingers together and open the hand slowly, finger by finger. The silk has vanished.
FIG. 19 f / . The plunger Wand. This special wand has a long plunger which can be pulled out and left inside a paper cone or cylinder; the silk is then pushed into the cone apparently, really it goes into the wand with the plunger and is carried away when the wand is removed.
The most effective use of this wand is with a tall glass cylinder. Take a sheet of paper, roll it into a tube and try to insert it into the glass cylinder; however, it has been purposely made too big, so unroll the paper and use the wand to make a smaller tube, leaving the plunger inside. Insert the paper tube, with the plunger inside it, into the cylinder. Push the silk to be vanished down into the paper tube with the wand; the plunger and the silk go inside it'and the vanish is complete. The use of the wand is so natural that it will deceive the keenest observer. g/. Top of the Pocket Vanish. Roll a silk between the hands into a small ball in the same way as for a, Chapter II, but show it and really place it in the trouser pocket. Under any suitable pretext, such as first showing the pocket empty, take it out and show it again. Replace the silk in the pocket, but this time push it with the thumb as far up into the top corner of the pocket as possible; as you do this push the fingers down into the pocket, pressing tliem outwards so that their passage downwards can be seen. Tlie pocket can then be turned inside out at any time without dislodging the silk. A very useful sleight. h/. Finger Gimmick. This is a false finger tip, generally used on the forefinger; inside it, glued by one end, is a tiny piece of silk of the same color as that about to be vanished. The standard method of using this tip is to have it in the right hand trousers pocket. Roll the silk with the End Roll Method and palm it in the right hand, which, straightway, put in your pocket, affecting a furtive expression, if you can. Push tlie silk to the top of the pocket and insert the tip of the forefinger in the gimmick. When a challenge is made, pull the pocket out, showing it empty, then insert the right forefinger into the left fist and pull out the tiny piece of silk, proof positive (to the spectators) that the original silk is still there. Push the piece back into the fist, again obtaining the false tip with the forefinger, rub the hands together with the tips of the fingers to the front, separate them and show them empty. A good effect is obtained by having a spectator hold the wrist after showing tlie small piece of silk in the hand. A similar effect can be obtained without the gimmick in this manner. Roll the silk between the hands, but really leave it in the left hand; close the right hand and put it in the trousers pocket, glancing at it furtively as you do so. Provoke a spectator to challenge you if you can, but if the audience is too polite to do this, pretend to hear someone say you put the silk in your pocket, pull the pocket out, showing it empty and push it back again. Open the left hand letting
the silk expand. Once more roll it up, but this time palm it in the. right hand. Remark casually that you had better show the pocket still empty, pull it out, this time leaving the silk at the top and the pocket hanging out. Rub the left finger tips against the palm then open the fingers one by one showing it also empty. Replace the pocket and. recover duplicate silk in whatever way is necessary for the trick in hand. i/. Same Effect with Wand. The wand is so made that by pushing a stud at one end a piece of silk is made to protrude at the other. It is used to create the same effect as the finger gimmick but has the advantage that there is nothing to get rid of at the finish. Roll a silk by the End Roll, closing the left hand and palming it in the right hand as usual. In picking up the wand drop the silk into a well or behind some object on the table. Push the end of the wand into the left fist from below upwards, at the same time making the little piece of silk protrude from the top of the fist, proving beyond all doubt that the silk is still in the left hand. Push the scrap of silk out of sight with the left thumb and draw it back into the wand by means of the stud; tap the back of the fist and slowly open it, empty. The wand is a thin one; when not in use keep the little piece of silk outside it and rolled up, to keep it smooth and in good order. j/. Metal Cylinder. A small metal cylinder having a smaller metal cylinder fitting smoothly inside it, is required for this vanish. The smaller tube has an arm with a sharp hook at the end and this protrudes over the top of the larger one. It also is open at the end, but has two wires across it. To use it you have the gimmick inside the larger tube; push the silk into it and pull it right through from the bottom, the wires allowing this to be done. Push the silk into the tube again, crumpling it well down into the gimmick. Hold the tube in the right hand and pull up the right sleeve with the left hand; then pull up the left sleeve with the right hand, at the same time engaging the hook in the cloth and leaving the gimmick hanging on the inside of the Upper left arm. Recite your pet magic formula and show the tube empty. k/. Paper Cone. The standard cone made from two sheets of paper pasted together round the edges is now so well-known that a detailed description is not warranted, but the following method of converting an unprepared newspaper into a cone for vanishing a silk will be found very useful on occasion. Take a good sized newspaper, a twelve page paper will do, and twist it into a cornucopia with the loose edges at the top. Press it flat and fold the three-cor-
nered points at the top over so that they will be bent down in front of the body of the cone. Tlie crease so made should be straight across its widest part. Straighten out all these corners except the innermost, insert the fingers behind it and open out the body of the cone, so that there is one extra thickness of paper at the front. Holding it thus show the inside and drop a silk into it; fold all the corners down and put the cone in a glass point downwards, or it may quite safely be held by a spectator. After the vanish is supposed to have been made, open out the paper and show it empty. Tlie silk is safely hidden between the sheets of paper. 1/. The False Throw. Standing with the right side to the front toss the silk, securely rolled up, in the air towards the left tliand which catches it. Repeat this, but before doing it a third time hold the rolled silk in the right hand and bend the arm back, bringing the hand near the lapel, at the same moment draw attention to the left hand by waving it and snapping the fingers and, under cover of this, press the silk under the lapel, then imitate the action of again throwing it into the air. Make a pretence of catching it in the left hand and with that hand toss the non-existent ball upwards, the eyes watching its supposed flight. Tlie action must be carried through with natural and unexaggerated movements. Another deceptive method is to stand facing the front with the balled silk in the right hand. Swing the right band to the rear as if preparing for a throw straight forward, do this three times, the left hand also swinging back in time with it. At the third throw the ball is apparently launched over the heads of the audience and vanishes. In reality at the second swing the right hand tosses the ball at the back of the body into the left hand which palms it. Both hands continue their movements without the least hesitation and at the end of the third swing the right hand is opened and the supposed flight of the silk closely followed with the eyes. M/. A Feint. This vanish will serve as an example of what may be done by pure audacity; sucli methods in sure hands are astonishingly successful. In a hat on the table you have put, beforehand, an empty packet of paper, the hat is, of course, crown downwards. Wrap a silk in a duplicate piece of paper, making a packet of tlie same, size as that in the hat, and put it on the brim of the hat, well in view of the audience, but the packet rolls off on to the floor. Pick it up and replace it on the brim; again it falls, this time into the hat. Take it out and this time put it on the brim very carefully where it remains. Later the paper is opened and the silk has vanished. Needless to say it was the empty package that was taken out of the hat.
n/. Flash Paper Vanish. Roll a small piece of paper into a tube and insert in it the silk or silks to be vanished; close the ends tightly. Round this roll rather loosely a piece of flash paper. Under pretence of having everyone watch your operations closely move a chair, on the seat of which is a glass, down front. To do this the hand holding the packet seizes the back, the other hand the seat. The flash paper cover remains in full view, but as the ends were not folded in, the paper package slides out on to a servante. Carefully closing the ends of the flash paper in such manner as not to betray its emptiness, put it top of the glass. With a match, or better with the lighted end of a cigarette, the packet is then Hashed off. A very effective piece of business. o/. A Quadruple Vanish. Well done this is one of the finest moves possible. A silk made up of four quarters of four differently colored squares, to the center of which is. sewn a gut loop, and a thread pull, p. 29, are required. To the end of the pull attach a watch swivel hook by passing the end of the loop through the eye of the swivel, and then the hook through the loop, pulling it taut. Fix the end of the swivel over the edge of the shirt cuff. Show four silks of the same colors as the parts of the prepared silk, holding them up by the ends, the rest hanging down, and the prepared square palmed in the same hand. Gather up the four silks and press them, retaining in the fingers about one-third of their length and let the rest drop once more. The silks will appear to have become smaller. Gather them up once more, this time into a compact ball, the left hand helping in the action and palming them as the right hand show's the corners of the quadruple silk at the tips of the fingers. Quietly let the left hand drop to the side as a left turn is made and pocket the four silks. To cover this the right hand shakes the visible corners of the prepared silk, pulling them into the handle with the thumb making them smaller still. Pass this into the left hand at the same time removing the swivel and putting it into the right hand fingers. Put the silk back in the right hand and engage the swivel in the loop. Wave the right hand, with the left pull on the thread, drawing the silk corners into the hand until only the extreme ends are visible, then with a quick jerk draw the silk into the sleeve. Continue the crumbling movement of the right fingers for a moment and open the hand showing it empty.
V A N I S H I N G A SILK p/. This very ingenious m e t h o d is the invention of Rl. Goy. T o one corner of a red silk, g u m a small piece of red tissue paper of exactly the s a m e shade as the silk, m a k i n g it protrude about an inch over the real corner. Use a pull to vanish the silk and, w h e n pushing it into the g i m m i c k , begin w i t h the corner diagonally opposite to the prepared one. Retain hold of the tissue with the'fingers, letting it r e m a i n visible w h i l e y o u let the pull carry a w a y the silk under cover of the usual gentle w a v i n g of the hands. T h e n extend the h a n d s well a w a y f r o m the b o d y and roll the tissue into a tiny pellet, w h i c h m a y be hidden b e t w e e n the fingers or droj)ped to the floor. Since m y space is confined to the treatment of m e t h o d s requiring skill in tlieir execution it is impossible to describe the m a n y kinds of apparatus w i t h w h i c h silks m a y be vanished, such as the mirror glass, the bottomless glass, different kinds of trick w a n d s , false b o t t o m e d boxes, cylinders w i t h m o v a b l e center parts, special revolvers, etc. All of these can be obtained f r o m the m a g i c dealers a n d by c o m b i n i n g t h e m w i t h the m e t h o d s described above m a n y fine routines can be evolved. In closing the subject of m e t h o d s of vanishing a silk a n o t e should be m a d e of a surprising statement by a recent F r e n c h author. H e says that if a silk is folded into a flat rectangle it can be m a n i p u lated by the back and front p a l m in exactly the s a m e m a n n e r as a playing card. " S o m e practice," he says, "will render this easy." Here is a n e w opening f o r those devotees of the art of frantically w a v i n g the hands back and forth. C H A P T E R VI D Y E I N G T H E SILKS W h i l e Buatier de Kolta w a s the first m a g i c i a n to feature the use of silks, the m o s t successful silk trick, if one can judge f r o m the inn u m e r a b l e imitations of it and its lasting popularity, is the D y e i n g of the Silks invented by Devant. His m e t h o d is still the best. A short explanation is given here, f o r fuller details the reader m u s t b e referred to Devant's "Lessons in Conjuring" or to H o f f m a n n ' s "Later Magic." a / . David Devant's Method. T h e g i m m i c k used b y Devant w a s a plain brass tube about f o u r inches long and one and a half inches in diameter. This w a s concealed on his table under a sheet of stiff paper, t w o inches of one side of this w a s folded back and forth to m a k e a sort of hinge, and then rolled round the tube to bend it. T h e tube lay underneath this curved part of the paper. H e b e g a n the trick
by producing three white silks, the first from the elbow fold after striking a match, to warm his hands; the second from the match box in closing it (note that the box had already been used); and the third came from a false finger which was afterwards dropped in his vest servante, which by the way, he invented for this trick. The dyeing followed. Taking up the sheet of paper, and the tube, loaded with three colored silks, behind it, he held it up perpendicularly on his left side, right hand on one edge and left hand on the opposite edge of the paper. Bringing his left hand over in front of his right, and right hand over to the left, he showed the back of the paper, the tube being hidden by the curved portion, the crease appearing to be the edge. After rolling the paper round the brass tube he picked up the white silks by the corners letting them hang down. Tlie brass tube was then let fall into his hand, behind the silks, while with liis left hand lie opened the paper tube and let the spectators look through it. Pushing the white silks into the paper tube from below together with the brass tube, the three colored silks were developed one by one. Finally, under cover of these, he allowed the brass tube to drop into his vest servante and unrolled the paper. b/. Loading the Tube. You have the paper loosely rolled, the tube inside it, the outside edge of the paper being at the back. Take up the roll of paper with the right forefinger and thumb, inserting the second and third fingers in the gimmick. With the left hand take the outside edge of the paper and unroll it as far as possible without exposing tlie tube, Fig. 23. Drop the paper from the left hand in front of tlie right and with the same hand grip the other edge, at the same moment bend the right second and third fingers in to the palm, hiding the gimmick behind the hand. With the left hand twist the paper round showing both sides. Again grip the edge of the paper with the right forefinger and thumb and then straighten out the middle fingers, bringing the tube behind the paper and roll it round inwards. Fig. 24.
FIG. 23 FIG. 24 c/. Exchange of Paper Tube Behind Chair. A duplicate
paper, already rolled, with the loaded dyeing tube in it, is set behind a chair rail, resting on two headless nails, and a chair servante is just be-
neath it. The three white silks hang over the back of the chair. Roll the other paper openly into a tube, letting it be seen plainly that there is nothing but the paper in your hands, hold it in the right hand and with the same hand pick up the silks. In the moment that the hand dips behind the chair rail, drop the tube just made into the servante and carry away the loaded one. The exchange, if smoothly done, will arouse no suspicion. Drop the gimmick into the hand behind the silks and upend the tube, showing it empty. The dye proceeds in the usual way. A good way to get rid of the gimmick, is to put the waiid, after pushing up the last silk, 011 a chair seat in such a way that it falls off. In stooping to pick it up, let the gimmick slip out into the outer coat pocket. d/. Passing Wand Through the Tube. Very often, as a means of proving that the paper tube is empty, an extra white silk is loaded on the colored ones. When a white silk is pushed in at the bottom of the tube and this other white one appears at the top it appears that a white silk has been pushed right through. This entails the use of a larger tube to accomodate the added silk. A better way is to have the tube made with a partition, as in Fig. 25 large enough to allow the wand to pass through. It should be lined with cloth to prevent any sound if the tip of the wand should strike the metal.
e/. The Hooked Gimmick. This make of dyeing tube has a small sharp hook at one end. It may be in the paper tube which has been rolled beforehand. Pick it up with the right hand together with the three white silks, which you throw over the left arm. In doing this catch the hook of the gimmick in the cloth at the inside of the left upper arm, which is held bent in front of the body. Unroll the paper and show it. Seize the gimmick in taking the silks off the arm and thrust it into the tube in advance of the silks. f / . Novel Loading Method. Prepare one of the white silks by having a pocket made at one corner, large enough to take about twothirds of the length of the dyeing tube, which is enamelled white on the outside. Insert the loaded gimmick into the pocket and put this prepared silk between the other two on the table. After rolling the paper tube take the three silks by the corners where the gimmick lies. Holding the tube in the left hand, insert the first white silk and push it through with the wand. As it emerges at the top put the wand under the arm, and in taking the bottom of the paper tube in
the right hand, let it slip over the protruding end of the gimmick, and as the left hand removes the silk from the top of the tube, push it out of the pocket into the tube. The process of dyeing silks proceeds as usual, the gimmick being allowed to drop into a table well as the silks are put down. g/. Disposing of the Gimmick. 1. Having dyed the silks show them in the right hand and let the gimmick slip out behind them. Thrust them all into the vest opening to free the hands so that the paper tube can be unrolled. Then take the silks only from the vest leaving the gimmick behind. 2. You have a bag servante behind the table; in putting the silks down accidentally let drop one to the floor; in stooping to pick it up, let the gimmick slip out into the bag servante. 3. After dyeing the three silks push them into the top of the paper tube, letting the gimmick slide to the bottom. Put the tube into a bottomless glass, making some remark about the pretty colors. Pick up the glass, first sliding it over tlie top of a black art well into which the gimmick will fall imperceptibly. Bring the glass forward and invite a spectator to take the silks and the paper and certify that there has been no deception. h/. Blowing Silks from Paper Tube. In this version the gimmick is made with four divisions, different colored silks being put into three of them, the fourth being left empty. Having loaded the gimmick and secretly introduced it into the paper tube, push a white silk into the empty section, blow it into the air, catching it as it falls. Again put it in the same section and blow into that containing the red silk which flies out into the air. Tlie next white silk is put in the division which held the red and a blue silk is blown out, and so on with the third. A very pretty eifect. i/. Color Change of Single Silk. Properly done this is one of the prettiest of all feats with silks. A small tube is required, about two inches long and about one inch in diameter, with the usual tape fastened to its middle inside and painted flesh color. Load this with a green silk and place it under the vest or in a handy pocket. Show a yellow silk in your left hand, holding it by one corner, secretly getting the gimmick with the other hand. While stroking the silk with the right hand, change the gimmick over into tlie left, closing the fingers on it. Push a corner of the yellow silk into the top of the left fist, really into the gimmick, letting the rest hang down. Using the right fist and second fingers alternately, push the silk into the left hand, every now and then pulling down a little of the green silk from below the fist. The length pushed in above and that pulled out below should correspond as closely as possible. When the yellow silk has been pushed home and the green is out of the tube but still hanging below the first, insert the tip of the right mid-
die finger into the gimmick, open the left fingers just enough to let the tube pass, and bend the finger back into the right palm, carrying the gimmick with it. Close the left fingers again and push the forefinger into the fist several times. The "steal" should be covered by the back of the right hand and neatly done is imperceptible. Finally withdraw the forefinger slowly and openly, keeping it stretched out, then nip the lower end of the green silk with the tips of this finger and the thumb; open the left hand slowly, finger by finger. The gimmick can be laid down with the silk. The effect is magical and complete in itself, repetition spoils it. I have seen performers do this and then wreck the illusion by showing both silks at once. Instead of the tube with the reversing tape inside, some performers prefer to use a hollow ball with a hole on each side and having a gut loop whereby it can be hung from the thumb at the front or back of the hand. j/. Color Change Without Gimmick. Roll a green silk by the Finger Roll method and tuck it in the left trousers pocket at the top. Show a red silk and roll it between the hands, leaving it in the left fist but making a pretence of putting it in the right trousers pocket. When this action is challenged pull the pocket out several times, showing it empty and turning to the left. At the same time deftly hook the green silk from the left hand pocket with left thumb, getting it just below the red. Pull one end of the red out at the top of the left fist, just enough to show it, then proceed to push it in with the right forefinger, every now and then pulling out part of the green silk from below. In pushing the free end of the red silk down, get it into the folds, so that the silk will remain balled tightly. When the green has been fully developed, stroke it with the right hand and let the red silk fall into it after tthe manner of the ball sleight, then remove the green silk and show the left hand empty. A second method is to roll a green silk into a ball and snap a small rubber band round it. Palm this from the vest while showing a red silk. Roll the red between the hands and transfer the band from the green bundle to the red. Palm the red and slowly develop the green; stroke this with the left hand, letting it be seen that the hand is empty, then drop the red into it as the green silk is taken from the right hand by the left. Stroke the green silk with the right hand, showing it also is empty.
The same effect can be obtained without the use of the rubber band. Roll a silk by Method a. Chap. I, and finger palm it in the left hand. Showing a silk of a different color, roll it between the palms, and secretly carry it away palmed in the right hand by means of sleight a, Chap. II. Develop the silk in the left hand with a shake of the hand and at once take it in the right hand, thus disguising the presence of the other palmed silk. The French Drop can be used to bring about the. same effect. A very pretty color change is the following by M. Goy. A red silk is rolled by Method a, Chap. I, and secreted under the closed second, third and fourth fingers of the risrht hand, which holds the wand with the first finger and thumb. With the left hand pick up a bundle of four or five green silks from the table and lay the wand down. Turn towards the left and with the right finger and thumb take up one of the green silks by one corner, lift it to its full length and put it back on the bundle. Do the same thing with a second, giving each silk a shake as you take it up. The third time simply release the palmed red silk but retain hold of its corner between the second and third fingers, shake the hand as before, and raise it, the red silk falls to full length and the illusion of a change of color is perfect. All the silks can be examined. k/. Visible Dyeing in Glass Tube. A glass or celluloid tube is required, eight inches long, and with narrow bands of metal at the top and bottom. A narrow slit is cut in the tube to allow for the passage of the finger grip of a color change gimmick. Fig. 26. Load the gimmick in the tube, the finger grip protruding, and stand the tube on the table with a white silk bunched up in front to hide it. Pick up the silk and the tube together with the right hand, the thumb in front, fingers at the back, and gripping the lugs of the gimmick at the back between the fingers. With the left hand put the white silk in the top of the tube, at the same time sliding the right hand with the gimmick up to the middle of the tube by means of the slit at the back of the tube. Fig. 28. Push the white silk down with the wand, the colored silk emerging below. When the white is completely inside the gimmick, with the left hand withdraw the colored silk and grip the top of the tube, slide it out of the right hand which at once takes the silk, hiding the gimmick.
This effective arrangement is by Mr. Chas. Waller, the eminent Australian author and magician. I/. Blendo. This effect has again become very popular. Briefly three or more silks, tied together change instantaneously into one large silk or flag. The secret lies in the correct folding of two prepared flags or large silks. Duplicates of good quality are sewn together by their edges so that they appear to be only "one. One corner is left open and a wire or bone ring is sewn in it to make an open mouth. At the lower opposite corner a length of tape is sewn so that it projects both inside and outside the double silk. The tape end inside the silk is pushed through the ring and allowed to protrude. The silk is then folded into a compact bundle and a strip of tissue paper gummed around it, or it may be tied with a weak black thread. It is laid on the table with the three or more silks to be changed, so that the tape will be taken up with the corners of the silks; these are tied and the knot pressed into the ring. The other end of the tape is gripped with the left hand and the hands drawn quickly apart. Tlie flag or large silk unrolls and the silks are drawn inside. By far the best plan is to buy the trick from a magic dealer and get an ocular demonstration of the working. The prepared bundle may be put upright in a table well, the silks lying over it, and all picked up together; or it may be obtained from the back of a chair over which tlie silks have been draped. The cleanest method is to have the bundle upright in the breast pocket of the coat with the tape hanging out ready to be gripped. Hold the left hand on a level and close to the breast pocket and with the right hand put the silks one by one into the left. Under cover of these the left hand gets the tape and ties it and the three silks together by their corners, the bundle being still in the pocket. In throwing the hands upwards and outwards the bundle is pulled out of the pocket and caused to expand as usual. c — i
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY SILK TRICK The trick, wherein a silk is vanished and reappears, knotted between two other silks previously tied together, is now generally known by this title. Various methods follow. a/. The Standard Method. A duplicate of the silk to be vanished is tied to one of the other silks, but is concealed by being pushed into the hem, one end of which is left open. The free end of this silk has a small tag, of the same color as that hiding it, and
this is allowed to protrude from the hem, passing for a corner. Another silk is tied to this tag; the two silks rolled into a bundle are dropped into a glass. The duplicate of the hidden silk is shown and vanished. The bundle is jerked sharply from the glass by one corner, the concealed silk is pulled out of the hem and the three silks are shown tied together. b/. A Useful Wrinkle. When using this method, to prevent any part of the hidden silk showing before its cue, push a small fold of the hemmed silk over the first knot when tying the tag to the second silk. Tie the second knot on top of this; the concealed silk will thus be held safely within the hem, but a sharp jerk will release the fold. c/. Tie the three silks together, lay them out on a table and fold each of them by the diagonal fold method until there is a string of silk about in. wide. Roll this up into a compact ball by the Finger Roll and vest it. Show the two duplicate silks and accidentally let one fall: in stooping to pick it up with the right hand steal the vested ball with the left. Tie the two silks together and roll them into a tight ball. Place this into the left hand against the ball of three, squeeze the balls tightly together as you show both hands, the two appearing to be one ball only. Replace the silks in the right hand, the ball of three to the front, letting the ball of two drop into the palm. Toss the three ball into the air and catch it with the left hand as you take a rubber band from a pocket with the right: leave the ball of two in the pocket. Pass the rubber band round the three ball and drop it into a glass. Vanish the third silk and finish as susal. e/. Another Method. Hand the two silks to a spectator to be tied together. This done, tell him to roll them into a small ball. When he has rolled them up, take the bundle from him, saying, "Allow me to show you. The silks must be pressed tightly together." You have already palmed the 3 ball in your left hand and as the hands are brought together to squeeze the silks, make the two balls change places: then hand the set of three to the spectator to hold tightly between his hands. Vest the ball of two silks as soon as possible. f / . With Test Tubes. Obtain two small test tubes. In one put two colored silks, with a white one tied between them, in such a way that no part of the white silk shows. Cap it with the tissue paper and a rubber band and put it upright in the left upper vest pocket. To present the trick, openly tie a red and blue silk together, push them into the duplicate test tube in the same order that the silks were inserted into the other tube, cap it wih tissue and a rubber band, then turn to the table for a pencil. Slip the tube into the left vest pocket
and take out the other, being careful to keep the right elbow pressed firmly to the side as the change is made. Let the spectator initial the cap and hold the tube. The routine is finished in the usual way with very good effect. g/. Xmas Cracker. Roll the chain of three silks into a small oblong bundle so that the free end of each of the end silks projects. Roll this packet in a piece of red flash paper, allowing the two epds to project on each side. Slip two rubber bands round the ends making the parcel resemble a Xmas cracker. Hide it behind a chair rail. Openly tie two silks together and make a package to resemble the prepared one as closely as possible. Change it for this in picking up the third silk which has been thrown over the back of the chair. Let two spectators hold the cracker by the protruding ends of the silks. Take the third silk, palm it in the right hand by the End Roll and hold the left hand, puffed out, just above the parcel, and take a cigarette, which you have been smoking, in the right hand. The spectators are told to pull the cracker at the word "Three". You count and at "Three" open the left hand and touch the flash paper with the lighted end of the cigarette. The red cover vanishes and the three silks are stretched out in full view, with surprising effect. h/. Bottomless Glass. A bottomless glass and a table well are necessary, and, as usual, the three duplicate silks are rolled up and vested. Show two silks, tie them together, roll them into a ball and drop them into the bottomless glass on the table which has been set just behind a well. Over the glass throw a handkerchief and stretch a rubber band over both. Lift the glass with the right hand, first sliding it over the well, allowing the package to drop out, and at the same time steal the duplicate package from the vest with the left hand. As you go toward the audience transfer the glass to the palm of the left hand, i. e., over the three silks: ample cover is given by the folds of the handkerchief. Finally decide to have the silks held in full view. Remove the band and covering from the glass and let the package roll out of it into a spectator's hands. This is a subtle change and the final effect is astonishing, i/. A Reverse Idea. Openly tie three silks together and secretly, by one of the methods already explained, exchange the package for a set of two rolled in the same way. The latter are held by a spectator. The duplicate of the third silk may be obtained from a match box, etc. The presentation and patter of this neat trick may be woven about Houdini and his escapes. Let the white silk represent the magician, being an emblem of all that is pure and innocent. Allow the spectators to tie the three silks and the bundle is apparently dropped into a glass, referred to as a prison cell, the spectator holding it to be the goaler, and so on. The reappearance of the silk in your hand
should, in this case, he by one of the instantaneous and visible methods already explained. j/. With Unprepared Silks. This method, which appeared in the pages of that mine of magical lore, The Magic Wand, is the best that has been devised. Tie three silks, say a red, a while and blue, with small reef knots, and lay lhem oul Hat on the table. Fig. 20, A. Fold the red over the white. B. Fold the three corners over to the middle. C. Turn these two silks inwards in narrow folds to the middle. D. Hold the right hand corner of the blue and twist this roll round and round into a kind of rope. E. Lay the red and the white, thus "roped", along the upper right hand edge of the blue, F, and roll it up in the blue in the direction of the dotted line in G. The blue may now be shaken and no part of the red or white will show as long at it is held by the top corner. To present the trick, show the blue, white and red silks tied together in a chain, the blue at the top. The knots are slip knots and you quickly detach the white and red from tlie blue which is given to a spectator to be held upringlit, top end in his right hand, bottom end in his left. Vanish the white and the red, seize the blue by one of the side corners, shake it out and the duplicate white and red silks appear instantly. All may be examined.
k/. Stage Method. The following was used by Chung Ling Soo as an opening trick. He had two purple silks hanging from the arms of a small stand; one of these had a yellow silk with a purple tab on the end, concealed in the hem. To this tab a strong thread was tied and carried to the wing to an assistant. On a small table on the opposite side of the stage was a clear glass decanter, in one side of which a small hole had been cut, large enough to allow a silk to pass through freely. A strong thread was passed upwards through the hollow center of the stand, and a hole in the table top, then into the
decanter by the hole in its side, emerging at the top. To this end was fastened a small rubber band and this was stretched round the mouth of the decanter. He showed a duplicate yellow silk and pushed it into the decanter; when half was inserted he detached the rubber band, which contracted and caught the middle of the silk. He tied the ends of the purple silks together, i. e., one silk and the tab in the hem of the other. At a pistol shot the assistants pulled the threads, the silk in the decanter vanished, being pulled through the hole in the back and down into the stem of the table so quickly the eye could not follow it, while the duplicate yellow silk, pulled out of the hem, appeared to attach itself visibly to the two purple silks. In Soo's hand this was as fine an opening trick for the stage as could be wished. 1/. Various Plots. The trick lends itself to various forms of presentation and by working up new stories to cover the action it may be made to seem a new feat. The fine silks with colored figures such as Mickey Mouse, Chinaman, King of Clubs, etc., can be used to illustrate a story. The flags of two countries, with that representing the Red Cross may show the union of two countries and the instant joining up of the Red Cross helpers; using a Pirate flag with the Stars and Stripes and a Union Jack the story may detail the joining of the navies in the pursuit of the Pirates, the disappearance of the Pirate ship in the darkness and the final capture. An always timely story can be made up with two silks representing two policemen and a gangster. The tag line, "They always get their man", is sure of applause. Worked up on these lines the trick is a perennial one. CHAPTER VIII
USEFUL ACCESSORIES a/. Production Tube. This is made of cardboard: it is six inches long and wide enough to slip over a glass. Four holes are punched on one side, the first of each pair about 4 in. from the end and the second half an inch lower down. Cut a rubber band, tie a knot at one end and thread it through the first two holes and back through the other two, tieing a knot at the end to keep the band at a tension. Fig. 20. A silk, or silks, folded by the Trap Fold can be 3
slipped under the rubber and held safely. In picking up the tube to show the inside, the fingers hide the silk, which can be imperceptibly dislodged as the tube is put over a glass. It can be used also for a color change, etc. b/. A Silk Servante. This is made on the lazy tongs principle. The illustrations show the details clearly. When closed it can be carried in the folds of a handkerchief in readiness to be attached by the clip to the back of a table. The bag must be made of the same material as the handkerchief. When set the handkerchief should lie at least two-thirds of its length on the table.
h/. A Production Wand. A false tip is made to fit the wand, on one side of this is soldered a small ring. A length of good cord elastic, a little longer than the wand, is threaded through the ring, and a loop, to fit over the thumb, is tied at one end, to the other a small hook is fastened. Fold a silk by the Trap Fold, slip the thumb through the elastic loop, pull down the hook and fix it in the smooth side of the silk, retaining this in your hand by pressing it against the wand. Tlie moment the silk is released it flies to the end of tlie wand, apparently caught from the air. By removing the tip the wand is ready for ordinary use. i/. The Mirror Glass. This appliance can be used in many ways, for instance—roll a number of silks, tic. each with a weak black thread, attaching a gut loop to each one. Load them behind the mirror, lpops protruding. Produce a silk by any of the methods in Chap. , and push it into the glass in front of the mirror. Slip the thumb into one of tbe loops and thus load the hand with another silk. Develop this, push it into the glass, securing a third, and so on. Again, the glass can be loaded with a large rainbow silk. Produce five brightly colored silks by various methods. Push four of them into the mirror glass, then take this in your hand and under cover of inserting the last silk, quietly turn the glass round, bringing the rainbow silk to the front; the production of the large silk makes an effective finish. j/. The False Finger. At first blush it would seem that to add an extra finger to the hand is too bold a procedure to be used with success, but with proper handling the false finger can be used with-
out arousing any suspicion. The following artistic production of a silk from a piece of paper will serve as an example of its use. The loaded finger is between the first and second fingers of the left hand, in which a piece of paper is held. Show both sides of the paper by lifting the bottom edge with the right hand and letting the top edge drop. Fig. 32. Double the paper over the left hand. Fig. 33. Take it between the tips of the right forefinger and thumb, grasping the false finger at the same time. Withdraw the left hand and show it; twist the paper round and take it again in the left hand, showing the right; pull the silk out with this hand. Throw it over the left arm, then put the hand into the paper, getting the false finger again into position between the fingers. Blow the paper off the fingers and at once take the silk from the left arm. Dispose of the false, finger when putting the silk on the table. The false finger is made of celluloid preferably, but metal, cardboard and paper are also used. The simplest method of getting it into position is to have it, point downwards, in a pocket, the mere action of thrusting the hand into the pocket places the finger in position. If the hand is held horizontally, rather than vertically, and in motion, the extra finger will be invisible, or rather, it will be SEEN, but the spectators will not KNOW they see it. No one will dream of counting the fingers. To produce the silk from it with bare hands, they are placed palm to palm so that the point of the false finger strikes against the left palm, making it revolve and bringing the opening near the finger tips. The silk is then worked under cover of a gentle waving of the hands. Again, around three fingers, one false, a piece of paper is rolled. Two fingers
are withdrawn, leaving the false one behind. The silk is withdrawn a moment later. The false finger may be slid into a well in putting the silk down, paper unrolled and shown. Or, simplier, it may be again placed between the first and second fingers in opening out the paper, the silk being held in the same hand, covering it. It is advisable to gel rid of it as soon as possible. To produce the silk from the finger with one hand only, close the hand, bending the forefinger on the back of the false finger,thus turning it downwards towards the palm; complete the movement with the other fingers bringing it diagonally across the palm, the opening upwards. Work the silk out with an up and down movement of the hand and display the silk with a corner in each hand and throw it over the finger. A ncai_j)rodu_ction can jbe made from a drum head tube, two rings anclTwo squares~of tissue paper." Show these and fix the papers over the ends of the tube with the rings. One end is broken by thrusting the forefinger sharply into it, really the false finger is pushed in. Extract the silk and place the finger in position again in taking off the rings and showing the tube. It may be noted here that Kellar used a simple roll of light brown paper, cut to the right length. A recent improvement is the finger that visibly ejects a silk. At the bottom of the finger is a spring to which is attached a plug working easily in the finger. A silk is pushed in forcing the plug down and the finger is placed in position. When it is reversed the silk is forced out, flying into the air with astonishing effect. Again a small shot or two may be sewn into the corner of a very fine silk which is loaded in with the weighted end at the top. The opening being held downward the silk will drop into view, the opposite end being caught between the forefinger and thumb. With the paper finger a neat effect can be obtained. Simply roll a small piece of the same paper into a tube, getting the false finger inside. Withdraw the silk and then tear the paper to pieces. k/. Silk Pedestal. This appliance is generally used with a bottomless glass: it is made as shown in the Fig. 35. A silk, folded by the Trap Fold, is placed in the small compartment A. and the flap B. folded down over it. By pressing the stud C. upward, the silk will be pushed to the top, the flap opening to let it pass. A bottomless glass is put on the pedestal and another silk put over it. An excuse is made for changing the position of the pedestal, and in so doing the stud is pushed up and the silk forced into the glass.
1/. Bag Gimmick. An easily made and useful little appliance can be made thus. Glue two strips of a playing card, in. long and y» in. wide at the ends. Pass a small silk bag, black, between the strips and then attach it to the strips on the outside; to the strips attach a gut loop for the usual manipulation to the front and back of the hand. The gimmick, loaded with several half silks, is obtained by passing the thumb through the loop and withdrawing it from vest pocket, or elsewhere, and pressure on the ends of the strips will cause the contents to be pushed out. This may also be used to change three silks to a flag or a Kolta flower boquet. CHAPTER I X
LIAISON TRICKS In passing from tricks with one class of objects to those with another class, as, for instance, from cards to silks, or billiard balls to cards, it is effective to actually change the object by magic rather than make a distinct break from one class to the other. By way of illustration several such liaison tricks follow. a/. Silk from Playing Card. Roll a silk by the Finger Roll and tie it with a weak thread: attach a bent black pin to the thread and place the silk just inside the top outside left pocket of the coat, the pin point protruding outwards and downwards over the top of the pocket. Take a card in each hand and accidentally, drop the card from the right hand to the floor. Stooping to pick this up, the left hand is brought quite naturally to the left pocket. Engage the top of the card in the bent pin and, rising, bring the silk out of the pocket behind the card. Put the two cards together and bend them to form a tube, the silk inside. Hold the tube at the left finger tips as openly as possible, and with the right thumb and forefinger pull the silk daintly into view. b/. Another Way. Fold a silk by the Finger Roll and tie a weak black thread round it. Place it on the table behind an empty card case. At the end of a card trick pick up the case with the silk behind it. Slide deck into the case, take out one card, sliding the silk behind it. Hold the card between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand and toss the case to the table. Show the right hand empty: take the card in the right hand and show the left empty. Back palm the card, dropping the point of the thumb on the protruding corner of the silk, nipping it against the tip of the second finger, and shake it out to full length. Take the lower end of the silk with the left hand and transfer the card to the front palm under cover of a turn to the left to show the silk on that side.
c/. Billiard Ball to Silk. Prepare a silk by tieing a tiny knot at the extreme end of one corner; to the opposite diagonal corner sew a few pellets of shot in tbe hem. Boll the silk tightly by the Finger Roll, so that the knot protrudes, and tuck the weighted end in the folds at the opposite side, and vest it. Showing a billiard ball shell in the left hand, steal the silk with the right. Transfer the shell to the right hand and get it over the silk, Turn to the right and show the ball as in the Fig. 30. Grip the knot between the second and third fingers and vanish the shell by the back palm. Shake the silk at the same moment and it will unroll, the weighted end pulling it down rapidly.
d/. From a Thimble. Attach a small piece of black wire to one corner of a silk, roll it by the Finger Boll, starting at the wired end and vest it. A special thimble is required having a removable top. This is shown in one hand and the silk palmed from the vest with the other. Get the wire into the thimble and pull off the false top, gripping the wire at the same time. Draw out the silk and show it. Put the thimble and top in your pocket and carry on with the silk. With a little ingenuity similar methods can be applied to almost any of the articles used in manipulative work. CHAPTER X
TRICKS WITH SILKS 1. An Opening Production. Pleat and fold a very large rainbow silk and vest it. Place a roll of ribbons under the left armpit; on the table there are three pieces of tissue paper, same color as the ribbons, a candle and matches. Light the candle, pick up the tissue papers, squeezing the ends tightly and light the other ends. Put the burning papers into the left hand and with the right hand pull up the left sleeve. Pass the papers back to the right hand and pull up the right sleeve. With the left hand extinguish the flame and with the right hand throw the ribbons out, a moment later the left hand takes the large silk from the vest. Gather in the ribbons in small loops and under their cover transfer the silk to the right hand. When
the ribbons are bunched up, grip a corner of the silk in each hand, stretch the hands rapidly apart and develop it to fullest extent, the ribbons remaining hidden beneath it. It is advisable to sew a bead, or a gut loop, in the two corners of the large silk. The ribbon roll is made by sewing the ends of 3 nine feet lengths of two inch ribbons to a short piece of black material of the same width; to the free end of this sew a two.inch bit of wood, pencil size and shape to afford a grip. Roll the ribbons tightly from the free ends towards the black material. Smartly done, without patter, this makes a very fine opening feat. 2. Routine by Wilfrid Jonson. The following articles are required: a match lighting gimmick under the vest on the right hand side, three white silks in a hollow ball, a fourth white silk rolled by the Finger Roll, and piece of flash paper. To present the trick, pick up the flash paper and the balled silk which was set under it, and pass both from hand to hand; finally hold the paper with the left hand, nipping the corner of the silk between the thumb and forefinger. Produce the match, lighted, from the vest and palm the ball. Light the flash paper and at the same moment shake out the silk: one of the prettiest productions extant. Pass the silk from hand to hand, making the usual change over with the ball. Finally let the silk hang from your right forefinger and thumb. Now take the silk from the right hand with the left, gripping the corner of the first silk in the ball, Fig. 39; raise the left hand quickly, keeping the right stationary, and counting aloud, "One". A moment later shake the silks and the one apparently multiplies to two. Put the two back in the right hand and repeat the move, pulling out another silk as you count, "Two". Shake these and show three. Repeat for the fourth silk. It is most important that the right hand be kept still throughout. Take all four silks in the right hand, throw one over the left arm at the elbow, the second a little lower, third still lower and the last over the wrist. As you place the last silk change the ball to the left hand, turning it over. Let it be seen that the right hand is empty and, under cover of gathering up the silks, drop the ball into the right hand, then turn the left showing it empty. The
ball may then be vested under cover of the silks or dropped into a well in laying the silks down. 3. Mr. Ladson Butler's Routine. A little preparation is needed. Take three large silks, dark purple for preference, and half a dozen or more of bright colors. With a piece of black florist's wire make a loop about one inch wide and two inches long. Pass one of the purple silks half way through this loop, letting the ends hang down evenly. Place tliis silk under the vest on the left side, the loop protruding between the second and third buttons. Push the second purple silk into the upper left coat pocket, leaving the last corner just out of sight at the top. For the third load spread the third purple silk flat on a table, fold the remaining silks separately by the Trap Fold and pile them on it. Fold one corner of the purple silk over to the opposite diagonal corner and roll all tightly, bringing the two corners together on the outside. Double the roll but not quite in half, one end protruding a couple of inches. Unbutton the vest and lay the roll along the top of the trousers, the double end under the suspender tag and the protruding end at the top and middle of the trousers in front. To present—secure the first silk by first pointing to the right hand with the left forefinger, then to the left hand with the right forefinger, slipping the right thumb into the loop. Make a sudden lunge outwards and upwards with the right hand and the silk will be drawn into it with all the appearance of having been caught in the air. Shake it out by one corner, letting the loop drop. Display this silk, holding an end in each hand; swing the right hand over to the left until it arrives at the pocket containing the second silk. Nip its top corner with right thumb and forefinger as you release the other end from the left hand, bringing it up to the ri$ht hand. Draw both silks through the left hand with a flourish, but keep hold of the lower corners, of both silks, with the left hand and twirl the silks together ropewise; it will appear to be one silk only. Release the lower end and the silks untwist and show as two with pretty effect. For the third load, hold the two silks upright, tlie left hand at the point where the end of the load lies. Fix your gaze upward at the right hand and steal the corner of the load with the thumb and forefinger of the left, drop the ends from the right hand, bringing that hand down to the left, pull the two silks and the load sharply through it and with it grip all the lower ends. Hold tlie silks up as before and twirl them around. On being released they first divide into three, then as they are shaken the colored silks drop with pretty effect.
4. Another Opener. Conceal a folded red silk in a fold at the elbow; wrap a rolled white silk in a small piece of the best quality red tissue (same shade as the silk), and tuck it under the vest; put a blue silk, wrapped in white tissue, at the back of the right trouser cuff; a yellow silk in blue tissue at the back of the collar and finally a yellow silk at the top of the left sock. Produce the red silk, getting it under cover of pulling up the sleeves. Vanish it by the End Roll, and show left hand empty. Openly take the red tissue packet from the vest which appears to be the red silk; at the same time vest the palmed red silk. Crumple the package in the left hand, develop the white silk, squeeze the tissue to a tiny pill, raise the silk in the right hand and drop the left to the side, letting the ball of tissue drop to the floor. Vanish the white by the same moves and bring out the white tissue packet from the trousers cuff, leaving the palmed while silk in its place. Change this to a blue silk, disposing of the tissue as before. By the same procedure vanish and recover this from the back of the collar and then change it to a yellow silk. Vanish this last silk with a pull, show the hands unmistakable empty and pull out the yellow duplicate from the sock. A brilliant routine if smartly presented. 5. From a Newspaper. A black silk bag, two inches wide and eight inches long, the inside lined with colored silk, is needed. To the bottom of the bag, inside, sew the center of a large silk of the same color as the lining. Fold a number of brightly colored silks by the diagonal fold method, load them into the bag, interlacing the corners, and arranging the silks so that the smallest are at the top and the largest at the bottom of the bag. Fasten a black thread, about fifteen inches long, to the side of the bag and make a loop at the free end. To present—put the bag lengthways at the back of the left hand, wind the thread round it and the fingers so that the load will be held in position, then slip the loop over the forefinger down to its root. Enter from the left side with a double sheet of newspaper in the left hand, thumb in front, fingers and bag behind the paper. Lift the bottom of the double sheet with the right hand up to the left, letting the top slip from the right hand and showing the other side. Open the newspaper and tear off half, tossing it aside. Show remaining half as before. Let the bag slip off the fingers but retain the loop on the forefinger with the result that the bag hangs at the back of the paper near the middle. Double the sheet back and up to the left hand, enclosing the bag, let the loop slip off the finger and fold the sides of the doubled sheet in towards the middle. Push the
right forefinger and thumb through tlie paper at the mouth of the bag and make a rapid production of the silks, tossing them into the air as they are pulled out, the interlaced corners making this easy. Pull out the last large silk in such a way that the bag is turned inside out and so merges imperceptibly into its folds. Open out the paper again, show both sides, crumple it up and toss it to a spectator. 6. From a Fan. This novel feat is of French origin: it makes a most effective opening feat. Make up two roll shaped packets of silks and tlirow-out ribbons and encircle each with a loop at the end of a piece of fine black cord elastic. Pass tlie free ends of the elastic through the buttonholes in the lapels, then round the body and fasten them to trouser buttons on opposite sides. The tension must be such that the loads can be removed from the lapels to the armpits and, on releasing them, they will be drawn back instantly. Enter with tlie loads in position, elbows pressed to the sides and a large fan in hand. Display the fan, opening and closing it several times, then open it so that it covers tlie left breast. Release the load on that side by raising the arm as the fan is taken by tlie left hand. Fold it into a cone (a palm leaf fan is the best for this) enclosing the load and develop the ribbons and silks, the elastic loop being pulled under tlie coat. Tlie first load being exhausted, open out the fan, and repeat the movements to obtain tlie load on the right hand side.
7. A Color Change Routine. Two green and two yellow silks are required; roll one yellow and tuck it in the top corner of the right trousers pocket and load one green in the color change gimmick. Let the other two silks lie on the table, the yellow covering the gimmick. Begin by showing tlie green silk, roll it and push it into the right trousers pocket, really pushing down the yellow one and tucking the green in its place with the thumb. Pick up the yellow, and the gimmick, with the right hand, secretly transfer the latter to the left hand and push the silk through the fist in the man-
ner already explained. Pull the green silk from the bottom of the left fist, show the hand empty and with it take the silk. Plunge the right hand into the pocket and bring out the yellow silk; lay this down, getting rid of the gimmick at the same time. Pull out both trousers pockets, showing them empty, the green silk remaining hidden at the top of the right hand pocket, and push them in again. Roll up the green silk and tuck it in the top, the fingers apparently pushing it down. Slap both pockets and pull the silk from the right hand one; pull both out again, empty, but Ihe duplicate green remains hidden in the left pocket. Tie hard nots in the silk and push it into the left pocket, making an exchange as before. Slap the pocket and pull out the other green silk quite free from knots. 8. From a Gas Chimney. For the reproduction of a single silk this is a pretty feat. Roll and vanish a silk by the End Roll, leaving the last end clipped at the roots of the first and second fingers. Take the glass tube in the left hand and put it in the right, the top coming against the palm, just below the palmed silk and press this very slightly into the tube with the right thumb, but still retain it in the palm. Keeping the back of the right hand to the front, wave the tube, release the silk from the palm, but retain the finger grip on the corner. The silk will at once unroll and expand with pretty effect. 9. Mr. and Mrs. Green. This is a trick of recent invention which has become very popular and is likely to continue so since it has an amusing plot and is easy to do. In brief, two silks are shown, one green and one white. The story goes that they fall in love, the knot is tied, the two silks being tied together, and the white silk changes to green, Miss White having become Mrs.-Green. Finally the usual result is shown, a string of little green silks between the two silks. The white silk is prepared, being made after the fashion of the color changing silk, the string of small silks is hidden in the hem and simply pulled into view when required. The necessary silks can be obtained, very reasonably, at the magic stores. A timely touch might be added just now by having five small silks, the Dionne quintuplets being so much in evidence. 10. Silk to Candle. The effect of this favorite trick is the reappearance of the vanished silk, tied round the middle of an unprepared candle. A gimmick is required, a piece of metal tubing, l /? in. in length and wide enough to slip over a candle. Cover the tube with red silk and tie a small red silk round it, tucking the ends in at the top. The gimmick lies on the table under a large colored handkerchief. A pin has been pushed halfway into the back of the candle. 1
Pick up the large handkerchief, and the gimmick, throw it over the candle. In so doing, contrive to get the gimmick between the tips of the middle fingers and guide il over the end of the candle. As it drops the ends of the red silk are pushed out of the tube and hang down, the tube itself is stopped from passing the middle of the candle by the pin., Vanish the red silk by one of the methods already explained, or by means of a hollow wand thus: A thread tied by one end to the back of the table is passed through a hollow wand and tlie free end then tied to one corner of tlie silk. Push the silk into a paper bag with the wand, moving forward as this is done, tlie silk being thus drawn into the wand. Drop this on the table, close the bag tightly and give it to a spectator to hold. Finally tlie silk is shown to have vanished from the bag and is found tied round tbe candle. 11. Sympathetic Silks. This trick, by no means new, has become very popular and one rarely sees a program of magic without it. The effect is the apparent transfer of knots from one set of silks to another. Six very large silks are required. Tie three of these by opposite diagonal corners and lay them out flat as in Fig. 41. Gather them together so that the knots are hidden in tlie folds and put them in the fork of the left hand, gripping the ends A.A.A. by the thumb and forefinger; they may be secured with a small bulldog clip which falls to the back of the hand. The other three silks remain separate, put them in front of the knotted three, all the ends protruding above the thumb and forefinger. Call attention to the silks and proceed to count them one by one. Take the projecting end of the first, drawit up through tlie left hand, shaking it and counting "One". Draw the second away, counting "Two". As tlie hands come together to take the third, bend the left third finger round the two just counted, release them from the right finger and thumb, grip and draw away the three knotted silks and count "Three". Properly timed the action is perfectly deceptive. Bundle these up and drop them on the seat of a chair. Count the three singles in exactly tlie same way. Tie these together, using the knot explained on p. 70, and drop them on a chair on the opposite side of the stage. Go through the pantomime of transferring the knots from one set of silks to the other. Lift the three just tied, one by one, with a little shake and they come apart. Lift one of the others by a side corner and shake them out with a flourish, showing them firmly knotted.
The manipulative change can be avoided by the use of a stand as shown in Fig. 42. The cross bar is hollow and has a trough running its full length. The silks are laid over this, the knots and the adjoining part of the silk, are pushed into the groove, giving them the appearance of separate silks. They are removed by simply sliding them together off one end of the crossbar. Some performers continue by vanishing the knots in the second set, an easy matter as is explained in the section devoted to Knots, but the illusion is weakened by this course.
For a very fine routine see "Sympathetic Silks" by Edward Proudlock, published by Edward Bagshawe and obtainable from the magic stores. 12. The Traveling Silks. This trick, by Mr. Larsen, of Los Angeles, introduces a useful method of making a false count with silks, which can be applied to other effects. Six silks are required, two orange and one each of red, yellow, green and blue. Twist the red, blue, green and one orange silk ropewise separately, lay them one on the other and double them in half, bringing eight ends together. Lay the yellow silk on the table, loosely diagonal, the doubled silks on it and the other orange silk full length on top of all. Take up the bunch by the middle, letting the ten ends fall to the front of the hand and the two ends of the full length silks to the back. Count them as ten, taking each end separately and folding it back over the thumb where it is held by the fingers. Do this smoothly and when the count is completed, bundle them together and drop them into a hat. Under the edge of a paper napkin on the table you have, beforehand, placed a ball made up of four silks, of same colors as four of Uiose in the hat, rolled tightfy and wrapped in a second napkin. Pick up both together, show both sides of the napkin and the hands empty by the change over sleight, bundle the ball in the napkin and drop it into a glass. Show ten playing cards, in value ace to ten, shuffle them and force the four. Order four silks to pass; show there are only six in the hat, tear open the package and recover the missing four.
13. Silks and Soup Plates. Invented by Buatier de Kolta, this trick has stood the test of time. Tlie plot is simple; two plates are shown, placed together on the seal of a chair. Two silks are vanished from the hands and are found between Ihe plates. There are several methods of introducing the silks. For instance, the silks arc rolled up and vested; in stooping to pick up a plate with the left hand, steal the silks with the right. Put the plate in this hand so that the silks are under it. Pick up the second plate with the left hand and hold up both plates to show the interiors. Change the plates from hand to hand, the left fingers taking the silks with the plate. Turn them over and show the backs. Put the right hand plate down, bottom upwards, and the left hand plate on it, the silks going between them. Using a single plate, Devant's method was this. Hold the Iwo silks by the finger palm in the left hand and hold the plate in the same hand, the thumb at the front. Fig. 44. Show the plate vertically, then take the bottom of the front edge with the right fingers and turn it over quickly, slightly lowering the left hand which again takes hold of the rim, bringing the silks to the inside of the plate; lay it thus on the scat of a chair. Again, the silks may be on the back of a chair. Put the plate down, feigning to slip something under it. When challenged lift the plate with one hand and point to the seat of the chair, and secure the load with the other hand behind the plate.
FIG. A 14. Acrobatic Silks. Here is a surprising eil'ect obtained by simple means. Two silks are placed in a gas chimney, which is stood on a plate on the table with a cardboard cover over it. Two glasses are shown, one in each hand; suddenly a silk appears in each glass and the chimney is shown empty. In the chimney is a celluloid shell and it is into this the silks go and are carried away with the cover. The glasses have small holes in the bottoms through which threads are passed, each thread is fastened to the back of the table, the other ends having running loops. A silk is doubled through each loop and then inserted in little pockets at the rear edge of the table. Enough play is allowed for lifting the glasses from the table, but the moment the arms are stretched upwards and outwards, the silks are pulled into the glasses like a flash.
15. Silks and Test Tubes. This trick is worked on the same principle as the foregoing but the effect is more startling. Two silks, a red and a green, two test tubes and about five feet of strong black silk thread are required. Pass the ends of the thread through small holes bored in the bottoms of the tubes and make them into loops about 8 inches long. The tubes, thus threaded and the silks lie on the table. Pick up the red silk and throw it over the right arm near the elbow, and the green silk in the same way over the left arm. Pick up the tubes and in the action of pulling up the sleeves, put the looped thread from the right hand tube on the left arm and vice versa. Take the green silk, engaging it in the loop on the left arm, and push it into the tube in the left hand. In like manner push the red through the loop on the right arm and into the other tube. The silks must be pushed in ends first, so that the loops lie near the mouths. When the arms are quickly stretched out away from one another, the silks change places so rapidly it is impossible to follow their flight with the eyes. The trick is short but introduced in a series of silk manipulations the effect is great. 16. A Comedy Trick. An arrangement by Mr. Noakes. First, three white silks are produced by some of the various methods already explained. Following these productions work the dyeing trick, turn the silks to red, blue and green. Borrow a hat and on the way back to the stage load into it a spring snake, to the body of which are tied three duplicate silks along its body and a length of bright red ribbon to its tail; this last has been wound round the snake to keep it compressed. Put the hat on the table. Take up one of the silks from the table with one hand and steal a hollow egg from the vest with the other. Work the silk into the egg and show the change. Put the egg in the hat but palm it out and work the second silk into it. Do the same thing with the third silk. In bringing the egg out for the last time, pick up the hat by the brim with the same hand. Produce the snake as being the silkworm. Get rid of the egg as the snake is placed aside. 17. The Homing Silk. Five envelopes are needed, one large, and two sets of smaller ones, fitting one into the other and then into the larger one. The larger one of the set of two must be of a size to fit into an ordinary card case. Fold a silk and put it in one of the two smallest envelopes, seal it, place this in the one of the next size and seal that also. Cut away the back and top of a card case and to the bottom fasten a piece of sheet lead, heavy enough to keep the case upright. Stand this on the table, good side to the front, and behind it put the nested envelopes with the silk inside.
In presenting the trick, patter about the homing qualities of the silks. Show one, a duplicate of that nested, and throw it over your arm. Show the three envelopes, one by one, inside and out, nest and seal them. The nest completed stand it against the front of the card case. Vanish the silk, by pull or otherwise. Take up the nest of envelopes, thumb in front, fingers at the back, bringing away behind it the set of two from the back of the card case. Tear off one end and bring out the nest of two, apparently from the inside, really from the back. Drop the large envelope on the table and go forward, opening the remaining two envelopes very deliberately and drawing the silk from the innermost. A charming effect, worthy the attention of any performer. 18. Another Comedy Trick. Having invited a spectator to your stage, stand him with his back to the audience. Stand at his left, arms extended about on a level with his face. Roll a silk between the hands, palming it in the right and closing the left as if it were still there. Swing the right hand back a little and tap the back of the left hand with the forefinger. Swing the right hand still further back, letting the silk fly over the victim's head, and again tap the left hand. Show the left hand empty, also the right. The spectator will be bewildered while the audience will enjoy the joke. Offer to show him how it was done. Take a second silk from pocket, secretly securing a vanishes Work the silk into the' pull and let it slip under the coat as you roll the silk as before. Close the left hand, tap it with the right and again make a throw over his head. The spectators expecting lo see the silk, will be astonished to find that it has really vanished. 19. The Rose Boquet. On the table there is a small easel with a frame covered with black velvet; in the velvet arc a number of black pins thrust into it with the points protruding upwards. At the end of a production of silks take the red or pink ones, quickly fold them one by one with the Rose Fold, p. 5, and stick them on the pins. In taking up the last to be folded, obtain a roll of narrow green silk ribbon; pretend to nip this from the air and toss it out retaining ohe end. With a thumb tack fasten tlie end just under one of the roses, carry the ribbon down to the middle of the frame at the bottom and affix another thumb tack at that point; carry the ribbon up to another rose, pinning it there and then double it back to the bottom, fixing it as before. Continue until all the flowers have been given green stems, put a vase in front and you have a very artistic effect.
CHAPTER XI KNOTS, TIES AND FLOURISHES
T h e spice of a m a g i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e is provided b y the apparently i m p r o m p t u f e a t s and flourishes introduced b y a skillful operator. M u c h of the sparkling quality of A l e x a n d e r H e r r m a n n ' s entert a i n m e n t s resulted f r o m the constant succession .of s u c h surprises interspersed in his set tricks. Instead of h a v i n g s o m e object n e e d e d f o r a trick set ready, h e w o u l d p r o d u c e the required egg, o r a n g e or w h a t n o t , f r o m his w a n d , a spectator's beard, a n d so on. Or, h a v i n g finished w i t h s u c h a n article be w o u l d m a k e it disappear. F o r instance h a v i n g p o u r e d s o m e rice f r o m a paper bag, h e w o u l d c r u m p l e it up, a n d toss it into the air, v a n i s h i n g it. S u c h little incidents, d o n e naturally, w i t h o u t p a y i n g a n y particular attention to t h e m , k e e p up the air of m y s t e r y indispensable to the success of a m a g i c a l p e r f o r m ance. In m a n y cases s u c h s m a l l f e a t s m a k e a greater i m p r e s s i o n than set tricks. On the other hand, Ivellar's w o r k is said to h a v e suffered f r o m the lack of s u c h byplay. Magical w o r k w i t h silks lends itself particularly lo the introduction of s m a l l f e a t s a n d the f o l l o w i n g series will give a m p l e m a t e r i a l f o r a selection w h i c h can be w o v e n into s u c h an act. Indeed a v e r y fine m a n i p u l a t i v e act c o u l d b e built u p of these f e a t s alone. T h e various sleights a n d m o v e s are not difficult, but as w i t h e v e r y t h i n g w o r t h w h i l e in m a g i c , practice is necessary a n d n o t h i n g short of perf e c t i o n s h o u l d be tolerated. T h e silks used s h o u l d be at least 18 in. square a n d of the best quality; the colors bright and in g o o d contrast. It o u g h t to be unnecessary to insist that they be k e p t clean a n d in g o o d order. T o do this last w i t h the least possible trouble the m e t h o d r e c o m m e n d e d b y Mr. L a d s o n B u t l e r is o n e of the best. U s e a piece of polished board, the edges r o u n d e d off, about 21 in. long, 4 in. w i d e a n d about Yz in. thick. Spread the silks o n e o n the other, s m o o t h t h e m out flat a n d w r a p t h e m r o u n d the board. Slide the lot into a n e n v e l o p e of thick paper, m a d e to fit, a n d tie this w i t h tape. T h e silks will b e k e p t in perfect condition, ready f o r use at a m o m e n t ' s notice. 1. Stretching a Silk. First m e t h o d . Spread the silk out flat a s in F i g . 45. F o l d it in half C. to A., D. to B. T a k e A.C. w i t h the l e f t s e c o n d finger a n d t h u m b , forefinger b e t w e e n the f o l d s ; do the s a m e w i t h the right h a n d at B. D. T w i r l the silk r o p e w i s e d r o p p i n g corners A. a n d D. Stretch the silk o u t b y degrees, every n o w a n d
then twirling it again and gradually raising tlie elbows. W i t h appropriate action a n d pretended exertion, together with the natural elasticity of the silk, it will appear to be stretched to an incredible length. S e c o n d Method. F o l d the silk diagonally to begin with, but in taking it up, gather several folds in the right hand, closing the fingers o n t h e m , but a l l o w i n g the ends of the silk to protrude f r o m the closed hands. T w i r l i n g a n d stretching the silk as in the first m e t h o d , a l l o w the f o l d s to escape gradually, at the s a m e time raise the e l b o w s outwards. 2. Preparation f o r Knot Sleights. F o l d tlie silk in half diagonally a n d turn back the corners. T h e n f o l d the silk over a n d o v e r l e n g t h w a y s . Slip a s m a l l rubber b a n d over the silk up to tlie m i d dle^ h o l d i n g the f o l d s together. This m a y be d o n e openly.
3. The Silk That Will Not Knot
a / . Twirl the silk ropewise, a n e n d in each hand. T h r o w the m i d d l e over tlie left h a n d in a loop a n d let it rest there a n d tie the ends. On pulling these o u t w a r d s to f o r m a knot, as it tightens, let the l o o p slip over the left h a n d and the silk will c o m e out straight.
b / . T a k e the silk b y o n e corner w i t h the left hand, h o l d i n g b y the first a n d s e c o n d fingers. P a s s the other e n d up b e t w e e n the left t h u m b and forefinger, closing the third and f o u r t h fingers o n the p a l m . Fig. 49. Grip the e n d A. b e t w e e n the first a n d second fingers of the right h a n d and pull it through the loop. Release end B. f r o m the left t h u m b , and grip w i t h the right second and third fingers. Fig. 49. P u l l the silk out straight.
c / . Tic a loose k n o t in the silk and hold it b y o n e corner in the left hand, the rest of the silk h a n g i n g d o w n . Stroke the tight h a n d d o w n over the k n o t several times, back of the h a n d to the front. Slip the right t h u m b into the loop a n d pull it right d o w n a n d off at the end. T h e k n o t m u s t be kept loose.
d / . Tie a single k n o t w i t h the t w o e n d s and slip the left t h u m b b e t w e e n t h e m . F i g . 51. Close the forefinger on A. a n d pull the h a n d s apart. T h e action m u s t be a rapid one.
e / . K n o w n as the Gypsy k n o t a n d u s e d b y t h e m in f o r t u n e telling. Cross the right h a n d end over the left o n the side t o w a r d s the body, Fig. 52, then turn it back and d o w n t o w a r d s the body, a r o u n d a n d under the left h a n d end, as s h o w n b y the dotted line. A spectator then ties the ends together. S h a k e the silk and the k n o t dissolves.
f. T w i r l the silk r o p e w i s e a n d hold it across the hands, p a l m s u p w a r d s , the left e n d A. protruding f r o m the crotch of the left t h u m b , a n d the right end B. f r o m b e t w e e n the first a n d s e c o n d fingers. F i g . 53. E x t e n d the left finger and cross B. over A. then b e n d the first joint of this finger in over B. Fig. 54. Grip e n d A. at the back of the left forefinger w i t h the right t h u m b and forefinger and pull it t h r o u g h the loop, just as w o u l d be d o n e in m a k i n g a g e n u i n e k n o t , but k e e p the forefinger on B. so that it f o r m s a l o o p over w h i c h A. is pulled, thus f o r m i n g a false knot. A s this apparent k n o t f o r m s in the m i d d l e of the silk, w i t h d r a w the left forefinger f r o m the l o o p
a n d h o l d the silk h a n g i n g f r o m the left t h u m b a n d f o r e f i n g e r b y the e n d B. B l o w 011 the knot, giving the silk a slight jerk a n d the f o l d s will fall free, the k n o t disappearing. A g o o d effect is obtained b y h a n d i n g the silk, w i t h a k n o t apparently tied in it, to a spectator to hold. A s h e takes it, shake the f o l d s f r e e a n d turn a w a y . A m o m e n t later turn to h i m again and ask h i m f o r the k n o t t e d silk. T h i s will bear repeating and will cause general a m u s e m e n t . 4. I n s t a n t a n e o u s Knot w i t h B o t h H a n d s . H o l d the h a n d s , p a l m s u p w a r d s , left end of the silk doubled b a c k in tlie crotch of the left t h u m b a n d held b e t w e e n the t h u m b a n d forefinger, the rest of the silk passing u n d e r the back of the h a n d ; the right h a n d end p a s s e s over the p a l m of the right h a n d and protrudes b e t w e e n the t h u m b a n d forefinger. Tlie right third a n d little fingers close o n the silk. Fig. 56. T o get this position quickly, lay the silk o n the table, g r a s p the left end w i t h the left hand, back u p p e r m o s t , lay the right h a n d e n d across the right p a l m , then turning the left h a n d i n w a r d s a n d bring it p a l m u p w a r d . E x t e n d the first a n d s e c o n d fingers of e a c h hand, b r i n g the h a n d s together and grasp the projecting corners in the opposite h a n d s ; d r a w t h e m apart a n d a k n o t f o r m s in the m i d dle of the silk. C o v e r the action of bringing the h a n d s together b y a s w i n g of the b o d y to the left. T h e instant the corners h a v e b e e n pulled through, release the left corner and toss the silk into the air w i t h the r i g h t hand, catching it by one corner as it falls. W i t h a little practice it can b e m a d e to appear that the k n o t really f o r m s w h i l e the silk is in the air.
5. T w o I n s t a n t a n e o u s Knots. Grasp the silk at the ends w i t h bofli h a n d s , p a l m s d o w n w a r d s , the p o s i t i o n m u s t b e taken at points a b o u t f o u r i n c h e s f r o m the ends. T u r n the h a n d s o v e r i n w a r d s at t h e s a m e t i m e e x t e n d i n g the first t w o fingers of each hand, retaining the e n d s b e t w e e n the third and little fingers a n d the t h u m b s . A g a i n turn the h a n d s over i n w a r d s f o r m i n g a l o o p r o u n d the first t w o fin-
gers of each hand. Grip the ends b e t w e e n the first a n d s e c o n d fingers by p u s h i n g t h e m d o w n w i t h the t h u m b s . D r a w the h a n d s apart, pulling the loops oil' the lingers and t w o k n o t s will be m a d e . T h e action of twisting the silk round the fingers is c o v e r e d b y a d o w n w a r d m o v e m e n t of the hands, the silk b e i n g held u p h i g h to begin w i t h ; the k n o t s are c o m p l e t e d in the u p w a r d m o t i o n of the hands. T h e m o m e n t the k n o t s are f o r m e d the silk should be held b y the e x t r e m e ends b e t w e e n the tips of the forefinger a n d t h u m b of each hand and stretched out horizontally. 6. The Move-up Knots. T h e action in this pretty f e a t is s i m i l a r to that in the foregoing. T a k e t w o silks of contrasting colors, g r e e n and w h i t e f o r instance, b y the ends, the end of the green lying a little further to the left than the w h i t e one, the h a n d s p a l m s d o w n w a r d s about f o u r i n c h e s f r o m the nearest end. T u r n the h a n d s p a l m s upwards. Close the left third a n d little fingers over the end A. of the green silk as it lies over the w h i t e end B., do the s a m e w i t h the right third and little fingers 011 the w h i t e e n d C. w h i c h lies o n the green end D. and stretch out the t w o first fingers of each hand. P u s h the green end, A., r o u n d w i t h the t h u m b and grip it w i t h the left first a n d s e c o n d fingers. D o the s a m e w i t h the w h i t e end, C., seizing it w i t h the right first and s e c o n d fingers. P u l l these e n d s t h r o u g h the loops, w h i c h y o u let slip off the fingers, a n d the green silk will be tied a r o u n d the w h i t e at o n e end a n d the w h i t e tied r o u n d the green at the other. Give the c o m m a n d , "Move up," a n d pull o n the free ends; the k n o t s will be d r a w n together, m e e t i n g i n the m i d d l e w i t h intriguing effect.
7. I n s t a n t a n e o u s Knot on A r m . H o l d the twirled silk b e t w e e n the tips of the forefinger and t h u m b of each hand. W i t h a n u p w a r d , circular s w e e p of the right hand towards the left, m a k e a l o o p in the air. Thrust the left h a n d w i t h its end of the silk t h r o u g h this l o o p a n d tighten the knot o n the left a r m b y stretching it straight out a n d b r i n g i n g the right h a n d to tlie left shoulder. D r o p b o t h e n d s the m o m e n t the k n o t is tight. T h e action can be d o n e so rapidly the eye cannot f o l l o w it if covered b y a turn to the left. Fig. 58. Tlie flourish can be used thus: Instead of putting a silk y o u are g o i n g to u s e again later, o n the table, tie it to the left a r m .
8. I n s t a n t a n e o u s Knot, One H a n d . T h e r e are several w a y s of d o i n g this, the f o l l o w i n g is the best: T w i s t the silk r o p e w i s e a n d l a y it over the right hand, w i t h the corner B. about f o u r i n c h e s l o w e r than A. a n d a little nearer the wrist. W i t h a n u p w a r d m o v e m e n t of the a r m close the third and little fingers over A. F i g . 59. T h e n w i t h a d o w n w a r d m o t i o n turn the h a n d o v e r i n w a r d a n d grasp the end B. w i t h the first a n d second fingers. Let the b o d y of the silk slip d o w n off the back of the hand, but retain tlie grip of the end B. pulling it t h r o u g h the loop, Fig. 60, and so f o r m i n g a knot. W i t h a d o w n w a r d s n a p tighten this and instantly jerk the silk into the air. Catch it b y o n e corner as it falls and display the knot. 9. F l y i n g Knots. B y c o m b i n i n g the One H a n d Knot (above) w i t h the v a n i s h i n g knot, f. p. 64, a very fine flourish will result. P i c k u p a silk a n d m a k e the t h r o w knot on the left a r m , N o . 7; take a s e c o n d o n e a n d w i t h it tie the f a k e d knot, then h o l d this silk up b y o n e corner in the left hand. R e m o v e the first silk f r o m the left a r m a n d m a k e the o n e h a n d k n o t w i t h the right hand, at the s a m e m o m e n j e r k i n g the left h a n d so that the f o l d s of the f a l s e k n o t fall free. Catch the n o w k n o t t e d silk in the right h a n d a n d display both, h a n g i n g d o w n f r o m the fingers. T h e k n o t has visibly p a s s e d across.
10. One H a n d Knot w i t h T w o Silks. T h i s is a pretty variation of the o n e h a n d knot. U s e t w o silks of contrasting colors, f o r instance, one large purple silk and a s m a l l e r one, y e l l o w . P l a c e the y e l l o w silk o n the right h a n d along the length of the hand, f r o m the wrist to the finger tips, its m i d d l e c o m i n g over the p a l m . T h e purple silk is then taken exactly as described f o r the o n e h a n d knot. W h e n the knot is m a d e , the purple silk will be f o u n d tied a r o u n d the y e l l o w w i t h pretty effect. A n y of these k n o t s can be used to a d v a n tage at the conclusion of a routine w i t h silks. Instead of just placi n g t h e m aside, f o r instance, tic t w o of t h e m together as above. 11. One Hand Corner Knot. H o l d the twirled silk so that o n e end passes over a n d in front of the third and f o u r t h fingers, over the second and first a n d then a r o u n d towards the p a l m of the h a n d bet w e e n the t h u m b and forefinger, the other end h a n g i n g d o w n . W i t h the t h u m b p u s h the end A. d o w n a n d r o u n d the b o d y of the silk until it can be clipped b e t w e e n the first a n d s e c o n d fingers. Fig. 61. Slip the loop off the fingers and the k n o t is f o r m e d . T o c o v e r the action secure the proper hold w h i l e twisting the silk, then m a k e the k n o t in bringing the end 13. up to the right hand. T h e left fingers c o v e r this anil help in slipping the loop off the first t w o fingers of the right h a n d , a n d also help in tightening the k n o t w h i c h is quite h i d d e n b y the right fingers. Flick out the corner B. w h i c h falls quite straight. B r i n g it u p to the right h a n d and, apparently, flick it out again but, this time, retain hold of B. a n d release A. a n d the k n o t appears. A simpler m e t h o d is to h a v e the k n o t already tied a n d h i d d e n in a f o l d of the silk. T h e a p p e a r a n c e of the k n o t then b e c o m e s a v e r y s i m p l e matter.
13. Three Silks Tied Instantaneously. In this m e t h o d the effect of a k n o t is obtained by the use of a s m a l l rubber band. T h i s is stretched over the a r m s of a small m e t a l plate fixed to a chair rail, Fig. 62. Three silks have b e e n laid over the back of the cliair a n d in taking t h e m again, slip t w o fingers into the b a n d a n d carry it a w a y . T h r o w the silks over the left h a n d s h o w i n g t h e m separate;
slip the t h u m b into the rubber band, Fig. 02; take t h e m b y the corn e r s a n d let the rubber band slip over t h e m . T o s s the silks into tlie air, a n d they fall apparently tied together. Display tlieni b y h o l d i n g t w o of the f r e e ends in the h a n d s so that tlie k n o t ( ? ) is in the m i d dle a n d the third silk h a n g s d o w n . Keep the h a n d s in m o t i o n a n d m a k e a pretense of u n t y i n g a knot. b / . A dab of g o o d adhesive t h u m b nail. In putting the silks o n the w a x a n d then push it off. t h e m up. F i n a l l y display t h e m
w a x is put on the back of the left in the left h a n d press the corners B u n d l e the silks together a n d toss as above.
14. D o u b l e L o o p Knot. H o l d the silk in the s a m e w a y as in N o . 4 but m u c h nearer the middle, the h a n d s b e i n g about eight i n c h e s apart. B r i n g the h a n d s together and seize the silks o n the opposite sides, but do not pull the ends right through a n d the result will be a double loop knot, Fig. 03. 15. V a n i s h of L o o p Knots. H a v i n g f o r m e d the double l o o p knot, slip the t h u m b a n d first finger of e a c h h a n d t h r o u g h the l o o p s as in Fig. 64, pull the ends through a n d a large k n o t , a p p a r e n t l y g e n u i n e will be f o r m e d . H o l d the silk u p by o n e e n d a n d pull o n the other a n d the f o l d s will untwist, the k n o t vanishing. A better w a y is to h o l d the silk up w i t h the left hand, then run the right h a n d d o w n a n d c o v e r w i t h it the m e l t i n g of the knot. A c o m i c a l effect can be obtained in this w a y . W h i l e displaying the large k n o t w i t h the silk held by o n e corner in the left hand, steal f r o m the vest, w i t h the right hand, a n actual k n o t of the s a m e m a t e r i a l w h i c h h a s b e e n s e w n together to retain its shape. R u n the right h a n d d o w n the silk, release the f o l d s of the false knot, a n d w h e n the h a n d reaches the l o w e r end, s h o w the loose k n o t as havi n g b e e n r e m o v e d bodily f r o m tlie silk. T h e reverse of this last idea is to h a v e a k n o t m a d e o n a n a r r o w tube a b o u t the size of a serviette ring; s o m e of the s a m e m a t e r i a l as the silk to b e used, is s e w n r o u n d the tube a n d a real k n o t m a d e
FIGS. 03 & 64
o n the outside. At a f a v o r a b l e opportunity this is slipped over the end of the silk, hidden by the right hand, w h i c h holds its end. A f t e r stroking the silk several times the left h a n d d r a w s the f a k e to the center, the k n o t appearing to have been m a d e instantaneously. 16. The T r o u b a d o r Knot. L a y the twirled silk on the table as s h o w n in Fig. 65. F o l d the a r m s b y putting the left*hand o n the right biceps and tuck the right h a n d d o w n in the space f o r m e d b y the b e n d of the left a r m . Grip end A. w i t h the right fingers a n d thrust the left h a n d through the l o o p C. and seize the end B. P u l l g e n t l y a n d at the s a m e t i m e s h a k e the l o o p off the left wrist a n d this will result in the f o r m a t i o n of a reef knot. B y pulling it taut the h e a d gear of a troubador will be f o r m e d . 17. V a n i s h i n g Knots. If one e n d of a double k n o t is pulled tightly, the k n o t will be upset and lie coiled r o u n d the other end. T h i s e n d being slipped out the k n o t is gone. T h e Fig. 66 s h o w s a reef k n o t but the s a m e thing applies to a "granny"; it is m e r e l y n e c e s s a r y to pull o n the b o d y of the silk opposite to the e n d that is b e i n g tightened.
T h e principle is e l e m e n t a r y but m a n y e m i n e n t p e r f o r m e r s h a v e used it m o s t effectively. H e r r m a n n , f o r instance, w o u l d have a n u m ber of h a n d k e r c h i e f s tied together b y spectators, he w o u l d tighten the knots, really upsetting t h e m a n d drop the h a n d k e r c h i e f s into a hat. S h a k i n g the hat he w o u l d take out each o n e separate. U n d e r the g l a m o u r pf his presentation the s i m p l e feat attained m a g i c a l proportions. This trick w o u l d "go over" just as well today. T h e principle can be applied to a single handkerchief w i t h excellent effect. Grasp a silk b y the middle, p a l m of the h a n d d o w n w a r d s a n d let a spectator tie a double k n o t o n the back of the hand. U n d e r pretence of tightening the k n o t , upset it, b e i n g careful to pull the f r e e end to the s a m e l e n g t h as the other. Get a single k n o t tied
o n top of this, upset it and pull tight as b e f o r e ; c o n t i n u e in the s a m e w a y until the ends are too short to be tied together. T h r o w the b o d y of the silk over the knots, and, as soon as they are hidden, pull the f r e e e n d out of the coils, the left t h u m b aiding b y p u s h i n g the coils f o r w a r d , a n d w r a p t h e m w i t h a fold of the silk, twisting the f a b r i c r o u n d tightly. Give tlie little bundle lo a spectator to hold in his clenched hand. Address h i m thus, " N o w relax the fingers slowly. A r e the k n o t s u n t y i n g ? " Tlie coils naturally e x p a n d a little a n d u n t w i s t as the pressure is relaxed and, feeling this, lie a n s w e r s "Yes". T h e n grip o n e corner a n d shake the silk out free f r o m a n y knots. T h e late S a m r i S. B a l d w i n got m o r e effect out of this little feat than m a n y do f r o m a big illusion. 18. A Silk w i t h S e v e n Corners. T h i s is a n o t h e r e x a m p l e of the upsetting principle. S h o w a large silk a n d boldly assert that it has seven corners a n d proceed to p r o v e it. T i e t w o corners, upset the knot, pull it tight a n d t h r o w tlie rest of tlie silk o v e r it. Let s o m e o n e hold the k n o t through the covering fabric but first pull the f r e e end out, l e a v i n g tlie coils o n l y to be held. Count "Two". Tie t w o other corners in the s a m e w a y a n d count "Four". T h e r e are still t w o corners free. S h o w these and tie in the s a m e w a y . Count "Six". Grip the corner just pulled f r o m the coils and, h o l d i n g it, flick the silk in the air, free f r o m a n y knots. 19. F o u r Silks Secretly Tied and Untied. Stand w i t h tlie right side to the audience, f o u r silks being o n a table to y o u r left. P i c k u p the first silk, roll it b e t w e e n y o u r h a n d s as in the E n d Roll v a n i s h , but l e a v e the last corner protruding b e t w e e n the third and f o u r t h fingers of the right h a n d on the side a w a y f r o m tlie audience, Fig. 68. T a k e the s e c o n d silk a n d d r a w it into the right fist, b r i n g i n g the corn e r out b e n e a t h the right second a n d third fingers, the rest of the silk h a n g i n g d o w n at the front, Fig. 69. U n d e r c o v e r of an up a n d d o w n m o v e of the h a n d s tic the t w o projecting ends w i t h a d o u b l e k n o t ; gather u p the rest of the silk a n d lot the last corner project as in F i g . 68. Treat the last two silks in just the s a m e w a y m a k i n g a chain of f o u r silks; s u d d e n l y jerk this out towards the spectators, to w h o m the k n o t s will c o m e as a c o m p l e t e surprise. Gather in the silks o n e by one, m a k i n g a p r e t e n c e of tightening the knots, really upsetting t h e m and pulling the silks free. B l o w on the bundle, toss it in the air and the silks fall separately.
FIG. 68 FIG. 69
20. T w o K n o t s F r o m One. T h e effect of this little k n o w n sleight is that a k n o t tied in a large silk suddenly b e c o m e s two. H o l d the silks as in Fig./70, a n d m a k e a loop in the middle, Fig. 71. M a k e a second l o o p in front of the first a n d slightly larger, Fig. 12. P a s s the end in the left h a n d t h r o u g h the loops a n d pull it as tightly as possible w i t h o u t separating the knots. D i s p l a y silk b y h o l d i n g a corner in each h a n d ; b y quickly jerking the h a n d s apart the k n o t visibly separates into t w o .
21. -Threading the Loop. P l a c e a twisted silk in the left h a n d r o u n d the left t h u m b as s h o w n in F i g . 73, h o l d i n g o n e end A. b e t w e e n the left third a n d f o u r t h fingers, a n d the other end B. w i t h the right hand. P a s s B. r o u n d the t h u m b as in Fig. 74, then w i t h the m i d d l e of the silk m a k e a l o o p a b o v e the f o r k of the t h u m b , F i g . 75. In d o i n g this, h o w e v e r , c h a n g e the grip of the ends, leave B. in the left third a n d f o u r t h fingers a n d seize A.! bringing it r o u n d in f r o n t of the t h u m b . H o l d A. w i t h the right t h u m b a n d first finger a n d m a k e several feints at passing it t h r o u g h the loop; finally slip it over the t h u m b w h e n it will a p p e a r to have pierced the loop. T h e trick is an old o n e a n d is usually d o n e w i t h string, but it m u s t not b e despised o n that account. I h a v e seen a w h o l e r o o m f u l of m a g i cians a n d a m a t e u r s puzzled b y it. N o t o n e of t h e m k n e w o r c o u l d f o l l o w the trick.
22. Silk Pulled Thru Leg. T h e effect is that a large silk is p a s s e d t w i c e r o u n d the leg and lied in front, it is then pulled free the k n o t s r e m a i n i n g tied. Instead of passing the e n d s r o u n d the leg, they arc doubled back, the left t h u m b pushing f o r w a r d a loop round w h i c h the right h a n d passes the end it holds. T h e ends are retained in the s a m e h a n d s throughout, and the time taken to m a k e the loop and twist the other end round it, should be the s a m e as if the ends w e r e c h a n g e d o v e r a n d b r o u g h t up on opposite sides of the leg. A variation is to pass the silk round the neck, f o r m i n g the a n d twist at the back. B r i n g the ends r o u n d to the front a n d double k n o t w i t h them, putting it b e t w e e n the teeth. W i t h a practice the l o o p can be m a d e so securely that it will stand a siderable strain.
loop tie a little con-
23. Stanley Collins' Variation. T h i s is o n e of the m o s t brilliant f e a t s of its k i n d that can possibly be p e r f o r m e d . W h i l e the f e a t is a difficult o n e to describe, the actual w o r k i n g is s i m p l e o n c e the idea is grasped. Briefly the effect is this—a y e l l o w silk is twisted t w i c e r o u n d the left leg a n d tied o n top; a green silk is tied r o u n d the right leg in the s a m e w a y . T h e y e l l o w silk is pulled f r e e a n d at the s a m e m o m e n t the green silk j u m p s across to the left leg, b e c o m i n g tied e x a c t l y as it w a s o n the right leg. T h e effect is extraordinary. T h e silks m u s t be long e n o u g h to b e twisted twice r o u n d the leg a n d tied w i t h a double knot. T w i s t the green o n e r o p e w i s e a n d lay it over the left leg, passing it r o u n d o n c e a n d bringing the e n d s as s h o w n , F i g . 77. S h o w the y e l l o w silk, twirl it, a n d lay its center o n the left leg u n d e r A., pass it b e l o w the leg m a k i n g the trick loop, b r i n g i n g the ends b a c k o n the s a m e sides. B e f o r e tying these ends together, p u s h the end B. i n w a r d s t o w a r d s the body. Fig. 78.
FIG. 77 & 78
Let tlie ends of the green silk fall oil' the leg, A. to tlie left, B. to the right; it will h e f o u n d to pass t h r o u g h tlie two loops of the y e l l o w silk. H o l d i n g the legs close together pass the end B. over tlie right leg and tlie end A. u n d e r it, m a k e the double loop w i t h tlie green silk under the right leg, bring the ends up a n d tie a double knot. Fig. 79. Tell the spectators w h a t has b e e n d o n e and secretly upset the k n o t in the y e l l o w silk, slipping the ends free. H o l d these ends in the right h a n d and pull t h e m sharply u p w a r d s , d r a g g i n g the green silk across and r o u n d the left leg. B e l e a s e o n e end of the y e l l o w silk, pulling it free f r o m the loops, w h i l e w i t h the left h a n d p u s h the l o w e r loop t h r o u g h the top one, so that it appears to b e g e n u i n e l y passed twice r o u n d the leg and tied o n top. T h i s silk m a y n o w b e pulled through the leg, but it is m o r e c o n v i n c i n g to untie the k n o t and u n w i n d the silk. T h e feat s h o u l d be presented sitting o n a chair. 24. T y i n g a Knot W i t h o u t Releasing the E n d s . W h i l e this is m o r e of a puzzle than a sleight it is u s e f u l to lead up to a m o r e intricate feat that is little k n o w n . L a y tlie silk on the table, stretched out, f o l d the a r m s and grip the ends, u n f o l d the a r m s and e x t e n d t h e m and a k n o t is m a d e . F o l l o w this w i t h a really clever feat. Hold the silk, w h i c h m u s t be a long one, as s h o w n in Fig. 80. W i t h the right h a n d t h r o w a loop over the left wrist, Fig. 81. Put the right h a n d into this loop at the point m a r k e d A., then m o v e it u n d e r B. a n d over C., Fig. 82. M o v e the h a n d s apart, k e e p i n g a l o o p over each wrist. T h e secret m o v e o n w h i c h this trick d e p e n d s is s h o w n in Fig. 83. T u r n the h a n d s d o w n w a r d , m o v i n g t h e m a little closer together, so that the loops slide oft' the wrists, and w i t h the right hand let the end D. go and instantly grip the silk at E. T h e c h a n g e of grip is covered by the turn of the h a n d s and the knot s e e m s to f o r m itself spontaneously. Tlie trick can be p e r f o r m e d at the closest quarters w i t h startling effect. Variation a / . T h e Knot Disappears. Make the s a m e m o v e s getting the silk into position s h o w n in F i g . 83, then pull the l o o p off the left hand, pull until the loop b u n c h e s up tightly, let the loop slip off the right h a n d a n d pull on it in the s a m e w a y . A false k n o t will result w h i c h will r e s e m b l e the g e n u i n e one. This can be dissolved b y pulling on the ends of the silk or s h a k i n g it. Variation b / . Spectator M a k e s the Knot. M a k e the m o v e s necessary, to bring the silk into the f o r m a t i o n in Fig. 84. D o this v e r y slowly, m a k i n g it plain that the ends are h e l d all the time. N o w invite a spectator to take the ends a n d pull the silk off the hands. D o not m a k e the secret m o v e a n d a k n o t will f o r m . T h e effect o n the spectator is extraordinary.
25. T h e Silk That Unties Itself. T h e r e are m a n y variations of this p o p u l a r trick but it will suffice to e x p l a i n o n e m e t h o d . T h e reader can t h e n arrange the trick to suit h i m s e l f since the o n e essential, a black thread, is a l w a y s used. This is fastened to o n e e n d of a silk a n d the other e n d of the thread is fixed to the floor b y m e a n s of a t h u m b tack. T h e silk lies o n a chair seat. P i c k u p the silk b y the thread corner in the right h a n d ; take a n a d j o i n i n g corner w i t h the left hand, spread the silk out a n d turn it to s h o w b o t h sides. T h e n take the diagonally o p p o s i t e corner w i t h the left h a n d a n d twirl the silk ropewise; m a k e a s i m p l e k n o t w i t h the right hand, w i t h o u t the left releasing its end, but n o t d r a w i n g it
tight. Raise the left a r m a n d stretch it out f r o m the body, releasing the right h a n d end. T h e thread is thus tightened and pulls the e n d to w h i c h it is attached through the loop and the k n o t is untied. B y f a s t e n i n g the thread to o n e shoe, tlie silk can he carried in a pocket until the t i m e c o m e s to do the trick. A Variation. T h e thread can be used f o r m a g i c a l l y p r o d u c i n g the silk as w e l l as f o r u n t y i n g a knot, in w h i c h case the trick bec o m e s a fine o p e n i n g effect. Attach a thread about two f e e t l o n g to o n e corner. T w i r l the silk a n d roll it into a ball, starting w i t h the threaded end. W i n d the thread once r o u n d the silk a n d put it just out of sight at the top of the vest, or in a vest pocket. Tie the free e n d of the thread to the l o w e s t b u t t o n h o l e of the vest. T o p r o d u c e the silk catch the t h u m b in the thread, l u n g e f o r w a r d w i t h b o t h hands, clasping tliem smartly together and the silk will be d r a w n invisibly b e t w e e n t h e m . Display it, threaded and h a n g i n g d o w n . Tie a single k n o t w i t h this end b r i n g i n g the silk through the loop. T o vanish the knot, thrust the h a n d h o l d i n g the silk s m a r t l y f o r w a r d and at the s a m e t i m e drop the other h a n d d o w n w a r d against the thread. T h e k n o t will be untied in a flash. F o r a full explanation of a m e t h o d f o r m a k i n g a silk tie and untie itself, see T h e Magic W a n d , N o . 118, Vol XII, June-Sept., 1923, p. 36, b y G. W . Hunter. A similar effect can be obtained b y m e c h a n i c a l m e a n s b y a modification of the color c h a n g i n g silk. In this case, h o w e v e r , b o t h silks are the s a m e color, the inner one h a v i n g a k n o t in the middle. T o m a k e the k n o t appear s i m p l y d r a w d o w n the outer bag, c o n c e a l i n g in the h a n d a n d e x p o s i n g the knot. B y the reverse operation the k n o t disappears. The,first m e t h o d , w i t h a thread lo o n e corner of the silk can b e adapted f o r stage or p l a t f o r m w o r k t h u s — t i e the thread to o n e corner, as usual, but h a v e it l o n g e n o u g h to reach off stage. T o the opposite diagonal corner attach a s m a l l ring w h e r e b y tlie silk can be h u n g on a stand with a projecting a r m ; pass the free e n d of the thread through a s c r e w e y e directly under tbe end of the a r m and leave e n o u g h slack to a l l o w of the silk b e i n g r e m o v e d a n d freely handled. After s h o w i n g a f e w of the simpler flourishes w i t h the silk, tie a single k n o t as usual and h a n g it o n the stand. T h e assistant pulls the thread a n d the u n t y i n g f o l l o w s v e r y m y s t e r i o u s l y . 26. T w o U s e f u l Knots, a / . Knot T h a t Unties W h e n Silk is Shaken. H o l d t w o silks by the corners a n d place the corner held b y the right h a n d crosswise on that in the left. T w i s t the corners r o u n d one a n o t h e r o n c e a n d again take t h e m in the s a m e fingers. N e x t tie one k n o t , h o l d the corners and the b o d y of the silk on each side a n d pull the k n o t v e r y tight. This will hold quite safely until the silk is s h a k e n w h e n the f o l d s untwist a n d the silks c o m e apart.
b / . T o Secretly Tie T w o Silks. H o l d the t w o silks in the right h a n d as in F i g . 85, pulling then taut w i t h the left hand. B e n d the second, third a n d f o u r t h fingers into the palm, Fig. 8(5, turn the h a n d back u p w a r d s a n d w i t h the e x t e n d e d forefinger press the ends r o u n d a n d under. W i t h the t h u m b p u s h t h e m b e t w e e n the lips of the s e c o n d and third fingers, w h i c h grip t h e m and pull t h e m t h r o u g h the loop. T h e t h u m b helps by p u s h i n g the loop o p e n a little a n d the left h a n d pulls the k n o t tight as it f o r m s over the fingers.
A g o o d t i m e to execute the sleight is in putting the silks o v e r the back of a chair, the k n o t b e i n g tied in the m o m e n t or t w o that the right h a n d is b e h i n d the chair rail. 27. I m p r o m p t u Levitations. T o a corner of a silk tie o n e e n d of a black thread about three yards long, attach the other e n d to the table. Coil the silk carefully so that it will not tangle. T h e silk lies o n the table w i t h others. In picking these up, drop o n e ; needless to say it is the threaded one. Get the thread b e t w e e n the fingers p a s s i n g over the back of the hand. Step f o r w a r d , h a n d e x t e n d e d a n d the silk rises to the finger tips. T h e incident s h o u l d be treated in a casual m a n n e r , g o o n w i t h t h e trick in hand as if it w e r e the m o s t natural thing in the w o r l d that the silk should s a v e y o u the b o t h e r of stoopi n g f o r it. T h e s a m e idea can be applied to m a k i n g a c h o s e n silk rise f r o m a glass, f r o m a m o n g s t a n u m b e r of others. In this case u s e the reel a n d pellet of w a x . Attach the w a x to a corner of the selected silk in putting the glass o n the floor. It t h e n rises to the finger tips at c o m m a n d . D e t a c h the w a x pellet a n d the reel d o c s the rest. T h e reel can also be used to suspend a silk in mid-air. A t t a c h the w a x e d b u t t o n to the side of the table in picking u p a silk. M o v e to the side a l l o w i n g the thread to u n w i n d , so that it stretches f r o m y o u r side to the table. B y tying the silk a r o u n d the thread it will a p p a r e n t l y r e s p o n d to y o u r m e s m e r i c passes a n d r e m a i n suspended. B y m a n i p ulating the reel a n d thread the silk can b e m a d e to d e s c e n d to the floor a n d rise a g a i n to y o u r hand. F i n a l l y detach the w a x a n d the reel m a k e s all clear.
28. T h e H o m i n g Silk. T o the m i d d l e of a s m a l l silk, preferably red, s e w o n e end of a black thread, pass the other end t h r o u g h the b o t t o m of the outer left coat pocket (breast) a n d d o w n into the left trouser pocket. F r o m time to time take out the silk to w i p e the h a n d s a n d put it in a n o t h e r pocket. B y pulling the thread w i t h t h e left h a n d in the trouser pocket, the silk is m a d e to travel back to its original position, or the free end of the thread can be l o o p e d a n d this stiffened b y being dipped in g u m a n d tlie thread a l l o w e d to dry. T h i s is slipped over the left t h u m b and the silk is m a d e to g o o n its travels b y m e r e l y dropping the left h a n d to the side. 29. S p i n n i n g a Silk. A pretty feat f o r casual introduction in a silk routine. A silk is tossed into the air, c a u g h t o n the e n d of the w a n d a n d rapidly s p u n in a horizontal plane. Tlie w a n d h a s a detachable tip w i t h a needle point projecting f r o m it. It is m e r e l y necessary to catch tlie silk on the needle point a n d turn the w a n d w i t h a rapid rotary m o t i o n as in spinning a plate. T h e feat appears to b e a clever o n e but is v e r y easy. D i s p o s e of the tip in putting the w a n d o n the table. 30. A Flourish. Spread a silk over the top of a s m a l l table as a cloth a n d put a glass o n it. On top of the glass lay a second silk a n d o n this a crush hat o p e n e d out. P u l l the silks a w a y rapidly o n e a f t e r the other w i t h o u t disturbing the other objects. T h e trick requires a l m o s t n o practice, but a l w a y s gains applause. 31. K n o t s f o r R e m e m b r a n c e . T h e plot of this clever application of the v a n i s h i n g knots, b y Mr. Charles W a l l e r , r u n s to the effect that the m a g i c i a n ' s w i f e gives h i m several c o m m i s s i o n s to execute, m a k i n g h i m tie a k n o t each t i m e in his h a n d k e r c h i e f , f o r r e m e m b r a n c e . T h i s finally b e c o m e s just a ball of knots, yet w h e n the e n d s are pulled there are n o knots. T w o h a n d k e r c h i e f s are used, silk f o r preference. P r e p a r e o n e b y tying a k n o t in its middle, but do not pull the e n d s through, m e r e l y m a k e a l o o p just f a r e n o u g h to b e held b y the fold. On this tie a s m a n y of these l o o p k n o t s as the fabric will carry, leaving the e n d s lo!ng e n o u g h to tie o n e m o r e k n o t w i t h a n effort. P u t this ball of k n o t s in the right h a n d outside coat pocket. A s e a c h k n o t is tied in the other silk m a k e a m o t i o n of putting it i n that pocket, but e a c h t i m e a n o t h e r c o m m i s s i o n is g i v e n b r i n g it f o r w a r d a n d tie a n o t h e r knot. T h e last time, h o w e v e r , really drop it a n d b r i n g out the prepared duplicate. T i e a real k n o t but slip the tip of the left t h u m b under it s o that it can be readily untied. W h e n y o u are ready to s h o w that there are n o knots, a g o o d e x c u s e f o r n o t h a v i n g r e m e m -
bered the wife's c o m m i s s i o n s , free the ends of the last k n o t b y raisi n g the left t h u m b , grip the e n d s in each hand, give t h e m a v i g o r o u s pull a n d the k n o t s vanish, the silk b e i n g pulled out straight.
CHAPTER XII THE STILLWELL SILK ACT T h e p r o d u c t i o n of silks f r o m a h a n d k e r c h i e f ball after the m a n n e r a d o p t e d b y George Stillwell, w h o w a s the first m a g i c i a n to present a c o m p l e t e silk act in vaudeville, is u n d o u b t e d l y the m o s t artistic m e t h o d yet devised. Mr. Stillwell issued a p a m p h l e t e x p l a i n i n g h i s routine but this has l o n g b e e n out of print a n d is n o w a l m o s t u n o b tainable. I w i l l d e v o t e m y last chapter to a n e x p l a n a t i o n of the act as I s a w it presented b y Mr. Stillwell h i m s e l f . I a m told that h e j o i n e d t h e r a n k s of other great m a g i c i a n s in the Halls of Valhalla several y e a r s ago. H e b e g a n b y r e m o v i n g half sleeves f r o m his a r m s , l e a v i n g the real sleeves a n d shirt cutis turned back. T h e half sleeves h e h u n g over t h e cross bar of a s m a l l stand; at the b a c k of o n e of these a s m a l l p o c k e t , w i t h the m o u t h stiffened b y wire, f o r m e d a s e r v a n t e into w h i c h h e dropped s o m e of the balls f r o m w h i c h lie got the silks a s t h e y w e r e finished with. T h e first ball, w h i c h held three silks, lie secured in his left h a n d , f r o m the turned b a c k cuff of his right a r m in adjusting it, a n d s h o w i n g u n m i s t a k a b l y that his right h a n d w a s e m p t y , h e then executed the c h a n g e over sleight a n d let it b e s e e n that the left h a n d w a s also e m p t y . T h e s e actions w e r e m a d e in a n easy, natural m a n n e r w i t h o u t w a v i n g the h a n d s b a c k and f o r t h as all d e v o t e e s of the b a c k a n d front p a l m do. W i t h the left h a n d h e m a d e a catch in the air, held it about s h o u l d e r high, t h u m b a n d fingers t o g e t h e r as if h o l d i n g the end of a silk. L o o k i n g at the l e f t h a n d as if it really held a silk he b r o u g h t his right h a n d up to it a n d s t r o k e d the i m a g i n a r y silk d o w n w a r d s twice. T h e third time, as the right h a n d c a m e u p to the left, h e n i p p e d the p r o j e c t i n g c o r n e r of t h e first silk i n t h e ball p a l m e d i n his right hand, w i t h the l e f t f o r e f i n g e r a n d t h u m b , a n d again stroked the h a n d d o w n w a r d s , the l e f t h a n d r e m a i n i n g stationary. F i g . 87. T h e silk t h e n appeared a n d the e f f e c t w a s that the silk h a d s u d d e n l y b e e n r e n d e r e d visible b y the s t r o k i n g w i t h the hand. It is essential that the left h a n d rem a i n stationary throughout, if the left h a n d m o v e s a w a y f r o m the right, the illusion is destroyed, the effect b e i n g s i m p l y that a silk h a s b e e n pulled out of the right hand.
A g a i n h e stroked the silk a n d turned the left p a l m to the front, F i g . 88, then to the back, w i t h the silk h a n g i n g d o w n at the b a c k of the fingers, F i g . 89. In repeating the stroking the p a l m s of the h a n d s w e r e b r o u g h t together, the ball transferred to the left p a l m a n d the right h a n d b r o u g h t d o w n the silk w i t h its e m p t y p a l m to the f r o n t . T o again secure the ball in the right hand, h e b r o u g h t that h a n d u p to the left, gripped the ball w i t h the right t h u m b and s e c o n d finger a n d carried it a w a y d o w n w a r d s , at the s a m e t i m e turning his left h a n d p a l m outwards. T h e ball w a s h i d d e n by the silk a n d transferred to the p a l m as the h a n d reached the l o w e r e n d of the silk. B y a repetition of exactly the s a m e m o v e m e n t s h e p r o d u c e d the t w o r e m a i n i n g silks. Their ends had been interlaced w h e n loading the ball so that the production of o n e left the e n d of the n e x t projecting, r e a d y to be gripped easily. One of the three silks h e accidentally dropped, a n d in p i c k i n g it up, w i t h his left side to the front, the e m p t y ball w a s dropped into a breast pocket o n the left side and a larger ball p a l m e d out. This o n e held seven silks, s o m e of t h e m half silks only. H e p r o d u c e d these in the s a m e w a y as the first three. A s t h e y appeared they w e r e all retained in the left h a n d a n d the effect of the increasing n u m b e r of brightly colored silks, c o m i n g f r o m noAvhere, a l w a y s received applause. T h e last of these having been b r o u g h t out he draped the lot over liis left a r m bent up in f r o n t of his body, as if m e r e l y to display t h e m . U n d e r cover of this he dropped the ball f r o m his right h a n d into a pocket and took out a third w i t h his left hand. T h i s o n e contained ten half silks, lightly basted together so as to b e easily pulled apart if required, loaded after b e i n g f o l d e d b y the Star Fold, p. . D r o p p i n g the visible silks over a stand he asked f o r a n y n u m b e r f r o m one to ten to b e called. H e clapped his h a n d s together and pulled out the silks in a b u n c h . In c o u n t i n g t h e m h e had s i m p l y to pull o n e or m o r e apart to get the. correct n u m b e r . T h e s e h e t h r e w over the cross bar h o l d i n g the false sleeves, the ball g o i n g into the servante. In taking t w o a g a i n w i t h the right h a n d he secured a s m a l l ball f r o m u n d e r his vest w i t h the left hand. P a s s i n g the silks f r o m o n e h a n d to the other, the ball g o i n g w i t h t h e m h e contrived to s h o w incidentally that his h a n d s w e r e o t h e r w i s e e m p t y , h o l d i n g the silks only. H e t u c k e d t h e m into the ball v a n i s h i n g t h e m , again s h o w e d b o t h
h a n d s b y m e a n s of the c h a n g e over sleight a n d r e p r o d u c e d the silks in the s a m e w a y as the first silks. One of these he threw over the crossbar, d r o p p i n g the s m a l l ball at the s a m e time and w i t h his left t h u m b lie h o o k e d a h o l l o w glass ball f r o m his left trouser pockct. T h e r e m a i n i n g silk he w o r k e d into this a n d then displayed it as a billiard ball. T o s s i n g this into the air several times, his right side turned to the front, w i t h the left h e obtained a load of six larger silks m a d e u p as f o l l o w s : A s m a l l piece of black silk, f o l d e d in half, is s e w n d o w n o n e side, a n d to e a c h side three large colored silks are s e w n . F i g . 90. F a s t e n the end, opposite to that s e w e d , w i t h pins, m a k i n g a s m a l l b a g ; close the m o u t h of the b a g and fasten that w i t h pins also. Tie w i t h black thread a n d w i t h d r a w the pins. H o l d i n g the load in his l e f t h a n d he b r o u g h t it d o w n s m a r t l y on the glass ball, b r o k e the thread a n d d e v e l o p e d the silks; u n d e r cover of t h e m the glass ball w a s vested. D i s p l a y i n g the b u n c h of silks, first o n o n e side, t h e n o n the other, h e slipped his right t h u m b into a w i r e l o o p attached to a l o a d of silks p a c k e d in the special b a g described o n p. 25, getting it i n t o his h a n d s b e h i n d the visible silks; b r e a k i n g the thread h e s h o w e r e d the silks out, letting t h e m w e l l up out of the b a g a n d fall to the floor.