Great tales have come out of the Orient about the remarkable mango tree growth performed by the magicians. Descriptions of the effect vary according to the imaginations of the people who tell about it. Many who have never seen the effect but have merely read or heard about it discuss it as if they knew all about it. Everyone seems to consider this experiment in which the magician puts a seed into the ground and suddenly causes a tree to spring up as a mystery of mysteries.
Because of this peculiar respect which the public has for the mysteries of the Hindus and because of the public's overwrought imagination regarding the mango tree mystery, the modern magician would do well to capitalize on this effect.
Here is your opportunity to work up a feature number which will give you excellent publicity. Accent the fact that this Hindu Mango Tree Mystery is one of the most difficult in all the world to fathom and that you came across the secret in a peculiar manner. Impress it on the public that it is a rare privilege for them to be able to see this profound bit of magic of the Far East performed before their very eyes. If you study this effect and present it with good Showmanship, it will seem a veritable miracle to your audiences.
Hindu Magic is, of necessity, different from ours here in the Occident, because of the difference in conditions under which it is practiced. The Hindu sits on the ground out in the open with the sky as the roof of his theater. He must employ methods of performing his magic which are adapted to his environment. We, on the other hand, perform our magic in rooms, clubs, theaters, and we can utilize methods for gaining an effect which is impossible for the Hindu to use.
First, I shall describe the Hindu Mango Tree Growth as it is performed by the Hindu Magician on the streets of India. Then I shall discuss the presentation in our own modern environment.
Performer plants a seed in a can of earth or sand. He shows a cloth and then covers the jar of earth with it. After a moment, the cloth is removed and a small sprout with leaves is found growing in the earth. The can is covered again and behold! — when the cloth is removed, a mango tree about eighteen inches tall with pieces of fruit on it has grown up in the can.
1 -- A tin can or jar full of earth. Sand may be used, if desired.
2 -- A cloth about five feet square -- must be opaque.
4 -- A plant or small leafy piece cut from a tree. This should be about a foot and a half high. To this fasten a few small lemons, limes, kumquats, or plums.
7 -- A few pieces of cloth or articles of clothing to be piled up to right and left of performer.
SECRET AND PATTER:
To facilitate the handling of the plant it is necessary to wrap it in a cloth bag arrangement which will hold it in as small a space as possible. At the same time, this cloth must be fixed so that it will slip from plant easily. A satisfactory bag is made by using a piece of black cloth or cloth the same color as the covering cloth to be used later. This should be cut long and fairly narrow and small rings sewed to the long edges.
Wrap this cloth tightly around the plant and hold in place with nails put through the rings. Attach a string to the tops of the nails as shown in Figure 32.
When string is pulled from the top, all the nails are pulled out of rings and covering of plant is released. Nails are kept together by string.
At top of covering for plant, sew a three-inch strip of cloth.
Place pile of clothing to your left. This pile may be performer's coat with one or two turban cloths. Place plant under clothes so that it is completely concealed except for the three-inch strip at top of plant covering. This should be toward you so that it can be easily grasped. This strip is used merely for facility in working. It can be arranged so as not to attract any attention. On top of pile place the five-foot cloth used later to cover can of earth.
The impression conveyed to audience is that this pile contains articles to be used during the performance.
In performer's right pocket are the large seed and the small leafy sprout. Or sprout may be in sash which he wears round waist.
The Hindu sits on the ground, his jar of earth in front of him. The pile of clothes with plant concealed under it is at his left side. Other cloths and apparatus, including a musical instrument known as a flageolet, are at the right.
He picks up the jar of earth and shows it freely. He may even turn the earth out of the jar and fill it up again. Or he may have the can empty and fill it from a box of earth or sand nearby.
He pats the earth down in the can. Then takes a seed from his pocket, shows it, and then plants it into the earth in the can. If he has a can of water nearby, he waters it a little.
He then picks up the five-foot cloth from the pile on his left and shows it on both sides. Next he covers the can of earth by holding this cloth over it, tent-fashion, in his left hand.
After a few moments, he lifts off cloth and throws it back on his lap. While directing attention of audience to jar of earth, he palms out the small sprout from his pocket under cover of cloth on his lap.
"Nothing happen. Maybe seed no good. Water him more."
He picks up can of water and wets earth a bit more. "We try him again."
He covers jar again, holding center of cloth in left hand as before. Under cover of cloth, he reaches under with right hand and plants leafy sprout into earth in can.
Perhaps at this time he drops cloth over can and sprout, and picking up his flageolet, plays an oriental tune.
He picks up center of cloth over can again and tosses it onto pile of clothes at left so that center comes over strip of cloth on plant cover. He spreads cloth out and then calls attention to the leafy growth in the can.
"See, plant grow better now."
With left hand he quickly pulls up covering cloth again, grasping it at the center and pulling up under it the strip of cloth attached to plant cover.
As cloth is pulled up in this manner, plant is drawn up also and concealed inside of it. This movement is made in a careless manner, handling cloth as before.
Covering is again held tent-fashion over. jar and performer spreads lower edges of cloth down on ground around jar. He then reaches up under cover with right hand and pushes center stalk of plant down into the earth in can.
He quickly pulls the string up from plant cover, freeing the nails and releasing the cover from plant. Plant cover is still held by left hand through large cover over jar, as in Figure 43.
"Him grow maybe three inches, maybe four inches."
Performer spreads the plant out a little under cover of cloth and suddenly removes cloth, carrying with it the small plant cover, and tosses it aside.
Audience can now see full-grown plant. Hindu may pick off one of the pieces of fruit and give it to a spectator to taste.
This is one of the favorite methods for performing the Mango Tree Growth used in India. It is simple to work, yet it is very puzzling. Showmanship must be put into the performance, however. Care must be taken in handling the cloth in a free and easy manner to give impression of merely tossing it aside to show jar and then holding it up just to cover jar. Eyes and attention of performer must be kept on the jar for MISDIRECTION.
Pile of clothing may be to right or left, as desired. The small leafy sprout may also be concealed in the pile instead of in the pocket.
This effect is designed for work out in the open and on the ground, yet it can be produced Hindu fashion on the stage by using similar properties to those which the Hindu uses in performing the experiment. The effect will have to be worked up to a little quicker tempo, however. The Hindu takes his time about growing the plant. He is not working in vaudeville, and fifteen minutes more or less doesn't mean much to the magician in India. The effect may be produced on the floor or on a large table on a stage with excellent results in a modern program if presented with snap and good magical Showmanship.
TARBELL'S HINDU PLANT GROWTH
This is my own method of working the Hindu Plant Growth. This is the ideal way of working the effect and enables you to perform the mystery almost any place where the audience is kept well in front of you. If you do Oriental work, you should add this feature to your program. This method requires a specially built Oriental plant, but it has the advantage of being made so that it can be used over and over again. It can be adjusted in a few moments and enables you to work in a truly magical way.
In my Oriental program I have had to produce almost miracle effects to live up to the stories about the Orient, and I consider this Hindu Plant Growth and my Hindu Rope Mystery as two of the most important effects in this type of magic. Up to the time of writing this course, I kept the methods for these two effects away from the magic profession as a whole. I used them only for my own special performances. I originally intended never to disclose these special Oriental effects but to keep them for my own exclusive use. However, my desire to make this the great Magic Course of all time and my desire to equip my students with the unusual in magic to insure their success — these things have prompted
me to reconsider, and I have decided to give you these two valuable effects. My Hindu Plant Growth is taught to you here. My Hindu Rope Mystery will be taught to you in Lesson 50. With these two you can create a sensation in Magic.
Performer shows a jar or can of sand and plants a seed therein. He next shows a cloth on both sides and holds it up in front of the can for a moment. Cloth is dropped to reveal can, but nothing has happened. He holds the cloth up in front of can again, and once more removes it, this time to show a small plant growing in the sand. For a few moments can is again concealed by cloth and when revealed again is seen to contain a large plant about a foot and a half tall. Plant is this time covered by cloth and when exposed to view again has fruit growing on it. Fruit is removed and passed out to audience to taste.
1 -- A special Oriental-looking plant made of metal ribs covered with green feathers.
This plant is so built that when open it looks large yet when closed up it can be concealed in a small space. It can be placed inside of a small black bag as shown in Figure 46.
2 -- A small plant growth, three or four inches tall. Figure 47.
4 -- Two or three small lemons, limes, kumquats, or plums to hook on to plant.
5 -- A large oriental cloth made of dark, opaque material, about 36 inches square.
6 -- A fairly large seed, such as a pumpkin seed or the kernel of an almond nut.
We can supply you with the paraphernalia for this effect, complete and ready for your use. It includes the large plant, the small plant, the oriental cloth, and can. Price is reasonable.
Figure 4 8.
Have tin can on table -sand almost to fill can. and lying on table.
The plant is so arranged that the main central stalk is rigid enough to keep the plant upright and to hold the fruit which is attached to it with hooks. The bottom of the plant is so made that it can be easily inserted in the sand. Plant should be steamed occasionally to keep the feathers fresh. To do this just hold plant over the steam from a pan or kettle of water. Before each performance, shake plant a little to fluff it out.
Just before performing, insert wire hooks into the ends of your pieces of fruit so that they can be attached to stalk of plant.
Figure 4 8.
Insert plant in bag, putting in bottom end of central stalk first. Then pin top end of bag up at shoulder of coat under left side.
See that bag hangs properly and causes no bulge in coat. You can move about and perform without its causing you any discomfort. You can even walk into a club room or home and perform the Hindu Plant Mystery when you know this secret. It causes amazement because of the size of the plant which is produced, apparently from nowhere.
Place the small plant in your right coat pocket, also the two or three pieces of fruit which have been prepared.
In one corner of the oriental cloth, place a bent pin. First push the pin through up to the head and then bend pin over to form a hook.
Have tin can on table -sand almost to fill can. and lying on table.
also a box containing enough Have oriental cloth folded up
"Perhaps one of the most amazing magical effects in the eyes of the public is the one performed by the Hindu magician in which he plants a seed in the ground and causes a Mango tree or plant to spring up and bear fruit. There have been many stories told about this remarkable magical feat. Many have tried to solve it without success. When you consider the way the Hindu does it in India — right out in the open, on the ground, it is still more mysterious. For years I have been interested in this peculiar Hindu effect and finally discovered the secret. Tonight I want to tell you of this odd effect. While it is not convenient for me just now to sit
on the ground out of doors in India, yet I can explain matters to you with a few articles on the table here. For the experiment, I use this tin can."
Show tin can empty.
"A small box of sand from which I pour enough sand almost to fill the tin can."
Pour sand from box into can.
"A cloth, this table, and a seed. By the way, this seed is an oriental one. I shall plant it in the sand."
Plant seed in the sand after showing it to audience. If you desire, you may only pretend to plant a seed; however, a large pumpkin seed or almond nut kernel adds showmanship.
"Normally, it requires some time for this seed to sprout and grow up, but the Hindu has discovered some odd methods for directing nature's laws. He says that warmth is very important, but not too much warmth. He usually covers the seed with a cloth, perhaps for the same reason that we cover growing or sprouting vegetables at times with straw or paper."
Pick up oriental cloth and grasp corner with bent pin in right hand. Spread out cloth to show it, stretching left arm out straight and bringing right hand with pin to left shoulder.
Swing around to the right. This brings cloth in position to conceal can of sand on table. Figure 53 is view as audience sees you at this point.
Hold cloth this way about five seconds, then bring left and right hands together and hold both corners of cloth in left hand. Look at can, and pick it up to show nothing happened while it was covered.
"I guess I really didn't give the seed time enough to sprout."
Replace can of sand on table and hold up cloth again as in Figure 52. Then swing around and screen can again as in Figure 53.
This time be careful that cloth comes down close to your left side so that nothing behind it can be seen. Hook pin to left shoulder with right hand, thus releasing right hand for action. Audience is not aware of pin in cloth and consequently thinks that you continue to hold cloth with right hand.
Reach into pocket and bring out small plant. Place it in can of sand as if it were growing there. Bring right hand back to left shoulder again. Bring head forward and look at front of cloth for a moment. Also raise right hand with cloth
a bit to show hands really hold cloth. This is for misdirection to convey idea that you have nothing to do with what is going on behind cloth.
Finally, swing body to left and bring right and left corners of cloth together again as in Figure 54. Call attention to small growth in can. Pick up can and turn it around so that audience can see plant growing. Replace can on table.
"Some action has started at least a few leaves
Go through routine of concealing can again. Hook pin on left shoulder. Under cover of cloth, remove small plant from can with right hand and replace it in pocket. Then reach under left side of coat, grasp bottom of central stalk of big plant, and pull it out.
Push stalk into sand in can and spread plant out a bit to make it look as though it were growing there.
This movement of getting plant is simple. Do not move coat any more than necessary. You can look at audience and talk to them while doing it.
"When a Hindu magician performs this, he can take as much time as he wants. Fifteen minutes or half an hour in India doesn't mean anything. Besides, he can play a flageolet, which by the way is his idea of music. It is said that music charms the flowers and hastens their growth. That is why I play a mandolin while doing this."
Bring right hand up to left shoulder and unhook cloth. Raise cloth with right hand a little to show audience that you hold cloth with right hand. Swing around and drop cloth by bringing two hands together again, thus exposing plant in can.
"There, we have a well grown plant."
Conceal plant with cloth again, as before. Reach into pocket with right hand, remove the pieces of fruit, and hook them to the central stalk. Swing around again to reveal plant with fruit growing on it.
"Or, better yet, here we have the plant bearing fruit. You might be interested in tasting this remarkably grown fruit, so I shall let a few of you taste it."
Remove fruit, quickly pulling out the wire hooks so that audience will not see them. Cut fruit into halves and pass out to a few spectators.
"You will notice its true oriental flavor."
If desired, salt may be put into the fruit before performing the experiment to give it a salty taste. This is not necessary, however.
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