The amazing effect of building a fire in a hat borrowed from a spectator is made possible by the Welsh Rarebit Pan. It has found great popular favor.
Performer borrows a gentleman's hat and a handkerchief. He places the handkerchief in the hat and places them on the table. Showing a pan to be empty, he breaks an egg into it, and places torn paper and other articles in pan. He then covers pan with lid. Now alcohol is poured over handkerchief in hat, fire is set to it, and flames are seen rising above hat. Magician waves pan above flames and then drops it into hat to extinguish flames. Cover is then removed from pan and out comes a guinea pig or other articles. The hat and handkerchief are returned unharmed.
This is made of brass, highly nickeled, and is a beautiful piece of apparatus. It looks like a simple cooking pan with a cover, but it is also a clever piece of mechanical apparatus with extra parts.
Figure 46 shows pan as it looks to audience.
The pan consists of four parts. First there is the cover which has a piece attached to it, fitting into the upper compartment or tray of the pan.
Figures 48 and 49.
The third part is the largest compartment of pan to which handle is attached. And this, in turn, fits into the fourth or bottom part of pan.
2 -- Small bottle of alcohol with bit of ether in it.
3 -- Matches, egg, piece of newspaper, salt cellar, and any other comedy articles to put into pan.
4 -- Guinea pig or small rabbit or some other load. SECRET AND PATTER:
Suppose we use a guinea pig. Place him in third part of pan—the large section. On top of him place the second part or tray. Into fourth or bottom part of pan place a piece of white cloth to imitate a handkerchief. Place rest of pan into this bottom part.
Do not leave animal in pan too long. Put him in just before you are ready for experiment. If he wiggles tray, place a cook book on top of pan. You can pretend to use book for reference during experiment.
Have alcohol, egg and other articles on a tray.
Borrow a hat and a handkerchief from gentleman in audience.
Come back to stage. Show hat empty and pull up the inner band. Place handkerchief in hat and put hat on table, opening upward.
"Have you ever eaten a magical Welsh Rarebit? It is a rare delicacy. Let me teach you how to make one. Take a kitchen utensil on this order."
Pick up pan by the handle but keep one finger under it to hold fire-pan in place. Then place fingers of other hand on top edge to keep tray from falling out. Turn pan upside down for a moment and then place it right side up again.
"And it will be necessary to have a stove. Perhaps the gentleman's hat is large enough for a stove."
Place pan down into hat for a moment, releasing the bottom fire-pan.
Take pan out of hat, leaving fire-pan inside. Place pan aside on table. Inner band of hat turned up helps to screen pan inside of hat.
"A good fit and just the right size for a stove. You do not mind my using your hat for a stove, do you, sir? Of course, not. We used to have stove pipe hats, but this can be a stove hat without the pipe. But now for the lesson in making a Welsh Rarebit. Gather together an egg."
Break egg on top of pan and let contents drop into upper tray. Throw shells in also. Tear up paper and place pieces in tray. Put in any other small articles you wish. Season with the salt shaker.
"Some paper, preferably a fresh newspaper, late edition, seasoning and such, and mix them well together. Cover well."
Place cover on pan. Press it down tight to grip tray.
Open bottle of alcohol, and pulling white cloth in firepan up a little, pour alcohol on it. Then allow cloth to fall back into pan. To the audience it appears that you poured alcohol on handkerchief and let it fall back into the hat.
"You do not mind if I put a bit of gasoline on your handkerchief."
Light match and drop it into fire-pan. Flames flare up out of pan and rise above hat.
"And make a fire in the hat."
Pick up pan quickly and wave it over flames for a moment.
"I guess that is cooked enough."
Bring pan down into fire-pan in hat, apparently to extinguish flames, but in reality to secure fire-pan on bottom of rest of pan and bring it up out of hat.
"That is what is called dousing out the flames."
Place pan on table and remove cover with tray. Put cover and tray aside on table, being careful not to expose solid bottom of cover.
Reach into pan and take out guinea pig.
"And behold a Welsh Rarebit, commonly known as pork pie."
Place guinea pig on table or give to assistant. Pick up hat and remove handkerchief.
Note: If a small rabbit is used you can say, "and behold a Welsh Rabbit." "Your handkerchief is, I believe, unharmed, and likewise the hat." Show inside of hat, tucking down the band. Return handkerchief and hat.
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