Here is a newer version of that hairy old trick, and one which I think you will like. Let me give you the effect first . The hanky was spread upon the table, the coin placed in the centre, and deliberate show was made of placing the four corners to the centre and over the coin, a little pressure being applied with the centering of each corner. The wise guys knew what I was doing, but they were in for a shock. Having patted down the hanky the patter ran something like this. "You all know the trick where the conjurer suddenly separates the folds of the hanky and the coin is gone?" Here you simulate with your two hands, the sudden opening of the hanky, but the hands are a few inches above the table and the handkerchief is not disturbed.
"Well, I'm sorry I cannot show you that trick, for I just haven't a coin to do it with!" AND YOU DELICATELY BRING EACH OF THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE HANKY BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION TO FORM THE ORIGINAL SQUARE, BUT THERE IS NO COIN ! ! ! The hanky is left where it is for a moment, and, almost certainly someone will take it up, look on the table where the hanky has been and then, if they know the old method, start to look for a waxed corner. You can sit pretty, for there just isn't one.
Nevertheless, as you may have guessed, wax IS used, and the preparation is simple. You will need about two feet of the finest thread you can obtain, the type sold today as 'invisible thread', and, if you can possess yourself of a long hair, so much the better. One end has the spangle attached, duly waxed on both sides, to attach it to the coin, and to the other end is fastened a small weight, a tiny piece of lead, an iron washer or, at a pinch, even a penny will do, so long as the thread or hair is securely fixed.
The weight is placed in the left lower waistcoat pocket, and the coin in the right lower pocket. The thread will hang down in a loop between the two pockets. The handkerchief should be of a dark colour, preferably one with an all-over design, indeed a 'Paisley' pattern is ideal, it being difficult to discern the thread as it lays across the pattern.
However, the question of the thread being sighted should not be a source of worry, for the routine is designed to keep the thread under cover as much as possible . The effect is best worked as you are seated at the table.
The handkerchief is shown and dropped in a bunch in the centre of the table, then the coin is taken from the waistcoat pocket and placed AT THE VERY EDGE OF THE TABLE NEAREST YOURSELF. The obvious reason is that it will be handy for you to take up later on, that it will not be in the way of spreading the hanky later on, but you and I know that it also allows the surplus thread to drape down below the table edge, out of sight of the customers. See Figure 1.
Take up the hanky and spread it, in the form of a square, in front of you, that is, with the nearest edge parallel with the edge of the table. This edge of the hanky should also be central with the coin, if you see what I mean, and about one inch away from the edge of the table. See Figure 1.
Next pick up the coin and take it, in a straight line, right up to the centre of the hanky and deposit it there, BUT DO NOT TAKE THE HAND AWAY. THE FINGER TIPS REMAIN TOUCHING THE COIN. See Fig. 2. The object here is that the rest of the hand, and the sleeve, cover the thread which stretches half way across the hanky. With the right finger tips still holding the coin, the left hand takes up the top left corner of the hanky and brings it down to the centre and over the coin. The right fingers move from the coin only slightly, and the right arm still covers the thread.
The left hand then takes up the lower left corner and folds it over to the centre and over the corner just placed there. If matters have been properly arranged, by now the two left corners will have been brought to the middle, over the coin, AND HALF OF WHAT WAS THE LOWER EDGE OF THE HANKY WILL LIE PARALLEL WITH THE THREAD, ALMOST COVERING IT. See Figure 3.
The right hand may now safely be removed, and. in turn it brings down the top right hand corner and then folds in the bottom right hand corner. The hanky has now been reshaped into a diamond, with one of its points nearest you, and the hidden thread coming out at that 'Point'.
Reach over with the LEFT hand and pad down the folds on the RIGHT SIDE OF THE DIAMOND, then switch over with the right hand to pad down the folds on the left hand side. As the hands change over, the left drops momentarily beneath the table edge and contacts the loop of the thread. At the moment when the right arm is across the 'diamond point' nearest to you, the loop is pressed down and the coin is drawn back to the edge of the table and allowed to fall into the lap, where it remains for the time being.
Now you can sit back for moment, with all preparations carried out, and, an important item, the dirty work also done without the knowledge of the audience. You remind them of the old trick where the conjurer whipped away the hanky, to show the coin having vanished, and you carry out the action of opening out the lower point of the diamond to spread out the hanky, but keeping the two hands well above the table as you do so. Apologise for not being able to show them that effect, for 'you haven't got a coin to do it with', and quietly pull back all four corners to their original positions. Both hands are laid on the table, palm up, and the vanish of the coin is complete.
This is essentially a vanish of a coin, but. for those who feel that the effect will not be complete without the coin's recovery, then we must retrace our steps back to the last paragraph but one, where the coin had been drawn through the gap in the diamond corner, under cover of the right hand and arm.
With the coin safely over the edge of the table, peel off the wax pellet, and, for the time being place the coin on the right knee, where it will remain until the vanish is shown, with the hanky flat out and the two hands palm up. Withdraw the hands and immediately the left hand starts to raise the left hand lower corner of the hanky, very slowly.
Meanwhile the right hand has dropped to the lap and taken up the coin between the tip of the thumb and the first and second fingers. By now the left hand should have raised the corner of the hanky sufficient to allow the right fingers to take hold of the CENTRE OF THE EDGE PARALLEL WITH THE BACK OF THE TABLE,
Our Business will be CLOSED DURING THE WEEK OF MARCH 14th. to 19th. INCLUSIVE.
We have a lot of work to do in connection with internal re-organisation, and have decided that our only course is to close at this time.
May we earnestly request Magicians, Traders, and others who require our goods, to place orders at once, to cover this period. Although shorthanded through illness of staff, we will make every endeavour to clear orders outstanding provided they are not sent in too late.
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