Continued

Having dealt rather generously, but indeed not exhaustively, with note switches, there then follows the denoument to any planned routine, the recovery of the note. This again may be divided into two categories. 1, the recovery of the actual note, which has not been switched for a dummy, but merely retained under control of the performer, while the note in its supposed container was vanished, burnt or otherwise destroyed and, 2 the "recovery" of a planted note, one which was actually "there" before the genuine note was borrowed !

In the latter case, conditions are very much more easy, for the performer, after having decided from whence the "restored" note shall be recovered, can make his preparations at his leisure, but in the former case, the note under control has either to be passed to an assistant for him or her to disposing of it, or the performer has to make the necessary moves himself.

If the reader will turn back to last month's issue, page 268 and re-read the paragraphs under the sub-title "Blow Pipe" I think he will agree that this routine is about the easiest of its type that one could conceive, for the performer, "before their very eyes", actually places the note into the gadget from which it will later be produced. I refer, of course, to the thumb tip, although the audience does not, or should not, know of its existence, the note being placed into the thumb tip in the tube and later recovered from the thumb tip in the envelope.

placing the borrowed note into an envelope, secretly extracting it again via the thumb tip, and later reproducing the same note from another examined and sealed envelope. Or, as a substitute for the second envelope, the performer may use his wallet, extracting the note and leaving the thumb tip behind.

The reader could, no doubt, concoct other variations. When it is realised that the thumb tip is about the best known method of keeping a note under control, I am sure that those interested will set about devising other routines for themselves. For a start, try out the tube and envelope above mentioned, and it may be that you won't bother further, for, from experience, I can state that it does require a lot of beating.

To continue, let us try to enumerate the different points of recovery of the controlled note.

" borrowed cigarette "

From a borrowed cigarette. This can be effected by palming the note out of the pocket, say, at the same time as a cigarette is borrowed. With the note concealed in the left hand, the cigarette is broken open, and as much "bulk" as possible made of the paper and tobacco. From this "bulk" the palmed note is drawn forth and opened out, the tobacco and paper being allowed to fall to the floor.

"brass plates"

From rubber-banded brass plates. As most readers will know, two heavy brass plates are used. These can be small or large, according to the article to be produced therefrom, and each plate has a series of notches running round its edge. The two plates are placed together and rubber bands are passed across their outer faces, the bands being safely ensconced in the notches. In this condition it seems utterly impossible to place anything between the plates without first removing the bands, but this is managed by the secret use of a "funnel" which is previously trapped between the plates and which is securely held by the tension of the rubber bands.

Thus prepared, the plates would rest in the inner coat pocket, funnel upwards and, in reaching for the plates, the left hand containing the palmed note, would push the note, via the funnel, between the plates and then withdraw the funnel. The latter would be left in the pocket and the plates withdrawn, and handed out for examination, followed by the request that the rubber bands be removed and the note discovered.

" nest of boxes "

From a sma',1 nest of boxes. Exactly on the same lines as the above-mentioned plates, the boxes having their lids propped open, either with the "funnel" or a suitable wedge, and once the note has been inserted and the wedge withdrawn, the rubber bands close up the complete nest of boxes.

" brema tube "

From a "Brema" Tube. This valuable prop is too well known to need description from me. In its 'open' position it would repose, say, in the left hand jacket pocket, and, in reaching for the tube, the note would be inserted, the tube closed, and then brought forth, to be placed in the keeping of a spectator.

The above three methods enable the performer, if he desires, to hand out the article he is using, that is the banded plates, the banded nest of boxes, or the "Brema" Tube, before the note is supposedly vanished or destroyed, and thus there need be very little, if any, lapse, between the vanish and recovery.

In the case of a "planted" note, as stated above, things are much easier, and the articles from which the note is to be reproduced are too numerous to mention. I have already suggested the use of a banana (see October 1955 issue, page 182) and of course other fruits and vegetables may be used. The lemon, orange, potato and turnip being those most frequently used. Still among the edible articles we have the walnut (which could even be produced itself from a lemon or orange!) and please do not overlook the freshly baked bread roil. I heard of one enthusiast who had his bread rolls specially baked for him, each roll containing a coin which was to be later produced ! I have little doubt that the same effect could be gained using a pound or ten shilling note, and if you feel like experimenting, have a roll baked containing a slip of white paper. I think you will find that the paper will be very little marked, if at all! There is an idea for another enthusiast! ! Just imagine being able to give out a freely (?) chosen bread roil, which can be examined to the nth degree and yet, on being opened, is found to contain a borrowed note. Worth thinking about.

" candle power "

Moving from "edibles", we arrive at the humble candle. This has been burning for the whole of the experiment, has possibly been used to bring about, or start, the destruction of the note, and then, as a climax, it is broken in half and the unfortunate note is produced from its middle.

As a candle may, to some, sound about as antique as the chimney pot hat, let's modernise a little and consider Electric Light Bulbs. There is a persistent notion that if one were to break an electric light bulb, there would be great danger of flying glass, yet I am assured, by people who are experts on these things, that such a notion is baseless in fact. As an electric light bulb contains no air (otherwise the element would not glow) immediately the glass is broken, all pieces are drawn inward by the rush of air to fill the vacuum.

But what you will say, has that got to do with the Note Trick? A great deal. The fact that the notion about flying glass exists gives us a perfectly logical reason for placing the bulb, in, say, a paper bag, before smashing the bulb with a hammer ! The contents of the bag could then be emptied on to a tray and the lender of the note then allowed to fish out for himself, with the aid of a pair of tweezers thoughtfully provided, and from the fragments of broken glass, his own (?) note. Just another means of discovery, that's all. The bulb could be a perfectly genuine one, right up to the moment when it was destroyed. The note could already be in the paper bag, or, if it was felt desirable to have the latter examined, the note couid be palmed in at the moment when the bulb was introduced. Simple, but, I still think, effective.

One must call a halt somewhere, particularly as space is limited, but I would, at this stage, like to thank all those readers who have been interested enough to drop me a line, saying how pleased they have been with this series. I hope a little, if not all of it has been of benefit to most. One reader brought up a question which had worried him quite a lot and I think my reply may be of interest to all readers.

His problem was this. "What do you do if, having asked for the loan of a pound note, you find that the one tendered is a dirty scruffy looking thing, which under no circumstances matches the one you have already planted?" The most obvious answer to this is, "Have two notes planted, one clean and one dirty", but it wasn't the reply I sent to this interested reader. My solution was as follows :

"unlucky"

Have a reasonably clean note planted, and if the one tendered is a long way short of matching your own, from the point of view of cleanliness and condition, thank the gentleman, but don't attempt to take the note. Ask him to retain it in his possession for a moment and then ask if any other gentelman will also be sporty enough to volunteer one. The chances are greatly in your favour that the second note will be a better match than the first, and having two volunteers, you now announce that you are going to leave it to the audience to choose who is to be the unlucky person. Those last few words will bring a laugh, but they also enable you, the performer, to make a "conjurer's choice" of it, for whichever is chosen, you turn to him and say. "I'm sorry sir, as you see it is out of my hands. The audience has chosen you and you are the unlucky one". Turning to the second volunteer, "May I have your note sir?"

Suppose the one with the clean note is indicated, this time you turn to him and say "You see what I mean, sir? The audience has chosen you to be the unlucky one. May I have your note?"

This remark will also get a laugh, and turning to the first volunteer you say "You're lucky, sir. You can put your note away". So you will see that the use of a very simple, everyday phrase gets you out of a difficulty, and, needless to add, the same ruse may be employed if, by chance, you are offered an old brown coloured pound note. There are one or two about, even yet, so, be ready.

Now I must leave you to prepare bananas, candles, thumb tips, envelopes and what have you and I do so with two wishes. One, that you have at least found one item of use to you and. two, may you always have "Money to Burn".

Yours Magically,

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