Remember

Whilst reading LENZ article on India my mind travelled to the only time that I made an illusion for an Indian. But first let me delve back, into the past, for it has some bearing on the matter.

My father (well known to so many old-timers) invited me, at the tender age of 10 years, to earn myself some pocket money by doing some odd jobs in my leisure hours, at the bench in his workshop. It was very simple stuff, such as drilling holes in the old peg and bat, and making the card under glass. However, I was very pleased at the time, and so when the time came for me to leave school and go to work, I was able to join my father in his business, with some slight knowledge of Magic.

I was a willing pup:I and soon was well in the making, taking over many tricks completely. However, there was one thing that my father would never allow me to touch, and that was illusion making (other than acting as labourer). He had made many illusions for the "Greats" of those days but as the years rolled on he dropped them, and refused many an order.

Now we come back to my side of the picture of India. One day we received a caller, who was obviously an Indian. My father who was busy at the bench at the time, left the fellow to me, and I showed him a few of our latest effects, and in between he told me that he had come over from India to train for the Channel swim. Small tricks did not seem to interest him, and he came to the point suddenly by asking if we would build him an illusion. My father, who by this time had joined us, shook his head, but I was keen, and taking my father on one side, asked him to

let me have a go at it. Whether he was in a weak mood, or thought I still needed further experience, J know not, but he agreed to let me take over. This I did.

We decided on the illusion where the assistant enters the cabinet, and by a sliding shelf arrangement she pushes herself out to the back, pulling a door from the sides in front of her, so leaving the cabinet apparently empty. Business arrangements over, I got down to the job. I felt very pleased with my effort, and in due course our Indian friend called to collect, together with his assistant.

Now I must explain that this girlie was in no way connected with the profession, in fact she was the landlady's daughter where our Indian friend was lodging. He had apparently persuaded her to join him in the act. I invited her into the cabinet, but our friend insisted that .1 did the necessary first. So in I went, and my father pulled the blind across, and I did the slide out to the back, covered my legs with the flap, and fixed the back door. Then I heard the rattle of the rings on the blind as my father pulled them back, and there was a brief silence and then wallop! Wondering what had happened I scrambled out, to find the girlie laying out on the floor in a DEAD FAINT.

Apparently she was a simple soul, and my sudden disappearance had knocked her for a loop. After some time we managed to get her right, but would she go in that cabinet— NOT ON YOUR LIFE. A cab was called, and illusion, maiden, and our Indian friend were bundled in and that was the last we saw of them. My one and only illusion effort!

You want me to make you an illusion? No sir, like father, like son!!

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