Patriotic Ribbons To Rope


Red, white and blue tricks somehow are always popular. They look well and lend themselves to topical talk which can be adapted to any function.

This one is quick, spectacular and has a surprising punch in its climax.

This is what the audience sees: The performer displays three lengths of ribbon— red, white and blue. He remarks how pleasing they are separately; yet it is only as they come together that they gain full strength. He pulls on the ribbons and instantaneously they change into a solid rope, coloured red, white and blue.

There if you like is an applause-getter. Incidentally, any other two or three colours could be used. Hence the trick is very suitable for any function in which co-operation and unity are emphasised.

How to prepare. Get a piece of white rope and withdraw as many strands as possible. Dye a third of the rope red and a third blue, leaving the other third white — its natural colour.

Now get the same lengths of quarter-inch red, white and blue ribbons. Thread on a large bodkin and pass up through the rope. Secure at the top by sewing together the three ribbons and the rope. Hold the loose ends of the ribbons and slide the rope up to the fastened end. When presenting, conceal the rope in the hand and show the ribbons dangling down

To make the transformation, pull the rope out from one end of the fist, this causing the ribbons to vanish in the other end. This should be done with a flourish — and perhaps a little patriotic music. The red, white and blue rope — looking nice and solid — can now be displayed full out.


Here is a "magnetised" cigarette which insists on sticking to a pack of cards. Its beauty is that it can be worked with a borrowed pack and a minimum of preparation.

A length of thin wire is glued between two small pieces of cardboard about l^ins. long and one inch wide. About three inches of wire should protrude. Secrete this little feke in the hand and push it into the end of the pack.

Borrow a cigarette and, whilst making a show of "magnetising" it, thread it a little way on to the protruding wire. Then bend cigarette and wire round the end of the pack so that the cigarette rests against the face card.

Cards can now be pulled away upwards or sideways. Yet the cigarette remains magnetised to the remainder! The pack can be passed from hand to hand and turned sideways or upside down.

Upon completion of the trick, the cigarette can be handed back and the feke easily removed whilst gathering up the cards that have been taken away. Finally the pack is returned to its owner with nothing to give the show away. J. E. BACKER.


patiently to see his finale. He took a beautiful white pigeon and made a fuss of it and chanted various "spells" over it. He then explained that the bird would be killed by means of his potent powers, but not with his own hands.

The usual collection was made and, having satisfied himself that he had enough for his labours, he proceeded towards his unpleasant climax. He took this white pigeon and threw it in the air. It fluttered away and was soon on the wing. He chanted merrily and drew an image of it in the sand with a sharp pointed knife. Still chanting, he kept his eye on the bird which was still in flight. Suddenly he yelled aloud some word (yet unknown) and with the knife in his hand he stabbed the image on the sand and muttered some spell. Strange as it may seem — almost the same instant the white pigeon dropped from the sky and was dead as a door nail.

It seemed incredible and yet we saw it "right before our very eyes". It puzzled us considerably, but we were soon on the trail again. Be a little patient, please. I promise in the next issue to disclose the secret. But I beg you never to attempt any of these experiments. They are unworthy of any civilised person and would deserve the strongest possible action by the R.S.P.C.A.

LENZ reveals a fakir's secret in the third of his series of articles on

The Romance of India

Many readers have been intrigued by my story of the Suicide Bird which, at a fakir's command, deliberately cut its throat by running its neck along the sharp blade of a long knife. They admit the horrible sensationalism of the feat (and very rightly) have no intention of trying it. But, so far, all their "solutions" have been wrong.

As promised, I will tell you how my young friends and J discovered the secret. One day, we decided that each of the five of us would watch a particular part of the fakir's body. We were not interested in the effect any more, but only in the secret.

The performance began as usual. The bird gingerly pecked in the sand as the magician removed the knife from its sheath and sharpened it. He convinced us that the knife had a razor's edge by his gruesome pantomime of what was to come. By this time each of us had his movements covered, ready to compare notes at the climax. We were not in the least bit interested in his talk —but how he could talk!

The moment came for the Great Divide and at last we suspected the secret, but were not absolutely certain until the whole wretched business was over.

Immediately he finished the effect and was ready to pack up, we went to "congratulate" him. Some of us kept him talking whilst others looked in the sand for the suspected evidence. We found it eventually and confirmed it at a later date. Yes, be patient. I wil give you the secret now, but it is necessary to unfold the fakir's actions in presenting the effect.

After doing his normal repertoire of cups and balls, etc., we noticed, on several occasions, that he would throw some grain on the sand. Then he would carry on with other effects and so delay his trick with the bird. There is misdirection for you; and it did not dawn on us until later that there was a reason for this. The grain seeds he threw down had been soaked in water with cockle — a weed that grows up with corn and usually chokes it. When dry, this cockle sticks to the grain. The bird naturally saw the grain and decided to have a good feed, having been starved for some days.

It was only after it had started pecking and eating the treated seed that the fakir brought his knife in view. The knife, of course, sparkled in the sunshine as it was highly polished. Time was thus given for the grain to set up an irritation in the bird's throat and for the necessity to rub the throat on something to relieve the pain caused by the cockle. The knife was the only attraction, due to its shine. It offered the bird a chance to ease itself and so cut its own throat.

Clever though the effect is, it is extremely gruesome. Yet none of us could do anything to stop it, as there was no law in India to prohibit this sort of hidden cruelty. We threatened the performer; but he didn't take any notice since he depended on this trick for his own food!

There is another effect that tickled our fancy and ere long we were on our way again to solve the mystery. It is common knowledge in the Orient that if a graven image is made of any person, animal, etc., and some "spells" made whilst piercing the image with needles and pins, the person whom this image represents will simultaneously have similar pains in the flesh. Yes, this is firmly believed and practised in the Orient.

Well, we caught up with a performer who also concluded his act with a suicide pigeon. Having had experience with the bird that cut its own neck, we were naturally on our guard this time. The fakir carried on his eloquent talk and cunning misdirection. We waited Continued on Page 68

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