Presentation

You will need a silk square. The size should be according to individual choice. I prefer one of 18 inches square. The other requisites are, a finger ring, five or more pennies, four lady's hat pins and a sheet of newsprint. Since every article used is free from deception, wherever possible they may be borrowed.

Spread the silk square on a cloth covered table as shown in Fig. 1. The coins are next dropped on the centre. Pick up the four corners and hold them up between the left fingers in the form of a bag. The ring is now slipped over the corners. See Fig. 2.

Having passed the ring over the corners allow it to slide right to the bottom until it comes to rest on the stack of pennies. Fig. 3 depicts the position at this stage of the presentation.

However, having trapped the coins with the ring you proceed to demonstrate how utterly impossible it is to release the coins without first removing the ring. This can best be done by sounding the coins against the surface of the table and raising and lowering the ring with the free hand.

The silk is now spread out flat on the table as illustrated in Fig. 4. The sheet of newspaper is next introduced and torn in halves.

Hold one half of the paper up by one of its corners in the left hand and with the right thumb and first finger snap at it sufficiently hard so as to puncture it. This is clearly shown in Fig. 5. You then proceed in the same manner to make three other holes; one near each of the remaining corners.

The paper is now laid over the spread silk. Insert the thumb and first finger of either hand into each hole in turn and pull up the silk corner. Fig. 6 shows three of the corners already in position and the fourth in the process of being brought up to view.

The four corners of the silk are then pinned to the table cover and you explain that you are doing this for additional protection. Since the ring was passed over the four corners of the silk it can only come off in the same way you add.

However, when pinning the two adjacent corners to the table cover at the near end, turn them back so they point directly at you. There is a good reason for this advice because a little slack is necessary for what is to follow.

Invite a spectator to feel from over the top to make sure that the coins and the ring are still in position and securely trapped in the centre. You now offer to perform the seeming impossibility. You claim that while the silk is secured to the table cover you will in a short time free the coins as well as the ring.

Introduce your right hand under the silk from your end and the left hand from the side, between the paper and silk. Pinch the silk between thumb and first finger of the left and grip the ring between the thumb and first finger of the right. In other words, the left hand is ABOVE the silk and the right UNDER it. The newspaper covers the action about to be performed.

Tap the stack of coins against the table as you remark that they are still in their confined position. Now without moving the left hand and still maintaining the 'pinch' on the centre of the silk, drag the ring towards you. You will find that this action will cause the coins to slide back smoothly and if you continue it further the ring and the coins will come clean off the edge of the silk.

Now let us revert to the point where you have just inserted both hands under the newsprint cover as shown in Fig. 7. After the preliminary tapping of the coins you drag the ring towards you freeing it and the coins completely from the handkerchief. From the moment you start to drag, until they come off the silk, there should not be the slightest hesitation. The spectators must not be shown the coins and the ring immediately they are freed. Merely close the fingers over them and then bring both hands on top of the newsprint. Fig. 8 will explain my intention. Point at the right fist with the left forefinger and assert that you have already released the coins and the ring and they are now in your right hand.

From experience I can state that in nine times out of ten you will never be believed. The action of releasing the coins and ring is executed so rapidly and cleanly that your claim will appear preposterous. Open the right fingers after a brief period of suspense and allow the contents to slide off on top of the paper. This phase is depicted in Fig. 9.

Some nearby spectator is then invited to pick up the coins and ring and you tear the paper across as in Fig. 10. This will expose the centre of the silk.

Finally you ask anyone to come forward and detach the silk from the table cover.

By way of a change I alter the presentation sometimes by claiming that I will cause the coins and ring to penetrate through the solid table. After dragging them clear from the silk I reach under the table with the right and slap the centre of the newspaper cover with the left. The coins and ring are then brought to view and thrown out.

To clarify further my instructions two additional photographs have been taken to show the under cover action for the release of the coins and ring.

Fig. 11 shows what happens after both hands are inserted under the news sheet. The paper has been omitted from this picture to present an exposed view. It will be seen that the left fingers are above the silk and pinching it approximately in the centre. The right hand is under the silk gripping the ring for the 'dragging' action. Fig. 12 is a picture of the right hand—taken from below. You will understand from this how the coins are to be slid towards your end of the silk.

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