Requirements And Preparation

A.—A piece of rope about five or six feet long with a snap fastener at each end.

B.—A pair of sharp scissors, or shears.

C.—A piece of brown paper about eight inches square.

Tie the ends of the rope together by the extreme ends. Figure 1. (No ends are visible).

Wrap the scissors in the paper, and roll the knotted rope round it. (This provides a plausible pretext for having the rope tied at the start).

Lay the parcel on your table. WORKING

1. Pick up the parcel, slip off the knotted rope, lay the paper aside, and put the scissors in your pocket on the right hand side of your coat.

2. Display the loop (Figure 1), undo the knot, and hold up the rope by one end in the left hand. Figure 2.

3. Remark: "The first thing that I must do is to find the centre. As you see, the rope is about six feet long. If I double it in two, the loop thus formed will be about three feet". As you say these words, catch hold of the lower end of the rope with your right hand, and put it into your left, secretly joining the two ends with fasteners. Figure 3. Add: "I do this in order to find the EXACT centre '.

4. Continue. "And if I double it again, it wijl be . . . let me see . . . eighteen inches! There is nothing like a University Education. Is there?" Figure 4.

5. Now drop the ends which are fastened together, and the position will be that depicted in Figure 5.

6. The real centre of the rope is in the left hand. Tie a knot at rhat point, and the position, as seen from the front will be as in Figure 1.

7. Go down into the auditorium, remove the scissors from your pocket, and give them to a man seated in the front row of the stalls.

8. Hold the loop in front of the spectators as shown in Figure 6, the left hand is at point A, and the right hand conceals the joint at that end of the loop. Tell the man to cut the rope. (He severs both strands as shown by the dotted line, 'S . . . . S', in Figure 6).

9. With the right hands, which holds the piece just cut off, take back the scissors, and put them in your pocket along with the faked pieces.

10. Note. If you wish, you may have a shore bit of rope in your pocket, and this can be withdrawn and dropped carelessly on the floor. But it would be a great mistake to give it for examination!

1 1. Holding the rope by one end in your left hand return to the stage. Figure 7.

12. Tie the two ends together. Figure 8. No ends must protrude from the knot.

13. Run the loop a few times through your hands so that the audience will lose track of the knot that you have just tied.

14. Undo the real knot and the position will be exactly as in Figure 7. (Faked knot in ihe middle of the cordK

may, 1953.

page 43

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