Follow the story through, to the point where the ducks are 'stolen'. Remember that you already have one match in each hand and the hands must be kept closed throughout the three movements of taking up the matches with alternate hands, replacing them and taking them up a second and last time. The procedure is simple to remember. Each time the matches are picked up the movement commences with the right hand, and the one and only time when the matches are laid down, alternately one from each hand, the laying down commences with the left hand. That's all.

After the first pick-up, if the hands were to be opened, it would be seen that the right hand contains four matches and the left contains three. Not as even as the alternate pick-up would suggest. When the five matches are relaid upon the table, commencing with the left hand and alternately laying a match from each hand, again, if the hands were to be disclosed, it would be seen that the right hand contained two matches and the left hand—none. Care is needed here particularly not to open the hand, but to keep it in the form of a fist as though it held one match as at first.

The last pick-up, right hand first, brings you to the final position where five matches are in the right hand and only two in the left, and thus, you are able to make the final disclosure, as outlined in the effect. There should be a slight pause between each operation, so that the spectators are given a chance to forget exactly how the hands were used on the previous occasion and the patter amply covers this. Try this and you will have an acceptable item for your Close-up reper-toir.

By next month I shall hope that you have familiarised yourself with the moves (always assuming that you didn't already know them!) and with that in mind, I shall try to present to you another version of the Tramps and the Ducks, using sponge balls, and with an entirely unexpected climax. Till then, let me remain.

Yours magically,

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