Tricks For The Th1

Now proceed to wind the restored yarn LOOSELY around the left fingers. Incidentally, as depicted in Fig. 9, you also BIND the THUMB TIP at the same time, to the fingers. This is an important part of the trick and this binding business is specially arranged so that you can retain the left fingers in a straight line throughout, which encourages the belief that your left hand is otherwise empty.

The right fingers now peel off the coil of yarn from over the left fingers and the right thumb is again naturally slid into the tip. See Fig .10. Having taken away the coil from the left, the right holds it to view as shown in Fig. 11. The THUMB TIP as will be seen in the illustration is safely on the right thumb ... look at someone on the left

TIP (Continued).

and remark . . . "perhaps you would like this. It may come in handy for darning your socks". At this point the index finger of the left hand is stretched and the coil of yarn mounted on it as you see in Fig. 12. The right hand meanwhile is dropped to the side, while the spectator is permitted to take the restored yarn. That's the finale.

Someimes you could vary the presentation by using THREE different coloured yarns. In this case you ask which colour is preferred and proceed with the trick as already explained.

It will, of course, be understood that, for this presentation, you will need three THUMB TIPS. At the outset the duplicate of each colour is placed in position behind its own card.

ation. I think you will get better value out of your reading if you do.

If you read and digested last month's effort with the twin ball boxes, it might have occurred to you that the performer could just as well have the solid ball in the left hand vase (or box) to start with, for in commencing the routine, that is where he apparently takes the ball from to show to the audience. A reasonable assumption and there is nothing to prevent the arrangement being so, but I prefer to apparently take the ball from the vase in phase (2) for the simple reason that the action has to be repeated later on and it is most advisable that both actions be exactly alike. It is, I think, much easier to perform the same action twice, than to genuinely enact something and try to duplicate that action later on with a phoney movement. I hope you agree.

Again, let us 'recap' briefly on the phase where the ball moves across the front of the table,

So much for the routine with the ball boxes. Having gathered these up and placed them aside, the performer proceeds with the effect to be now described and which I have titled:—

1. The performer asks for the loan of a "White Gentleman's Handkerchief", "A large White Gentleman's Handkerchief", that is to say, a gentleman's large white hanky. In full view, he painstakingly opens it out, then takes it by the exact centre, allowing all four corners to hang down. He explains that there is a reason for this, as he will presently show them, and then he carefully lays the hanky on his table on the right.

2. He now explains that he is about to use a candle, in a candlestick, which he picks up from the right hand table, shows to the audience and then places it down on the left hand table, towards the front. Also, he intends using a box of matches. These he also picks up from the right hand table and displays them. Here the comedy begins.

3. Holding the matchbox in his left hand, he performs the natural movement of poking the box open with the right forefinger. The box stays open until the right finger and thumb go to take out a match, when the box closes of its own accord (?). He tries again with the same result, so he turns the box round end for end, but again, opening the box, it closes just as he is about to remove a match. He carefully studies the matchbox for a while the performer's back is turned. The mechanically minded reader might prefer something a "little more self working, and the effect can be brought about by the inclusion of a small clockwork motor situated under the left hand table, near to its front left corner. Under the control of the performer on the right of the table, he can set it going at the right moment, and the action of the travelling ball takes place while his back is turned. The ring, in which the ball is placed, can, as explained last month, be on top of the tablecloth if the top of the table is above the eye level of the audience. In cases where the audience can look down upon the table, then the ring can have its upper surface covered in black velvet, or the same material as matches the table top. I do not recommend its being covered entirely in black velvet, as that way, it will have a tendency to drag and perform jumpy movements, especially if the table is covered in similar material. ★ ★

moment or two and is about to make a further attempt when he notices, with amazement, that he already has a match in his right hand ! This he strikes on the box and then sets the latter down.

4. With the match burning in his right hand, he commences a long explanation (or so it seems) of how the gentleman has kindly loaned him a handkerchief, how he has now struck a match from the match - box (he glowers at the matchbox, picks it up, regards it with suspicion and then replaces it) and how he is about to light the candle, in order to set fire to the gentleman's handkerchief, which the kind gentleman in front has so kindly lent him etc., etc., the point here being, that the longer the explanation (within limits) the greater the laughs, for all the time he is explaining what he has done and is about to do, the match in the right hand carries on burning and everyone is anticipating the time when the flame will burn his fingers.

The amount of stalling here is up to the performer's likes and fancy, and should be cut or prolonged according to the amount of laughter being raised. Several bits of business should be kept in mind to pull out the effect of the long burning match. The candle can be moved again to another position. The matchbox can be moved, examined and replaced. Performer can extend and repeat his thanks to the lender of the hanky. Anything to stall while the match is burning.

5. Now he explains that the lender has no need to worry about the hanky, as everything will be alright, and even if anything harmful does happen to it, he gives him a faithful promise that he ,the performer, will do exactly the same thing 10 ¡us own nanKy. Here he points to the white hanky protruding from his own outer breast pocket. Laughs come again, for it is seen that the 'match' in his right hand has grown out of all proportion, the flame being inches away from the tips of the fingers! Removing it with the left hand the performer inspects it for himself and incidently shows to the audience that it is nothing more than a mere taper. With this he lights the candle

6. Discarding the taper, he picks up the hanky, by its centre and places this in the left hand, so that the centre protrudes from the hand. Passing it in and out of the candle flame, he eventually sets fire to the material, and when it has burned as far as he wishes, he blows out the flame, shows the charred edges and commences to put the fluence on the burnt portion. Then he notices something.

7. Pulling on this something, it is eventually seen to be a white thread, and he pulls and pulls on this, yards and yards of thread emerging from the burnt centre of the hanky. It does look as though, instead of restoring the damage by burning he is literally pulling the hanky to shreds, for by the time he has finished, there is a small pile of white thread at his feet.

When the thread ceases to run, he tucks the burnt portion into the left fist, waves the right hand over the left and then proceeds to open out the hanky, with all the confidence in the world. There he stands, with the hanky opened out four square, held by the two top corners, and he seems utterly non-plussed at the laughter and even more puzzled when he himself looks down at the hanky, to find that there is a large hole burned right through the centre.

8. Well, he says, he made a promise that he would, if anything untoward happened, do the same to his own hanky, so he places the burnt one down on the right hand table and pulls his own from his breast pocket. Again he gets laughs, for the so-called white hanky turns out to be nothing more than a large gypsy type of hanky in brilliant red, with white polka dots, and a white corner sewn on.

This he takes by the centre, exactly as he did the white one, sets fire to it and watches it burn, all the time making glances towards the one on the table, as though estimating the size of the burn. When he decides that "that is far enough", he puts out the flame, rubs away the burnt portion, and then bunches up the hanky.

9. Stating that he will endeavour to restore the two together he wraps the red one inside the white one,"makes mystic passes etc., and taking two corners of the white hanky, he holds them up, allowing the red hank to fall on the table.

Coming forward with the white hanky, it is seen to be fully restored, and he returns it, with thanks to the lender. Opening up his own red handkerchief, he stands pitifully surveying it, for, while the white one has been restored, his own still has a large hole burned in the centre. With a shrug of the shoulders he gathers up the red hank and carefully tucks it into his breast pocket, arranging matters so that only the white corner shows, giving it a final pat, he dismisses the incident with the remark "Ah well, no-one will ever know!" and goes into his next effect.

Now please, dear reader, before going any further, go over the effect again, and do try to visualise it for yourself. Do use your imagination. Imagine the trouble with the matchbox and then the long burning match. The burning of the white hanky and the subsequent pulling of yards and yards of thread from the burnt centre. The comic tragedy in the discovery that the charm hasn't worked and that the damage is still there in the white hanky. The performer being forced to disclose that his co-called white hanky is nothing more than a spotted red one with a fake corner. The burning of this and the second attempt at restoration of both hankies, only to find that the spectator's has been restored and that the performer's has not. Many will want to finally restore this red hanky, but I think that by so doing, the perverse comedy effect will be destroyed, and the final replacement in the pocket the care with which the white corner only is allowed to show, and the final pat and philosophical comment that no one will ever know, all savour of the "comic-cum-tragic" so well portrayed by that prince of comedy, Charlie Chaplin. I would have loved to have seen Charlie perform a conjuring act!

However, I'm sure you will want to get on with the explanation and first let me explain about the hankies. You will surely have jumped to the conclusion that two, a white and a red one, are destroyed at each performance. If you can well afford the expense of two hankies per show, then we can leave it at that. But why destroy a hanky of each colour at every show, when the expense can be cut down by one quarter. If you will turn to the accompanying sketch you will see that the hanky has a hole already in its centre and over this hole a circle of the same material is tacked on. It is this extra piece which is burned at every show, and it will be found that about one quarter of a hanky will do for each occasion. Of course for your very first presentation, you may burn the original centre of the hankies, but after that, the circular patches can be used.

In preparing the red one, try to match up the design as much as possible, and sew the edges of the patch well down. A Paisley or a Polka Dot pattern will do admirably. Don't forget the white corner, taken from one of the white hanks. Preparing the white hanky does not call for so much matching up, as the patch, as such is never displayed. and very loose tacking will do. The reason will be apparent shortly.

the drawer portion. It could be done nowadays with sellotape, but in my days, sellotape being unknown ,a different method was used, and, I fancy, it will be the more reliable. A small hole is made in the bottom centre of the drawer, a loop of the rubber band is passed through to the inside of the box, then a piece of match stick, about half a match is passed through the loop, and the rubber band is pulled back again.

The cover of the match box is now treated in a very simple and easy way. About the centre of one of its long open edges, two small slits are made, a quarter of an inch apart. Two further slits are made at the other end of the 'tube' and in tije same central postion, both sets of slits being on the same part of the cover, that is, the part which will be the bottom of the complete box, when the drawer is inserted.

Switching Trap.

Cross Section of Trap.

As Bar "A"/s moved^ to the left, lie/vet "B'sags, yi/,\ ancLYC"/¿//s theTrab. uyj (Exaggerated forC/arityJ

F77777* I,

F77777* I,

-—X—A . . . Bar half over, showing both Patch Tacked On^LoaxL to be Switched sections sagging. (ixaqgettitecL

The 'Long Thread' which comes away from the burnt centre of the white hanky, is one of those very small reels of thread which are used for very fine needlework. They are very little more than an inch and a half in length and only half an inch in diameter. One of the protruding rims of the reel is trimmed off, so that the thread can be pulled off from the end of the reel, a la the method used by fishermen in casting their lines. Two or three inches of the thread are pulled loose and then, with a dab of wax, the thread is fixed to the trimmed end of the reel, ready to hand. The disposal of the reel will be dealt with in a moment.

Next comes the Perverse Matchbox. This is merely the old gag, using a rubber band. The latter needs to be just shorter than the length of the matchbox and is first fixed to the bottom centre of

The drawer is pushed home, and a loop of the rubber band passed over the two slits. The drawer is now pushed out at the opposite end until the rubber band shows and a loop of this portion is now passed over the remaining two slits. If the drawer is now pushed out and the finger withdrawn the box will close itself, and the same will happen if it is pushed out from the opposite end. To keep the box in its open position, the hand holding the box merely keeps the drawer open by slight pressure. Releasing the pressure allows the rubber band to do its work.

The long burning match is of course, again the old gag of the taper up the sleeve, held there by a rubber band on the wrist until required. When I first performed this, wax matches were also available, and it was merely a matter of melting a wax match to the end of a wax taper by placing the two side by side, head of the match slightly protruding over the end of the taper and 'welding' them together by gentle heat, kneading them together between the fingers. The head of the match was carefully kept from the flame during the slight heating.

If you can no longer obtain wax matches (although I have recently seen some around) I am sure you will have no difficulty in melting the end of a taper and working the soft waxen end about the match, especially if the wood of the latter has been peeled down a little. In striking the long match, care must be taken to hold it at the extreme 'head' end between the finger and thumb to avoid breaking it or bending it at the joint.

We finally come to the switching of the hank borrowed from a member of the audience. There are, of course, many ways of accomplishing this and the individual performer will no doubt prefer his own, but it must be pointed out that the borrowed hank has to be switched back again at a later stage, and, for that reason alone, I think the table trap method is ideal, especially when the switching is blended into the moves used in the routine.

The illustration will convey the method clearly and I need only briefly dwell upon the details. A rectangular hole is first cut in the table top and into this is dropped, and fixed, a black velvet bag, or pocket, shown by long dotted lines in the third sketch. A piece of dowel, long enough to protrude over the opening by about an inch at each end, is also needed, and, to complete matters, a piece of black velvet or material to match the table top, twice the length of the trap opening.

The piece of dowel is glued to the centre of this length of velvet, of course, on the under side, then one edge of the velvet is glued to one edge of the trap, and the remaining edge to the other side of the trap. It will now be seen that, if the dowel ("A" in the sketch) is moved to the right side of the trap, portion "B" of the velvet will close the trap and portion "C" will sag in the form of a bag. Moving the dowel over to the left will reverse matters and anything reposing in the 'bag' "C" will come up to the table level and anything placed on portion "B" will be safely housed in the newly formed 'bag'. I hope that is clear. The illustration. lias shown the trap greatly exaggerated, and, for the purpose in hand, it need not be much more than about nine inches by six inches in size. Note too that the ends of the dowel should be covered in material similar to the table top.

Once again, I have about filled out my alloted space, but having given you the details of the effect and explained the requirements I am sure you will forgive me for leaving over, until next month, the complete set-up and the routine. If there is any detail, in this and previous explanations, which is not quite clear to you, do not hesitate to let me know. Max will be happy to pass along your enquiry, and I shall be pleased to help all I can. If you expect a personal reply a stamp will be appreciated, as will be your enquiries and requests.

By a co-incidence, a happy one for those interested in Comedy Magic, we have Johnny Geddes with us again this month and for some issues to come, and I am sure you are going to enjoy what he has to offer. Johnny is known as the biggest Dope in English Magic, so he should be able to pass along some 'dope' to you, especially as Comedy is his business.

Yours Magically,

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