Chameleon JAim Met dguin

1. Effect. A few sleights with a white thimble are performed. The white thimble then changes in succession to Blue, Yellow and Red. The Red thimble vanishes and the hands are apparently empty. The four thimbles are then produced instantaneously on the four fingers of the right hand.

2. Requirements. Four coloured thimbles—

White, Blue, Yellow and Red. These thimbles must nest firmly and yet be easily detachable. The brighter the colours the better.

3. Preparation. The Red, Yellow and Blue thimbles should be nested in that order from top to bottom and then placed in the right coat or trousers pocket.

The White thimble should be thumb-palmed in the right hand.

4. Method.

(a) Preliminary Moves. The production of the White thimble and the opening sleights with this thimble alone I leave to you. My opening is simply to remark, " What strange things you keep in the air here at----," and then reach high left and produce the white thimble on the Right first finger.

Now perform a few sleights, as varied as possible, and I suggest you end with a handkerchief penetration. You may then remark, " Of course the thimble will just as easily penetrate the cloth of my pocket." Saying this, either visibly vanish the thimble by a quick thumb-palm on the face of the pocket (that is what I do) or apparently place it in the left hand (actually thumb-palming it in the right) and rub the left hand against the face of the pocket. Show the thimble has vanished and insert the -right hand intp the, pocket to collect it.

(b) The Routine Itself. When the right hand is in the pocket get the nest of thimbles on to the second finger and hold it into the palm. Get the thumb-palmed white thimble back on to the index finger and display the result of the penetration of the pocket.

Two more sleights with the white thimble alone, and an acquitment, are now performed. This is essential to kill the suspicions of any who may suspect that you obtained anything from the pocket. The two sleights are :—

(i) Facing left, right index extended with white thimble on it, remaining fingers in to palm, apparently place the thimble in the left hand, actually thumb-palming it in the right. Show it gone from the left hand and reproduce it from the air or as you please.

(ii) Turn from left to right. As the hands cross the right second finger extends and leaves the nest of thimbles across the base of the second and third fingers of the left hand, the mouth of the nest being upwards. Point with the left index finger at the right hand which still has the white thimble on the index finger.

With the back of right hand to the audience vanish the thimble with a thumb-palm under cover of a throw. Recover the thimble and show both sides of the right hand.

You have now performed two sleights with the white thimble and the hands have been freely shown. The presence of the nest should not be suspected. Put in more sleights if you wish. For instance, immediately the nest is transferred from right to left you could apparently swallow the thimble and produce it from your tummy or thereabouts. Then go on to the sleight facing right.

To continue. You are facing right with white thimble on the right index and the nest finger-palmed in the left hand. Turn back to the left. As the hands cross, pick up the nest with the right second finger and keep it back into the palm. Show the left hand empty.

Now follows a standard and simple move which is rather hard to describe. Face left, left hand above, and palm to audience. Right hand below and back to audience. Right hand approaches left hand and, when covering it momentarily, deposits the nest in finger-palm position previously described in left hand. Under cover of the right hand the left hand closes into a fist, turns back to audience and rises away from right hand. Right hand, still with white thimble on index, turns palm to audience.

You have again shown both hands empty, barring the white thimble, but in the process have transferred the nest back to the left hand. Now we are off on the colour changes at last !

The first colour change. Apparently insert the white thimble into the left fist from below actually thumb-palming it in the right. Insert the right index into the blue thimble, withdraw and display. Hold this because you should get quite a bit of audience reaction here. The white thimble must be secretly transferred to the little finger. This is done by the third finger picking it up from the thumb palm and momentarily palming it in the main palm of the hand. It is at once picked up by the little finger which remains bent in to the palm. This transference must be made during the display of the blue thimble and under cover of a slight wave of the hand.

The second colour change. This is on exactly similar lines to the first. Apparently insert the blue thimble into the left fist, actually thumb-palming it, and bring out the yellow thimble for display. In the meantime the blue thimble is secretly picked up and retained by the third finger.

The third colour change. This is again on similar lines to the first except that the yellow thimble is collected and held in to the palm by the second finger.

The concluding moves. Display the red thimble with the right index finger resting against the palm of the left hand. The left hand is wide open. The remaining thimbles are now concealed on the other fingers of the right hand. Turn the right hand palm to the audience at the same time straightening out the fingers so that the thimbles are concealed at the back of the left hand. Both hands are apparently empty but do not hold this position too long. Turn the right back to its previous position, i.e., with its back to the audience and the fingers curled into the palm.

Close the left fingers round the red thimble. Then withdraw the right hand sharply at the same time thumb-palming the red thimble and keeping the left hand closed. Point to the left hand with the right index and then open the left hand to show the thimble gone. Without a pause reach up high left and, picking up the red thimble from the thumb palm, extend all four fingers to display all four thimbles. This sudden production makes a strong finish.

5. An Alternative Presentation. The routine as described above is exactly as I perform it. However you might like to avoid the collection of the nest from the pocket and start with the nest already in your hands. You will then need some sleights in which the audience see only the white thimble but which can be done with the nest concealed in your hands. I leave you to think these up ! But there are three ideas included above. Another idea would be Geoffrey Buckingham's thimble jumping from finger to finger under cover of a handkerchief.

6. Concluding Remarks.

This description is extremely long-winded but only because every detail has been explained. In practise the routine is short, snappy and effective. It is excellent not only for close-up impromptu use but also, with good lighting, for quite large audiences.

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