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Effect.—On the conjurer's table stands a cardboard postal tube. This is lifted, revealing a glass tumbler from which the conjurer takes a silk handkerchief, a small length of ribbon and a lady's ring-box. These articles are laid aside and the tumbler re-covered with the tube. A wedding or dress ring is now borrowed and placed inside the ring-box. Around the box is then placed an elastic band ; the box is next placed under the handkerchief which is held at the fingertips of the left hand. Approaching a spectator, the latter is requested to place his hand under the silk. " When I count ' three '," says the conjurer, " I am going to drop the box on to your hand . . . you will then open the box and find that the ring has vanished." The conjurer counts, apparently drops the box, whipping the silk away ; the only thing the spectator holds, however, is an elastic band ! The situation here is for the individual conjurer. The handkerchief is then taken and tucked into his left hand, the piece of ribbon being poked in with it. A rubbing motion, and the left hand is shown to be empty. Going to the tube on the table it is lifted to show that the vanished silk has wrapped itself round the glass, the ends being tied with the silk ribbon. The spectator who loaned the ribbon is requested to untie the ribbon; this done, the silk falls away revealing the vanished ring-box safely inside the tumbler. The lender of the ring opens the ring-box and finds his ring safe and secure !

Requirements. — A ghost tube made to resemble a postal tube (please don't use a nickel-plated affair). The size of this tube will depend on the size of the glasses used. One bottomless tumbler (the moulded type made by Burtini cannot be equalled). Two eighteen inch silks of similar colour. A length of cord elastic. One ring-box. A finger tube for vanishing a handkerchief. Two elastic bands (these should be reasonably stout and encompass the ring-box with a safe but not too tight fit). A tumbler similar in appearance to the bottomless tumbler. Two short lengths of ribbon or tape. A length of fishing line or strong thread.

Preparation.—One of the silks is taken, and from the centre a circular piece is cut. The size of the hole is dependent on the size of the ring-box, for the latter must pass through it comfortably. A hem is now made round the edge of this cut-out (this is a woman's job, and it must be neatly done) and through the hem is threaded the piece of elastic (whilst it is desirable that the when elastic is un-stretched, the hole should be completely closed, it is sufficient if a small gap is left showing, see first illustration) the ends of which are sewn together. If this handkerchief is now placed with the centre over the mouth of the glass and the ends pulled down and around the sides so that they meet at the bottom, the elastic will be stretched, leaving a hole at the mouth of the glass (see second illustration). The ends of the silk are now tightly tied with one piece of tape. The third illustration shows the set-up of the glasses in the tube, which is as follows : The bottomless tumbler is stood upon the table ; into it is placed first the duplicate silk, then the ring-box and on top of this the piece of ribbon or tape. The ghost tube is now placed over the tumbler and the silk covered glass dropped mouth upwards in to the tube. One of the elastic bands is now fastened to one end of the thread (or fishline), this piece of thread being taken inside the coat on the left side and the free end being tied to a safety pin which is attached near the left hand rear trousers buttons ; the length of this thread must be determined by the length of the coat. Tails, of course, give a greater scope for length, the main point being that when the elastic band is allowed to fall it is out of sight but easily get-at-able. The elastic band that is anchored together with its free twin is placed in the left hand waistcoat pocket. Handkerchief tube is placed in right hand pocket. With these preparations made the conjurer is all set for the . . . continued on page 42

PRISONER IN THE SILK — continued from, page 41

Presentation.—The tube is lifted from the table, carrying with it the silk covered glass, but leaving the bottomless table and its contents showing. Tube is placed on its side on the table so that the audience cannot see through it. Contents of the bottomless tumbler are then removed and placed on the table. Finally the bottomless tumbler is picked up by the left hand, the right second finger snapping against it and causing it to ring. The right hand picks up the tube so that the thumb, first, second and third fingers encircle it at the silk covered glass end, whilst the fourth finger bends over the edge of the tube. Tube is canted and brought up to a vertical position with the silk covered glass undermost (the fourth finger prevents it dropping). The left hand drops the bottomless tumbler mouth downwards into the tube ; the third finger coming round to join the little finger; with the visible dropping of the bottomless tumbler, these two fingers give a slight reflex action as though they were stopping the glass from falling through the tube. Right hand replaces the tube on the table. (The action from the audience's point of view, providing the performer has carried out all these actions in a natural manner, gives no ground for suspicion.) The ring-lender is asked for; he is requested to place his ring inside the box which is handed to him. Taking back the box and momentarily placing it down, the right hand removes both elastic bands from the left hand pocket, the left hand picking up ring-box and the fingers of the right hand slipping round it the band is tied to the thread ; the second band is held against the side of the box by the fingers of the left hand. The right hand takes the silk and drapes it over the ring-box, the duplicate elastic band being pinched against the side of the box. The left hand comes out from under the silk obviously empty. The conjurer, still holding the box and band under the silk, turns slight left and approaches a spectator, asking him to place his hand under the silk ; at this moment as he stoops slightly, the box is dropped ; by gripping it through the silk with thumb and first finger the duplicate band is retained, and clipping the silk with the fingers, the shape of the f/isert ht?r&

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top of the box is simulated (it is such a small object that this calls for little effort). The spectator places his hand under the silk, the band is allowed to drop into his hand and the silk whisked away. The silk is passed to the left hand, and whilst the performer is asking the spectator what has happened to the box, his right hand goes to his trousers pocket, thereby obtaining possession of the handkerchief tube. The hand comes out, and taking the silk from the left hand leaves in its place the handkerchief tube. Left hand closes and the silk is poked into the tube with the second finger of the right hand ; when about two-thirds have disappeared into the fist, the piece of ribbon is picked and pushed inside as well; the conjurer goes on pushing until all silk and ribbon is in tube ; the right hand finger gives a final push, and the left hand moves away closed, the tube being left on the right hand second finger. The right hand pulls the left hand, coat sleeve above the elbow, the handkerchief tube being deposited in the breast pocket. (A length of whalebone will help to keep it open.) The left hand is shown to be empty and then drops to the side, locating the ring-box and quickly detaching it from the elastic band and finger-palming it. A turn is made to the right. The right hand raises the tube to show silk covered glass ; tube is shown empty and placed down. Right hand picks up silk covered glass by its ears, so to speak, and in such a way that the mouth is canted away from the audience. The left hand comes up to take it on its palm, the result being that the box goes through the hole and into the glass and the left hand completely hiding the opening ; in this condition the spectator who loaned the ring is approached with a request that he shall undo the ribbon ; he does this, the resulting disappearance of the tension on the silk causing the elastic to contract and practically close the hole in the silk so that as the silk falls the box appears to be resting on an out-stretched silk. As the spectator goes to lift the box, the conjurer allows the fingers of his hand to draw inwards, gripping the centre of the silk and carry it away. The ring-box is then opened by the spectator and the contents checked.

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