John A M Howie

IN THE Phoenix No. 123, Paul Curry described an effect of his called " Linked." This delightful effect has received further treatment at t^ hands of Elizabeth Warlock and Jack Avis (Pentagram Vol. 4, No. 10 and Vol. 6, No. 10 respectively). All of these versions, while good, are, in my opinion, too brief. The routine which follows is a close-up version requiring no cover other than the hands and using shoe laces in place of ropes. The final phase is essentially the " Ropes, Fan and Silks " effect with a twist on the tail.

EFFECT:

Two looped shoe laces become magically linked. This is repeated with an addition — a small ring placed in the hand becomes linked between the looped laces. The laces are then tied around a pencil, a borrowed finger ring is threaded on the laces and tied in position and the ring used previously is also threaded on the laces. Covering the rings and knots with his left hand, the performer removes the pencil with his right hand and has the ends of the pencil held by a spectator. Removing both hands the knots are shown to have gone, the performer's ring only being threaded on the laces. The spectator's ring is revealed threaded on the pencil.

REQUIRED :

A pair of shoe laces, preferably brightly coloured, two duplicate metal rings approximately one inch in diameter and a pencil which should be borrowed if possible. One ring is in a pocket on the right side. The duplicate is sleeved in the left sleeve before starting the routine. If sleeving is inconvenient the duplicate ring should be held on the left side where it can be stolen, e.g. from a dip under the jacket edge.

METHOD:

The three phases follow one another naturally but will be described separately for convenience. Phase 1.

Show the two laces and fold each in half. Phce one doubled lace over the 'eft forefinger and the ofher over the left third finger so that the four ends hang towards the back of the hand. Havine shown that the laces are quite unconnected, half close the left hand. With the right fingers draw the middle of each lace back on to the left palm, place one loop over the other then pull one loop through the other as shown in Fig. 1. Grip loop X in the right fingers (right hand palm down) at the interlinked portion simultaneously putting the four left fingers downwards into loop X.

With the right hand take the linked portion upwards as in Fig. 2, turning to the right as you do so. Make a rubbing motion with the right

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Fia.a fingers then move them to show the laces linked as in Fig. 3. Keeping the finger positions steady, move the right hand upwards till the laces are drawn free from the left hand. Thus, in this version, the secret unlinking is done by the left second finger. Finally, take one pair of ends in each hand and show thai the laces are definitely linked. Phase 2.

Hold both laces by one end in the right hand. Meanwhile lower the left arm and recover the sleeved ring (or steal it from clip) then pinch it between the left first and second fingers so that it is almost at risbt angles to the fingers. Hold the left hand with its back to the audience and, reaching for the lower ends of the laces, guide

VOLUME SEVEN, No. NINE - 1/6. (20 Cents) - JUNE 1953

both lower ends through the hidden ring (the metal tags make this easy). As soon as the tags are through, lower the right hand and drape the laces over the left forefinger as shown in Fig. 4—ostensibly to locate the centres of the laces.

Grip the ring and centres of the laces in the right hand so that the ring is kept hidden. Hold the left hand palm up and place the laces in position as before — see Fig. 5. Lower the laces and and ring to the left hand and half close this hand £o keep the ring concealed.

Take the duplicate ring from the right pocket, show it and then push is under the left fingers so that it is gripped on the left palm. With the right hand grip the linked ring and draw it and the laces

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES . ..

Mrs. BOD1E—WIFE OF Dr. BODIE

From the J. B. Findlay collection

is reached except that this time there is a ring between the laces and hidden by the fingers.

Turn to the right and work the palmed ring as far down the left hand as possible till it is just held by the tips of the left fingers. Rub the right fingers and thumb together, then move them to show the ring linked between the laces as in Fig. 6. As this position is reached release the palmed ring and allow it to fall into the left sleeve. Draw

the laces free of the left hand and hold as in Fig. 7 with the palms obviously empty — but do not comment on this fact. Phase 3.

Unlink the laces and ring. Lower the left arm and recover the sleeved ring then take a pencil from your pocket with the left hand leaving the ring in the pocket- Use this pencil if necessary but, if possible, use instead a pencil borrowed from a spectator who is wearing a finger ring—in the latter case return your own pencil to your pocket. Lay both laces over the pencil as in Fig. 8. While apparantly tying genuinely, actually tie one lace round the other, i.e. tie AA round BB with a

single knot, then have another spectator hold the pairs of ends. Borrow the first spectator's ring and thread it over the laces from one end. Take a single lace from each end, tie a single knot and return the laces to the opposite ends from which they came. Thread the plain metal ring on to the laces at the opposite end to the other ring as in Fig. 9.

Place your left hand over both rings and pull the pencil free with your right hand. The spectator's ring is now free of the laces but keep this fact hidden and manoeuvre this ring so that it is gripped between the tips of the left second and third fingers and is pointing backwards towards you as in Fig. 10. Use the pencil to point to the

F»q fo left hand and, while tapping the left hand with it to emphasise that the rings are securely tied up, steal the ring to the right hand by extending the right second and third fingers, gripping the ring and folding these fingers back into the right palm. (This move is identical in principle to the coin or sponge ball sleight whereby a steal is made from a closed fist).

Swing the pencil round and work it through the right fist so that it passes through the concealed ring. Ask the spectator whether he would prefer to keep his own ring or have yours. He will naturally prefer his own. Have him grip the ends of the pencil. Say, " Excellent — so I shall keep my property while you keep yours." Remove both your hands to reveal the knots gone and your ring on the laces while the spectator's ring is seen to be spinning on the pencil.

" It has often been put forward as an argument against the proposition that acting is an art, that the actor creates nothing, and that therefore he is not an artist in the true sense of the word. Such a charge cannot be levelled against conjuring. The good conjurer creates the story that he wishes to tell his audience, and then invents the means of illustrating that story. Therefore, if there is anything in the theory that an artist has no claim to the name if he does not create, the conjurer has a better right to be called an artist than: an actor."

—" Magic Made Easy," by David Devant

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