The Hindu Needle Trick

to fit an Eclipse magnet. This is glued in place and care is taken that the operating poles are flush with extreme edge. Then take two slats of that very thin balsa wood you get in model aircraft stores and glue them over the two adjacent sides of the block. This is a similar treatment to when you made Harbin's Tippler thing out of ABRA. When the lot is dry trim the edges with razor blade and rub the lot with very fine glass-paper giving a bit more attention to the actual spot under which the two points of the magnet are hidden.

You now should have an ordinary looking block of balsa wood1 which you should take care to keep clean by the simple process of washing your paws before handling it. Balsa picks up hand dirt quicker than a clean towel.

/Mix** i*rjoirJt riuoU-s

Making your text-book " advance" to the audience you cover the fact that the needle stunt you are about to do is a genuine Indian feat . . . that gets them very interested ... all tricks from out of India are difficult and second cousins to the Indian Rope Trick as far as the lay person is concerned so they think you must be very clever. Next say it is very dangerous and follow this up by picking up the block of balsa with the " teak " introduction preparatory to sticking the needles into it. Under the block of balsa you have your roll of eighteen threaded needles right on the edge spot where the points of the magnet lie. As you lay the block on your left palm, use a brushing movement from the moment the inside edge touches the second joints of the fingers till it comes to rest at the palmar mounts. This will dislodge the bundle of needles from the magnetic area and cause them to remain free at the second joints of the fingers. Also the metal bead which the magnetic field has prevented from unwinding itself is now away from restriction. The needles remain ing stuck in a small black velvet pin cushion on the table are taken out very quickly and stuck into the top of the block. In this position they are " pinged " by a nail file. Do this right up close to the mike if there is one. The racket it makes is quite spine-chilling. Rather after the style of bashing the saw for the sawing through, with a mallet prior to the illusion.

As soon as you have " pinged" the needles pull them out in clumps and lay them on your left palm behind the block. Now the mere action of lifting the block from your palm with a rearward movement lifts all the sharp and separate needles and replaces them as neat as you like back on the table with the block. Picking up the threaded needles with your right fingers covering the wrapped thread you can wave them about and finally deposit them on your tongue without anyone seeing the thread. Hold them in your teeth with the winding portion of the thread inside the mouth and do a side to side turn pointing to them with your little finger pointing towards your mouth, the fingers closed into a fist and the palm outwards. This looks a lot more gentile than a ruddy great point. If you have a spotlight operator who responds get the iris down to a thin point on the mouth from the moment you put the needles on your tongue. Push the metal bead to the front of the mouth with the tongue and let the needle bundle slip down between the tongue and teeth. Take a length of thread about the same length as that on the threaded set and bring one end to your lips. With the left and right fingers and thumbs working in parallel bring the remainder of the thread up to the mouth the lips collecting the threads and the tongue pulling them into the mouth. After the tongue pulls the thread straight into the mouth it proceeds to pack it into the right cheek. Take care not to push out the cheek otherwise the audience will get a good idea what's happening. The bead is now brought in front of the teeth and then grasped by a pair of Spencer-Wells forceps. These are scissor-like things used by surgeons and they have a couple of small teeth at the finger end which allows you to close them and lock the object within the jaws. These should only cost you about five bob and they save the ugly look of clawing the needles out of your mouth manually. Slowly draw the thread out and you'll find the needles behave perfectly neither tangling nor jamming in any way.

As soon as they are clear of the mouth swing the length so that it catches the light. Finally put out the left hand so that the needles fall over it and you lay it tall across your table for drying and refolding after the show.

I've dispensed with the glass of water bit as being unnecessary and it only remains now to suggest that as you start to remove the needles from the block into your palm you have music such as Rachmaninoff's " Prelude in C Sharp Minor."

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