Two Into One Will Go

brian McCarthy

We would say that practically every magician in this country must have seen Major MacCarthy work this effect either at a magical society function or on TV.

To us it is one of the most original effects in natural magic that we have ever witnessed and despite the number of times we have seen it, full well knowing the working, so clean has been the handling that the illusion for us has still been perfect.

So with tzvo candles, a metal tube and sufficient rehearsal you have a miracle at your command.—P It*

a NNOUNCING that he intends to hold up to ridicule the accepted postulates of mathematics, the magician reminds his audience of the old formula. " Two into one won't go." He then shows two candles and a tube, the tube being just large enough to contain one candle. He pushes one candle into the tube. Claiming that contrary to general belief " Two into one will go," he pushes the second candle inside as well. He then pulls the two candles out of the tube, one after the other, and immediately gives the candles and tube out for examination. The candles are found to be ordinary while the tube is of solid brass, and is not expandable.

The reader will require two candles of the eight to a pound size, a two light candlestick to hold the candles and a brass tube whose internal diameter is about one sixteenth of an inch greater than that of the candles to be used. Its length should be one and a half inches longer than the candle. The outside of the tube should be painted in a plain colour.

As the type of candle mentioned is not always obtainable with plain ends, rather than have a larger tube to accommodate the bulge, it is better to shave off the excess wax with the aid of a penknife so that in effect you will have straight sided candles.

General Remarks. Illustrations 1 to 13 sho ,v the views as seen by a spectator from the front. 14, 15 and 16 show how the performer would see his hands, etc. The candles are labelled A and B for clarity. In the explanation which follows, the table used is assumed to be on the performer's right, so that he faces right during the presentation, most of the manipulation being

VOLUME SEVEN, No. FIVE - 1/6. (20 Cents) - FEBRUARY 1953

accomplished with the left hand.

Detailed Working. The tube is picked up with the right hand and dropped over a candle in the candlestick to demonstrate how closely it fits. It is lifted off with the right hand, and held as shown in Figure 1, with the tip of the index finger inside the end. The performer picks up candle A at the base with the left hand, and slowly commences to slide it into the tube. (See Figure 1). As it goes in, the right hand is gently raised a little. (See Figure 2). When the candle is nearly home, the right hand drops again as the left hand is removed, the position at this moment being as shown in Figure 3. The tip of the left first finger pushes the candle out of sight inside the tube. (See Figure 4). All the foregoing business of slanting the tube during the insertion must be done, so that when candle B is inserted, the slanting of the tube will not appear unnatural.

Candle B is now taken with the left hand, which inserts it into the end of the tube. (See Figure 5). It is now apparently pushed slowly inside; actually, the tip of B is held against the bottom of A while the left hand slides along B as if pushing it in. (See Figure 6). (A cannot be pushed through as the right index finger stops it).

During this movement, the tube is again tilted. (See Figure 6). When candle B is completely hidden by the left hand and forearm as in Figure 6, the right hand once more brings the tube horizontal. While it is doing so, however, the left hand commences to move away from the tube. (See Figure 7). Since the latter is tilted the withdrawal of the left hand allows candle A to slide down the tube (See Figure 7), and as the end of A slides back it protrudes, and is controlled by the left thumb and forefinger in such a way that when the tube is horizontal a portion is sticking out. At that point, the left hand leaves it, the exact effect at the moment being as in Figure 8. The end is then pushed home. (See Figure 9). To sum up, Figures 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, show the entire operation with candle B.

The object of all this is to make the insertion of B an exact copy of the insertion of A. When A was inserted a little piece was left protruding and finally pressed home; similarly when B is inserted, a little piece (presumably B but actually A) is left protruding and then pushed in.

After pausing a moment and allowing the effect to be grasped the performer proceeds with the withdrawal of the candles. He first transfers the tube from the right hand to the left, (See Figure 10), and slides the left hand slightly along the tube to bring the tip of candle B inside. At this moment, the left hand allows the rear end of the palmed candle, B, to rest against the stomach. (See Figure 14, which shows the performer's view from above). He then places the first finger and thumb of the right hand at the other end of the tube ready to withdraw candle A. (See Figure 14). The left hand now moves in towards the stomach which later pushes the candle B inside the tube, thus pushing candle A at the opposite end. (See Figure 15). The tip of candle A is seized by the right hand, which apparently withdraws it from the tube. (See Figure 15, showing the performer's view from above). Although A is really being forced out of the tube by pressure of B it should appear that the right hand is removing it without assistance. Candle A is placed back in the candlestick.

It will be seen from Figure 11 that the above operation brings the left little finger on the end of candle B, and the tube at right angles to the left hand. As soon as candle A is clear, the left wrist is twisted to bring the tube vertical (see Figure 12), the bottom end of B being supported on the little finger. After placing A in the candlestick, candle B is removed. To facilitate, the left little finger secretly lifts the end of candle B into the tube (See Figure 13). Candle B is removed by the right hand and placed in the candlestick.

Notes on Manipulation.

1. The whole trick is performed while facing to the right, up to the point when candle A is removed from the tube. From a study of Figures 14 and 15 it will be seen however, that the tube is turned towards the audience while removing A from the tube. This turning assists the introduction of candle B.

2. The moves are far easier to perform if done slowly than if hurried and are just as deceptive. It is almost impossible to get candle A to slide back as indicated in Figure 7 if performed quickly.

3. The palm position of the candle is shown in Figure 16, the candle being shown black for clarity. It is held against the palm by the second and third fingers and supported underneath by the little finger.

4. Considerable practice in front of mirror is necessary at first in order to get the angles right. The most difficult mistake to prevent is that of allowing the rear portion of candle B to droop down and show below the wrist especially during the sliding palm illustrated in Figures 15 and 16.

It will be found that the support given by the little finger referred to above is a great help.

Presentation and Patter (As used by the author).

" There is a certain well-known mathematical dogma (tube placed over one candle to demonstrate close fit) that two into one won't go. (Tube taken in right hand). This is often quoted at us by our superiors (Candle A taken from candlestick) with the most shameless air of self-satisfaction. (Candle A pushed into tube). Let's take them down a peg (candle B taken from candlestick), I say that two into one will go\ (Candle B apparently pushed into tube. Dramatic pause). And what's more, two (candle A pushed out and placed in candlestick) out of one (candle B pulled out of tube and placed in candlestick) will come\ And in case anyone thinks that he is seeing double and that there is really only one candle all the time (going down to the audience) will you, madam, please remove th-:m both and make sure they are really two whole-candles and not just one. (Giving candles for examination. The tube is also given out for inspection). All right\ (Receiving back candles) And the tube not expandable ? (Receiving back the tube). Thank you very much.

Notes on Misdirection.

1. The articles used must not be offered for examination before the effect. They should be examined afterwards. The reason is that the "Wise guy", if given no lead beforehand, will probably think that the trick is accomplished by using one hollow candle into which fits the second or by using a tube which is some way expandable. By giving the articles out for examination afterwards, the performer proves conclusively that the "Wise guy" was wrong, and since the manipulation is completed by then, there remains no thread on which to hang theories. If the articles were shown round before presentation of the effect, the possibility of the effect being accomplished by apparatus is pretty well ruled out and the chances of the audience spotting the manipulation are enormously increased.

2. The touch that simply " makes " the tric1c is that of having the projecting end when pushing in each candle. It is the natural thing to do. Th^ effect is hardly worth performing if this detail i> omitted, although it is by no means easy in accomplishment.

One of these starlit nights I'm going to get up in front of an assembled bunch of magical membership card bearing people and request that those willing to give up their business connections and all sources of income the profession of magic and allied arts and what it may bring them to stand. On that night there will occur a sit-down strike like of which has never been seen, that is in so far as adherence to the chairs is concerned.

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