Mr Harry Houdini

He has lately added much to the effect of his act by introducing a small curtained enclosure only just large enough to conceal himself in a crouching position, thus showing that a cabinet is of no consideration beyond a cover to conceal his methods ; this is demonstrated by the fact that he will at any time consent to be handcuffed (hands behind) then to kneel inside the tiny enclosure, with front open, and while in full view will release himself in a few seconds.

The handcuffs are always properly opened and not in any way injured. To ensure the necessary irons being forthcoming at each show, and to maintain interest generally, Houdini offers ^100 to any person who shall succeed in "fixing" him—at present the money has not been claimed. He also puts forward a $5000 challenge to the world, and will forfeit the same to any person who shall duplicate his release from Cuffs, Irons and Straight Jackets, under test conditions. That is to strip stark naked, be thoroughly searched, mouth sewed and sealed up, making it impossible to conceal keys, springs, or lock pickers, and in that state escape from all fetters that may be locked or laced 011 arms, legs or body. His ability to accomplish all this is endorsed by the Chiefs of Police in the U.S.A., Germany, and by Inspector Melville of Scotland Yard, before all of whom he has submitted to the above test. Houdini concludes his show with an exceptionally smart Box Trick in which he is ably assisted by Mrs. Houdini, whose untiring efforts to secure the maximum of effect are very apparent. Houdini, wearing a borrowed coat, and with hands tied behind, steps into an examined sack, which, duly tied and sealed, is placed in one of those beautiful large trunks, which Americans are so fond of bringing over here to knock spots off our hotel porters. The trunk is locked and corded and placed in a large curtained enclosure. Mrs. Houdini now exclaims, " I will step into the cabinet and clap my hands three times—then notice the effect." The lady has barely had time to do as stated when Houdini rushes out minus coat and free. The box is next pulled out and opened, when Mrs. Houdini is found inside the bag, seals of which are intact, wearing the borrowed coat, and with hands tied behind her back.

The actual ' change ' takes from three to five seconds, and it is obtained without the aid of duplicity, change of costume, or of concealed stage appliances, and on a stage not absolutely set apart for Magical Productions. ; We consider Houdini justly entitled to the appellation, " King of Handcuffs."

Lessons in ffiagig by Prof. ELLIS STÄNYON,

Author of '' Conjuring for Amateurs,'' ^ Coujuring with Cards," "New Coin Tricks&c., &c.

Contained from page 19.

Japanese Bird Vanish.—The old Mouchoirdu Diable, or Devil's Handkerchief, for vanishing small objects will be known to the majority of my readers : at the best it was but a clumsy expedient for producing a magical disappearance, and 011 that account was very little, if ever used.

The New Devil's Handkerchief, as used by Japanese Conjurers to cause the disappearance of a bird, will, 011 the contrary, I feel sure, be found of practical utility to the magical fraternity. I11 practise it is merely held by the four corners, ostensibly in the most careless manner possible, and any object as Egg, Ball, Orange, Bird, etc., dropped into the bag thus formed instantly disappears, the handkerchief being immediately shaken out and both sides shown.

This seeming prodigy is thus explained.—Two hand-kerchiels, preferably of soft silk and rather large (neck handkerchiefs for instance), are sewn together all round their edges, with the exception of a portion at one corner as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 14.

__The handkerchiefs are also sewn together from the said corner to the centre as further indicated by the dotted lines in the fig. A bag is thus formed into which the object is actually dropped. The introduction of the object into the bag is facilitated by the insertion of a couple of whalebone strips in the silk at the mouth of the bag. These strips keep the mouth of the bag closed until pressure be applied at their ends,when the bag will open, receive the object, and, on the pressure being removed, will close again, keeping all secure.

Coin through Hat, (Improved).—The performer shows a coin and forthwith proceeds to pass it into the hat by way of the crown. That there may be no doubt as to the actual passing of the coin it is left sticking half way through the hat; a final push and it is heard to fall inside.

The coin used is a trick one constructed as follows.—A groove is first turned round its extreme edge deep enough to conceal a small india-rubber band. It is next cut in half across its diameter. A hole is drilled in the centre of one half in which is inserted In the other half a slot is cut to admit

a needle point, the needle. The two halves are now placed together and kept in position by passing the band round the groove afore mentioned (see Fig. 15). This coin has a distinct advantage over the older form in which the one half only was used, in so far that it may at the outset be shown as an ordinary coin. When giving the final push it is, of course, withdrawn and palmed.

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