Helpful Hints

TO CORRESPONDENTS: Communications answered in this column free; those requiring an answer by post must contain a stamped envelope and 2s.6d. Editorial Offices, 76 Solent Road, W. Hampstead, N.W.

C.S.W.—To make sparks fly from the finger tips use one of Stanyon's Finger Ring Lamps, or a piece of wax taper (lighted) and held in a similar position will answer the purpose. In addition to the above you will require a rubber tube with detachable rubber ball charged with iron filings. Ball is held under the arm and tube passes from ball down sleeve into the hand and there fixed in a manner that when the ball is pressed the iron will be blown through the flame of the lamp. For a fuller desciiption see our "New Fire Tricks and Chemical Magic," particulars on p. 110 of this issue,

S.D.—Referring to our explanation of the escape from an ordinary packing case given in Vol. IV. of " Magic." We did not state that the method given was finality or even the best. Unlike a few, we are always willing to learn and we are never so stupid as to profess to know it all. The following method of removing the ropes uncut and while genuinely nailed up in the box may interest yourself and our readers generally.

A few holes (bored with a f inch bit) in each of the sides, ends and top of the box and explained as necessary to admit air into the interior will call for no further comment. While helping to rope the box the assistant passes a loop of the cord through one of the holes (this hole is generally one of those situated in the rear side of box and over which the cord must naturally pass) into the box to performer who forthwith pulls in as much " slack " as may be necessary. The method of nailing and removing the nails wrhile inside box was given in our previous explanation. Thin American wire nails driven into the end of cotton wood can be withdrawn as easily as they are put in : most packing cases are made so that one could drive the nails into the end of the boards instead of into the cleat. To grease the nails dip them into melted parafin. Cotton wood is sold in this country as "American white" and it is a very poor nail holder. A suggestion.—Any packing case maker would be glad of the order to make a fewr suitable packing cases and, further, would doubtless also be glad to receive the order conditionally i.e. that he invoiced them as ordinary packing cases.

By combining the above and our former explanation (given in Vol. IV. of "Magic") you may readily and quickly escape from an ordinary packing case and leave it in exactly the same condition, corded and hailed, as left by the committee.

Further, wre are always among the first to agree with the sage who expressed himself thus : "There are better fish in the sea than were ever caught." The thing is to catch them, and that is our business.

Adrian.—(This is another Fish "Hint."—Ed.) We think the best way of working the Aerial Angling is that where the fish caught is a dummy one made in thin silk with weighted tail. The weight is a thin piece of brass wire sewn in the tail. The "fish " is rolled up on the wire (tail) and pushed into a piece of very thin brass tubing about one inch long. The mouth <pf the fish is tied to the tube by a piece of cotton. To the upper end of the tube is soldered a little ring that it may be hung on the hook (usually a minute black spring hook), in which position, and painted flesh colour, it readily passes as the bait. When the "catch " is made, the fish is jerked from the bait and instantly unrolls itself by virtue of the weight in the tail. The live fish are contained in moveable divisions in the butt end of the rod, which is usually made from thin brass tube painted to match the other parts. The working will now be obvious. The parts are kept in stock by Stanyon and Co., and as it is not practical to make the rod at home, we will not take up space in this column with an explanation.

D.L.—The wine trick to which you refer is pretty generally known at this date, and appears in many books on conjuring. The clear glass decanter, which actually contains clean water, must have a wide opening at mouth. The colours are obtained from aniline dyes (powders) made into paste with glycerine. Small portions of the paste (each of a different colour, usually four or five, with one space clear, that water may be poured out at any time) are ranged round the month of the decanter : if more colours are required the glasses may be prepared, as if several are wiped with cloth the remainder will go unsuspected.

H.R.—Asks our advice re several insulting letters he has received from a person evidently annoyed at the success he has achieved. To reply is not worth the value of the ink necessary, apart from the time. The letters speak eloquently of the character of the person writing them. It is a pity he did not enclose the shilling for a correct delineation of character from his handwriting —he could have been satisfied, as to correctness anyway. To reply wastes your time and is permanent evidence in Black and White. Silent Contempt hurts 1000/o more than any reply and is no evidence beyond a demonstration of Superiority.

world's opinion.

Satya Ranjan Roy writes from Bhandara (India), 6th June, 1904 : "lam immensely pleased to see your monthly journal 'Magic,' which, i think, is the only paper oe any real benefit to conjurers.

"I must tell you that from my boyhood I have had a strong liking for this art, and I give below the secrets of a few of the tricks performed by the Indian Jugglers for insertion in your widely circulated journal.'1''

The tricks explained by Satya Roy are immensely novel and interesting ; want of space prevents us including them here, but they will appear in the next issue, Part I. of Vol. V.—(Ed.)

" I must say that I have benefited largely by the tricks, etc., described in your piper, and hope you will still continue to keep it up to its present high standard as the best conjuring paper published."—J. S. Trevana.

"Your letter with "Handcuff Tricks" and Key to hand, for which many thanks. I have read through the book with much interest indeel, and hope, and expect, it will have a great sale."— A. Mackenzie.

"I received your Grand Illustrated Catalogue all right, and I must say it is the fittest I have ever seen. All my friends are pleased with it."—J. Gallery.

H. A. H. writes from Waynesville, Ohio: —"I have three sample copies of your paper, and it is a peach, and your writing upon tricks is simply fine." ["Magic" is bigger than a peach— it's a pine apple.—Ed.]

F. G. Briggs writes from Bareilly, India: "I now have the opportunity of writing to acknowledge the receipt of "Magic," which I received quite safe and am very pleased to be in possession of such a splendid paper. Without it I should have been kept in the 'dark.' I hope to be a subscriber for many years to come."

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