The Henry E Dixie Cigarette Vanish

(This contribution lias been the best answer to the production of a full deck query which was in The Jinx No. 7 for April, 1935» I'm still trying to get the last part, the vanish,cleared up. Ed.)

In effect, the performer shows two tambourine rings and a sheet of tissue paper. A drumhead is formed with paper and rings and freely shown on both sides. Holding it hanging down in left hand, the right is shown perfectly empty and then plunged through tambourine from back to front. In the hand, upon appearance, is a full deck fanned faces out. The broken tambourine is tossed aside and the deck used for a subsequent effect.

Needed for this very effective opener to a card routine is a simple wire gimic other than the declc, tambourine rings about 10 inches in diam-

Take a piece of tissue and cut a strip about 1-3?

inches wide and long enough to go around the width of the deck. Fold the strip lengthwise to make three thicknesses. Lay deck on strip, bring ends around and glue 30 that deck is TIGHTLY fastened together. From pl-A ano wire painted black, Sl&E construct a feke as shown. VlCW Separate cards near the center of lower edge and insert feke, pulling it up to the tissue band. The other end of feke is brough over top edge of deck and the whole assumes the position as shwon. The cards thus prepared are placed in the breast pocket of coat so the upper edge is just about flush with top of pocket. The wire loop extends above pocket and is at right angles to the body.

Now you are ready. Show the rings and fasten a sheet of tissue between them. Hold tambourine in front of the body between thumbs at back and fingers at front, the hands being at opposite sides. It must be slightly more to the left than to the right of body. Turn the tambourine over slowly, or rather revolve it, the axis being parallel with the floor. On the last revolution it is held at one side between fore and middle fingers of left hand, and on other side between fore and middle fingers of right hand. This leaves the left thumb free and it immediately engages the wire loop. Now comes an important move. The right fingers let go their edge which allows the tambourine to swing towards left and hang directly in front of the breast pocket, it being held now at the top by the left fingers.

Right hand immediately moves to right and is shown empty and as attention is direction towards it, the left hand moves up and outward. The action brings the cards out and behind the tambourine. It is now being held at the top with the fingers in front and the thumb behind. Hanging on the thuiiib against back is the deck.

Plunging the right hand through paper from the back to front, the lower part of the cards is grasped as it goes through. The wire cuts through the tissue paper band and pulls out through the top of deck. As the deck faced the performer, it was grasped by right thumb on face and fingers on back. When through the paper it is fanned and the hand dropped downward which leaves deck fanned and facing audience. The tissue band drops to the floor as torn paper. The remains of tambourine are tossed onto table, the wire feke slipping off left thumb and staying underneath. The wire feke is never seen because it Is painted black and is behind the fragments of tissue paper still attached to the rings. This 'surprise' can be used at any time during a performance.

This is not a new method and it isn't by any means anything new in effect. Henry Dixie was one of the greatest actors of the legitimate stage. His interest and one time activities in magic was a compliment to the Art for to him it was nothing less. He presented magic in the most finished manner and his cigarette vanish was the acme of presentation. I told this to John Hill-iard shortly before his death and he became enthused and intended using it in his book. It was never written up, however, so I feel at liberty to give it here. I've never seen it mentioned anywhere and know that many will read these lines and perhaps snort at not finding a new sleight or gimic therein. But it Is well known that if magicians in general would pay more attention to the presentation of tricks they are using instead of continually looking for 'something new' they would be much better off ---- and so would magic.

Mr. Dixie used an ordinary cigarette pull on the left side. The elastic started on the left side, ran around the front of body to the right and ended after going through the nearest belt loop to the left hip pocket. This hook-up gives ample stretch. In the left hip pocket was a flat cigarette case. A common match was in the lower right vest pocket. To-day a lighter would be appropriate. The stunt would be presented In an offhand manner without a word being said at any time. The actions were easy and deliberate. The timing was perfect and every move counted.

Near a table or stand, a little behind and to the left of which he would be standing, Dixie would remove the case from hip pocket with left hand, let it spring open and with right fingers would remove a cigarette, «.s the cigarette wa3 placed between lips with right hand the left would lay the still open case on table. The right hand now dropped to pocket, secured the match, and it was lighted on the under or back side of the tabl*. The two hands would then be used to cup the riame while cigarette was being lighted. The match was tossed away and Dixie would take a deep puff. The right fingers removed cigarette from lips as smoke was blown out and at the same time the left hand picked up case, and closing it returned it to the left hip pocket, the left hand returning with the pull. While this was being done, the right hand put cigarette back to lips and a mouthful of smoke taken. Without untoward gestures the right fingers pushed cigarette into left fist, and when it was into pull the right hand came away open with palm o\itward. Dixie would merely look at it and release pull at the same moment. Now he would turn his head towards the closed left hand and raise it to shoulder heighth. Blowing smoke slowly towards it the hand would easily open. Glancing now at both hand alternately he would sort of wash them together a couple of times, flick an imaginary spec'c of dust from his left coat sleeve near cuff, and for the first time look at his audience.

Go over this carefully — please. Don't think it simple for if done right it is far from easy to master. Every move counts and even magicians will never realise when the pull is secured if they even think of it at all during the action.

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