Cloth Changing

This is a small piece of paraphernalia which has many uses in Magic. With it you can make small objects appear, disappear, and change into something else.

Take a piece of dark, rather heavy cloth, about 8 1/2 x 4 inches. Fold over twice and sew down carefully and neatly the two narrow edges, making a quarter-inch hem on each. Figure 38, next page.

Take another piece of the same material, 3 3/4 x 4 inches. Lay one of the 4-inch edges just below the upper hem of the larger piece. This edge should be the selvage so that it will not unravel. Now fold larger piece of cloth under in back of rest of material to make the bottom hem meet the top hem. With sewing machine or needle and thread sew around the sides and bottom of material to make a bag. The two sides of the large piece of cloth are next to each other and the small piece of cloth is outside. Figure 39.

Turn bag inside out and the hems and seams and inner pocket will come inside. This bag is based on the same principle as the Double Envelope. Figure 40.

The middle partition can be pushed to one side or the other and held in place by putting the fingers inside of the bag to spread it open. Articles may be put into the inner pocket of the bag, and the bag may be turned inside out and shown empty by keeping the fake pocket away from the audience.

The Cards:

Cut out ten little cards about 1 1/4 inches square. On each, letter the Number 4 rather large so that it can be seen from a distance. Use yellow or white cards and do the lettering in black. Figure 41.

Take ten more of the same kind of cards and letter each from 1 to 10, respectively, in the same way that you did the ten Number 4 cards.

Place the banana on a plate. Place the ten Number 4 cards into the pocket of the cloth bag and put this bag beside the plate. Put the ten numbered cards and a dagger or knife also on the plate.

To Perform:

This experiment works out nicely when you have two boys assist you. Request that two boys come up from the audience. Get their first names. Let us say that Frank is at your left side and Paul at your right. A little back of you and at your left is the table with your paraphernalia for the trick.

"There was a man by the name of Abe and he had a girl by name of Anna. 'Well, well,' said a gentleman as he saw them coming down the street, 'Here come Abe and Anna.' (a banana)."

Pick up banana from plate.

"And that is why, Frank, I use this pineapple. I am going to give it to you to hold, all of it. You see, if I gave part of it to Paul and part to you, it would be a banana split. So, Frank, you are to be chief custodian of the banana. Look it over carefully. Never having seen a banana before, I thought perhaps you might want to have an extra good look."

Give banana to Frank and have him examine it.

"Now, give the report of your inspection to the audience. Bow and say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, I find this fruit to be a bona fide banana.'"

Have the boy repeat this. This is good for a little byplay and comedy touch.

Pick up the numbered cards from plate and the bag.

"Paul, here are ten cards bearing numbers from 1 to 10, each different. Hold out your hand."

Place the cards in his hand one at a time, naming a few of the numbers as you go along to show audience that each is different.

"And we have this little cloth bag."

Turn bag inside out, keeping the cards inside from falling out. Show both sides of the bag. You will have no difficulty in showing it empty and yet keeping the cards secure inside. Figure 42.

Turn bag right side out again.

"Place the ten cards in this bag, please, Paul."

Hold the bag open with the fingers of both hands. This holds the fake partition tight against one side of the bag and conceals the cards already there. Figure 43.

Paul drops cards into opening of the bag.

Take your left fingers from the bag. Let bag hang down from right hand, holding the opening away from audience.

"That's right, Frank, hold on to that banana."

Turn bag towards you as you talk to Frank. Reach into bag again, but this time insert fingers into fake pocket, pushing the middle partition back against the other side of the bag to conceal the cards Paul placed there and to expose the ten cards each having a number 4. It would never occur to anyone that these cards are not the ones which the boy placed in the bag.

"Paul, reach into the bag and take out one card -- any one card that you choose -- any one of the ten numbers."

Paul reaches in and takes out a card.

"What number did you take? FOUR? Oh, yes, that is the number between three and five."

Place bag on table, opening away from audience, or if you desire place it in coat pocket. Pick up knife or dagger from plate.

"Frank, I suppose you have been in Spain. No? Then you have never seen how they slice bananas in Spain. Well, Paul, we'll have to show him. Once upon a time, it wasn't polite in Spain to eat sliced bananas. You were supposed to hold them up whole and take bites, one at a time. Now, the Queen of Spain was giving a grand party, and she was serving bananas whole, like this with their overcoats on. But old King Cornucopia liked his bananas sliced and told her so. The Queen, however, said, 'No, Kingie, it isn't in the etiquette book, and you mustn't eat them sliced until they grow that way.' That gave the King an idea and he called upon his magician, who gave him a knife just like this one and told the King that every time he waved it all the bananas in the room would slice themselves.

"Frank, hold the banana up high. Now, what was the number you selected, Paul? Four? I shall wave the knife four times just like the old King did. Every time I wave, the banana slices itself once. One- two- three - four."

Wave knife four times and count for each wave. Lay knife down on table.

"I will take the banana now."

Take banana from Frank and hold it over the plate on table.

Peel it up to the first cut, jerk hand a little, and let the first piece fall into plate. Then peel to second cut, and continue until you have peeled the whole banana and let the pieces fall one at a time onto the plate. Count each piece as it falls. Figure 44.

"And ever since, the King had sliced bananas because he said they grew that way."

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