To prepare: Arrange two paper napkins on right side of table. Between corners of each napkin place a paper napkin rolled tightly into a ball, as shown in illustration. Note that napkins are folded over, concealing balls.
At your left have another table or on the left side of same table, put a hat with brim up. Place your pencil over hat, end of pencil pointing toward audience.
Pick up napkin A with right hand, also picking up the concealed ball, which you finger palm in right
hand with third and fourth fingers. The audience must never know that you have this concealed ball or that you use more than one napkin in doing the experiment.
Hold napkin with both hands and show it on both sides. The ball is meanwhile finger palmed in right hand.
"This is a Japanese experiment, an effect that has come down from the Japanese conjurers of centuries ago. It is done with a square of Japanese paper or a napkin. An Englishman once said, 'It's a ripping good trick, Bah Jove' because I rip or tear the napkin into a number of strips or bits."
Proceed to tear napkin (cross grain is best) into a number of strips, holding each strip as torn in the left hand. As you tear each strip, continue the patter as follows:
"Two bits, three bits, four bits, five and six bits."
Then tear strips crosswise -"And some small change which I will ball up or roll into a ball, as that would be better than balling up this experiment."
Roll pieces into small firm ball. Now comes a move that I want you to study closely as it is used to convince audience that you have only ONE napkin in your hands, when in reality you have two.
Hold ball of torn pieces between first and second fingers and thumb of left hand and ball of whole napkin in right palm.
Bring the ball in left hand up to right and place it in front of ball there. Now pick up both balls with first finger and thumb of left hand so that ball of torn pieces is in front of other ball.
Show the two balls as one ball. When pressed together this way they do look like one ball and the audience is no wiser. Hold hands with palms toward audience so that they can see your empty palms.
"There, I have a nice tissue paper sphere with a circumference all around and a diameter through the middle."
As you say this, place right hand carelessly over balls and palm away the ball of torn pieces, which is on top. You will find this very easy to do, for as you begin to close fingers of right hand, ball automatically becomes finger palmed. When right hand is drawn away a few inches, the ball which is the whole napkin is seen by the audience. They thought you held only ONE ball in the first place and so are not aware of any change. To make the move even more natural, just after ball of torn pieces is palmed, I start pressing ball in left hand to make it a bit rounder.
Now reach over to table on your left to take pencil from hat with right hand; but JUST BEFORE DOING SO, let hand extend over pencil and a little way into hat. As you do this, drop the palmed paper ball. To the audience it looks as though you just reached for your pencil.
Take pencil. Hold end in right hand and touch other end to ball in left hand.
"It is remarkable what just the touch of a magic pencil will do."
Place pencil back over hat again.
In all these movements keep ball in left hand far enough away from body so that it is never out of sight of audience.
"I tore this Japanese napkin into strips and yet, strange as it may seem, on unrolling it (unroll napkin) we find the napkin wholly restored."
Spread napkin out and hold it so that audience can see both sides. Hands should be shown empty one at a time in holding napkin.
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