Take small square of cloth, pick up by center and allow edges to fall downward. Note A and B in illustration.
Then tuck into the thumb tip--center of cloth going in last. Center of cloth should rest on side of tip so that thumb can easily be placed on it. This is done so that when thumb is withdrawn from tip the cloth is also drawn out.
Arranged in this way, tip and cloth can be left in right-hand pocket until needed.
Place tip on right thumb, drop hand to side, thumb away from audience, and you are ready to start the trick.
If at a banquet or in a parlor you notice that a lady happens to have a handkerchief in her lap, say:
"I beg your pardon, but I just happened to notice your handkerchief and the kind of cloth it is made of. It is very seldom that one sees that cloth."
Or if you have to borrow a handkerchief, say something like this, while taking it with left hand:
"I would like to borrow a handkerchief for a few moments as I have in mind an experiment that has always been interesting. Thank you. That is just the kind." (Then happen to notice something peculiar about handkerchief.) "Well, here's something peculiar." (Feel it.) "Here is a peculiar cloth which we see very little of."
In either case, open up handkerchief and hold by two corners, the tip being concealed behind handkerchief. This position shows palms of hands empty.
The effect to the audience is that the handkerchief was merely drawn partially through the hand, that the central portion sticks out above and the corners and outer part hangs below, while in reality it is the false or extra center that you have pulled up out of the thumb tip and not the borrowed handkerchief.
Now pick up center of handkerchief with left hand and transfer to the right hand so that thumb of right hand with tip comes behind handkerchief and index finger in front. Again palm of right hand can be shown. You have thus convinced your audience that you hold nothing but the handkerchief.
Draw handkerchief up through left hand, stopping at a point shown in this illustration on next page.
The left hand closes around the handkerchief and thumb tip, holding both securely. Leave thumb tip with false handkerchief center, in left hand. As right thumb leaves tip, it pulls up with it the little false center (piece of cloth) from the tip. If cloth does not come up with movement, do not worry. Simply pull it up with thumb and first finger. It will look as if you are pulling up handkerchief.
"This is peculiar cloth because it is fireproof. A moderate flame will not burn it."
Reach over and allow light of candle to set fire to false center (piece of cloth), which audience thinks is center of borrowed handkerchief.
If a lighted candle is not handy, have someone light a match for you.
"It does burn after all. I must have been mistaken in the cloth. (To owner.) You will pardon me, I am sure." After cloth has burned a bit and audience has been led to believe that a fair size hole has been burned in
handkerchief, pinch out flame with right index finger and thumb or blow out flame. Then tuck burned part into tip with right thumb and draw tip away on right thumb. Point end of thumb toward audience, showing hand empty, and reach into right vest pocket, leaving tip there. At the same time say:
"In my pocket I have a ring." (Take ring from pocket.) A Magic Ring. If I drop it on the handkerchief, it sometimes helps me out of an embarrassing difficulty." (Place ring on top of left hand.) "The hole in the handkerchief and hole in the ring makes a sort of affinity or friendly feeling between the two."
Take ring in right hand. Grasp handkerchief at bottom and pull it out of left hand through the ring. Hold up by two corners to show handkerchief is as good as ever.
"See--just as I told you. The center is again in the middle and I thank the lady (or gentleman) for the loan of her (or his) handkerchief." (Return handkerchief.)
"And remember, that a flame on a candle (or match) is worth two in a handkerchief."
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