Fold or rather pleat the strip of paper down small and place in thumb tip. Push thumb tip, containing paper, into match box cover. This forces the box of matches out a little over half way. Tip should be completely hidden in cover so that a spectator looking directly down on box could not see it.
Have box prepared with thumb tip and paper on a table, end of box with tip away from audience. Have a strip of paper and a saucer or little brass dish near box.
Pick up strip of paper from table. Hold one end with left hand and other with right hand, letting audience see palms of hands. Show paper freely on both sides.
"You have no doubt, heard some very interesting stories about the Hindoo Yogis. For ages these Yogis have been known for their philosophies and occult teachings. I remember one Hindoo teacher who used to teach philosophy with some interesting material illustrations. He would, for instance, take a strip of paper such I have here and tear it into many small pieces, ..."
Tear strip into a number of pieces.
"Which he would place in a small dish."
Show saucer to be empty and unprepared.
"Would you, sir, kindly examine this little dish and hold it for me?"
"Now, let me just place these many torn pieces into the saucer. Are you quite certain that the paper has been torn and that the pieces are really in the little dish? You are certain."
Pick up match-box from table with right hand and transfer it to left hand in position shown in illustration.
Take out a match with right hand, strike it on side of box, and light torn pieces of paper.
"How frail life is — a beautiful thing at one moment and ashes the next. There! The tissue pieces have turned to ashes."
PLACE LEFT THUMB INTO TIP. Close box of matches with right hand. This automatically forces tip out of cover. You now have Tip on thumb, end of it facing audience. Drop match-box on table with right hand.
"But here is where the Hindoo teacher taught his philosophy of life. He would show his left hand containing nothing."
Show left hand for a second, thumb tip towards audience. Then drop hand a bit, concealing tip behind fingers.
"And with his empty right hand he would take up a pinch of ashes."
Show right hand so that all are convinced that it contains nothing. Then with first finger and thumb reach into saucer and take a pinch of ashes.
"See -- one needs but a pinch of ashes."
As you show ashes, hold up both hands for a second with thumbs pointing toward audience. Look at ashes and as you do so, close left fist around thumb tip. Finger palm tip and allow thumb to come out.
"Then one rubs them a moment with both hands."
Bring hands together, and with right index finger take strip of paper from thumb tip.
"And under the warmth of human touch we find the ashes materializing into the paper strip again.'
Unfold paper. Then hold it at each end and show both sides.
"According to the Hindoo philosopher, nothing can be destroyed. Every deed we do is registered in the great scheme of tilings. Life is constantly changing. Form transfers itself into other forms, but matter is never destroyed. The tissue that was turned to ashes has changed back to tissue again, proving that the Hindoo was right and that in the final analysis nothing can be destroyed."
Let paper fall on table. As paper falls, bring thumb into tip again. Show both hands for a moment and drop them again.
Get rid of tip by placing box of matches or strip of paper Into pocket or by reaching into pocket for some article for next effect.
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