Assistant dressed in assistant's costume enters from right side of stage with chair, upon which is the performer's Hindu outfit. He places chair at right side of stage and exits. Offstage, he quickly removes his coat, cap, and mustache, and places them on a chair or table in readiness for performer later on. He then hurries back of curtain to left side of stage and hastily dons the Hindu outfit on that side.
When assistant has brought Hindu costume on stage and has made his exit, performer says:
"I shall present an odd illusion of the Hindus as it is performed in far-away India. In order to create the proper Oriental atmosphere, I shall dress as a Hindu."
Put on coat and fasten it. Then place sash around your waist and tie it with a knot. Put on the mustache and beard. (These should be fastened together and adjustable with wires over the ears.) Place the turban on your head. Your movements should be timed in order to give assistant ample time to dress in his Hindu costume.
Now walk over to frame, pick up and show it freely. Open it to form a right angle, standing behind it so that audience can see through it. In this way audience is convinced that if anything were placed behind frame, it could easily be seen.
Pick up Top. Stand in FRONT of frame and place Top in position. The moment Top strikes hinge joints on each frame, the panels are raised and the roller curtains drop down to cover openings. This is done quickly and your body in front of the frame helps to screen the dropping of the curtains.
Now walk over to parlor screen at left of stage and step behind it. Immediately your assistant, dressed as a Hindu, steps in front of you and places his hands on the edge of the screen. As you go offstage, assistant carries screen out on stage.
Rush over from left to right side backstage, take off the Hindu outfit and put on assistant's first costume of coat, cap, and mustache, and take the pistol in your hand -- assistant turns back to audience and carries screen up to platform. Audience believes that performer merely walked behind screen to pick it up and carry it over to platform. Assistant, dressed as Hindu, is believed to be performer.
Assistant places screen down in front of platform, and with back to audience, bows once. He then steps up on platform and grasps screen so as to lift it up in front of him on platform, Figure 26, next page.
Assistant places screen in front of him on platform. The moment he is concealed, he steps to left of trap
door of platform with his left foot and raises the door with his right foot. He then steps down through the trap, being careful not to expose himself from the sides of screen, and crawls down on floor under top of frame. He now pulls the trap door back in place, Figure 27.
This should all be done very quickly and yet allow enough time for you to get into assistant's costume. As soon as assistant is concealed under frame, you step out from right wings, walk up to screen, and fire pistol into the air. Remove screen to show Hindu has vanished, fold it up, and place it on top of platform or allow it to fall to the floor.
Turn to audience, quickly remove cap with one hand and mustache with the other, and show yourself to be the performer.
NOTE: This illusion is a great one for closing a Chautauqua or Lyceum performance.
Speed up the illusion as much as possible. Practice it carefully with your assistant so that you can work in harmony and time your movements correctly. There must be no interrupted action or you lose your hold on the audience. Speed is essential in all illusion work.
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