Have two gentlemen come up on stage to assist. Shake hands with each and lead each one to a chair on stage.
Go to cabinet and pull trunk out a few feet. Ask the gentlemen to come forward. Turn trunk around, striking it and kicking it to show that it is solid. Have one of the men do likewise. Then open trunk and tilt it so that audience can see inside. Have one of the men strike inside of trunk. When gentlemen are convinced that all is fair, set the trunk about three or four feet in front of cabinet with the lid open and front of trunk to audience.
Say to one of the committee:
"Now, sir, I should like to borrow your coat. Remove the contents of your pockets, if you choose, or just leave everything intact."
You take coat from gentleman and slip it on.
"You would know your coat again if you saw it, wouldn't you?"
Girl assistant now picks up piece of tape and you hand it to gentleman with the request that he tie one end around your wrist -- then the other end around your right wrist. Hands are tied behind your back, Figures 15 and 16.
When tapes are tied in this manner, the right knot automatically becomes a slipknot. It can be slid over and tape removed from right wrist very easily. Knot at left wrist can also be pulled into a slipknot. It is easy to do this if you hold one end of tape while gentleman is tying your wrist with the other end. However, in emergency, knot on left wrist can be untied and quickly tied into a slipknot when you are in the trunk, see Figure 17.
Show audience that your hands are securely tied together. Assistant has bag ready. She shows it inside and out and then holds it down on the floor so that you can step into it. Assistant then pulls bag up over your head and hands one of the gentlemen a piece of tape with which to tie the top of the sack together, Figure 18.
When you are concealed in the sack, test the tapes to see that they can be moved easily. Remove them from your wrists but keep hands in same position behind you.
Have the two gentlemen lift you into the trunk. You crouch down and lie over on your left side with your knees pulled up as girl closes lid of trunk down. Assistant then has the two men lock the trunk and put the straps around it. The key is then given to one of them to hold.
The moment lid is closed, put tapes in right coat pocket, reach down to bottom of bag and pull out the basting thread to open it. If you need it, use the flashlight to help you. Pull the bag from over your head and place it in one side of trunk with opening in position for girl to crawl into.
In the meantime, girl is directing gentlemen on how to strap the trunk. She then tells them to place the trunk in the center of the cabinet and stand it on end so that performer can stand upright. The trunk should be placed diagonally so that one corner of it faces directly front. The back of the trunk is to the rear. While most performers crawl out with trunk in horizontal position, it is easier to get out when it is in the vertical position, which I have suggested. The angle which I suggest in placing the trunk also helps to cover movements of girl in getting in should the curtains open accidentally, Figure 19.
Curtains at sides and back of cabinet are pulled down. Girl asks gentlemen to take their seats at sides of stage. When she says this, it is a signal for you to open secret door. Insert buttonhook in screw eye in special panel and lift it, then do the same with the door. You are now ready to crawl out at the proper signal. Another signal which you may use is to have girl knock on trunk and ask whether you are still there. You answer her knock.
Girl steps into cabinet and draws the two front curtains together so that she is concealed entirely except that her head is still in view, Figure 20.
As soon as she is concealed by curtain she kicks trunk twice with her foot. This is your cue to come out of trunk. Once outside, quickly remove your coat and come up to girl. She holds curtain with alternate hands as you slip coat first on one arm and then the other. While doing this, she says:
"You are about to see one of the greatest miracles of modern magic. It is an effect that you will never forget. All done in the twinkling of an eye. When I say three — Watch! One - two -three!"
She closes the curtains quickly and hurries around to back of trunk. She gets in through secret door under the strap, quickly pushes door closed and special panel securely into place. She pulls opening of sack over her head and down to her feet so that she can stand on it and conceal opening, Figure 21.
Once inside the sack, girl slips tape on to left and right wrists, binding her hands behind her back.
NOTE: Some performers use two tapes. One is prepared with slipknots
for the girl to use. This one is kept in performer's trousers' pocket and then transferred to the gentleman's coat when performer is in the sack. He also has a pair of blunt end scissors in his trousers' pocket. With these he cuts the tape around his wrists and replaces scissors and puts cut tapes in his trousers' pocket out of the way.
Now that we have the girl all ready, we can go back to the routine as the audience sees it. The moment girl says "Three!" and disappears, performer sticks his head out of the curtains in the same place that girl's head was. The moment girl is in trunk she gives you a signal, and you throw curtains open suddenly and show trunk. Girl can then continue with her work of closing door and getting into sack, for audience cannot see rear of trunk even with front curtains open.
When all is in readiness, you request that the two gentlemen come forward. Trunk is then pulled out in front of cabinet again and placed in horizontal position. Side and back curtains of cabinet may be thrown up now to show that there is nothing concealed. Straps of trunk are then unbuckled and dropped down. The trunk is unlocked, lid is opened, and girl springs up to standing position. She must be careful to stand on bottom of sack so that opening will not be revealed, see Figure 22.
You quickly untie sack, allowing it to drop down. You assist girl as she hops out of trunk. She shows her hands tied behind her back and you cut the tapes quickly. Remove coat from girl and return it to gentleman, then dismiss both men, and bow to applause of audience.
NOTE: Richard Davis, a well known magician, performs the trunk mystery without an assistant substitution. He has an assistant close the front curtains and he gets out of the trunk quickly and jerks the curtain open to make his appearance. He then tells the audience to watch again. He quickly closes the curtains and gets back into the trunk and sack again. The assistant is used merely to guide the committee and to open and close the curtains. Davis makes of this a sensational illusion.
Some performers have the girl placed in the trunk first and then change places with her. This illusion offers other possibilities also for substitution.
It will be necessary for you to practice getting in and out of the trunk to speed your work. - You are working to create an INSTANTANEOUS EFFECT in the minds of the audience and any hesitation or delayed action will prove ruinous. Every movement must be timed — and remember that speed is essential.
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