To Perform

With table arranged as shown, start experiment with this patter:

"A number of years ago a famous magician was spending Christmas at one of the fine chateaus in France. While he was entertaining with conjuring effects at a table, he noticed a bottle of rare wine, two glasses, and three cylindrical covers on a buffet nearby. An idea flashed through his head. He brought the bottle, the glasses, and the covers over to the table. From the bottle he poured wine into each of the two glasses."

Pick up bottle and pour wine into the two glasses, then replace bottle on table again.

"'This being Christmas,' he said, 'it is the ideal moment for a holiday game. The game is Bottle, Bottle, Who Has the Bottle?' He picked up the covers and, first of all, showed them to be empty, with a hole running all the way through each. We will play the game, providing the covers are large enough to fit comfortably over the bottle. He tried the first."

Place largest cover, A, over bottle and shells. Then remove cover, bringing outer shell away with it, and place on table.

"It was an excellent fit. Then the second one."

Place another cover, C, over bottle, and lifting other shell up inside of it, place it down on table again too.

"It, too, fit well. And finally the third."

Place third cover, B, over bottle, then remove it and place on table.

"This also answered the purpose. Now, for the game. I shall try to play it for you in the same way the magician did that Christmas day in the French chateau. First, we cover each of the glasses."

Place cover A with large shell over glass at position 1. Place cover C with other shell over glass at position 3. Place cover B, empty, over bottle at position 2. You now have arrangement shown in Figure 24.

"The idea of this game is to keep your eye on the bottle of wine. It is very elusive, and if you look crooked, you may not be able to locate it. First of all, where is the bottle?"

Lift tube B and show bottle. Cover again. As you do this push plunger in bottle down so that glass under bottle is filled with wine.

"We are ready. Bottle, bottle, who has the bottle? Where is the bottle?"

Point to position 2 where bottle was shown.


Lift cover B with bottle inside and expose glass of wine under it. Place cover and bottle down on table. "No. Here?"

Point to cover C. Lift cover and shell and place down on table. Another glass of wine is shown. "No. It is here."

Lift cover A, leaving shell on table. It appears that bottle has jumped under cover A and glass has jumped under cover B.

"I am convinced that someone is not watching closely enough. Watch more closely and you will see less. Again let us play."

Cover each article with cover just removed from it, covering bottle last.

"You have seen the bottle. Can you find the bottle? Bottle, bottle, who has the bottle? Here?"

Point to cover A, where bottle was just seen. Lift cover and shell, showing glass.

Lift cover C and show shell.

"On with the covers again."

Replace covers.

"Watch the bottle."

Raise cover C a few inches and drop again. "Bottle, bottle, follow the bottle."

The moves from now on must be done snappily. Stand behind table. With left hand, lift cover C with shell, showing glass.

"Not there."

Place cover and shell on table as you lift cover A and shell with right hand and place them on table. "Not here."

Lift cover B, showing bottle.

"Here. Right back to the old starting place. Once more, I shall give you a chance to locate the bottle."

Place proper covers over glasses and bottle again.

"Remember, the bottle is here in the middle."

Raise cover a little to show bottle, then drop it again.

"Are you ready? Bottle, bottle, where's the bottle? In the middle?"

Lift cover B with bottle, revealing the glass.

Cover glass again with bottle and tube B. Point to position 1. "Here?"

Lift cover A and shell, showing glass. "Not here." Cover glass again. "Then it must be here."

Lift cover C with shell, also showing a glass. Place cover and shell down on table to the left. "Not here."

Lift cover A with shell and place them aside on table also.

"Not here."

Finally, lift center cover B, revealing the bottle.


Place cover down on table.

NOTE: In stage presentation, it is not necessary to have covers examined by audience after effect has been performed. Merely handle the covers in such a free and easy manner as to convince spectators that tubes are empty.

In parlor work, you can get both shells back on the bottle again by exchanging the covers during the experiment. When you start on last part of routine, place cover C with smaller shell over bottle and place empty cover B over glass at position 3. At the end when the three tubes are off the bottle and glasses, pick up cover A with shell and drop it over bottle and smaller shell and remove cover quickly again. Say, "Yes, this is a funny bottle of wine. However, we still have the bottle, the two glasses, and the three empty covers."

If you are working close to audience, you can pick up all three covers together and let audience see through them. Ordinarily, this is not necessary. When you complete the experiment, you have reached a climax and can proceed with the next effect.

This experiment works out nicely with comedy version in which assistant steals bottle. Finally bottle appears under center cover.

I give you here a modification of the famous old Bran Vase experiment. The familiar way of performing this effect is to pretend to fill the vase with bran, place a cover on it, then remove cover and bran has changed to candy, rice, lump sugar, or other small objects. The Vase is a pretty piece of apparatus and I shall teach you the manner in which I like to use it with a flashy ending to the effect.

Performer shows a box of confetti and an empty vase. He dips vase into confetti and fills it to overflowing. He then covers vase, and in a moment uncovers it again. The confetti is found to have changed to candy, which may be passed around later to the children in the audience. Magician then turns vase over and yards and yards of paper ribbon stream down out of the vase to the floor. The effect is very pretty.

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