With Key ring inside your right coat pocket, come forward with other ten rings in right hand. When you pick up rings from table to come forward, have the top of the pile — the two linked rings — against crotch of right thumb and Key ring toward tip of thumb and fingers, Figure 5, next page.
Take Key ring with left hand and place it down on table. This leaves nine rings in right hand.
"I am often asked the question, 'What do you consider to be the oldest known trick to Magic and Magicians,' and I always answer, 'Perhaps the Linking Rings of China.' It may therefore not be out of place here to relate to you a little legend told regarding these rings.
"Centuries ago in China, a priest in the temple made a chain of links of steel or copper or perhaps brass — we know not of just what metal — to suspend a lamp -- the lamp of life — and this lamp hung directly over the altar. Now, the old priest of the temple, with his followers gathered about him, would lower the lamp, remove it from the chain, and place it upon the altar. Then he would take the chain, made of these huge links of steel, and separate them, one from the other. His followers noticed that he had no difficulty in doing this, and though they examined these links of steel again and again, they could find no opening of any kind in them.
"The story soon spread about and pilgrims came from far and near to see the man who could take links of steel — put them together and take them apart — when they were solid with no opening in them. There is no doubt in my mind that this old priest of the temple wanted to impress his! followers with the fact that he possessed mystic power. In presenting this problem myself, however, I say the phenomenon is due only to natural law. Let us look the rings over."
To show the rings separately, merely pass them from the right to the left hand. Pass the first three single rings with the hands about 12 inches apart, Figure 6.
Decrease the distance between your hands and pass the rings faster when you come to the linked rings. If you pass these properly, they will appear to be single rings. Practice this move carefully before your mirror.
After all rings are in left hand, drop them one at a time back into right hand. Keep left hand a little above right hand but close enough to it to catch rings quickly. Be careful not to let linked ring drop to bottom of ring it is linked in. With a little practice, you can make the illusion of showing separate rings perfect. Make your movements as natural as if you were really showing all to be separate rings. You can put a little emphasis on showing those rings which are separate, Figure 7.
You must leave a definite impression with the audience that the rings are separate. While showing them, say:
"We find that the rings used in the chain of the lamp in the temple are all separate and distinct, one from the other. First, let us prove that the rings I use are genuine in every way. The best test for steel is SOUND. We will test first with two rings."
Take two of the single rings in your left hand. Move hand up and down to make rings strike each other and jingle, Figure 8.
"They sound as clear as a bell."
Pick up Key ring from table and hold it with opening at top between your hands, Figure 9.
"Here we have a faulty ring. I had it cut apart to show you the vast difference in sound between a ring with an opening in it and a solid ring."
Place ring on left hand with two solid ones. Shake the rings this time just to get a clattering noise in direct contrast to the jingle of the two solid rings before, Figure 10.
"You hear a clattering metallic sound now -- not like the clear, bell-like jingle of the solid rings. Were I to use a ring with an opening, you could detect it immediately by its dull, clattering sound. WE CANNOT USE SUCH A RING so we shall throw it away."
Throw the ring to one side or to back of stage, Figure 11.
This is SHOWMANSHIP. You are convincing your audience that a ring with on opening cannot be used and you discard such a ring.
If there is a Magician watching you perform, he will be puzzled. He is accustomed to using Eight rings, consisting of three linked rings, two linked rings, two single, and ONE Key ring. He will sit up and take notice when he sees you throw away your Key ring. So you see, in this effect you interest not only the average audience, but those who may have read a solution for Linking Rings and even those who have performed with the rings.
"We must use clear-sounding rings of solid steel just as the priest of old used."
Strike the two single rings from your left hand together, Figure 12.
Suddenly allow the outer ring, toward tips of fingers drop. This ring is one of the two linked together, and it will drop to the bottom of the other ring in which it is linked. Spin ring quickly with right hand. This adds action and dash to your presentation, Figure 13.
"Behold, we have two rings suddenly linked together."
Take the two linked rings in right hand and dangle one from the other to show that they are linked.
"Immediately, you say to me, 'Do you mean to say that you can take two perfectly solid rings and actually link them together?' Well, the proof is in the sound. Let us try whether they are solid or not."
Jingle the two linked rings together in the right hand to bring out the clear bell-like tone, Figure 14.
"You notice that the sound is the same as the sound of the solid rings you heard before."
Drop one of the linked rings in right hand so that it will hang suspended from the other ring. Then transfer bunch of rings from left hand to right hand, leaving two single rings in left hand. Jingle these two rings together to show similarity of sound, Figure 15.
Place bunch of rings back on left hand, leaving the two linked rings in right hand. Jingle these two rings again to show clear sound, Figure 16.
Allow ring D to slip over right wrist. Look at bunch of rings in left hand, and suddenly let ring B drop from the three linked rings in left hand. Spin ring B with right hand, Figure 17.
"Let us try it again. Two more rings link themselves together."
Transfer the three linked rings — A, B, C — to right hand. Strike ring B with one of the four single rings from left hand, Figure 18.
"And they ring true."
Drop ring C, which falls to bottom of ring B and forms a link of three rings, Figure 19.
NOTE: This routine with three rings is easy if you arrange them properly in the beginning. Experience will help you in working them. However, should ring B not be the one to drop down first, do not let it worry you. A or C can drop first and then B, and you will get equally satisfactory results.
"Ah, now we have five rings linked together. The linked ones are no different in sound from the single ones."
Hold rings as in figure 20—linked rings in right hand and four single rings in left. Jingle first one bunch and then the other.
"A chain of five. You see them—but perhaps a better way to convince you is to let you take the rings and thoroughly examine them."
Leave stage and come down to audience.
Now bring right hand up with ring A on a level with ring C in left hand. Hold rings as in Figure 23.
Bring two hands close together. This brings rings A and C next to each other. This is preliminary to pulling apart apparently ring A from ring D, Figure 24.
Say to a spectator at your right:
"Please look at these rings, sir."
As spectator starts to take hold of chain of rings, say:
"One moment, let me separate a couple so that our friend over here may see them also."
Apparently disconnect ring D from A by giving it a sudden jerk. Then hold the two linked rings—D, E— in right hand and the three linked rings—A, B, C—with four single rings in left hand, Figure 25.
Give D, E to one spectator and A, B, C to the other. "Would you like to examine a ring, too, sir?" Give one single ring to another spectator. "And you, sir?"
Give another ring out for examination. "And you?"
Give a third single ring to spectator. "And, sir, here is the last one." Give fourth ring out.
"I want you all to examine every one of the rings carefully before I collect them. You will find that each ring is as solid as it can be and as strong as it is possible to make them with steel."
After allowing a few moments for examination, collect the three linked rings, squaring them up in right hand -- then the two linked rings, squaring them up with the three in right hand.
At this point, stop a moment and face audience, Figure 26.
"Last night a young man explained this trick to a young lady sitting next to him in the theater. He said, 'You watch that magician when he gathers up the rings. He will start for the stage, and as he turns around, he will exchange the rings in his hand for some others which he has hanging on his back under his coat.' "
As you say this, turn quickly toward stage to illustrate your meaning. When your back is turned, slip the
Key ring from your inside coat pocket on to your right hand with rest of rings, Figure 27. Bring all the rings in right hand up over your right shoulder, Figure 28.
"Imagine me carrying a bunch of rings on my back." Turn to face audience.
"I hope you do not accuse me of such nonsense. Will you please touch one of these rings, sir?"
Hold rings in right hand toward spectator, turning the Key ring slightly toward him. Be careful to cover opening in ring with thumb and fingers of right hand, Figure 29.
Spectator will, in most cases, touch ring nearest to him -- the Key ring. Regardless of which ring he touches, however, you turn the bunch of rings in toward your body and take Key ring in left hand.
Give bunch of linked rings from right hand to a spectator to hold.
"Please hold these rings for a moment. This gentleman has selected a ring for me to use. I find it a good one."
Hold ring up, with thumb and finger of left hand covering opening X. Right hand is in same position on other side of ring. Expose palms of hands to audience, Figure 30.
Close left hand over ring. To give effect of revolving ring to show it solid all around, hold ring tight with
left hand and bring hand upward. As you do this, close right hand over ring, Figure 31.
Now bring left hand downward, holding opening X tight. As ring turns, slide right hand over ring downward until hands are in position shown in Figure 32.
Perform this move about three times. Practice it well in front of your mirror. Notice how deceptive the move is in giving the appearance of actually revolving the ring several times.
"Now, if you who are holding the other rings up the aisle will hold them in this manner, I will try to make a chain for you, linking the rings together as you hold them in your hands, right before your eyes."
Show spectators holding single rings how to grasp them. Demonstrate with your own ring, grasping it with both hands close together at the bottom, Figure 33.
Now come forward and ask another spectator to touch ring at any point. Hold ring toward him as shown in Figure 34, carefully concealing opening X.
"Touch this ring anywhere you like, sir."
Spectator will usually touch side of ring nearest to him at a point between your hands. If he touches other side of ring, merely reverse ring, bringing this side to front.
"Thanks. Now, please notice this point. I shall place my fingertip near it to mark it."
Place tip of right index finger at selected point on ring. Then place finger-tip just back of this point, raising it and replacing to accent point, Figure 35.
"I will connect each ring just at the point the gentleman has touched. Watch!"
Walk up to one spectator holding a single ring. Strike your ring against his at the selected point, see Figure 36.
Place your ring against his again at selected point. Be careful to conceal opening X in left hand and tilt left side of ring upward a little, Figure 37.
"Hold your ring tight, sir."
Now strike his ring again WITH YOUR RING HELD AT ANGLE OF 45 DEGREES, slanting down from left hand, Figure 38.
With your ring at an angle, the blow causes spectator's ring to be forced suddenly to the left near the opening X of your ring, Figure 39.
Spectator's ring automatically goes into opening in your Key ring and comes back to selected point, linked in your ring. Release opening from left hand just enough to permit penetration of other ring and then conceal it again in left hand. The illusion is that spectator's ring penetrated your ring at selected point, Figure 40.
Figures 41 and 42 gives another view of this movement.
You are holding opening X in left hand and indicating selected point with right index finger. Your ring is on a slant downward from the left hand. As you strike spectator's ring at selected point, his ring is pushed suddenly to the left, slips into opening X, is linked in your ring, and comes back to selected point at tip of right index finger.
This all happens so quickly that the illusion of penetration AT SELECTED POINT is perfect. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT MOVE, AND, IT ALONE, IS WORTH MANY DOLLARS TO THE MAGICIAN PERFORMING LINKING RINGS. Practice it well until you absolutely master it. You will be well repaid for your time and effort.
Move your ring up and down through spectator's ring to show that they are actually linked, Figure 43.
"The two rings are linked together at the selected point."
The moment you have shown linking of rings, push your left hand through spectator's ring, taking ring away from him on your left wrist. Pass on quickly to another spectator holding single ring, Figure 44. "Hold tight, sir. Watch the point on my ring." Raise right forefinger again and lower to indicate selected point.
Strike his ring at selected point, then raise your ring suddenly, strike his ring again and link it as you were taught to do. Quickly show rings linked and thrust your right hand through his ring. Carry his ring away on your right wrist, Figure 45.
Continue linking the rings on until all four have been taken up. Take ring from third spectator after it is linked by passing your left hand through his ring. Take ring from fourth spectator by passing right hand through his ring.
Allow the four rings to fall to bottom of your Key ring, hanging from left hand, Figure 46.
"Four rings linked on my ring — each at the point selected by the gentleman."
Spin the four rings on the Key ring. The noise and movement add action at this point.
Stop suddenly as though some spectator had said something.
"What! Why, of course, if you can put them on, you can take them off!"
"What! Why, of course, if you can put them on, you can take them off!"
Quickly bring the four rings up with right hand near opening X concealed in left hand, Figure 47A.
Slip rings through opening X with aid of right hand. Then drop them one at a time into right hand, see Figure 47B.
Instead of dropping Key ring, bring it down to right hand suddenly, giving the appearance of dropping it; Figure 48.
Hold the five rings in right hand. Take the five linked rings which a spectator is holding. First, take A, B, C and then D, E with left hand, Figure 49.
"I will take the rings you have, sir."
Go back to the stage, and while your back is turned, perform the following moves quickly: Study the diagrams closely.
Figure 50 shows the order in which you hold rings to begin with -- Four single rings in crotch of right thumb and Key ring towards tips of fingers; three linked rings in crotch of left thumb and two linked rings towards tips of fingers.
Bring your hands together so that Key ring in right is next to outermost ring in left, Figure 51.
Transfer Key ring from right hand to left, Figure 52.
Reverse position of rings in left hand so that Key ring is now in crotch of thumb. You will find this very easy to do by twisting your wrist and swinging rings around the opposite way. Figure 53.
Bring hands together again and transfer three linked rings to right hand. Figure 54.
Allow bunch of rings to slip over right arm. Slip one of the two linked rings through the opening X in key ring in left hand, Figure 55.
Figure 56, next page, gives you a close-up of what happens. You hold Key ring in left hand and hold two linked rings between your hands as you link one of these rings through Key ring.
Allow the two linked rings to hang down from Key ring. Turn to audience. To spectators it appears that you just put all the other rings over your right arm and are holding the three linked rings you just took from spectator, Figure 57.
"I notice you were trying to pull these rings apart. You cannot take them apart by pulling. If you would like, however, I will remove one from the chain. Which one? The middle? All right."
Pretend that you heard someone call out the middle ring.
"In order to do this, the rings must not be jerked apart but must be put together."
Study carefully how to perform the following moves. Grasp the middle ring with right hand, Figure 58.
Bring center ring up and pass it through opening in Key ring. Shift this ring from in front of Key ring to rear of it, Figure 59.
Grasp bottom ring E at its joining with D with right hand, Figure 60.
Revolve ring E upward so that bottom of ring comes up to left fingers. Now hold the three rings at bottom in right hand, Figure 61.
Grasp Key ring, which is now between rings D and E, with left hand, Figure 62, next page.
Bring right hand up and left hand down so that rings are in position shown in Figure 63. "Then remove the middle ring this way."
Pull middle ring down slowly with left hand, Figure 64.
Show this ring separately, then strike it against two rings in right hand, Figure 65.
"And put the other two together again."
Drop one of the rings in right hand. It will fall to bottom of other ring, in which it is linked, with a noise. This pretended linking of the two rings is very effective, Figure 66.
Now place eight of the rings on the table this way: The three linked rings -- A, B, C -- in one pile; the two linked rings — D, E — in another pile; and three single rings — F, G, H — in a third pile, Figure 67.
The two remaining rings are the Key ring, which you now take in your left hand, and a single ring, which you take in your right hand. Strike the Key ring against the solid ring. Then allow ring J to slip through opening in Key ring, Figure 68.
Slowly move rings apart. Then suddenly let ring J drop, linked on ring K, Figure 69.
The two rings are suspended from left hand. Spin ring J fast with right hand, Figure 70, next page.
"You see it is connected."
Bring rings together again so that you can slip J through opening in K and unlink them. Then slowly move two rings apart. To the audience they appear
to be linked still, Figure 71.
Bring rings to position shown in Figure 72 with edges touching as though they are linked. "To remove it, I must find the identical place at which it was connected." Pull rings apart suddenly.
"And thus, the rings separate easily. Let us take two others."
Drop J on pile of single rings on table -- F, G, H. Link D onto K as you did J.
Grasp ring D with right hand. Palm of hand must face audience so that little finger is above, Figure 73.
Quickly bring D up beside K, turning backs of both hands to audience. This move so twists the rings that they come into position shown in Figure 74.
Slip D quickly through opening in K from rear to front, and let it fall into position shown in Figure 75.
Swing the rings back and forth a little.
"Here we have a queer little figure."
Pick up E with right hand and lower K a little with left hand, see Figure 76.
Move K down so that it is between D and E, Figure 77, next page.
"An hour glass."
Then bring K up to middle of E, Figure 78.
Hold K with both hands and let E balance in it, Figure 79.
Bring rings together and unlink D and E from K. Place D and E on table. Pick up A, B, C, holding them squared up together in right hand. K is in left hand.
"Let us make a longer chain."
Quickly link ring A into K, Figure 80.
Give the rings a jerk, pulling them out of right hand and letting them fall suspended from K in left hand. It appears that you took four single rings and suddenly linked them into a chain, Figure 81.
Put right hand through lower ring C from rear to front and turn ring to the left as far as it will go to show that rings are firmly linked, Figure 82.
Bring C up parallel with K, Figure 83.
Slip C through opening in K, allowing the rings to fall into the formation they take as shown in Figure 84. Figure 85 shows another view of this formation, called the Iron Knot.
"An iron knot."
Grasp C again with right hand and unlink the chain of rings. Hold between your hands as in Figure 86. "Back to the chain."
Pick up bottom ring C again and link it through K. This brings A and C together with K above and B below. Figure 87.
Grasp A and C with right hand and bring them up so that B and K fall together to bottom of these rings, Figure 88.
Grasp K and B with left hand and raise them, allowing A and C to hang from them, Figure 89.
"The two rings linked into two."
Pull rings to show that they are securely linked, holding B and K in left hand and A and C in right.
Now release B from left hand and let it fall to bottom of A and C. Hold the chain suspended from left hand, Figure 90.
With right hand reach in between A and C. Grasp top of ring B, Figure 91.
Pull B up and out to position shown in Figure 92. Remove right hand. Rings will remain in this position. Swing them in left hand, back and forth.
"A swing for one."
Grasp B again with right and turn the formation horizontally. Hold rings up in front of face, Figure 93. "A baseball mask."
Now bring rings down. Place B from right hand in left hand with K. The formation is shown in Figure 94.
Turn hand over, reversing position of the ring formation, Figure 95.
With right hand open upper part of formation a little, Figure 96.
Grasp rings firmly with left hand and allow them to open up, see Figure 97.
"The opening of the rose."
Let rings fall over hand, Figure 98.
"A round square."
Bring rings back into position shown in Figure 99. "An iron cross."
Swing rings back to the closed rose formation as in Figure 100. Then back to the swing formation, see Figure 101.
"And back to the little swing for one. But the boys and girls seldom like a seat for one. Never mind . . . ." Grasp outside ring with right hand and unlink it from Key ring, Figure 102.
This brings the rings back to the chain formation. Rings are in this order: K in left hand, then A, B, C, linked in it. Chain is stretched between left and right hands, Figures 103 and 104.
Twist rings again by grasping bottom ring C and turning it to the right as far as it will go. Then bring C toward K, Figure 105.
Place C a little back of K. This causes A and B to swing out toward audience and upward a little to make formation shown in Figure 106.
Swing this formation as you did the seat for one.
"We have a seat for two."
Drop C again to form the chain of four rings.
"Let us take two more rings."
Pick up two single rings with right hand -- H, J. Also grasp B on chain of rings with right hand, Figure 107A, next page.
Link H and J on K, working from the rear to the front. Take B in left hand with K and let other rings fall to bottom, Figure 107B.
Shake the rings. "Two rings holding four."
Drop ring B from left hand. Rings fall into position shown in Figure 108.
"Again two more rings."
Pick up F, G — two more single rings — from the table with right hand. Grasp B again as you did before with right hand. Raise right hand with rings up behind K, Figure 109.
Link F, G through K. Grasp B with left hand, Figure 110.
Holding rings suspended from B and K in left hand, shake rings vigorously, see Figure 111.
"Six rings linked into two."
Drop B. this gives you the formation shown in Figure 112.
Pick up the two linked rings — D, E — with right hand and bring them up to K, Figure 113.
Link one of these rings on K — let us say, D. Raise E up with right hand above K. Keep your grasp over opening in K with left hand, Figure 114.
Place ring E in your mouth. Separate F, G and hold on right side of K with right hand. Put your left hand through H, J and grasp K at opening with left hand, Figure 115.
"A cross of steel."
Hold K up in left hand, allowing D, E to fall down from Key ring. Rings now give formation shown in Figure 116.
Now move the rings up and down vigorously in the air, and with help of right hand, get all the rings linked on the Key ring, Figure 117.
"All the rings linked upon one." Spin rings with right hand.
Grasp Key ring with right hand. With left hand turn ring to bring opening to bottom just above rings linked on K, Figure 118.
Shake Key ring up and down, allowing the rings to fall to the floor one at a time, Figure 119.
"And finally, under the Magic spell, they fall one by one to the floor."
Finally, drop the Key ring down with the others, just as the last solid ring falls. Because of the bunch of rings on the floor and attention drawn to you, the Key ring will not be noticed.
As Key ring falls, raise your hands upward at your sides and bow slightly for your Finale.
NOTE: Be sure to pick up rings immediately or have your assistant do it, getting the Key ring after the first few solid rings.
In linking and unlinking rings, be careful to keep the movement well covered with left fingers so that opening is never exposed to audience.
You have a fine routine here with the rings. Practice faithfully until you get every move as nearly perfect as possible. Then study SHOWMANSHIP and put so much into your work that you will bring the house down with applause when you perform with Linking Rings.
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