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Principles

and
Deceptions
Photo by J. McDermott
ARTHUR H. BUCKLEY
Past President of The Society of American Magicians, Assembly No. 3, Chicago, Illinois.
Past President of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 43, Chicago, Illinois.
Also life member of The Society of Indian Magicians, Bombay, India.
I l l
r ^jCK- \e
Principles
and
Deceptions
By
ARTHUR BUCKLEY
Vrinted by THE WILLIAMSON PRESS, INC., SPRINGFIELD, III.
358 ILLUSTRATIONS
Photography By
LEO R. NEWMAN, CHICAGO
Copyright, 1948, by ARTHUR H. BUCKLEY.
VI
NO PART OF THIS BOOK MAY BE
PRINTED WITHOUT PERMISSION
IN WRITING FROM THE
AUTHOR-PUBLISHER.
Protected By The Copyright Laws of The
United States of America.
1948.
FIRST EDITION
Vl l
Dedicated to
ALLAN SHAW
and the Memory of
T. NELSON DOWNS
I X
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE Page
Photograph of the Author iii
Dedication ix
Introduction by Theo Bamberg (Okito) xix
Foreword by the Author xx
The Principles of Magic 22
Manipulation 25
Substitution
Duplication "
Camouflage 26
Imitation "
False Partition
Concealed Mechanism
Falsification
Arrangement 27
Preparation
Misdirection
Concealment 28
XI
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE (Continued) Page
The Entertainment Value 30
Showmanship 33
Sleight of Hand "
Something New 34
Invention 35
Talking Acts Versus Silent Acts, and Pantomine 37
The Practice of Leaving the Stage Unattended "
Assistants from the Audience 38
Fakes and Accessories "
Gimacs 39
The Plot 40
Timing, Rhythm and Pace 40
Footwork 42
Presenting the Act in Public 43
X l l
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
Magic With Coins
CHAPTER TWO Page
Sleeving 47
The Muscle Pass with One Silver Dollar 48
Chinese Coin Mystery 49
A Coin, A Ring and a Handkerchief 51
The Bounce Vanish 52
The Rear of the Thumb Palm 53
The Pencil and the Silver Dollar 54
The Turnover Pass With One Coin 55
The Pinch Pass With a Single Coin 56
A Very Pretty Disappearance "
Allan Shaw's Vanish of a Coin 57
Front and Back of Hand Transfer of a Coin 58
Three Methods of Producing a Coin 59
Downs' Palm (first method) 61
" (second method) 62
The Vanish of a Coin From the Fold of the Pants Leg 63
Second Method .. 64
Third Method 64
xiii
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
Magic With Coins
CHAPTER TWO (Continued) Page
To Pass Four Coins From Hand to Hand, Through Your
Head One At a Time 65
The French Drop and the Eye-glass 65
The "Roll Down" Production for Four Coins
(Buckley Method) 66
The Downs "Click Pass" Viewed from a New Angle
(improved) 68
An Illusive Pass (original) 69
The Click Pass and the Table 69
The Spread Vanish (Allen Shaw) 70
The Color Changing Discs (original) 70
A Fine Coin Transfer Pass (by Downs) 72
The Throw Away Vanish of Five Coins (original) 73
The Appearance of Five Coins One After Another At the
Finger Tips (Allan Shaw) 74
The Surprise Appearance of a Coin (by Ron Leonard) 76
The Magnetic Pass With One Or Several Coins
xiv
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
Magic With Coins
CHAPTER TWO (Continued) Page
Silken Silver (by Frank Cruse) 77
Borrowed Money 78
John Mulholland's Slide Pass With a Single Coin 81
Another Very Effective Production of Five Coins in the
Left Hand (original) 82
The Lynn Pennies (by Terry Lynn) 83
The Steal (my method) 84
Passing Several Coins Through the Table At Which
You Are Seated 85
The French Drop (improved) 86
Another Original Five Coin Pass "
The "Miser's Dream" 87
Finale To "The Miser's Dream" (by W. J. Alkinson) 89
Coin Through Handkerchief (original) 90
A Coin Vanish and Reappearance By That Clever Artiste
(Carlyle) 91
The Steal (by Cardini) 92
Twenty-one Cents (by Ross Bertram) 94
Coins Pass One By One From the Left Hand to the Right Hand 96
xv
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
Magic With Coins
CHAPTER TWO (Continued) Page
The Transfer of a Silver Dollar From One Hand to the Other 99
John Platt's Chinese Coin on Pencil Illusion (with permission) 100
Five Silver Dollars and a Handkerchief Routine 102
An Invisible Journey (improved) 106
The Eureka Vanish (by T. Nelson Downs) 107
Production of Five Coins One By One At Fingertips and
An Original Change Over 108
The Thumb Pass With a Silver Dollar 109
Split Fans and Coin Production (original) 110
A Production of Twenty-four Coins in a Series of Fans,
An Original Routine (by John Brown Cook) 112
"The Multiple Roll Out" (by John Brown Cook) 114
A Phantasy in SilverA Complete Act with Coins, Fully and
Carefully Explained and Illustrated 115
A Phantasy in SilverA Complete Act as it was presented by
the Author at the I.B.M. Show, Chicago, on Jan. 17, 1948. 116
x v i
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
Magic With Cards
CHAPTER THREE Page
Magic Wi t h Cards 137
Foreword to Chapt er Thr ee 139
Openi ng For a Card Act 143
A Fi ni sh for a Card Act 145
The Buckl ey False Shuffle 146
Cards to Pocket , Wi t h Ten Cards (with i mprovement s) 148
The Count (ori gi nal ) 151
The False Count for More 152
My Card in Ci garet t e Il l usi on (wi t h i mprovement s) 153
The Thi r t y Cards and Two Assi st ant s (wi t h i mprovement s). . . 155
Ten and Ten 157
The Vanish of t he Last Two Cards in Pr esent i ng t he Ten
Cards to Pocket 159
Met hod of Double Cut t i ng Cards 160
The Tr i pl e Climax (ori gi nal ) 161
An Amazi ng Card Illusion, Just Thi nk of a Card 164
The Crimp (one hand) 167
Exchanging a Card in Passing 168
The Peek Location 169
The Hofzinser Force "
The Slap Shift 170
Sighting While Fanning the Cards 171
xvii
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CONTENTS
Magic With Billiard Balls
CHAPTER FOUR Page
My Original Billiard Ball and Card Harness 174
Pointers 175
The Production of a Ball From Behind the Left Hand followed
by the Take Away Vanish 176
A Ball Held in the Finger Palm Position by the Left Hand is
Secretly Removed by the Right Hand in Passing 177
The Wrist Roll 178
The Production of a Ball on the Fist 179
Moving the Ball Down from the Fist Position to the First
and Second Fingers 180
The Production of a Ball Between the Middle Fingers from
the Palm Without Aid from the Thumb 182
The "De'Biere" Production of a Ball 184
The Ball Roll from Finger to Finger 186
The Ball Roll with Another Ball Concealed in Your Palm 188
The Knee Roll Vanish 190
The Strike Vanish 192
The Wrist Roll and Palm Off Vanish 193
Concealing a Ball Behind the Hand While Both Palms Are
Shown 194
Color Changes (first method) 196
(second method) 198
(third method) 200
(fourth method) 202
The Ball and the Handkerchief 204
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Finger Tips Without
a Shell 206
Concluding Remarks 218
xvni
I N T R O D U C T I O N
While cards have always been assigned first place in manipu-
lative magic, coins and billiard balls are equally welcome for the
high entertainment value of the seeming miracles they may be
adapted to create. I have been privileged to study the contents of
this book, and I am both pleased and astonished by the remarkable
knowledge the author has displayed on the handling of his subject,
which has come to pass from his forty years' professional ex-
perience in its many branches. It is with great admiration for his
ability in the dual capacity of the artist and teacher that I attach
my signature to these introductory remarks to herald this advance-
ment of the art of manipulative magic.
This is truly a great book on practical manipulative magic,
taught in a manner that will inject new life into magic and per-
petuate many masterpieces of great skill. The author has given
credit to others and to the great masters, Downs and Shaw. These
men were great artists in their day, and no doubt they would rank
highly in the practice of their art today, but I am confident their
knowledge and combined skill could not exceed the modern meth-
ods taught in these pages. I wish to compliment the author, Arthur
Buckley, and recommend to you this great book.
THEO. BAMBERG (Okito)
x i x
FOREWORD
The practices as set forth herein and the theories of my con-
temporaries will often be found at variance, and sometimes in di-
rect conflict. It is self evident that theories which are antithetical
cannot both be true. Because of this, I have carefully analyzed such
statements as fully and clearly as I am capable of doing before
printing the things I judge to be correct.
I find it to be impossible for a mind informed on the principles
of magic and the inner workings of illusion to receive impressions
similar to one not so informed. The reason for this is the informed
person is necessarily conscious of the reality of the happening. Such
a person sees these things differently than an uninformed person.
The latter is often merged in the tangled bewilderment of his
own imagination and the pseudo evidence offered him by the ma-
gician. When the evidence of which a spectator is conscious is
subjected to the process of analytical reason, the spectator is often
left more bewildered than before. This, I believe, is why some
children more correctly define the workings of many illusions
better than one capable of reasoning analytically. Perhaps my last-
ing impressions of Allan Shaw are founded on my complete ignor-
ance of the ways and wiles of magicians. I was privileged to see
this master before I was enlightened by such understanding, and
to this day I still retain those first impressionsthe shock of see-
ing the hand of Allan Shaw, with the grace and artistry of a
Paderewski, pluck from the air a coin! It was amazing! How could
anyone formulate, let alone believe, in such a theory that the coin
was concealed within the open hand when the fingers were moved
with such apparent freedom as evidence of the contrary! Shaw's
quiet, easy manner was in itself a highly potent factor in dis-
bursing the evidence that may eventually have given support to
such beliefs.
Those around me as I watched Shaw's performance with my
intense and always growing interest were no wiser in their de-
ductions, so I became an admiring, baffled spectator until one day
I made inquiries at a large book store (Dymocks) about a treatise
on the subject of coin magic, and to my pleasure and amazement I
was directed to a shelf containing "Magic Stage Illusions and Scien-
tific Diversions" by H. T. Hopkins, Sachs' "Sleight of Hand," "New
Era Card Tricks," "Conjuring for Amateurs" by Ellis Stanyon,
xx
"Magic by Professor Hoffman," Howard Thurston' s "Card Tricks,"
and "Expert at the Card Table" by Erdnase, and my eyes popped
at the sight of the little treasure of my dreams, "Modern Coin
Manipulation" by T. Nelson Downs. If I had discovered a gold
mine, which in fact I had, it could not have given me either the
surprise or the happiness the purchase of this little book brought
to me. It was later my constant and treasured companion in the years
to follow. Within the hour I was thus initiated into the secret work-
ing of this lovable, wonderful art. I could now become a magician,
or perhaps a man like Allan Shaw! A master! How many years
would it take? What did it matter? Time was only relative. I would
study, learn and practice. Closeted for hours alone in my room,
I would practice every moment when I had the time available to
do so. I recall one morning my mother, in those days an early
riser, came downstairs one morning to find me practicing in front
of the sideboard mirror, and exclaimed, "You are up early this
morning, son." I replied, "I haven't been to bed yet, mother." I was
not conscious of the passing time, so intent was I on learning
to become a magician.
In a commendable, though naturally an amateurish way, I
copied ray idol, Allan Shaw, and dreamed of that other man in the
book, T. Nelson Downs, in the far-off land of America. Only six
months passed when my chance suddenly came. I was launched
on a professional career as young Dante, "King of Koins." Such
was my egotism and superb lack of modesty that I proclaimed my-
self the King, but in my heart I can now truthfully say I never felt
that I was any more than a poor and inferior imitation of Shaw.
Later I had the opportunity and pleasure of seeing Owen Clark
present the Maskelyn and Devant show in Sydney, Australia, and
when fairly dexterous (for my years and the time spent) in card
manipulating, gleaned mostly from the books of Thurston and
Erdnase, I became the self-crowned King, not alone of coins, but also
"King of Kards." I have before me as I write the evidence of this
naive guilt, a newspaper clipping relating to these early perform-
ances. Fortunately, as my knowledge of cards and dexterity grew,
my self-bestowed titles were allowed to diminish to more sensible
proportions.
The Author.
x x i
THE PRINCIPLES OF MAGIC
The principles of magic are very definite things indeed, and
each and every one has a very essential application, as I shall at-
tempt to show.
Magicians, those who practice the art of magic, often do so
without being aware that magic has a set of principles on which
the art they practice is founded. This is undoubtedly because
magic may be and is often acquired, practiced and taught without
knowledge of or reference to its principles; nevertheless, the prin-
ciples are present even though some may not be fully aware of them.
I believe a comprehensive understanding is equipment that will not
fail to recompense anyone for the study.
Perhaps you may have a right to question ray authority for
stating that this or that is a principle of magic, and because I am
concerned with what you think, I shall try to prove ray point on
a basis of logic.
Music, as we are better aware, has recognized principles on
which that art is founded, but it is also practiced by many without
any training or knowledge of these things; that is, they cannot
read music. That, to some extent, is not unlike the magician who
may build an illusion and present it, often very commendably,
without knowledge of the principles embraced. To ascertain each
and every principle that magic is comprised of will require much
care and research. I trust you will find the list I give complete.
My method is to carefully search the different types of magical
effects, define and enumerate the principles upon which each is
founded, and by that means I hope to embrace them all. For example,
I shall take a few effects that embrace principles that differ from
each other. The first example: If you see a magician tie a knot
in a handkerchief and later the knot disappears, what would you
say was the principle embraced in this procedure? Disappearance?
No, because disappearance is not a principle, but an effect. Or to
put it more clearly, the principles of magic which permitted the
illusion of disappearance of the knot to be effected were in fact
two, falsification and manipulation, for, you know, the knot was
never tied.
For our second example, a lady enters a box, the box is locked,
a moment later the lady makes her appearance elsewhere and the
box is shown to be empty. Again the effect is disappearance and
reappearance, but the principles that permitted these effects to be
brought about in a magical manner were false partition and con-
cealed mechanism, for the box in this example had an extra con-
cealed bottom to which was attached the back, and the mechanism
permitted the bottom to take the place of the back when the box
was closed, and thus permitted the girl to hide behind the newly
formed back, lying on the part that formed the back before the girl
entered the box. Another principle besides false partition and con-
cealed mechanism was involved because the girl, in reality hidden
behind the false partition of the box, apparently walked on the stage
from the wing and before the box had left our sight. This principle
22
is duplication. The girl who walked on stage sufficiently resembled
the girl who disappeared to be mistakenly identified as the same
one that vanished.
A handkerchief disappears from a water bottle or decanter at
the command "Go!", and instantly reappears in another glass-stop-
pered bottle held by an assistant. The principles underlying this
effect are again concealed mechanism, and also manipulation, for
the performer manipulated the "sleeve pull" to cause the first
handkerchief to leave the first decanter by way of its neck and pass
quickly up his sleeve, and the assistant released the spring pull
that rapidly caused the duplicate handkerchief to be drawn through
an opening in the rear side of the stoppered bottle into its in-
terior, by the thread passed through a tiny hole in the bottom of
the bottle, so in addition to the principles of concealed mechanism
and manipulation, the principle of duplication is also employed.
I believe we can also safely add the principle of falsification, for
the bottle, held by the assistant, was falsified by having a hole cut
in its side and a hole drilled in its bottom for the thread to pass
through.
The performer places a girl on a table, and after covering her
with a sheet causes her to rise into the air off the table. The table
is pushed aside, a hoop passed over the girl, and lo! at a command
the girl vanishes. The sheet, under which her form could be plainly
discerned, flutters empty in the air. The audience looks at the table
to see if she could have been exchanged for something more easily
disposed of than flesh and blood, but no, the table is far too thin
and innocent for this contingency. The principles that permit this
illusion to be sustained are substitution, concealed mechanism, ma-
nipulation and camouflage. Substitution of a wire form for the girl
during the interval that the girl was hidden from view by the
manipulation of the sheet; the secret mechanism employed to per-
mit the form to be substituted for the girl on the table as the girl
passed through the elastic trap in the table top into the table; the
camouflage principle that makes a thing look thinner than it is by
constructing bevels that taper to the sides from the center, decor-
ating and making the table appear much thinner than it really is;
the secret arrangement of the threads that permitted a solid hoop
to be passed unmistakably and completely over the suspended form.
A glass jug is seen to be full of milk. A large portion of the milk
is poured into a cone made from a sheet of paper. The jug is seen
three parts empty after the act of pouring is discontinued. The
paper is unrolled and tossed away. It is empty; the milk seemed to
vanish. The principles that permitted this to be accomplished were
false partition and manipulation. The jug has a transparent cellu-
loid partition which is cemented inside the jug to within a space
of a quarter of an inch of its sides, and secured firmly to the bottom
by cement. When the jug is tilted to imitate the act of pouring the
milk into the paper cone, the milk runs into the celluloid container
from between the space outside the container on the inside of the
jug, satisfying the appearance of the milk being poured. The prin-
ciples embraced by this effect are therefore imitation, false parti-
tion and manipulation.
23
A glass jug full of water, together with several empty glasses,
stands on a tray. From the jug the magician pours the water, but
as it reaches the glass it changes to a different colored liquid which
the magician designates as wine. The principle is manipulation if
the magician manipulated the chemicals in pellet form into the
glasses, or preparation if he prepared the glasses with the chemicals
beforehand. In presenting the chemical change as an illusion of
turning water to wine, he would be depending on them being
uninformed on the subject of chemical reactions. If they were so
enlightened they could not concede anything unusual. There would
be no phenomenon.
The principles of chemistry, like those of mechanics, optics,
electronics, acoustics or other sciences, are often used in magic
to advantage. They cannot, however, be considered principles of
magic any more than a pot of paint used to camouflage some piece
of apparatus, for in such an instance the paint plays a parallel role.
The principles of magic, as I will show, are: (1) Manipulation,
(2) Substitution, (3) Duplication, (4) Camouflage, (5) Imitation,
(6) Partition, (7) Concealed mechanism, (8) Arrangement, (9)
Preparation and (10) Falsification. With these ten formidable de-
vices I believe that all magic is accomplished.
The magic itself, the illusion, is: (1) Transference, (2) Trans-
position, (3) Disappearance, (4) Appearance, (5) Penetration, (6)
Restoration, (7) Change, (8) Levitation, (9) Suspension, (10) Elon-
gation, Contraction, or Distortion.
They are the psychological effects the magician aims to create
in the minds of his audience, and should not be confused with the
aforesaid principles, which are the fundamentals, the tools as it
were, to create the illusion of the latter.
A knowledge of the laws of Magnetism, Electricity, Electronics,
Optics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Chemistry, Mathe-
matics, Mechanics and Accoustics serves the magician in bringing
about a state of illusion.
(1) Misdirection, (2) Sustained Attention, (3) Diverted Atten-
tion, (4) Restriction, (5) Repetition, (6) Conclusion, (7) Climax, (8)
Anti-Climax, (9) Mannerism, (10) Surprise, (11) Expectancy, (12)
Memory, (13) Mnemonics, (14) Reconstructive Imagination, (15)
Dramatics and (16) Humor are the abstract or psychological fac-
tors that aid in its accomplishment.
All our senses are subject to illusionSeeing, Hearing, Touch-
ing, Tasting and Smelling. Every mental concept is formed from
the sensations received through these organs, and it is not given
either to reason or innate understanding that sensations are received
by other means, or that concepts can be formulated otherwise.
Whenever phenomena seem apparent, it is well to reason that
all things are explainable by natural laws, though the explanation
may not always be within the limited comprehension or immediate
understanding.
24
For example, let us suppose that ten magicians, thoroughly pro-
ficient in their art, were to witness the performance of a mentalist
(as we regard this term), after being thoroughly searched and
locked in a room with the magicians, read a page from any book
previously selected by the said magicians and handed to his sponsor,
stationed in another room apart from the mentalist. If the mentalist
read or wrote down the words from the page of the book selected
and also described all things accurately shown to the sponsor,
would that be Telepathy, thought projection, or just a good illu-
sion? When something is performed that cannot be immediately
explained, it is no criterion for supposing it to be contrary to
natural law. This illusion could be performed by the sponsor be-
ing in cahoots, and an expert telegraphist, using apparatus for
sending out a wave of high amplitude of a frequency above the hear-
ing ability of the average person, or more specifically, the said
magicians. The only ability the pseudo mentalist would require is
a knowledge of the Morse code and a hearing of unusual pitch,
enabling him to hear about eighteen thousand cycles per second.
I have met such men, but not among magicians.
The pitch or frequency audible to normal hearing cuts off
sharply at about eight thousand cycles per second, so another
baffling phenomenon is explained by the principles of concealed
mechanism.
MANIPULATION
Manipulation is the manner in which an object is handled to
create an illusion in the mind of a spectator, or aid in its crea-
tion; i. e., to cause belief that something really occurred that did
not, due in the main to the manner in which the object was handled
or manipulated. There are many examples that may be cited: (1)
unsuspectedly loading a glass from a secret well in the table into
a hat as the hat is taken from the table; (2) cutting and restoring
a turban; and of course the multitude of card, coin, ball, thimble,
handkerchief, watches and cigarette routines, etc., etc.
SUBSTITUTION
Substitution, the second principle of magic, is sometimes de-
pendent to an extent on manipulation, such as when connected with
small objects as in the card and cigarette illusion when the pre-
pared cigarette is secretly exchanged or substituted for the bor-
rowed cigarette. But substitution also applies to substituting one
assistant for another, exemplified by an assistant garbed in suit-
able costume as the performer, and under the pretense of remov-
ing a screen, or substituting a wire frame for a female assistant
stretched out on the table as in "Asra," or making the top change
with cards, etc.
DUPLICATION
Duplication, the third principle of magic, is exemplified in
all illusions in which doubles are essential to the effect, and like-
wise in the smaller illusions such as the quarter stack or passing
25
a fan of cards through the knees where a fan of cards is really
in each hand. There is an almost endless stream of examples that
may be related here.
CAMOUFLAGE
Camouflage, the fourth principle of magic, is the art of dis-
guise, of making something appear different from what it really
isa table that is six inches deep to appear to have a depth of per-
haps only three inches, or a box to be empty when it has a flap, or
a shelf usually at an angle, with a gold or silver bar to conceal
its edge, or a cabinet with a mirror which makes you believe you
see the whole inside when in fact you see only half and again the
same half reflected, or a sheet of glass at an angle and the lights
arranged to let you see through it one moment and to see reflected
light the next. Optics play an important part in camouflaging. Lot's
wife, the pillar of salt, is an example. Or a half shell to represent
a billiard ball. Or black art.
IMITATION
Imitation, the fifth principle of magic, may be exemplified by
the imitation of sounds created by another source than that from
which they appear to emanate, as in the bell under the glass illusion,
an imitation hand that holds the blind or curtain while the real hand
rings the tambourine behind it, etc., etc.
FALSE PARTITION
False partition is the sixth principle of magic. All cabinets,
boxes, platforms, cages, glasses and other things that have a parti-
tion secretly arranged to conceal for the purpose of effecting an
exchange appearance or disappearance or transformation, or per-
haps to hide some secret mechanism or contrivance that plays a use-
ful part in an illusion. False partition and camouflage often go to-
gether, but not necessarily.
CONCEALED MECHANISM
Concealed mechanism, the seventh principle, is exemplified by
the clockwork pack in the rising cards, or the thread which like-
wise causes the spectator's cards' timely appearance, or the mech-
anism that causes the lady to float through space, or that which
permits the coin to appear at the end of your wand, or the
cigarette to appear in your cigarette holder, etc.
FALSIFICATION
Falsification, the eighth principle of magic, is exemplified by
things that are something else quite different from the things
they appear to be, such as a bowl of goldfish with black silk around
the bowl placed inside of another bowl with a hollow stem so
that it looks like a bowl of ink, but appears as what it really is when
the silk is suddenly pulled down the table leg. Or the pigeons
26
caught in the air, really being only feathers on springs pushed
out and pulled back into the rod supporting the net as a pigeon
is released to synchronize with the disappearance of the feathers.
ARRANGEMENT
Arrangement is the ninth principle of magic, and is exempli-
fied in Paul Curry's card illusion, "Out of This World," wherein
the red and black cards are separated from each other, or the
"Cards from Four Pockets," or the Howard Thurston arrangement
so often credited to Si Stebbins. Other illusions besides those with
cards depend on the principle of arrangement. Arrangement must
not be conflicted with preparation, for we may prepare a single
thing, but to arrange there must be more than one, and it must be
arranged with relation to others. Therefore, I have concluded that
the tenth principle of magic is preparation.
PREPARATION
Preparation is exemplified in the "Card Found in the Cigar-
ette," "Long and Short Cards," "Dollar Bill and Lemon," "Rabbit
from a Hat," or a thousand and one such items.
Without these fundamental principles, the pillars of illusion,
there would be no magic. This may be perhaps less obvious to
some magicians than others. Many may prefer to enumerate other
things and consider them principles. Others may ask, "What about
mental magic, mindreaders, etc." To this the answer isall mental
magic is dependent on those things that I have already defined
as principles, or that is my contention and experience. You must
really think, and think very deeply, to get a clear and proper under-
standing of these concepts, and not confuse them with the things
of lesser import. For example, misdirection or concealment is a
consequence, perhaps of certain types of manipulation such as
palming, or it may be dependent on the principle of camouflage
or the principle of false partition. It is a desirable result, a conse-
quence of a principle, but not in itself a principle.
MISDIRECTION
In "The Secrets of Conjuring" Robert Houdin tells about mis-
direction, and most authors who have written about magic since
Houdin's day have more or less been content to pass on his teach-
ings on this subject.
In the hope of clarifying the existing confusion on this im-
portant subject, I have searched the magic literature and diction-
aries without avail or agreement with those matters taught as mis-
direction. It does seem, to my way of thinking, to have been dis-
turbingly misapplied to magic. Mismeaning as a prefix, wrong.
Therefore, misdirectionmeaning wrongly directed. If you agree
on this definition, then let us further consider in magic termin-
ology directed attention and misdirected attention. Whether it be
one person's thoughts or many is of no consequence for the moment.
27
If a performer by some means has directed the thoughts of his
audience to the conclusion that he has done something which he
has not done, he has wrongly directed them into this belief, hence,
misdirection. It may be construed that all magic is misdirection;
however, I disagree with this contention.
We are not at this moment concerned with the technique or
methods employed in misdirection, for they may be many and
varied to suit the occasion, but I do propose to show that the term
misdirection is wrongly applied when it embraces what is definable
as diverted attention. For example, a disturbance of some kind takes
place on one side of the stage so that the audience will not be
cognizant of the fact that the performer left the stage for a moment.
That, to my mind, is stretching misdirection beyond its normal dic-
tionary confines without occasion or gain, for this is an example
of diverting attention.
Diverting attention is sufficiently important in itself not to
be embraced by the term misdirection. Pickpockets and their con-
federates often start a fight so that they divert attention from
the act of picking the pockets of the spectators, which is then
more apt to succeed. Magicians have many subtle means at their
command for diverting attention at a crucial moment from the pro-
cedure under observation.
Surprise is one method that is sure to succeed in diverting
attention, whether it be occasioned by the sudden appearance of
a ball, card, thimble or rabbit. This newly found interest on the
part of his audience provides the performer with the needed second
or two of diverted attention while he secures the next load. Woe
betide the performer who attempts to secure the required load
without having first diverted attention from the place of procure-
ment. The only person that will be fooled is in all probability the
performer if he should attempt it, unless, of course, there is some
other suitable means of coverage provided.
There is one other word that is equal in importance to mis-
direction and diverted attention. That is sustained attention. It is
useful when you have something in one hand which the audience
believes is in the other, and by some simple act you are thus en-
abled to dispose of it under cover of picking up an object from the
table, or taking something to be used from your pocket. You center
the attention of your audience on your closed empty hand while
you casually dispose of the object in the other. This is really
sustained attention, and has nothing in common with misdirection
or diverted attention, except that they are all important abstract
things in the magician's art. Some writers of magic literature con-
sider misdirection as a fundamental principle of the magician's art;
with this I do not agree. Important as misdirection is, I can only
consider it as a consequence, a necessary result.
CONCEALMENT
By this I mean to hold in your hand an object in such a man-
ner that its presence passes unsuspected. There are two ways in
28
which this may be accomplished. One is by the very naturalness
of the position of your hand, at ease, while concealing a ball, a coin
or a card. The second is by the sheer impossibility of the position
of the hand to retain the object, while you actually do retain it.
To clarify this I am compelled to disagree with my contempor-
aries. In billiard ball manipulative practices it has always been
most forcibly brought to bear that the hand should always be nat-
ural. But practice has taught me the error of this, even more
forcibly. I do not believe that these writers always intend to teach
what their printed words convey, for I have observed many do
the things quite contrary to their teachings.
The subject of naturalness is often over-emphasized. For ex-
ample, you have a ball concealed and are showing first your empty
left hand, and then your empty right hand, after transferring the
ball from one hand to the other. I don't care how adroitly you do
this, it is not a natural move, nor is it intended or expected to be.
There is a certain license that you may take. You are a person
creating illusion by the practice of ball manipulating, and are not
expected to conform to orthodox procedure or do things naturally.
Your success or failure will depend on the artistic manner in
which you produce the illusion and the degree the illusion you are
presenting baffles your audience. However, there is a great deal to
be said in favor of the deceptiveness of any move that is natural
over one that is not natural, or should I say unorthodox, for with
practice any move becomes natural.
I admit audiences are more easily led into believing or accept-
ing something that they are accustomed to rather than something
contrary to it. For example, a ball is placed in the left hand by
the right hand. The simplicity of this act seems to offer no room
for deception, unless the act is marred by the clumsy retraction
of the ball on the part of the performer. Let us suppose the per-
former has expertly palmed the ball in the right hand while ap-
pearing to place the ball into the left hand, and the right hand has
assumed an at ease posture that has all the elements of natural-
ness. The effect then produced is that the ball was placed into the
left hand and is being concealed there. However, if the ball had
rested on the fourth finger and thumb of the partly closed hand,
the left hand also held partly closed and inverted so the fourth
fingers of each hand are touching one another, the right hand when
partly opened so the ball drops into the right hand, and the left
hand closes as if it caught the ball when actually the ball was
palmed in the right hand, an equally startling illusion may be
thus created, and perhaps even more convincingly, that the ball was
transferred to the left hand while actually retained in the right
hand. However, the moves had no semblance to natural ones at
all. Do you see my point? The move I last described is taught herein.
I believe it to be the most convincing transfer given.
Then is it clear that naturalness has an important place, but
should be accepted as a flexible rule rather than one to dominate
any and every situation.
29
I recommend that you practice all the moves you wish to em-
brace in your performances until they can be done with as equal ease
and facility as you perform those which you consider as natural
moves.
There are situations in great numbers where the moves and
methods are quite unnatural, if by natural we mean that which we
are taught through our lives to accept as orthodox.
Just keep in mind that you are an illusionist, and the effect
sought is illusion. The manner in which you create the illusion
is secondary to its sustained intensity.
Your ability as a performer and artist will assuredly be judged,
in the main, on the streamlined artistry with which you give your
performance, and the magnitude and the intensity with which the
illusion is sustained in the minds of your audience, and not on how
natural or unnatural you are or do things.
THE ENTERTAINMENT VALUE
In the presentation of magic on a stage, platform, in a drawing
room or on the floor of a night club there is one thing common to
each and all of which, when it is summed up, the result may be
expressed as entertainment value. In itself this is a very complex
thing, and it cannot be judged as many often do on laughs alone.
There is quite a difference between being amused and being en-
tertained. You may listen to a wonderful singer and not be amused,
though thoroughly entertained. Let us imagine for a moment
that the act is that of a magician. The music commencesthe stage
lights are onthe curtain rises on a pleasing stage setting. The per-
former, confident and smartly dressed, enters at the right moment,
and he receives a round of applause. Why? Has he done anything
more than enter? I think sohe has already entertained. The music,
setting, approach, his attire and confident, though perhaps modest,
manner have immensely pleased his audience. They are made ready
to receive what he has to offer. They already feel that here is a
performer that will not disappoint them. He has secured favorable
attention. That is the basis of every good act that has ever ap-
peared publicly. Remember, I said favorable attention, for he may
have done many things to secure attention, but it could have been
unfavorable and not to their liking.
In the case at hand, the performer is a magician. Therefore,
it behooves him to prove the point, not by a long monologue, but
by some piece of business that will change the favorable atten-
tion to one of interest. This may be done in many ways, but pref-
erably by a vehicle that has novelty, is neither too long nor too
brief, has a very simple plot and a surprise climax. You may
find a hundred such effects at handthe handkerchief and the
water bottles; the gloves to a dove; the vanishing and reappear-
ing cane; or the cards to pocket. These are a few that meet the
necessary requirements, while the thumb tie, the passe bottles,
the die box and such effects may be tremendous in their place,
30
but entirely unsuitable as openers for the reasons heretofore given.
The plot is too long, and the favorable attention secured at the
beginning is likely to sag rather than change to interest.
Let us consider that the right effect for our audience has been
performed in a correct, streamlined fashion, and the interest of
our audience is now assured if we do naught to change it. We
can now take a little levity and present some effect that we know
to be good but would not have been as successful as an opener
as it will now because of the interest that is now apparent. We
can feel it. The hushed silence, that expectancy, propels itself
towards us from the audience. They are willing to listen and be
attentive to what we have to say and show them. We must not
disappoint them. Our tricks have all been selected with the taste
of a connoisseur, and in that manner we must serve them. The
whole show must not be too long, nor too short, but just right,
and with the proper climax.
How long a performance should be is another problem. Some
magicians can give a two hour show that is too short for all his
audience. Another may be on stage only eight minutes and it is
too long, but his act might have been excellent if cut to six min-
utes. Some people have the natural attributes for public perform-
ance, but most of us have to work, and work really hard for years
to acquire even a small degree of real success. Experience is es-
sential, however, to each and every one of us, so when you have
organized and arranged the show as you think it should be, and
given to it the practice to be reasonably assured of the results,
put it on, and if it is not the success you expected, try to find
out what was wrong, and continue to try and try again. That is
what almost every performer that got any place worth mentioning
had to do. A few items for the start, and you can add, change or
subtract as you gain more experience. If you have the qualities
essential to a performer in your system, experience is the only
thing to develop them. Experience develops assurance, both in
yourself and in your audience.
Confidence is seldom lacking in the amateur. He is usually
overconfident and given to very much overrating his own limited
ability. This is really a particular brand of ignorance, a lack of
knowledge of the real technique and a proper understanding of
the requirements of the art. You have heard the saying, "Fools
rush in where angels fear to tread." Nervousness is something
quite apart from confidence. Many of the greatest artists of the
day in all fields of theatrical performances are nervous just be-
fore going on stage. This is probably brought about by anxiety,
the true artist being fully aware of what is expected of him, and
as he is always anxious to do his very best, the slightest imper-
fection while doing so is tremendously magnified in his mind.
Things that are so small the audience seldom notices them can
tear his sensitive soul almost apart. When you begin to take your
performances that seriously, you are entering, if you have not
already arrived, at the shrine.
The one thing that seems more important than any other single
thing to a performer presenting magic is good posture. The finest
31
clothes made cannot cover up its absence. Any man or woman
with good posture can often wear clothes well which on others
would create unsought amusement. Good posture can be cultivated
by all of us, whether big or small, tall or thin, fat or short. It is
the way we stand, the gestures we make with our hands and arms,
and how we shift our bodies. Believe me, this is really something
to take note of. It is what instantly tells the audience as you walk
out if you are really a performer or just aspiring to become one.
Not all performers with professional experience have good pos-
ture; seldom do we see an amateur of short stage experience abun-
dant with it.
Dress is something else apart from posture. The performer
should be well tailored. Unless there is some special reason for
deviating from this rule, he should always look well to his attire
throughout, and see to it that he is well and perfectly groomed
in the smallest detail.
The stage setting is something else, and is not always within
or fully under the performer's control. However, when practicable,
it should be in keeping with his dress and of the best materials he
can afford.
I would strongly recommend that every amateur aspiring to
stage performances secure some practice with a microphone. Dur-
ing my own stage career we did not have these desirable devices.
However, I do know that it is a great mistake to continually handle
this instrument as a convience for your hands to rest. Leave the
microphone alone. The talking part of your act should be done
through the microphone, and you must judge the pitch of your
voice according to the distance your performance compels you to
move away from it, so that the vocal sounds emitted from the
speakers will be as nearly as possible of similar volume. Don't leave
this to chance. It should be practiced.
There is one thing more of importance which I wish to say to
every magician. Go to see the performances of the top dramatic
actors and ask yourself why they do this and do that. Note their
posture, how they turn and walk and sit, where they stand while
talking. Note all these details and how they pitch their voices, and
ask yourself why? Why? There is a real and thoroughly logical
reason. This is their art, and you can get free lessons from an
audience seat if you are observant and really want to know. I re-
member many years ago I went to see the performances of Fred
Niblo, the American actor, many times just to see him enter and
hand his hat, cane and gloves to the butler, walk into the room and
acknowledge first the company and then the audience. I was posi-
tively thrilled. I felt the blood tingle in my head and veins, and
by the reception accorded his entrance I knew I was not alone in
my feeling.
I sincerely trust that you may benefit somewhat from these few
crumbs of theatrical wisdom, and remember, it all sums up to en-
tertainment value, and there are more ways of entertaining an audi-
ence besides amusing them and making them laugh.
32
SHOWMANSHIP
Webster defines the term: skillful display by or as by a show-
man; also, gift for such display.
In the final analysis, perhaps this definition is adequate, but
somehow it seems too meager, failing to convey the importance
the term deserves. It does not seem to distinguish between the
different degrees of presentation, for it says skillful display as
by a showman. Showman is defined as one who exhibits, so we may
reason from this premise and rightly say that showmanship is de-
fined by Webster as a skillful display by an exhibitor. I have wit-
nessed many skillful exhibitions of magic that I would not call
showmanship.
Whenever I refer to a magician as a showman I have in mind
a person skilled in stagecraft who clearly understands and prac-
tices how to weigh, judge and sway an audience and play on their
emotions to advantage, being at all times equal to any incident of
the occasion. A thoroughly efficient master of the stage.
I have seen great showmen who were not very capable magi-
cians, and I have seen great artists who were weak on showmanship.
These artists possessed so much real talent and skill in their art
that any showmanship, as heretofore stated, seemed unnecessary.
They were proficient in their presentation to the "nth" degree,
and that sufficed. There was no need of any bluff or fanfare, so
dear to the heart of showmen and so necessary to the art of show-
manship, when he takes six rabbits from a mechanical box and sells
you a miracle!
SLEIGHT OF HAND
Everyone interested in sleight of hand should own a copy of
"Magic Without Apparatus" by Camille Gaultier. This book of
Gaultier's offers the student a priceless fund of knowledge, means
and ways of successful men of magic with cards, coins, billiard
balls, cigarettes and thimbles. In my humble opinion it is the most
complete work of its kind thus far published.
From experience I have found that it is better at the beginning
to become proficient in the sleight that one intends to use rather
than divide the practice time on numerous sleights that will seldom,
if ever, be used when mastered. This I find particularly so with
coin sleights. Coins are more difficult to master than cards or any
other small objects are to the same degree of proficiency. I shall
be content to offer only such ways of handling coins as I have
found the most desirable. The credit for several of these moves
in the main belongs to T. Nelson Downs, and though some of the
moves have been previously described by others, I trust that the
descriptions and photo engravings herein will serve in a measure
as an aid to proficiency rather than a mere reiteration.
Remember that in presenting an act with coins you desire to
create illusion, not show how dexterously you can juggle the coins.
33
I must say that with some performers this is not always so. Where
I have found that four or five coins suffice to produce the desired
effect, I use only that number, and will not be misled into using
a dozen to illustrate to you how dexterous I am, for then you may
be more apt to fall into the same error.
Believe me, it is really more difficult to master the sleights
with a single coin than it is to do so with several, the reason often
being that the hand is more likely to be suspected if it is poised
at all unnaturally when one coin only has disappeared than it would
be if several had similarly vanished together. Therefore, I recom-
mend that you master the passes with one coin until you are thor-
oughly proficient. To illustrate what can be accomplished with
practice, I no longer find it difficult to back palm ten American
dollars with either the right or the left hand, or front palm the
same number, secreting them, all ten "Downs palmed" under the
thumb with the palm facing the audience, and produce them one
by one at the fingertips, with the palm facing the audience. I men-
tion this, not as a palming feat to be duplicated, but to show what
can be done. It' s practical value in the main is to strengthen the
hand muscles and develop speed and ease of transfer from fingers
to palm, and vice versa.
SOMETHING NEW
Magicians are continually hankering after something new and
easy to do. In the first place, almost any effect may be revamped
and dressed in your own personality and served to the customers
as a decidedly new effect. Popularity often ages a new effect soon
after it is born, particularly when it can be readily imitated with
little practice and no great expense. Effects that can be produced
by simple methods are usually dangerous to build your reputation
on, because every Tom, Dick and Harry who can shuffle a pack
of bridge cards can add it to his repertoire with very little effort.
Therefore, I say perform the effects that require some study and
practice and are not necessarily easy to acquire and perform. Your
reputation as a magician then rests on firmer soil.
So-called critics, who often do not know the rudiments of stage-
craft, condemn the methods of this or that effect because it is diffi-
cult to do and takes practice, and they all too often acclaim effects
because of the ease with which they may be acquired, without re-
flecting at all on what a difficult effect, once mastered, really
does for a performer. Having read a few books or magazines, and
acquired a meager knowledge, some want to be considered experts
without practice, study and hard work. Let us review any other
profession, for instance music, painting, engineering, medicine,
chemistry, dentistry. Reflect for a momentwhy can anyone join
a magical society and call himself a magician simply because he
does a few tricks? Is a man a musician because he plays a few airs
or tunes on the piano or mouth organ or player piano? The latter
in most instances is a far better comparison. I believe that anyone
should have to earn the right to be called a magician by the per-
formances he gives, and what he really knows about the practice
of magic.
34
Some writers of today pirate anything they think will serve
their pamphlets or books, sometimes changing an effect that takes
their fancy by using Kings instead of Aces or using a red deck in-
stead of a blue, or some other less obvious change in the method
to produce the same, already well-planned effect. They usually have
little knowledge of existing methods and they often ignorantly be-
lieve a simple change here or there entitles them to steal some
masterly principle or effect of another magician and then often
publish it as their own. This sort of thing is so apparent in so many
of these current cheaply produced books by irresponsible authors.
Magic is an art, and requires an intellectual approach to its
principles; but like music, it has that which attracts all kinds of
dabblers who wish to run before they learn to walk. Magic most
certainly does offer a reward almost instantly for the merest
tyro. This I think is unfortunate for magic. There is little, if any-
thing, that can be done about it because it puts dollars in the deal-
ers' pockets and helps swell the lists of club members of the magic
societies. To the professional magician or author of magic books
it provides a clientele for his wares, and these things have their
advantages. If they are not the kind of advantage to be taken by
choice, they do have their compensations.
Magic as an art is all right as a statement, but defining it as
such is quite a different story. We say that this book or that dis-
closes certain fundamental principles of magic. Exactly what do
we mean, and do authors really mean what they say"fundamental
principles?"
INVENTION
It would be nice if all magicians could and would invent the
tricks they use, but, being human, this is not likely to ever be the
case. It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flat-
tery, but it is an expensive flattery for the magician who has spent
many months, or even years, working to complete a routine or
an act, only to have it copied and performed publicly for profit
by some usurper.
Many magicians would invent some, if not all, of their effects
if they knew how. Now I do not know if inventing is something
that can be taught or acquired, but in those to whom there is a dor-
mant faculty, perhaps a way may be shown how to bring this
sleeping talent to life. With this thought in mind, I shall proceed
to outline what seems to me important and essential.
To begin with, there are only twelve effects possible that I
know of which are useful in accomplishing a magical result, and
these areas follows: (1) production, (2) disappearance, (3) suspen-
sion, (4) levitation, (5) change without disappearance, (6) secret
communication, (7) escape, (8) restoration, (9) penetration, (10)
transference, (11) elongation, (12) contraction. Before we con-
tinue, let us analyze these things in their enumerated order.
35
Production is anything produced in a mysterious manner, such
as mysterious raps or sounds on a table, or the more material ap-
pearance of a silk, ball or girl from nowhere, or a rabbit from an
empty hat, etc., etc.
Disappearance a card or a ball or a girl suddenly vanishes,
etc.
Transposition is the combined results of appearance and dis-
appearance. These two amply explain most transpositions. However,
I believe there are transpositions made with manipulation wherein
there is no disappearance or appearance as an effect is accom-
plished, so for the sake of completeness let us add transference
as in the classic card effects "Cards to Pocket," "Ten and Ten,"
"Thirty Cards and Committee."
Suspension is when some object is suspended either in the air
or on the points of swords. It differs from levitation because the
latter conveys to mind that the object is in motion and while in
motion it is levitated, and when the motion is stopped it is sus-
pended, perhaps without any apparent support, such as the levita-
tion of Princess Karnac, or the suspension of a girl on the points
of swords, or the zombie glasses, performed by Jack Gwynne.
Change without disappearancethe ink to water or the wine
and water changes.
Secret communication is the act of conveying or obtaining
knowledge by secret methods, such as code, in which the question
conveys the information for the answer, or by prearranged signals
expressed in silence, or by wireless or other mechanical or elec-
trical means, or other secretly employed mechanisms.
Escapeas from a box or handcuffs or cell, etc.
Restoration as when a rope is cut or a card is torn or a hand-
kerchief is burnt in part or whole, etc. It may be argued that this
is simply appearance and disappearance, but the effect is restora-
tion.
Penetrationas the card or cigarette through the handkerchief,
etc.
Transference, as in the cards to pocket, or a woman shot from
a cannon to a box in the dome of the theater.
Elongationstretching a woman, a coin or your finger.
Contractionthe diminishing cards, etc.
The effects that may be produced, while numerous, are limited
much more so than may be at first suspected. I shall give you a
list of effects with cards. It is not intended to be complete, but
to serve only as a helpful guide for your future information and
help you in the process of inventing new and useful tricks.
36
TALKING ACTS VERSUS SILENT ACTS
AND PANTOMIME
Each of the three types has certain advantages. The talking
acts are usually limited to the countries speaking the same langu-
age as the performer does, while silent acts are not. It is quite
apparent that many more effects are possible when not limited
by silence. When the voice is cultured and pleasing much is added
to a performance, but when the opposite is true the general effect
is less pleasing than if performed in complete silence.
If you have a pleasing voice or care to pay the price and time
necessary to cultivate it, then I would recommend that you by all
means do so. If you have not this vocal faculty of a good delivery
and likewise do not care much about its cultivation, then you will
most probably succeed more readily if your performances are given
in silence. If you should find that you have the faculty for pan-
tomime, then by all means develop this desirable talent, for it is
truly rare, and the present number of pantomime acts on magic
are few indeed.
There is a very great difference between a silent act of magic
and a magic act in pantomime. Of the latter I can recall at this
moment only four such actsDick Cardini, the immaculate Eng-
lishman; Sammy Berman, the tramp; Dr. Clutterhouse, the crazy
doctor; and Johnny Platt, the Indian fakir.
There are times when it is good showmanship for a performer
doing a talking act to do some of his bag of tricks in silence, and
I venture to say that during the manipulation of billiard balls
is one of these times. Whenever you work in silence, let the music
speak for you. The soft strains of a catchy waltz tune is always
good for such acts, I think that a magic act should never be given
by choice without musical accompaniment.
THE PRACTICE OF LEAVING THE STAGE UNATTENDED
Now this is where I really stick my neck out, for I am going
to say it is bad showmanship for a performer to leave his stage
unattended, and poor showmanship for him to leave it at all to
enter the audience. Yet I have seen the topnotchers like Thurs-
ton, Dante, Blackstone, Jack Gwynne and a host of others do this
very thing. I do not expect them to agree with me. If they did,
they would not leave their stage. Doing so is a disturbing period
for many of their audience. It is an uninteresting interval, a de-
liberate distraction. Seldom, if ever, do the majority know what is
going on, and many care less. So I say, the performer's place is
on the stage. However, in some instances where the performer has
a bevy of beautiful girl assistants who stand at attention during
the performer's absence in the audience, this does provide a spec-
tacle of interest.
I believe in most instances the performance would suffer less
if the assistants, in place of the performer, could be sent into
the audience to accomplish what purpose the performer desired,
while the performance continues under the performer's direction.
37
ASSISTANTS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Getting people to come from the audience onto the stage is
something that has drawbacks. In the first place, your dignity as a
performer will often suffer to an extent if you are compelled to
beg or plead, and it does not enhance the situation any to wait
more than a few seconds for such response. On a fast-moving vaude-
ville bill any delay of this character is fatal to your future book-
ings.
It is therefore best to arrange with someone already in the
show to oblige you by coming promptly from the audience to the
stage when asked, or arrange for seats and put someone in the
show. Usually one person will suffice. When one comes up, others
will follow.
These assistants are better if left to their own devices and are
not prompted beforehand, or their actions may look prearranged.
For this reason, I specify magicians excepted, or place the magician
in the least important position when on stage. Not that you have
anything to guard against, except that he is most certain to for-
get the card you ask him to remember or act as if afraid to tie your
thumbs or overact the part of an uninformed person on magical
matters, but it is a fact that an audience will quickly detect these
things, and your performance will suffer from it.
FAKES AND ACCESSORIES
One, or even two, half shells are indispensable adjuncts to the
ball act of most manipulators, but you will not find their use men-
tioned herein; first, because I do not have anything to add to that
which has already been published by my contemporaries, and sec-
ond, I consider this very worthy accessory has already been great-
ly overworked, and unless its use is unsuspected even by those
familiar with the practice, the reputation of the magician for using
such aids is in danger of diminishing. I therefore recommend you
the following manipulative practices without the use of shells.
Ball manipulations require considerable practice to do well, and
a portion of the time of each day should be given to practice if
you aspire to the competence of an expert. In these pages I will
reveal to you only the tried and tested methods and the moves that
I have personally found to appeal to audiences, whether they were
comprised of magicians or persons less informed about these things.
I recommend that you be not content to deal only with the practices
set forth herein, but search carefully through the magical litera-
ture of the past years where you will find much that is good about
this art of manipulating balls that has been neglected or forgotten.
The true value of this book lies in what you learn from its
pages, that I may profit by your satisfaction derived from the
things herein. I suggest that at the very beginning of your studies
you formulate a routine, set a purpose in mind that you desire to
accomplish, and with this thought practice the things applicable
to its attainment, rather than try this and that without reason.
38
GIMACS
There are some excellent effects made possible through coins
that have been gimaced and secret accessories, and an excellent
opportunity lies ahead for someone competent to write about
such things, for I am sure there are a lot of magicians to whom
the subject would be of interest. Personally I have steered clear
of these things with few exceptions, not because the illusion cre-
ated is less effective or less entertaining (in fact, these effects
when well performed are often incomprehensible). However I have
seen so many bungle them. I shall always admire them in good
hands, especially the "quarter stack and sales tax"the twenty-one
cents, a dime, two nickels and one cent, the English penny
and the florin to two English pennies, the cent and the dime
and the half dollar and bottle. The shell coins and the folding
half dollars are excellent when properly used, and a hooked coin
is almost indispensable. Another beautiful gadget is a coin fas-
tened to a length of elastic and down the sleeve.
After this talk you may wonder why I am describing to you
a coin clip to use in "The Miser's Dream," so I had better explain.
"The Miser's Dream" is an act of repeating the production of coins
from the air! The manipulation should be very convincing on two
counts; first, that the coin produced is really thrown into the hat,
and second, the hand is definitely empty preceding the production
of the coin. That' s if you would create the maximum illusion pos-
sible for the great majority, if not all, of your audience without
these things being true in fact. So I have created a small gimack
to aid you in bringing this about and will now divulge it to you
for the first time.
The gimac consists of a metal clip painted to blend with
your finger and made to fasten half way around the finger be-
tween the first and second joints of the first finger, from the palm
side. On this metal clip is a wire which passes through holes in
the clip, and to the wire is carefully soldered a silver dollar. The
dollar is fastened so that it may be held up as pictured in the
photo, Fig. 1, by the thumb, and also as pictured by Fig. 2
when released. I think you begin to see the true value of this
gimac. If not, put it on your finger and stand in front of a mir-
ror and produce the coin by pressing on the dollar, then bringing
your hand over the hat. Open the hand so the coin may fall
over and be caught in position as pictured. Like all good things, it
should be used sparingly. About six coins caught in this manner
is sufficient. I find it an advantage to use a shell dollar for this
because of its relative lightness.
ILLUSION
It has always been confusing what name to give the things
magicians perform. "Tricks" sounds to me more like juggling feats
or acrobatics. "Effects" is another word that fails to convey the
proper meaning. From carefully reviewing the situation, I have
concluded that the proper word is "illusion."
39
An illusion is performed with any object, coins, balls, match-
heads, women or tigers. It makes no difference in the final analy-
sis. It still remains an illusion if it is a feat of magic. Though we
have become accustomed to associate the word illusion with some-
thing big, the sense of this breaks down when analyzed. Why
should we not refer to the penny and dime illusion as what it right-
fully is, an illusion? You hold a glass horizontal and lay a dime
inside, near the edge, and en the dime, half covering it, you lay a
penny. Then you turn the glass nearly perpendicular so the coins
slide to the bottom, and lo! The dime is seen to pass clean through
the solid bottom of the glass, and falls on the table, leaving only
the penny in the glass, which can be inspected. I think you will
agree that is an illusion, for the dime fitted neatly into the penny,
which was of course hollowed out to receive it, and the dime was
half a dime and faced with half a penny.
We may have said, what is the effect? But illusion and effect
are not synonomous terms any more than trick and illusion are.
I would say the trick lies in the manufacture, and the illusion in
the performance of seemingly passing the dime through the tum-
bler. Trick, when used synonomously with illusion, is to me de-
basing magic, and effect is lacking in description.
Perhaps magicians of yesteryear considered "illusion" as too
descriptive. It perhaps told too much when they wished to have
their audiences believe they possessed supernatural power and
their feats were above the art of mere illusion. However, today
magicians have no such purpose. We practice the art of illusion,
for (as heretofore stated) without illusion there can be no magic!
Illusion is magic and magic is illusion, and it would be perfectly
proper to say when we want to describe an illusion, what is
the magic! Some wit or cryptographist interchanged the letters of
the word "magic" and said, what's the gimac?
THE PLOT
The plot is different from the illusion, and although many
illusions are presented without any plot, it is usually better to have
a plot when such is possible. Suppose you place a coin in the left
hand, close it and open it, showing that the coin has vanished.
The illusion was perhaps in the coin being placed into the hand
when the coin did not go into the hand at all, or after it was placed
in the hand it may have been secretly manipulated up the sleeve.
Perhaps the illusion was very complete in this manner, and it may
not be improved had it formed or played a part in the plot; that
depends on your ability to conceive a suitable plot for such an
illusion. The plot may be comedy, drama or a simple, apparently
natural result.
TIMING. RHYTHM AND PACE
Timing is one of the most important things in artistic magic,
and is also an indispensable aid to the creation of perfect manipu-
lative illusions with small objects. The fundamentals of good tim-
40
ing should be thoroughly understood by all real magicians, for
without it only mediocrity can exist.
What is meant by timing pace and rhythm I shall try to make
clear by examples.
Suppose the purpose is to count out ten cards. Timing is the
pace at which the cards are counted, while rhythm is the regular-
ity with which the pace is maintained, the beat, so to speak.
The pace with which any magical effect is presented is very
important indeed, and having found by practical presentation to be
correct, the pace should be maintained. This is more difficult to
do than to say, I assure you, and it takes an experienced perform-
er to maintain his own set pace under all circumstances. Some may
contend that different audiences require different speeds. How-
ever, I believe this to be the fault of the presentation; something
therein is lacking; otherwise the pace would not need to be al-
tered, once it is determined by practical experience.
I do not advocate that each and all the effects in an act should
be set at the same pace. A change of tempo is very desirable at
times, and what is right for one effect is not so for another. Like-
wise, one performer may find a quick medium or slow pace best
suited to his methods, while that of another quite the opposite.
But having set the pace for any one effect, it should remain un-
changed throughout, and not be altered at places where it is neces-
sary to make some moves to execute a "top change" or a pass or
"load" a hat or get hold of a pulleverything you do should be
done with the same pace to accomplish the effect sought, and don't
forget the rhythm, the beat.
Now I have heard it explained, mistakenly I believe, that tim-
ing is executing the things you intend to be done secretly, such as
getting a ball from its holder under the coat with one hand as you
are holding attention by some move with the other. However,
though I quite recognize the importance of synchronizing these
moves, I prefer to say that their success magically is dependent
on other things besides timing, in some instances misdirection, in
others sustained attention, and others surprise.
Timing is an important factor in that the pace with which these
things are carried out must not be changed, slowed up or quickened,
for any alteration of the pace will attract attention to itself and
help defeat the purpose sought.
I understand that some performers so well recognize the im-
portance of timing that they do the same things at each and every
performance at exactly the same position on the stage while they
say the self same words or give the same smile, and have the same
bar of music repeated. Each detail is synchronized. You think this
is too mechanical? Oh, no! Rehearsal and practice cures this fault.
The performer must be sure and confident of everything that plays
a part and fully recognize its importance and the effect it will have
on the spectators.
41
I have always admired the East Indian magicians for their
superb timing, and I think we may learn much in this respect
from their performances.
FOOTWORK
The manner in which he moves about the stage is to any per-
former highly important; so important, in fact that it cannot be
ignored or left to chance without dire consequences. For some of
us it is a relatively easy accomplishment to walk and move grace-
fully, but for others it is quite difficult to do at all correctly.
There are specific rules which, when learned and followed, help
make the going more simple.
Some who read this will probably be rattled or a little taken
aback to be told of things they have been doing and, in their own
estimation, getting away withthings that are incorrect, awkward
and clumsy.
Believe me, it is no simple matter, to be lightly disposed of.
Rather, it is a thing to be practiced over and over as you would
a difficult sleight until you can walk on stage and about your
stage and off your stage with grace, easy balance and surety.
Try these simple things first as exercises. Stand up straight
with your hands by your sides and your heels together. Now make
a complete right turn, and then a complete left turn. Well, how
did you fare? Now try it this way. You are standing facing the
audience with your heels together and hands at your sides. Turn
your left foot in so the toe is pointing to the right. Place the
weight of your body on your left foot. Then lift your right foot
and place the toe against the heel of the left foot. The heel of the
right foot is off the floor, and you are now facing about thirty
degrees to the right. Raise up on the balls of your feet and turn
about face. Then draw the right foot back to the left, heels touch-
ing.
Place the left foot forward of the right foot, heel of the left
just beyond the right toe and pointing about forty-five degrees
towards the right. This is a difficult position to sustain, but not
at all difficult, when you shift your weight and turn on the balls of
your feet, bringing your right foot back to the left, heels again
touching. Try this over and over until you can do it with grace,
and not at all in military fashion. The moves should blend into a
rhythmic whole without any jerkiness.
Try similar moves for making a complete left turn. You have
mastered these. Then try this one: A table is at your left side, and
on the table is a book. Pick up the book, carry it five paces to
your right and place it on a chair. How did you fare? Did you do
it gracefully, without excess movements? Did you, on reaching the
chair, find you had an awkward, ungraceful movement of your
feet to complete the movement of placing the book on the chair?
If not, you are doing well. Now place another table ten feet back
of the first table. Standing at the right of the front table, carry
42
an object to the rear table and place it there, and take another
object from that table and carry it to the chair. How did you fare?
Did you follow out the idea that a performer should not turn his
back on his audience? Whoever thought that crazy one up I don't
know, but I do know there is no such rule in good stagecraft. Try
picking up the object from the front table, holding it clear of your
body so it does not pass from the audience's view. Then turn your
back deliberately and walk up stage to your rear table, and place
the object on the table. Turn around and face the audience again.
Of course, if there is any talking to be done, be sure that when
you make your address you are facing the audience.
There are many ways of moving about your stage from table
to table, but the correct one is always the least awkward, the most
graceful method. Each move should be carefully studied and prac-
ticed with adequate care until you can do it without thinking about
it at all.
When you finish your act, try to arrange it so you are not
more than five feet from the exit so you may bow to acknowledge
the applause and then make a graceful exit. If you finish the act
at the center of the stage, be sure your act warrants sufficient ap-
plause for you to take the time to walk to the exit wing and bow
before you exit while the audience is still applauding. That is
why it is always best to finish near the exit; if you do this you
may take an extra bow for the time lost in walking from center
stage.
There is no detail too small or sufficiently unimportant to be
neglected. If I have made you self conscious of your movements on
the stage, then I have accomplished in part my purpose, for I know
you will work to correct any of the details that are at fault.
PRESENTING THE ACT IN PUBLIC
Before an act is ready to present in front of an audience, it is
advisable, if not actually essential, that the intended performer
should already have given some public appearances. One way in
which this may be done is to first thoroughly rehearse one, or at
most two, things until you are perfectly familiar with their rou-
tines and every word you will say and the tempo at which you
will deliver your words. Note the time and properly regulate your
speed. This will require a great deal of practice. Also, make the
conditions under which you rehearse similar to those under which
you will present the routine before your public. When you feel
that you are really quite ready, then and only then arrange for
your performance to be shown, possibly at your club. Don't ask
your magician friends to criticize and tell you about your show at
this stage. Seldom are magicians capable of giving a fair, un-
biased opinion of another magic act, for few indeed really know
the important things that permit an agent to sell an act. Wait un-
til you have had some experience in the presentation before you
seek the opinions of others.
43
There will be many things to improve, unless you are the one
and only exception. You will be far from perfect, and the nearer
you think you are to being a great performer in all probability
will be a fair indication of how far you really fall short of the
mark. Whatever the results, continue to practice and make as many
public appearances as you can. Add something to your routine
when you feel the occasion warrants it if you are equal to doing
so, but don't crowd yourself. Go slowly at first, and always work
towards a routine which you should aim to perfect. Don't be satis-
fied with mediocrity. Remember, one or two things done well are
far better than many done poorly. Don't be always changing, look-
ing for something new. Start off with tried and tested material that
you know others have performed successfully. You can always add
the untried things, one by one, at a later date when you have become
accustomed to working before an audience and remember that an
audience that has paid admission is much more difficult to satisfy
than one that has not. Working on a fast moving vaudeville bill
with other acts is the real test of your ability.
Whenever you are given a choice, get on the program early,
for as the show progresses audiences get more critical than they
are earlier in the evening. Don't bleed your audience. By that I
mean do an act in which each thing you do warrants more applause
than the preceding one. Do not wait unduly long for the ap-
plause to subside, and only wait when it is warranted. You will
succeed better by this method.
44
Principles and Deceptions
CHAPTER TWO
Magic With Coins
45
SLEEVING
This is something that can very easily be overdone. A little
is quite sufficient, even when well done. It is bad, very bad magic
when the execution is poor. Now I propose to tell you a few things
about sleeving which you may already know. In that case, perhaps
the effect will be of interest.
When about to perform any effects in which you use the meth-
ods of sleeving, have your shirt sleeves folded back to the forearm
or else use a tightly buttoned shirt cuff and a full coat cuff so
that there is no likelihood of the coins being impeded or stopped
at the entrance of the coat cuff.
Next, the coin is not thrown up the sleeve, but is carried there
by the momentum of the preceding act, such as a coin on the back
of the left hand moving smartly in the direction of the right hand
is suddenly stopped, and the momentum carries the coin off the
hand as the right hand is timed to cover it, and if the sleeve is
here to receive the coin, up the sleeve it travels.
The next method is the act of closing the hand with a coin
on the fingers, at the same time turning the hand over. The coin is
propelled up the sleeve of the hand which held the coin, without
doing anything more than turning over the hand and closing it,
but of course closing the fingers with the required rapidity to
propel the coin up the sleeve.
Another method is the "pinch". The coin is held on the second
finger of the right hand, and the first finger helps support the coin
The left hand approaches to take the coin, and at the moment the
left hand covers the coin, the thumb of the right hand is pressed
firmly against the edge of the coin. The applied pressure shoots
the coin up the left sleeve.
Another method is to drop the coin out of the hand, letting it
slide down the arm and the sleeve, of course. The back of the
hand is turned towards the audience, while the coin slides out of
the almost closed fist down the forearm and sleeve. Jarrow devel-
oped the art of sleeving to a high degree of perfection. He would
take the makeup of a cigarette (paper and tobacco) in one hand,
vanish them up the sleeve, and extract a made cigarette from the
closed hand. He would also cause a small quantity of salt to leave
one hand and appear in another. Ross Bertram and John Mul-
holland are past masters of sleeving.
A Short Routine In Which Sleeving Plays The Ma/or Part
Hold half a dollar in the right hand between the first and
fourth fingers. On the back of the left hand place a quarter. Move
the left hand from a one-foot distance quickly towards the right
hand held at waist level. Stop the movement of the left hand sud-
denly. The quarter will shoot up the sleeve if this is done correct-
ly, and the onlookers will simply think you have covered up the
quarter with your right hand.
47
SLEEVING {Continued)
The half dollar held in the right hand takes the place of the
quarter. The right hand is lowered to secretly regain possession
of the quarter from the sleeve. By gravity it falls into the half
closed hand. You palm the quarter or hold it as you did the half
dollar. Pick up the half dollar off the back of the left hand with
the thumb and first finger. Drop it into the palm of the left
hand. Close the hand. Open the hand, pick up the half and throw
the quarter into the hand as you palm the half. Close the hand.
Sleeve the half by the act of partly closing the fingers. Let the
right hand be seen empty. Open the left, take out the quarter,
and if borrowed, return it to the lender.
Or you may prefer the second method of changing the half
dollar back to the quarter.
Having changed the quarter to the half dollar on the back of
the left hand, as heretofore described, you pick up the half dollar
off the back of the left hand and lay it on the palm of the left hand,
closing the left hand on the coin as if you intended something to
happen. This gives you the necessary interval to lower the right
hand without attracting any attention. The quarter drops out of
the sleeve into the right hand, and the left hand is opened. As the
right hand is brought up to the left hand again, a quick motion
and a sudden stop of the left hand towards the right hand, impels
the half dollar into the right sleeve.
The hands are brought together and the quarter left on the left
palm. The hands are separated to reveal the quarter where the half
was a second ago.
THE MUSCLE PASS WITH ONE SILVER DOLLAR
The success of this coin pass depends on your ability to palm
a coin and then exert pressure by the thumb muscle to cause the
coin to spring several inches from the palm without any visible
movement of the hands that would cause the coin to spring and
bridge the distance between the two hands several inches apart.
A coin, seemingly placed in the left hand but palmed in the
right (see any of the methods described herein), is vanished, and
the left hand shown empty, back and front. The right hand is
moved up in front of the left. As the left hand is closed and
turned over, the coin palmed in the right hand is sprung and
caught by the left hand as it closes and turns over. A moment later
the left hand is opened and the coin shown therein.
A very deceptive pass when properly carried out.
48
CHINESE COIN MYSTERY
On pages 81 through 88 of Volume 3 of the Tarbell Course
of Magic is an effect, "Ring, Rope and Pin", which you are advised
to read and digest, for the effect I shall describe is an adaptation
of that effect.
The Effect: Performer has a piece of string approximately
three feet in length, and fairly soft, threaded, on a Chinese coin.
The two ends of the string are already tied, and are shown to the
spectators.
The spectators are told that a Chinese magician in the Orient
gave the coin to the performer as a lucky piece for saving his life,
or any other harmless build-up the performer cares to concoct. He
continues to explain that the coin has proven unusually fortunate
for him. He says, "The Chinese prophesied with considerable
truth that while you retained this in your possession you could
never be so unfortunate as to be destitute because, though the
coin itself was perhaps not worth more than one-twenty-fifth of
a cent, you really were not entirely without money. So by this
very sound Chinese logic the boy wearing this coin bestowed it
around my neck. The coin can be put on the string without un-
tying the knot, but it cannot be removed unless the string is cut,
the knot undone or the coin defaced. Let me show you how the
coin is put on the string."
When the performer receives the coin from the spectators, he
proceeds to untie the string and remove the coin. He then reties
the knot in the ends of the string and lays the coin on a plate
on the table. The knot is tied in the string, and someone is asked
to hold the knot. The performer picks up the coin and proceeds to
place it on the string. A moment later he asks the spectator if
he can remove it under the aforesaid conditions. He has given
the spectator an impossible task.
The Working: You never actually take the coin off the string.
You have two coins alike, and here is the manner in which the sec-
ond coin is used.
The Chinese "Kash" is about the same size as an American
quarter or an English shilling, and the duplicate is secreted in
the right hand at the base of the third finger. The knot in the string
is untied.
The two ends of the string are then held between the first
finger and thumb of the right hand while the first finger and thumb
of the left hand takes hold of the coin on the string. The left
hand is held above the right hand.
The right hand lets go the ends which now hang down, and
the right hand is placed around the string, back of hand towards
49
Chinese Coin Mystery
spectators. This brings the thumb and first finger into position
as they would be if taking hold of the coin in the left hand, and
the string is drawn through the right hand, and the duplicate
coin in the right hand is dropped on the plate. This act alone con-
vinces everybody that the coin came off the string. However, the
first finger and thumb of the right hand take hold of the center
of the string and pull it up and over the first finger of the left hand
until only six inches of the two ends hang down. The right hand
takes hold of both ends and passes them under the fourth finger of
the right hand and over the third finger. Then the ends are passed
over and through the thus formed loop, pulling the loop off the
third and fourth fingers, and pulling on the ends, the string is
thus tied in a knot three inches from the end of the string.
All this time the coin on the string was held under the left
thumb against the second finger.
The knotted end of the string is now drawn towards you until
only about four inches of the loop end hang over the first finger
of the left hand.
The right hand takes hold of this loop and passes it over the
first finger and under the second finger of the left hand, and thus
ties a loose knot.
The duplicate coin is taken from the plate, and after it is shown,
it is held on the fingers of the right hand, which catches hold of
the loop and draws the string through the coin to the other knot.
The right hand at the completion of this move should be over the
handkerchief pocket of the coat. The duplicate coin is released
and secretly falls into the pocket.
The string is drawn back again, and then concealing what
you are really doing, the two hands untie the loose knot at the
loop end, the coin is moved down to the middle and the knot retied.
50
A COIN, A RING AND A HANDKERCHIEF
By Harry King
of
King and Ionia
This simple, but excellent effect, Harry King performed at
the I.B.M. meeting in Chicago on February 13th, 1948, complete-
ly mystifying all those present. Several discovered the secret after
they had had time to think it over.
The effect: Two of the audience are invited to hold a fine
linen or silk handkerchief, which the performer provides, by the
four corners. The performer either borrows or removes from his
finger a ring, which he allows to be examined. Then he offers
a silver dollar for close inspection.
The dollar he places in the middle of the outstretched hand-
kerchief which is held at the corners by the two assistants. The
ring is then handed to one assistant, who is told to pass the two
corners of the handkerchief through the ring. Then the other
assistant is told to pass the two corners he is holding also through
the ring. Thus the silver dollar is held securely at the middle of
the handkerchief. The handkerchief is held at the four corners
with the dollar held by the ring at its center.
The performer then places an opaque handkerchief or cloth
over the handkerchief securing the dollar, saying, "I will attempt
to remove the dollar and the ring without the assistants letting
go of the corners of the handkerchief."
The effect is performed as follows: The coin and ring are
worked to the rear edge of the handkerchief where the coin can
be easily slipped out, and then the ring falls off, or the edge of
the handkerchief nearest the performer is rolled or gathered and
pushed through the ring. This allows the dollar to come out. Silly,
isn't it; but if you do it well it will baffle any audience.
It is the very old principle of the coin on the string, but Harry
King found it could be done with a handkerchief without letting
go of the corners.
An effect somewhat similar, with a different presentation, was
described by Hoffman in "More Magic," with a watch.
51
THE BOUNCE VANISH
From one to five coins may be dropped into the left hand from
the right, and a moment later the left hand opened and shown
empty.
The illusion is quite good. Try one coin first. Hold your
left hand six inches in front of your body, palm up and stretched
flat at waist level. In your right hand hold a coin; any size coin
will do, from one cent to a dollar.
With the right hand, bounce the coin, flat, from the right hand
onto the palm of the left hand. At the same instant the coin
strikes the palm of the left hand, raise it slightly towards the right,
and the coin will bounce off the left hand. Now if you close the
left hand as if the coin were retained there, and catch the coin on
the rebound with your partly closed fingers of the right hand, you
will deceive the onlooker because he hears the coin strike the hand,
and the rebound is so instantaneous that the eye does not follow it.
Here is one place where the hand is really quicker than the eye.
My good friend, Harry Solomon does this sleight very well.
After you master this method of bouncing the coin, and you
can do it creditably as an illusion so the spectators will be convinced
that the coin thrown into the left hand is really retained there,
it becomes a simple matter to strengthen this belief by sleeving the
coin. This is best accomplished by holding the right hand back
upwards with the coin resting on the middle fingers momentarily,
and then propelling the coin up the right sleeve by an almost
imperceptable closing motion of the fingers. This move is taught
on pages 47 and 48 herein.
The sleight is completed by showing the right hand empty, in
a careless rather than a pointed fashion, by indicating towards the
closed left hand with the right hand palm open and facing up. Then
before the left hand is opened the coin is recovered by dropping
the right hand to the side and allowing the coin to pass from the
sleeve to the curled fingers. The right hand with the coin "finger
palmed" is passed over the open left hand and the coin is dropped
therein, where a moment later it is revealed.
52
THE REAR OF THUMB PALM
In No. 1, Vol. 1 of Ellis Stanyon's "Magic," dated October, 1900
(that's forty-seven years ago), on Page 3 appears "A New Reverse
Palm for Vanishing a Coin." The coin is held between the tips ot
the forefinger and thumb. The hand is then apparently closed on
the coin, and a moment later on opening the hand the coin has
disappeared.
In the act of closing the hand, the forefinger carries the coin
to the right of the thumb, which grips it as shown in Fig. 4. This
is Stanyon's description, just in case some aspiring wizard should
happen to reinvent it in 1948.
However, I do think a more detailed description of the move
will prove helpful to many of my readers. With the coin held by
the tip of the first finger and thumb, bend the finger and thumb
back to the position shown in Fig. 2. Then withdraw the thumb,
and pinch the coin under the first finger (See Fig. 3). Then bend
the thumb down until it touches the root of the fourth finger.
Now straighten the thumb, pushing back the coin with it to the
position shown in Fig. 4. Fig. 5 shows the move completed.
When you have mastered the palming as described, try this for
beauty. With your right side towards the audience, hold the right
hand about chest level, with a dollar front palmed. Now transfer
the coin to the back thumb palm position as you turn over your
right hand, bringing the palm towards the audience and then back
again to the first position. It is a very valuable and important
detail that you no doubt will appreciate when you try it.
53
THE PENCIL AND THE SILVER DOLLAR
By Paul Rosini
Most every magician has at one time or another vanished a
coin up his sleeve, but here is a totally different use for the sleeve,
as subtle as it is excellent. My friend, the originator, Paul Rosini,
has kindly given me permission to publish it here.
The illusion:
The left hand is closed on a silver dollar, taken from the right
hand. The back of the closed left hand is then tapped by a pencil,
held in the right hand, and used as a wand, and lo! the coin vanishes.
The left hand is empty.
Suspicion is then subtly drawn to the right hand, but it is also
seen unmistakably empty except for the pencil. The coin has truly
disappeared. The left hand is again closed, and the pencil is used
by the right hand to tap lightly on the back of the closed left hand,
which, upon being opened, reveals therein the same silver dollar
which, for effect, may have been marked beforehand or the date
noted by a spectator.
The working of this beautiful coin illusion performed in the
Paul Rosini fashion will be explained, but first the secret, which
lies in unsuspectedly retaining the coin in the right hand while
seemingly placing it in the left, holding the attention on the left
hand while the right hand takes a pencil from the left inside
pocket, this act affording an opportunity of secretly dropping the
coin from the right hand, while removing the pencil, into the left
sleeve, where it remains because of the outstretched left hand. The
pencil is drawn from the pocket and held in the right hand in such
a manner that this act of removing a pencil from the pocket will
leave no suspicion that the coin was being disposed of.
Magicians who may suspect that the coin was retained by
the right hand instead of being placed in the left hand should be
encouraged momentarily to believe it is still concealed there. The
pencil is held horizontally between the second finger and thumb,
very delicately. After the left hand has been shown empty, the
left hand is closed and the right hand attracts the attention as
a possible hiding place for the coin, and in this interim of distrac-
tion the left hand is lowered, allowing the coin to slide down the
sleeve to the fingers and be palmed. Again the left hand is raised
as the right is proved empty. The back of the fingers are lightly
tapped with the pencil. With proper dramatic poise, the coin is
revealed in the left hand as the hand is opened.
Paul Rosini pours his personality into this splendid illusion
with such effect that it becomes a truly great piece of magic. Thank
you, Paul Rosini.
54
THE TURNOVER PASS WITH ONE COIN
The hands are held in front of the body with the coin rest-
ing on the fingers of the right hand, as in Fig. 1. By lowering
and raising the fingers of the right hand suddenly without any
other movement of the hands, the coin is tossed up off the fingers
to drop onto the fingers of the left hand, as in Fig. 2. The left
hand, with the coin, moves out to the tips of the fingers of the
right hand, as seen in Fig. 3. The hands turn towards the left,
bringing the backs of the hands to the spectators. The left hand
turns over as it closes, but the coin falls unseen onto the fingers
of the right hand, and is held by the bent second and third fingers.
An added subtle touch is to bring the right hand towards the
audience, the bent down second and third fingers concealing the
coin while the left hand is supposedly holding the coin. The left
hand is shown empty, and the coin produced as desired.
This is a good place to tell you about the way of opening
your hand to reveal a coin therein or closing the hand on a coin
before it disappears. This simple act may be greatly enhanced from
a point of commonplace to something artistic to watch by graceful-
ly and without haste opening the hand, one finger at a time, com-
mencing with the little finger and following it with the others, not
too quickly nor too slowly. It requires practice to get the full effect
out of it. It is such little things as these that reveal the artist.
55
THE PINCH PASS WITH A SINGLE COIN
A really top sleight if you will do it as follows:
Hold the coin by its edge between the first finger and thumb
of the right hand. The third and fourth fingers are touching the
fourth finger of the left hand, and the coin is a full two inches
in front and away from the left palm. Suddenly pinch the coin,
causing it to assume the position as shown in Fig. 2 between the
first finger and the thumb of the right hand, and at the same in-
stant close and turn over the left hand as if the coin sprang into
it. Then let the coin fall onto the second, third and fourth fingers
of the right hand as you lower the hand.
A VERY PRETTY DISAPPEARANCE
Hold a silver dollar between the left thumb and forefinger, and
place your handkerchief over the coin. Do this by drawing the hand-
kerchief from front to rear, and draw it the first time far enough
to expose the coin. The second time as the right hand with the
handkerchief passes over the coin, the third finger and thumb se-
cretly steal the coin.
The move is completely concealed by the handkerchief being
drawn toward the top pocket of your coat, where the coin is secretly
dropped. A few mysterious passes are made over the handkerchief
supposedly covering the coin, then upon taking the handkerchief
away, the coin has vanished.
56
ALLAN SHAW'S VANISH OF A COIN
If I had to take only one method of a vanish of a single coin,
I would unhesitatingly choose this one because when it is per-
formed correctly the illusion is perfect in every detail. It was a
regular interlude in Mr. Shaw's coin act. Please try to do it as I
will explain it or the true beauty of the sleight may be lost.
Standing facing the audience, the performer holds a coin in
his right hand on the second and third fingers, supported by its
edge between the first and fourth finger, hand at a slight angle
with the floor (see Fig. 1). The left hand is held below the right
hand, the fourth finger of the left hand an inch in front of, and
at right angles to, the second and third fingers of the right hand.
The performer's body is bent over from the waist, with the
hands in the position described and depicted in Fig 1. Now from
the wrists, and without moving the arms, bring the hands up to
the position shown in Fig. 2 and then down as in Fig. 1 again,
(but keep the coin held as in Fig. 1) and then up as in Fig. 2.
Now as the hand is brought down the third time, the coin in the
right hand is back palmed as shown in Fig. 2, and the fingers of the
left hand close as if the coin were tossed into that hand from the
right hand. As I have already stated, if your timing is correct, the
sleight is a perfect illusion. The coin seen rotating behind the fin-
gers looks as if it were being tossed to the other hand (see Fig. 4).
The left hand is slowly opened and the coin slowly produced from
behind the right leg. As a matter of record, Mr. Shaw used a hooked
dollar for this sleight, and the first time he placed his right hand
behind the right leg, he left the coin, and brought away the hand
without it, seemingly squeezed it away in his hand, showed the
hand empty, and then returned the hand to the leg to really produce
the coin.
57
FRONT AND BACK OF HAND TRANSFER OF A COIN
The secret transfer of a coin from the front to the back of the
hand is an important sleight for all coin manipulators, and the tech-
nique should be thoroughly mastered. The coin may be held as
shown in either of photographs 1, 2 or 4. If held as shown in
Fig. 1 between the first finger and the thumb, the hand is low-
ered about ten inches with the coin to the position shown in Fig.
2 and transferred in the interim of this downward passage to the
second finger and thumb. As the hand is being brought up, the
first and fourth fingers are placed into position on the edge of
the coin as shown in Fig. 4. During the ascent, the coin is rotated
by the second and third fingers and assumes a position on the
back of the fingers. The fourth finger releases its hold, and the
coin is pinched between the first and second fingers.
The same moves apply if the coin has been held between its
edges by the first and fourth fingers as seen in Fig. 4 of the thumb
palm. The coin is first allowed to slide down the hand to finger
palm position. I strongly advise against rotating the coin to the
front to show the back of the hand for a very good reason. I do
not consider the move sufficiently convincing to prove anything
else other than that you are manipulating, besides the great diffi-
culty of accomplishment.
58
THREE METHODS OF PRODUCING A COIN
There are three original ways that I find very effective for
causing the instant appearance of a coin secreted in the position at
the back of the hand by the first and second fingers, as previously
shown. The first of these methods is very difficult and requires
considerable practice, but it is really worth it.
With an imperceptible short, upward jerk, the coin is released
and rotates over the first finger to be caught and held by the
thumb and first fingertip. Figs. 1, 2 and 3 clearly show the course
of the coin.
Second Method
In the second method the coin is produced at the extreme fin-
gertips as shown in Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 4. The third finger first assumes
a position on the edge of the coin, and then the back of the second
finger causes the coin to rotate, the first and third fingers acting
as a fulcrum for it to pivot, as shown in Fig. 2. The third finger,
releases the coin as the second finger flips it around to be held
as shown in Fig. 3 by the first and second fingers. The first, second
and third fingers straighten, and the coin is thus caused to assume
the position as shown in Fig. 4
59
Third Method
The third method differs considerably from both of the former
methods, and is done as follows. Perform the sleight just described
of placing the third finger on the edge of the coin as in Fig. 1
while held between the first and second fingers at the back of the
hand. Rotate the coin with the second finger as shown in Fig. 2,
and the coin assumes the position of Fig. 3. The thumb nail is placed
against the lower side of the coin and tips it up to the first finger.
Fourth Method
The next move is producing a coin from the "Downs' " front
palm. The coin is held by its edge in the palm, concealed by the
thumb. The fingers are then closed over the coin, the second finger
passing above the coin, and the third finger passing below the coin.
The fingers shoot out, carrying the coin held between them, still
hidden by the thumb. The thumb passes under the coin and the
coin is shot up and held by the thumb and first finger. This is a
very practical move and is indispensable to me in the performance
of the "Miser's Dream." The move is effective with either the palm
or back of the hand towards the audience.
60
DOWNS' PALM
First Method
The next two moves look very much alike, but on closer study
they will be found to have important practical differences. The first
is the transfer of several coins (five are shown in the illustrations)
to the lower "Downs' " thumb palm. This method of palming allows
the thumb of my hand, which is normal in size, to secrete eight
American dollars without difficulty. These pictures are taken at
an angle so the coins can be easily followed throughout the moves.
Fig. 1 depicts the coins held between the second finger and thumb
of the right hand. They are rotated on their sides into position
between the second and third fingers (see Fig. 2). The thumb is
then withdrawn, and the fingers curl towards the palm (see Fig. 3),
pressing the coins into position. The thumb is lowered over the
edge (see Fig. 4). Fig. 5 depicts the manner in which the bottom
coin of the stack is brought away by the second and third fingers,
and Fig. 6 shows how the coin is then brought up by the thumb to
61
make its appearance. The remaining coins are brought out in a sim-
ilar method, one by one. They are thus produced at the thumb and
fingertip, to be released as they appear and allowed to fall into a
waiting receptacle.
DOWNS' PALM
Second Method
The next move has these differences, and is called the "Downs'
upper palm." The coins are held as shown in Fig. 1, fanned out
between the first finger and thumb, reclining on the side of the
second finger which facilitates the fan of coins being readily closed
together as in Fig. 2. The coins are held between the first and
second fingers, and then the thumb swings down out of the way as
seen in Fig. 3.
62
The five coins are thus pressed into the fork of the thumb
(see Fig. 4), and the fingers may now be straightened. Fig. 5 de-
picts the manner in which the coins are carried, one by one, from
under the stack and make their reappearance as in Fig. 6 between
the thumb and first finger. Both this and the former method should
be carefully practiced. They form the basis of all expert coin acts.
THE VANISH OF A COIN FROM THE FOLD OF THE
PANTS LEG
Take a silver dollar between the tips of the first, second and
third fingers. Place it against the left leg, and with the fingers of
your left hand fold the leg of your pants down over the coin.
(See Fig. 1.) As soon as the coin is hidden from view, grip the
coin with the second finger and thumb of the left hand, holding
the pants with your first finger and thumb.
Then grip the coin between the third and fourth fingers of your
right hand and bend them in towards your palm with the coin
thus concealed. Don't palm the coin. Hold it between the third and
fourth fingers as shown in Fig. 3. Now with the finger and thumb
of the right hand, pinch the pants below the fold, and with the fin-
ger and thumb of the left hand pinch the pants above the fold, and
pull out the fold to show the coin has disappeared. Produce the
coin from the back of the right leg.
63
ON THE LEG PASS WITH A SILVER DOLLAR
Second Method
With the coin resting on the middle fingers of the right hand,
the first finger and thumb of each hand each seize a piece of
the pants material about midway between the hip and the knee in
front of the left leg. The right hand is separated from the left hand
by about two inches. The hands fold the cloth of the pants thus
held so that the fingers of the left hand can enter upwards into the
fold. The right hand lays the silver dollar on the cloth that is over
the fingers, and the coin is then held by the thumb and first and
second fingers of the left hand. (See Fig. 1.)
The left thumb slides the coin up into the palm as the first
finger points to the fold in the cloth. The right hand is lowered
to pinch the cloth about four inches below the fold, and in this
manner the fold is pulled out and the coin has seemingly disap-
peared, to be reproduced from behind the left leg by the left hand.
ON THE LEG PASS WITH A SILVER DOLLAR
Third Method
The coin is held in the right hand on the fingers. With the
first finger and thumb, make a fold in the pants as described in
the second method, and place the coin into position. Turn up the
fold on the coin, but hold the coin with the right thumb and first
finger, while the third and fourth fingers steal into the fold and
secretly carry the coin away between them. The coin is not palmed,
but held by the bent third and fourth fingers, while the other fin-
gers of the left hand and the right hand pull out the fold to show
the coin is gone. The coin is reproduced from behind the left leg.
64
TO PASS FOUR COINS FROM HAND TO HAND
THROUGH YOUR HEAD, ONE AT A TIME
This effect is based on an unusual sleight I think published
for the first time, though it is somewhat similar to a sleight in
Gaultier's book, "Magic Without Apparatus," Page 104, "Invisible
Transfer of a Coin from Hand to Hand when the Spectators have
been Forewarned."
The sleight I am about to describe is made in reverse, and that
is why the hand must be raised to the head, as you will better under-
stand as the description continues.
The four coins are unmistakably placed into the right hand,
and both hands are closed and placed on the table, separated by
several inches, with the backs of the fingers on the table. Sudden-
ly both hands are raised, and while still closed are placed against
the ears, one hand on either side of the head. The hands are low-
ered, and on being opened one coin is seen in the left hand and only
three remaining in the right. The same moves are repeated three
more times, and each time one coin is seen to have passed from
the right hand into the left hand.
The method by which this sleight is accomplished is as follows:
The coins in the right hand rest on the tips of the closed fingers
when the hands are on the table, and it is a simple matter for the
second and third fingertips to work the coin into a protruding
position against the palm near the wrist. Then as the hands are
turned inwards, the protruding coin is shot rapidly across to the
left hand. The move and action are made so fast that the eye does
not follow the passage of the coin through the short distance it
travels.
THE FRENCH DROP AND THE EYE GLASS
The performer shows two silver dollars. One he uses for a
monocle, the other he vanishes by the "French drop", keeping
the left hand closed to simulate that the first dollar rests therein,
while actually it is palmed in the right hand.
The right hand catches the dollar as it falls from the eye, care
being exercised to not allow one coin to fall on the other. The left
hand makes a short throw towards the right hand, and the palmed
dollar is allowed to fall on the one reclining on the two bent mid-
dle fingers. The audible click tends to heighten the illusion.
65
THE ROLL DOWN PRODUCTION FOR FOUR COINS
Buckley's Method
This is a spectacular, though quite difficult, sleight to per-
form. It requires considerable practice, perhaps one hundred hours
to do at all well.
A stack of four coins is produced from the Downs' palm, to-
gether as one, and placed in position in the left hand, as seen in
Fig. 1. The left hand gives an imperceptible upward and downward
movement, and four coins are seen between the fingers as in Fig.
5. The sleight is clearly shown in Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as these
photographs were taken with the sleight in progress.
I have seen a similar sleight performed in steps of rolling down
two and then rolling each two to make the four. I do not think
the latter method compares with the excellence of this method.
The pictures tell the whole story far better than words. It
is acquired by feeling and balance as the coins unfold themselves
as the photographs depict. Fig. 6 shows the right hand producing
the fifth coin and adding it to the four displayed in the left hand.
When it is performed as described, it is no longer a juggling feat,
but a beautiful illusion of four coins created from one.
FIVE COINS ARE SEEN AND HEARD TO FALL INTO A
GLASS AND A MOMENT LATER VANISH
This is an effect originated by me some thirty-five years ago
and first shown before the A.S.M. in Sydney, Australia. It baffled
those present. No one could explain where the coins had gone.
The fingers of the left hand are curled around an empty drink-
ing glass. Resting across the fingers of the right hand are six half
dollars. The right hand is brought up nearly level with the chin,
and the coins tossed into the glass. Several mysterious passes are
made over the glass, which is finally inverted and shown empty.
The description is true with one exception. The coins are thrown
over the glass, which is held in the left hand, into a small glass
concealed at the top of the V in your vest. The small glass, with
the coins, is removed at the first opportunity.
A very deceptive stunt!
66
THE "ROLL DOWN" PRODUCTION
(Buckley's Method!
67
THE "DOWNS' CLICK PASS" VIEWED FROM A
NEW ANGLE [Improved)
This beautiful move has been greatly enhanced by a simple
change I will now describe.
Fig. 1 shows the five coins in the first position as seen by the
spectators. The hand gives the coins an imperceptible upward
toss, and they rotate, as shown in Fig. 2, to fall on the third finger,
as seen in Fig. 3.
As the coins are thus caught on the bent third finger, they
make a loud click, hence the name "Click Pass", and the left hand
is brought up as if to actually catch the coins. But the moment
the left hand passes in front of the right hand, the second and third
fingers of the right hand press the coins into the "lower Downs'
palm", where they are secreted, while the left hand continues its
upward journey as if it had the coins. The illusion is perfect. The
spectators not only hear the coins fall into the left hand, but seem-
ingly see them as well, which greatly enhances the illusion.
68
AN ILLUSIVE PASS
(Original)
Another excellent pass with a single coin is as follows:
Rest the coin on the side of the second finger against the first
finger of the right hand, the thumb supporting it exactly as de-
picted in Fig. 1, photographed from the rear. The hands are in
front of the body, and you are standing erect. Now as you turn
left, the right hand turns slightly as the thumb is removed, and the
coin falls over, resting on its side against the second finger of
the right hand. The left hand partly closes as if it had received
the coin. However, that does not happen because the coin is
pinched on its sides by the first and second fingers. (See Fig. 2.)
The coin is reproduced by placing the right thumb against the
edge of the coin, and then supporting the coin on the edge opposite
the right thumb by the first finger. The hand is turned to bring
the face of the coin into view.
THE CLICK PASS AND THE TABLE
Five coins are arranged in the right hand, and seemingly trans-
ferred by the "Downs' click pass" (explained herein under that head-
ing) to the left hand. The left hand is on top the table, while the
right hand is passed beneath the table. The sound of the coins can
be heard as the left hand taps the table top; a moment later the
left hand is pressed flat on the table top, and the coins are heard
to fall into the right hand beneath the table.
The illusion of the tapping is created by tapping the coins
on the underside of the table with the right hand while the left
hand makes the motions.
69
THE SPREAD VANISH
(ALLAN SHAW)
This is rightly credited to one of the world's great coin manip-
ulators, Mr. Allan Shaw, a performer at the height cf fame from
1906 to 1912. The first time I saw Mr. Shaw perform was in Auck-
land, New Zealand in 1908, and he used this move at that time as
a single coin vanish. I confess I have used it ever since. There
are other equally effective moves of Mr. Shaw's that I shall describe
herein. Mr. Shaw has retired from the stage and is living in
Australia. His act was something to enthuse overperfect in every
detailI am sure that others who recall his act will agree.
Referring to the five illustrations, No. 1 shows the thumb and
first finger of the right hand supporting the five coins. Fig. 2 shows
the fingers of the left hand closed loosely around the coins as they
are closed together by the closing action of the left hand. Fig.
3 shows both hands about to make a half turn. The five coins are
still held between the fingers and thumb of the right hand, and
withdrawn as both hands make the turn (see Fig. 4). The coins are
shifted from the first finger to the second finger and thumb as
the turn is completed, and the first finger points to the left hand as
in Fig. 5. The photos were made from the side to show the action.
The right hand holding the coins is lowered to the side, and under
cover of this action the coins are palmed, using the "Downs' lower
palm". The right hand, with the coins thus concealed by the thumb,
is facing palm towards the audience. At the proper moment the
left hand is slowly turned and openedfourth finger, third finger,
second and first. Try this with one coin, and later work up to five.
THE ONE HAND COLOR CHANGING DISCS
{Original)
Take four discs of plastic, preferably each the size of a silver
dollar. One is gold in color, one silver, one red and one blue.
Procure these secretly from a dropper, a clip or the vest pocket,
and hold them in the "upper Downs' palm". The order of the stack
from the bottom to the top is silver, red, gold and blue.
Produce the silver one (method already explained), palm
facing audience. Turn the disc about so both sides are freely seen.
Then let it drop silently onto the blue disc. Produce the red disc
and show it the same way as you did the silver disc. Then slip the
red disc on the silver disc, and produce the gold disc. Display the
gold disc, both sides, and slip it on the blue disc. After duly dis-
playing the blue disc, slip it onto the red disc, and produce the
silver disc.
70
THE SPREAD VANISH
Allan Shaw
FIG.3
71
FIVE COIN TRANSFER PASS
By Downs
Five coins are held between the first two fingers and thumb in
the right hand in a fanned-out manner, as depicted in Fig. 1. These
are held about chin height in front of the body, while you stand
erect facing your audience. The left hand is then brought up to
waist level, and the
five coins, still fanned,
are brought smartly
down on the left
hand, as shown in
Fig. 2. The instant
that the coins touch
the left hand, the
thumb and finger of
the right hand loosen
their hold so that
the coins stack up as
shown in Fig. 3. As
the fingers of the left
hand apparently close
on the coins, the first
and second fingers of
the right hand, al-
ready in position to
grip the coins, trans-
fer the coins to the
upper Downs' palm.
(See Fig. 4, 5 and 6.)
The right hand is
then lowered and
held with the thumb
concealing the coin,
palm facing audience,
while the right hand
simulates the act of
squeezing the coins
away to nothing, a
moment later to be
slowly opened and
seen empty. The coins
are then produced
f r o m t h e u p p e r
Downs' palm, one at
a time, and tossed in-
to the left hand.
72
THE THROW AWAY VANISH OF FIVE COINS
(Original}
This is a continuation of the last move, and blends to form
a beautiful routine.
A coin is held between the first finger and thumb of the right
hand, and four coins are displayed between the fingers of the left
hand. The performer, standing with his right side towards the
audience, brings his right hand with the coin smartly down to his
side and up to waist height to simulate the act of throwing the
coin into space. During the upward flight of the hand the coin is
Downs' palmed. Another coin is then taken from the third and
fourth fingers of the left hand, and the right hand simulates
the tossing of the coin into space while the coin is palmed be-
neath the first one. It is easy to palm the coin by letting it fall
back on the first coin Downs' palmed. However, it is better, though
more difficult, to place it underneath the first coin, placing it there
with the two middle fingers. The palming is completed during the
tossing action. I recommend it as being more silent than stack-
ing the coins one on another. (Shown in Fig. 1 and 2.)
When four coins have apparently been tossed away and palmed
in the right hand, the right hand approaches the left hand to take
the fifth coin, and the two middle fingers of the left hand secretly
secure the coins from the right palm as shown. This is my change
over move. Before the hands are separated, the body commences
a right turn to bring the left side towards the audience. See the
reproduction of coins at fingertips.
The coin is vanished, back palmed by the right hand, trans-
ferred to the front palm as a left turn is made, and the right hand
points to the left hand, seemingly empty though actually conceal-
ing four coins Downs' palmed. The right hand reaches out, and
the palmed coins are produced, one by one, to appear at the thumb
and fingertip. The right hand simulates the act of throwing the
coin into the left hand. The coin is palmed in the right hand,
73
and the four coins palmed there are revealed as only one
coin. These are rolled with caution up to the thumb and first
finger. It is better if the right hand does not aid in this move.
Now both hands move down four inches and back up, and the left
hand holds the four coins spread between the fingers, and the right
holds the fifth as seen in Fig. 6 of the Buckley Roll Down produc-
tion explained and depicted heretofore.
THE APPEARANCE OF FIVE COINS, ONE AFTER
ANOTHER, AT THE FINGERTIPS
By Allan Shaw
I believe this to be the most difficult of all coin sleights to
do with silver dollar coins because of their weight. However, I still
maintain it to be worthy of the necessary practice to do with dol-
lars.
Five coins are held in the lower Downs' palm position. The
hand is held about eighteen inches in front of the face, the fingers
pointing up.
The fingers momentarily dip into the palm, the second finger
pressing down on four of the five coins, while the third finger slides
the bottom coin of the stack of five off the stack. (See Fig. 1.)
The fingers are straightened. The bottom coin is thus carried
up between the two middle fingers. (See Fig. 2.)
The coin is then transferred from position 2 to the thumb
and first finger. (See Fig. 3.)
The other fingers dip into the palm and remove a second coin
from the bottom of the stack as before and shown in Fig. 3.
This coin is carried up between the middle fingers and placed
against the nail of the first finger. Fig. 4 shows the coin being
brought up from the palm. It is transferred to the nail of the
first finger as in Fig. 5, and the second finger presses on the coin,
causing it to slip off the nail of the first finger with an audible
click onto the first coin.
Fig. 6 shows the move being repeated with the third coin. Fig.
7 shows the first finger and thumb holding the first two coins, and
the middle finger carrying up the third coin, and the palm re-
taining the other two coins.
Fig. 8 gives a view of the third coin being placed on the nail
of the first finger. Fig. 9 shows the completion of the moves, with
all five coins held by the first finger and thumb. The moves are
made smartly and at a continuous, unbroken pace.
The real beauty of this move lies in smartly bringing the coins
up at the same short, regular intervals, and snapping them into
place. An excellent description of these moves appears on Pages
324 and 325 of "Magic Without Apparatus" by Gaultier, and the
move is credited to T. Nelson Downs. I saw Allan Shaw success-
fully perform it as described in Sydney, Australia at the Tivoli
Theatre in 1909.
74
THE APPEARANCE OF FIVE COINS, ONE AFTER
ANOTHER, AT THE FINGERTIPS
Allan Shaw
75
THE SURPRISE APPEARANCE OF A COIN
By Ron Leonard (Canada)
The appearance of a coin on the back of the left hand after
covering the latter with the palm of the empty right hand is a
very surprising move indeed.
A coin is placed on the open left hand, and the left hand is
closed on the coin and the back of the hand turned upwards. The
right hand is then slapped palm down on the back of the left
hand, and without apparently opening the left hand, there on
the back of the closed left hand is the coin, when the right hand
is raised.
This effect may be produced with any size coin from one cent
to a dollar. The secret lies in working the coin unobserved part
way out of the closed left hand between the fork of the first finger
and the thumb, and then suddenly raising both the hands a few
inches. This action causes the coin to gain momentum, and when
the direction of the motion of the hands is suddenly changed to
a descent from an ascent, the coin is thrown against the right
palm and brought into place on the left hand. Figs. 1, 2 and 3
clearly depict the moves.
THE MAGNETIC PASS WITH ONE OR SEVERAL COINS
The title is intentionally descriptive. On the back of the
leg above the right knee inside the pants is strapped a four ounce
Alnico magnet. It should be shaped as a horseshoe so that the
magnetic strength of both poles are additive. Have a steel disk
turned by a machinist, preferably Brown and Sharpe one-sixteenth
inch ground flat stock, and have it heat treated and hardened, then
flash chromed. The edge may be knurled if it is possible for you
to have this done.
You are then ready to perform some very interesting and
mysterious passes. When you touch this coin to the back of your
leg, the magnet will hold it there. You may remove your hand
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and show it to be empty, reach out as if to grab the coin from
the air, supposedly transfer it to your left hand, vanish it and
find it behind the right leg, this time actually taking it and draw-
ing it out from the cloth.
You may perform with several coins if you desire, and if
your magnet is strong enough. A good Alnico horseshoe magnet
when magnetically saturated will suspend, through the thickness
of the usual suiting material, about twice the weight of the mag-
net. This will convey some idea of the possibilities of such a
contraption as an aid to your manipulative skill.
For pocket effects, the steel one-cent pieces are made to order.
The device has many advantages over the hooked coin, and you
will undoubtedly find many useful purposes to which the gadget
can be put to work for building up some new effects.
SILKEN SILVER
by Frank Cruse
The illusion: The left hand takes a silver dollar from the
right hand. A moment later the left hand is opened, and the silver
dollar is seen to have changed to a fifteen inch silk.
Preparation: Carefully pleat a fifteen inch silk into a compact
bundle, and fasten it securely with a piece of thread. Form a loop
above the knot. Suspend the bundle from the left thumb so it
hangs in the center of the left palm.
The Worki ng: Hold a silver dollar between the thumb and
forefinger of the right hand in front and above the left hand.
Turn the left hand over so that the bundled silk remains hidden
from the spectators' view by the right hand.
The left hand seemingly takes the dollar, but actually the
right hand palms it. The left hand turns over and recovers the
silk.
The left hand moves away with the silk. The right thumb and
forefinger tug at one corner and pull it slowly out of the half closed
left hand, moving towards the top pocket of the coat. At the right
moment the silver dollar is secretly dropped into the pocket, and
the silk displayed, with the hands otherwise quite empty.
(I thank my friend, Frank Cruse, for granting me permission
to include the working of this excellent effect.)
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BORROWED MONEY
This is an effect with several borrowed one dollar bills where-
in the bills are caused to disappear from one envelope and pass into
three envelopes which the spectator sealed up, one inside the
other.
Take a red envelope and place a bill inside, one from which
you have copied the serial number. Seal the envelope and place
it in a larger size envelope, a blue one, and seal it. Then place
it in the false pocket of a small silver tray, and place this on your
plastic top table. On the tray place three envelopes, one to match
the red one, the blue one and a white one larger than the blue
one. Take out your billfold and ask if anyone has two one-dollar
bills for a two-dollar bill. Go down and get it, give the two-dollar
bill and take the two one-dollar bills. You have your wallet open
from which you take the two-dollar bill. Put the two one-dollar
bills into your wallet and take out a one-dollar bill of your own.
You should be moving back towards the stage when you do this.
Any suspicion that may be created is later entirely dispersed.
You stop near or at the front row of seats and say to one of
the onlookers, "You look like a person I can trust. Please copy
the number of this bill." Hand a card and pencil to the spectator
for this purpose, and leave the one-dollar bill with the spectator.
Return to the stage and pick up the tray, or have your assistant
bring it to you.
Say, "Now I am going to ask you to put the card on which
you wrote the number of the bill in your pocket, and I am going
to request you to not let the bill out of your hand or sight for
a single moment. That' s fair enough, don't you think so?"
Addressing a second spectator, "Sir, you look like a cautious
person. Will you take that red envelope from the tray and see
i-hat it is quite unprepared and is empty. Now, will you please
take the blue envelope and see that it is also empty and unpre-
pared. Place the red envelope in the blue envelope and seal it.
Now place both sealed envelopes in the white envelope. Now, be-
fore you let it out of your hands for one single moment, write
your name across the face of the envelope. Now drop it on the
tray. Thank you!"
The performer returns to the stage. A pair of clips suspended
by a ribbon or cord from above are attached to the envelope, but when
taking the envelope from the tray, the two sealed envelopes con-
taining the extra bill are secretly withdrawn from the secret
compartment and kept behind the signed envelope. Both sealed en-
velopes are thus suspended.
78
The performer says to the audience, "So far, so good. Now
there is an adage I would like to tell you about, which is that a
magician should never tell his audience what he is going to do
before he does it. Well, I am going to do just that, tell you all
just what I propose to do. I shall disintegrate the bill the gentle-
man has and cause it to afterwards materialize inside that sealed
envelope. Of course, some of you will leave here tonight and
say, 'He did not do it. It' s impossible.' Well, be that as it may,
you are about to witness that very thing. Sir, will you stand up,
hold up the bill and come up here. Oh no, I am not going to
wheedle the bill from you. Don't even allow me to so much as
touch it for a single moment. Will you please read off the num-
ber again." The performer writes it on the slate and places the
slate on a chair in full view.
"Have you a match. Here is one. Please burn just a tiny piece
off one corner of the bill." As the spectator touches the match
to the bill, it goes up in flames because it is a flash bill (explana-
tion to follow).
"Sir, you should not have done that. Please be more careful
next time. It' s a good thing we kept the serial number or we would
not be able to get our bill back." Performer unclips the envelopes
and tears the end off, seems to remove the blue one from the
white one, but takes the blue one from behind the white one,
drops the white one on the table, moves over towards the assist-
ing spectator and tears the top off the blue envelope. He takes
out the red one and hands it to the assisting spectator and says,
"Please be careful this time. Will you tear open the envelope
and tell me what you find. You don't saya one-dollar bill. Now
who would have thought it? Do you think it could be the same
bill? You don't eh? Well, please read the number aloud. 2,789,621
well, that' s the number here. What does your card say? It says
the same? Thank you kindly. Please hand the bill to the gentle-
man who sealed the envelope to recheck. You may keep it as a
souvenir, but I warn you, don't put a match near it."
The essential points of the trick that have not been com-
pletely clarified at the beginning are as follows:
The exchange of bill: The performer puts the two dollar
bills he obtains from the spectator for his one two-dollar bill into
his wallet as he walks away, and takes a prepared one-dollar bill
from his wallet. This passes unchallenged because the number of
the bill is written down after he hands it to a spectator, and no
two bills have the same number, but you may obtain ten new bills
from a bank for a ten-dollar bill, and it is not difficult to over-
come the obstacle of a three and an eight in the last place when
all the other numbers are the same.
The red envelope with the other bill sealed inside the blue
envelope is a sliding fit in the false bottom of the small tray, and
when the spectator seals the three envelopes, one inside the other,
79
they are dropped with the name side up on the tray. The en-
velopes inside the false bottom are secretly removed when taking
the envelopes off the tray. When they are held by the suspend-
ed clips, the front sealed envelope hides the others from view.
By simply tearing off the end and removing the blue en-
velope containing the red one from the back instead of from the
white envelope, the illusion is quite sound.
The way to make flash paper is to soak the paper first in acid,
wash the acid out in distilled water and allow to dry. I realize
this is a lot of trouble, and am therefore describing an alternative
method that may be preferred because of its relative simplicity
and economy.
The duplicate bill, otherwise unprepared, is unmistakably
placed under a handkerchief and given to the spectator to hold
onto. The performer withdraws his hand after covering the bill
so his hands are seen clearly to be empty. In other words, the
spectator is convinced he holds the bill, which in truth he does.
What he is not aware of is that a double handkerchief is used,
and the bill is inside the handkerchief, stitched around three of
its sides.
Another method, for which I am indebted to Terry Lynn,
is to have a corner of the bill that is sealed inside the envelope
and loaded into the false bottom of the tray, lightly stuck on the
back of a packet of matches, so that it can be easily removed
with one hand holding the matches. This is laid on your table
till wanted. The man with the bill is asked to tear off the top
left corner so it may be thus identified again. The performer
picks up the matches and, taking the corner torn from the corner
of the bill by the spectator, transfers the corner to his right hand
holding the matches, and transfers the matches to his left hand.
But in doing so, the corners are exchanged, and the corner from
the spectator's bill rests unsuspected, concealed under the match
packet. The performer asks the spectator which part of the bill
he shall use. The question is made in an ambiguous manner, be-
cause whatever the answer, the performer says, "You hold the
corner then and give me the bill." This he either openly burns
or, using the slit envelope, steals it through the slit and burns the
piece of paper, folded and placed inside to represent the bill.
If you prefer to use a regular handkerchief in place of the
double one, you may do so by having a bill or piece of paper fold-
ed and sewn into the hem. This calls for palming the bill when
you put it under the handkerchief and giving the sewn-in bill
to the spectator to hold. This is essentially an illusion for a club
or drawing room and do not recommend it for the theatres as it
is a little slow and breaks the rule as set forth in Chapter One,
"Don't leave your stage."
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JOHN MULHOLLAND'S SLIDE PASS
WITH A SINGLE COIN
This is an excellent piece of deception. The coin lies on the
palm of the right hand, as in Fig. 1. The hand is tilted downward,
and the coin slides down to the position shown in Fig. 2, where
it is held by pressure brought to bear on the edge of the coin by
the first and fourth fingers.
The left hand closes as if the coin had gone down the right
hand and off the fingers into the left hand. The body then makes
a part left turn, and the hands are brought to the position shown
in Fig. 3.
The illusion is complete when the timing is right.
The left hand is shown empty, and the coin is produced at
the thumb and first fingertip.
The move will also work with several coins at one time. The
sound of the coins gathering on the curved right fingers enhances
the illusion considerably.
This move with several coins is a particular favorite of J. B.
Cook. He excels in the application of this move to several ex-
cellent coin effects. The move was previously published without
credit to the originator, John Mulholland, in whose skillful hands
it is a perfect and thoroughly convincing illusion. This is to be
expected from one who is as skillful as J. H.
81
ANOTHER VERY EFFECTIVE PRODUCTION OF FIVE
COINS, ONE BY ONE, IN THE LEFT HAND
(Original)
The right hand has produced five coins at the fingertips, and
during this production the left hand has secretly procured from
a "holder" on the left side five coins and transferred them to the
Downs' palm position.
The coins in the right hand are now held displayed spread out
between the fingers and thumb, and in this manner they are lowered
into the left hand that already has five coins secretly palmed. As
the right hand coins are hidden by the left hand fingers, they are
secretly palmed, and the five coins in the left hand are exposed to
view, thus convincing the spectators that the coins displayed a
moment previously were transferred to the left hand. The five
coins are allowed to slide off the left hand fingers into some re-
ceptacle (I use a hat). The left hand is now brought to shoulder
level; your right side is facing the audience.
The right hand is brought up in front of the left hand, and
the bottom coin of the stack of five Downs' palmed is removed from
the stack by the second and third fingers of the right hand. See
Fig. 1. This picture was taken so that the coin was exposed as
it was removed from the palm position.
The right hand now moves in front of the left wrist, past the
left hand and back again, and the left hand is closed and turned over.
However, during these actions the coin secretly held in between
the two middle fingers of the right hand was secretly dropped into
the left hand just before it closed and was turned over. This is
not difficult, but must be properly synchronized or the illusion to
follow will be marred.
82
The left hand is opened and the coin revealed there. The coin
slides off the hand and is caught between the thumb and first
finger of the right hand, as shown in Fig. 2. This position was
photographed to show the other coins held in the hand.
You now make a right turn to bring the left side towards the
audience, and the coin held between the finger and thumb of the
right hand is dropped into the hat.
You then turn left and repeat the moves, but this time in-
stead of turning right again, the left hand is held about eighteen
inches above the hat on the table and turned around and slowly
opened, revealing the coin in the hand. It is allowed to slide down
the hand and fall into the hat.
The moves are repeated for the remaining four coins. The last
coin I transfer from the right to the left hand by the muscle pass
described herein.
THE LYNN PENNIES
By Terry Lynn
From the table, one by one, seven pennies are taken with the
right hand and placed into your empty left hand. A spectator
is requested to extend his right hand, and you again transfer the
pennies, one by one, with your right hand into his hand. Turn-
ing his hand over after he closes it on the pennies, ask him how
many coins he has. On hearing him state, "Seven", you cause
one coin to leave his, and count the six coins back into your hand.
Repeat the illusion with six, and then with five.
The moves that permit this illusion to be performed are as
follows.
The coins are each picked up between your first finger-
tip and thumb and transferred from your left hand and laid, most
precisely, into the spectator's extended hand. On transferring the
second to the last coin in the exact manner you did the coins pre-
ceding it, you only touch this coin on the other coins without
releasing it, and immediately tip the last coin from your left hand
over into his right hand as you close the fingers of his hand on
the coins, with your right hand still secretly retaining the second
to the last coin. There is no haste about this. It is all done at an
even pace. The illusion is perfect.
You may say, "How many coins did I count into your hand,
please? Now I shall take one away." Tap the back of the spec-
tator' s hand lightly with your left fingertips and show the coin
in your right hand. Count the coins very deliberately, one by
one, back into your left hand, and repeat.
83
THE STEAL I My Method!
Having produced five silver dollars with your right hand from
the lower "Downs' palm" position and thrown them into your open
left hand, proceed as follows:
Close the left hand on the five coins and turn it over so that
the back of the left hand and the right side of the body are towards
the audience. See Fig. 1.
The second and third fingertips of your left hand work out
the dollar immediately under them, so that it protrudes well out of
the hand at the wrist.
Place the pad of the second finger of the right hand on the
knuckle joint of the first finger of the left hand, and, keeping the
right hand still, rotate the left hand so that the backs of the closed
fingers of the left hand are brought up against the side of the
palm of the right hand. The protruding coin should then be at the
fork of the right thumb. See Fig. 2.
The coin is palmed by the right thumb, and the right hand
moves down, the hand remaining open. See Fig. 3.
You turn, facing the audience, as the right hand is brought
across in front of your body. The right hand is closed, and the coin
that is thumb palmed is first dropped on the fingers, and from
there it is back palmed, as the palm of the hand is brought to face
the audience. These moves are synchronized with the turn so that
the coin is not seen during its passage from the front thumb palm
to the back palm position. The coin is then produced at the fingers,
flipped several feet into the air, caught in the right hand and placed
on a display stand.
All of the aforesaid moves are repeated, and the second coin is
placed on the stand. The third coin is taken to the thumb palm and
then produced at the left elbow, and likewise placed on the stand.
84
The fourth coin is taken to the thumb palm, and then as the
hand is turned palm to audience it is back thumb palmed, and the
hand carried over to the right side, palm facing the audience. The
coin is produced and placed on the stand.
The fifth coin is then shown in the left hand. The hand is
closed and turned over, and the coin is stolen as was the first coin
by the fork of the right thumb. The right hand is turned over, and
the coin passes to the back thumb palm position. The left hand
is opened to show the coin is gone, and then turned to bring the
back of the thumb against the coin in the right hand. The coin is
transferred to the left hand. The right hand is then brought under
the left hand and the coin released. Falling behind the left hand,
the coin is caught on the fingers of the right hand and produced
at the fingertips.
The photos clearly show how a coin in the left hand is first
worked into position between the fingertips and the palm, and then
by turning over the left hand under the cover of the right hand,
the coin is brought to the right hand, thumb palm position, just as
the right hand is moving away.
PASSING SEVERAL COINS THROUGH A TABLE
AT WHICH YOU ARE SEATED
This is an effect that should be performed while seated at a
table. In the right hand take three silver dollars and one half
dollar, and in the left hand three silver dollars. Show the coins on
the palms of the open hands. Close the left hand on the three
silver dollars therein, and lower it under the table. As you do
so, leave the three dollars in a stack on your left leg, and bring
the closed left hand up on top of the table again.
The right hand spills out the three dollars and the half dollar
on the table as you say, "Three dollars and a half dollar in the
right hand." The right hand gathers up the four coins and thumb
palms the half dollar. You hold the three dollars secretly between
the knuckles and the palm so they can be released to fall on the
table without any movement being apparent of opening the
right hand.
Now you open the left hand and drop the three dollars from
the right hand as you say, "And three dollars in the left hand."
The left hand picks up the three dollars and passes under the
table. The right hand is slapped on the table on the half dollar
as the left hand brings the three dollars forcibly against the un-
derside of the table. As the left hand is brought up, the other
three dollars are reclaimed from off the knee. The right hand is
raised as you say, "The half dollar always gives trouble." Drop
the six dollars from the left hand on the table.
85
THE FRENCH DROP (Improved)
The "French drop" has served well the masters of years gone
by, and is still recognized as a basic coin sleight. However, I have
found the following variation of the basic method to be more adapt-
able to my usage, so I pass it on to you.
The coin on display, held at right angle to the floor, rests on
edge between the thumb and first finger of the right hand, thumb
and top finger together and at a slight angle with the floor. The
fingers of the left hand move in front of the coin, the thumb be-
hind the coin. The thumb is an inch and a half away from the coin
in the position shown in Fig. 2, which was photographed from
above. Fig. 3 is the same view as Fig. 2, also taken from above.
In this position the thumb releases the coin, and the coin falls
onto the second, third and fourth fingers. No movement of the
right hand should be apparent to the spectators.
The left hand seemingly takes the coin, and as it moves away
to the left, both hands turn to bring the backs of the hands towards
the audience. A further effective addition to these moves is to
hold the coin as explained and shown in Fig. 1, and touching it
on its rim with the tips of the second and third fingers of the left
hand, cause it to rotate through 180 degrees, and then continue
the move as aforesaid. The rotating action adds tremendously to
the effect, as a trial will prove. If you learn to do this correctly
you will never use the older method again.
ANOTHER ORIGINAL FIVE COIN PASS
Four coins are concealed by the "Downs' palm" in the left hand,
and one coin is back palmed in the right hand. You are standing
with your left side towards the audience, right hand outstretched
palm facing audience. On your left side is a table and a stand for
supporting five coins. The back palmed coin is produced at the
fingertips of the outstretched right hand. The left hand is brought
up to the right hand for the apparent reason of taking away the
86
coin, but instead the coin is back palmed, and one of the coins in
the "Downs' palm" position is produced at the left fingertips.
These moves of the right and the left hand must be synchronized
so the effect will be that the coin was actually taken from the right
hand fingertips.
The left hand, with a coin displayed between the thumb and
first finger and three coins in the "Downs' palm" position, is
brought across in front of the body, and places the coin in the dis-
play stand. The right hand reaches out, and again a coin appears
at the fingertips. The left hand is brought up, and the aforesaid
moves are repeated. These moves are gone through until all five
coins are in the stand.
THE MISER'S DREAM
Catching coins in succession from the air dates back to Robert
Houdin. However, I feel certain that T. Nelson Downs who pre-
sented the money catching act under the title, "The Miser's Dream,"
had developed this effect into an act that was a far call from the
simple, though effective, feat of Robert Houdin's day. Only the
most simple coin palms were known then, by comparison with the
methods known today. Downs lifted the art of coin manipulation
in his day to heights undreamed of in the days of Robert Houdin.
Therefore, when I think of coins I think of Downs the inventor, the
master, whose performances were a feature in the leading theatres
of London, and on the continent, and in New York.
I am going to say right now that it needs an artist of consid-
erable skill or a great showman to perform "The Miser's Dream"
as Downs and Allan Shaw performed it. It is not sufficient to sim-
ply know howit takes real talent to get anything like the maxi-
mum entertainment value from such an act.
I have seen "The Miser's Dream" performed with all sorts of
hatssome with tin plates in the crown, others with saucers, buck-
ets, glasses and bowlsall sorts of fakes and contraptions used by
a large number of performers, some comedy, others dramatic. I
never did see Downs. The performance by Allan Shaw, however,
stands out from all others I have seen beyond any comparison. This
artiste had great charm, poise, deliberation, dramatic talent and
an unusual degree of manipulative skill. He made use of about
sixteen coins. Every coin he produced at his fingertips was a real
magical effect in itself. In a cultivated and well-modulated voice
he entertained you with his subtle witicisms, such as, "I taught this
to a friend of mine. He died, poor fellow. Sheer exhaustion."
In these pages I will describe to you the details and improve-
ments in the manipulative art for performing this act, and set forth
a number of gags, some of which you may find to have desirable pos-
87
sibilities. I performed the coin act for two years, and was featured in
the opposition theatres to Allen Shaw in 1909 in Australia. I wai,
however, a poor imitation of Allen Shaw, and these doings were
those of the theatre management rather than by any choice of
mine. But Shaw took it very philosophically, and there never was
any friction between us because of it. I admired Shaw's work. To
me he was the pinnacle of perfection. His work was something to
be aimed at and to try to attain. Because of this, I know of no
better way of getting over to you the importance of the details
that may otherwise be overlooked than to sketch a verbal picture
of Shaw's act.
Shaw's music was eight bars of introduction, then into "Hearts
and Flowers" (too shopworn for further use, but as a talking accom-
paniment it then had no equal). The stage was carpeted to the foot-
lights. Blue velvet drops hung in number two. One small occasional
table was at right of center. There was one traveling spot each side,
off stage, about ten feet up, and spot from front, with all other
lights out. On the table was a silk hat, mouth down. Shaw, in fault-
less evening clothes, entered center.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my original presentation of 'A Miser's
Dream'money, and how to get it." Shaw casually picked up the
silk hat and observed it empty, loaded coins from the rear rim
and proceeded to catch one coin after another, hesitating again and
again to display each coin and to get gag after gag across, keeping
his audience amused with the witty dialogue and amazed and en-
tertained at his skill, finishing the "dream" by producing six coins
from the air as he made a grab, interjecting a little amusement by
apparently tossing a coin into the air and catching it in the hat at
the termination of its flight, taking a coin from his shoe as he
said, "Fancy money for boot protectors," and pushing a coin through
the side of the hat.
Shaw then performed a number of passes with one coin that
were the very poetry of motion and most baffling to watch. Later
he used five coins, his optical illusion as he called it, with one
coin and a hat. He finished his act with a brilliant roll of a coin
across the fingers, saying, "This you can do, but it does take prac-
tice. I found the first fifteen years the hardest." Tossing the coin
into the air, he caught it as he walked off to great applause. Curtain.
Time, six minutes.
This somewhat vague description will perhaps help you to
better visualize this successful act. Shaw used Australian half
crowns when I saw him perform. However, I recommend that you
use the American dollars. These are the coins that I always used,
even in Australia. They may seem, and perhaps are, more difficult
at the beginning, but they pay you well for the additional time
spent in practice to become proficient in their use.
I venture the opinion that the coin act as presented by Allen
Shaw would be a top act in our leading night clubs today.
88
FINALE TO "THE MISER'S DREAM"
By W. J. Alkinson
This is something I read in July "Magic," by Ellis Stanyon,
1902, and after successfully trying it for my wife and sister I rec-
ommend you try it. I think it very good.
At the completion of "The Miser's Dream," empty the coins
from the hat and place the hat on the seat of a chair behind which
is suitably arranged a secret pocket to receive the coins.
Take as many coins as you can do the "Downs' click pass" with
in your right hand, and after seemingly tossing the coins into your
left hand, approach the hat and simulate the act of letting the
coins fall from the left hand into the hat, while your right hand
with the coins is on the back of the chair and the coins are re-
leased to fall into the pocket.
I can speak from experienceeven at eight feet the illusion was
quite mystifying.
TWO PLAYING CARDS, FOUR HALF DOLLARS
AND A HANDKERCHIEF
This excellent trick is simply a modification of an effect pub-
lished in Stanyon's "Magic Dec," 1904.
In place of the paper squares suggested by John N. Hilliard, I
recommend that two playing cards be used, that the coins be half
dollars and that the manipulation of the cards to conceal the coins
be as explained herein. Otherwise the trick is essentially Hilliard's.
Place a felt pad or several napkins under the tablecloth to elim-
inate revealing sounds during the working of the trick.
Place a handkerchief on the table over the padded cloth, or
else place it on the carpeted floor; on the handkerchief place the
four half dollars in a square. They should be about six inches apart.
Take the two cards, preferably an Ace and a King, and while
pattering away place the Ace held in the left hand, on the coin
at the left rear corner and the King on the coin at the right
rear corner. Say, "Here I place the Ace and here the King. Now
I place the King here and the Ace here." Cross the hands and place
the Ace on the coin at the right front corner and the King on the
coin at the left front corner. Without a change of pace, pick up
the coin with the left hand at the right front corner between the
second finger under the coin and the thumb on the card. Before
you take the card, the Ace, away with the coin thus held, the right
hand with the King is carried over the place where the coin was to
take the place of the Ace as it is removed, and the left hand lays
89
the Ace and the coin down at the left front corner without letting
the coins touch each other.
The left hand picks up the left rear corner, and the right hand
picks up the coin that is there and moves with the coin showing
under the handkerchief. As soon as it is out of sight, the coin is
dropped on the table, and the hand moves under the handkerchief
till it reaches the two coins under the Ace. At that moment the
left hand holding the corner of the handkerchief recovers the coin
from the table. The right hand jingles the two coins under the Ace
and is withdrawn from under the handkerchief, clearly shown emp-
ty. The Ace is lifted and immediately passed to the left hand, which
drops the corner of the handkerchief to take the Ace from the
right hand, and in this manner the coin is secretly transferred to
the underside of the Ace and laid silently on the other two coins
from which it was just removed.
The left hand picks up the left corner of the handkerchief
again, and the right hand takes up the coin from the right front cor-
ner and passes under the handkerchief, silently dropping the coin
when out of sight. Jingle the coins under the Ace, and withdraw
the right hand and show it empty. The right hand picks up the
Ace, and three coins are seen lying there. The Ace is transferred
straight away to the left hand that has recovered the dropped coin
from the table as before, and card and coin are silently replaced
with the other three coins. The King is tapped and then turned
over, and the coin has vanished. The Ace is duly raised, and the
four coins are seen together.
The success of this effect depends on not letting the coins talk
when they should not, and on a fairly fast, unbroken working pace
from beginning to end.
COIN THROUGH HANDKERCHIEF
(Original)
The coin, preferably a silver dollar, is secreted in the right
hand, finger palmed. A handkerchief, preferably white silk, is
taken from the pocket and displayed by two corners. The coin is
held in front of the corner covered by the fingers holding the
silk. The left hand corner is placed on the right hand corner
over the coin. The front bottom corner is folded up on the pre-
viously folded corner, and the remaining corner is folded behind
under the right thumb. In this manner the left hand holds the
silk by its four corners. The right hand is now closed and opened.
It then seemingly plucks a coin from the air. As the performer
makes a throwing motion in the direction of the silk, the coin
secretly held between the corners is let fall to the middle of the
silk.
The right hand takes hold of the coin through the silk at
the middle, and without the left hand letting go of the four cor-
ners, the center of the silk is brought up above the left hand, and
the coin is released, secretly falling into the left hand.
90
The left hand carries the coin up to the right hand, behind
the silk, and the procedure of pulling the coin through the center
of the silk is successfully undertaken. The coin is removed and
the silk shown. This is an excellent piece of business.
Try pulling the handkerchief down with the right hand and
retain the coin displayed between the finger and thumb of the
left hand. The effect is even more startling as the act of slowly
pulling down on the handkerchief the coin held between the finger
and thumb of the left hand come into view.
A COIN VANISH AND REAPPEARANCE
By That Clever Artiste (Carlyle)
Hold a silver dollar between the thumb and fingers of your
right hand, thumb on top, and place the coin in your left hand,
which is outstretched at arm's length and shoulder height. Close
your left hand fingers on the coin. Turn the left hand over so the
back of the hand is towards the audience, and tilt the thumb and
first finger so they are pointing directly away from the audience.
The audience is unable to see them in this position. The left hand
has the coin in it, so the move is really a fair one so far.
Then say, "Watch, no up-the-sleeve business." With the right
hand, push back the coat sleeve. This action pulls the shirt sleeve
up also, and the buttoned cuff of the shirt is tight around your arm
about six inches up the arm from your wrist. Say, "Everything is
fair and above board. No deception really." While making this
statement, the left hand is opened, and the coin is openly dropped
into the right hand. The coin is again held between the thumb and
first finger and placed in the left hand, which closes on the coin
and turns over as was done the first time. But this time the coin
is retained by the finger and thumb of the right hand, which tilts
as before to conceal it.
The right hand, with the coin thus held, is placed behind the
left wrist, and the coin is pressed against the front part of the left
arm, which is then furthest from the audience. The second finger
of the right hand and the right thumb are pressed against the wrist.
You say, "Hold my wrist," to one of the spectators, and at the same
time the fingers of the right hand press the coin half way under
the shirt cuff between the cuff and the arm. This allows you to re-
move your hand and let the hand be seen empty. With the proper
dramatics, your left hand is slowly (very slowly) openedthe coin
is gone! Then you say to the spectator, "Hold the wrist more tight-
ly," and as you illustrate your words by actions rotate the hand,
bringing the coin still under the shirt cuff to the front and directly
under the hand. The coin is easily taken by the thumb and fingers,
and as the hand moves past the left hand you open your left hand
and show the coin in your right hand, held between the finger and
thumb by its milled edge. The illusion is that the coin was in your
left hand and you took it with your right.
91
THE STEAL
By Cardini
This is an effective piece of coin manipulation, by Cardini.
With his permission I pass it on to you.
Five silver dollars are dropped into the left hand. The hand is
closed and turned to bring the back of the hand towards the audi-
ence. The fingers of the right hand are shown empty, and then
tap the back of the closed left hand. The left hand turns over as
the right hand is drawn away. The right hand is closed, and a coin
emerges from between the thumb and first finger without opening,
as if the coin were being disgorged. It is very effective and quite
mysterious to watch.
The left hand is opened, and only four coins remain. The afore-
said moves are all repeated, and then three coins only remain. This
is repeated three more times until all the coins have passed from
the left to the right hand.
The moves by which this transit of coins is accomplished are
as follows:
The five silver coins are held in the left hand (see Fig. 1).
The left hand closes on the five coins and turns over (see Fig. 2).
The second and third fingers of the left hand press lightly on the
face of one coin, and rapidly but silently work it out until it pro-
trudes as in Fig. 3. The right hand is shown empty and brought to
position as in Fig. 3. The left hand is then turned over. This act
brings the coin into a position so it may be secretly secured by
the two middle fingers of the right hand, as depicted in Fig. 4. For
a moment don't follow the photographs further than Fig. 4. The
right hand closes on the coin, and the hand is withdrawn about
twelve inches away from the left hand and commences a light
crushing action which causes the coin therein to slowly emerge
from the hand between the thumb and finger base.
The moves are repeated until no coins are in the left hand. I can
say from watching Cardini perform this from a distance of four
feet, the illusion was perfect and left nothing to be desired.
Cardini does not steal the first two coins by the described
method, preferring to thumb palm them one by one as they are
turned back from the right to the left hand.
For those who wish to add a different touch to the effect, let
us go back to Fig. 4 and pass on to Fig. 5. The coin is placed be-
hind the closed left hand as shown in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7, and a tilt
backwards of the left hand causes the coin to be secretly secured
by the flesh of the back of the hand and the wrist (see Fig. 8).
The right hand is shown empty, and the fingers and thumb are
placed on the left wrist as if taking the pulse, and the coin is al-
lowed to slide secretly into the hand to be produced as aforesaid.
92
THE STEAL
By Cardini
93
TWENTY-ONE CENTS
By Ross Bertram {Toronto, Canada)
While the original version of this trick necessitated the use of
shell coins, this method is accomplished with borrowed coins if de-
sired, and therefore places the effect in the 'impromptu class'. You
will find here a few subtleties which elevate the trick to a new
standard. One or two trials will please you and at the same time
astonish the spectators.
EFFECT:
Performer places two nickles, a dime and a cent in his left
hand and closes same. All of the coins except one of the nickles
vanish. The remaining nickle is ordinary and may be examined.
METHOD:
Fig. 1. The coins are laid on the table in the following order:
from left to right: Nickle, Cent, Dime and Nickle.
Fig. 2. The left hand is held with the palm upward, fingers
close together. The left-hand nickle is picked up by the right hand,
held at tips of index fingers and thumb, the coin being gripped
at its edge and extending out from the side of the finger and thumb.
Right hand then approaches left, the hands being turned so that
their fingers are parallel, and the nickle is placed on the left palm,
at the base of the third finger. The cent is picked up in the same
way and placed on the nickle; then the dime is placed on the cent,
making a stack of three coins. As each coin is placed in the left
hand, the total amount of money in the left hand at that point is
counted aloud by the performer.
Fig. 3. The last coin (nickle) is picked in the same way as the
others, and the right hand is brought down over the stack so that
inner side of second finger-tip presses down on the left edge of
the stack, thus tilting the stack.
Fig. 4. Third finger closes in and the stack is nipped between
the second and third fingers. The nickle is deposited on the palm
in the same instant that the stack is nipped away, the left hand
closing immediately. The act of gripping the stack causes the
coins to click together, simulating the sound of the nickle being
placed on top of the stack.
Fig. 5. With the right hand reach to a spectator at your right,
grasp his left arm at the wrist or elbow, and request him to hold
out his left hand. Ask him how much money you have in your
left hand, then open the hand, dropping the nickle onto spectator's
outstretched palm. He invariably examines the coin. While he is
doing so, drop your loaded right hand to your side; then hold out
empty left hand to receive the coin. The right hand, with fingers
curled, is brought up, and nickle is taken between extended thumb
and index finger. It is placed in the right hand trouser pocket, the
stack being left there at the same time.
94
TWENTY-ONE CENTS
By Ross Bertram
A Master of Close-Up Coin Magic
95
COINS PASS, ONE BY ONE, FROM THE LEFT HAND
TO THE RIGHT HAND
The performer takes four dollars from his vest pocket and
places them in a square about six inches apart on the table (see
Fig. 1). He picks up the four coins, one by one, and drops each
coin onto the palm of his left hand (see Fig. 2).
He tips the coins from the left hand to the right hand, spread-
ing them in the palm of his right hand with his left fingertips so
everyone can plainly see the four coins. He once more tips the coins
back to the left hand and spreads them again with his right finger-
tips so that everyone may see the four coins. He then tips the four
coins onto the table.
These moves were all made to convince the onlookers that only
four coins are used throughout this trick.
With his right hand the performer picks up the first coin
and places it on the palm of his outstretched left hand, and likewise
places the remaining three coins, one by one, alongside the first. He
then closes both hands and turns them face down. From the closed
right fist the performer works a coin out, as shown in Fig. 6. The
coin drops on the table, and the empty right palm is turned up.
The left hand drops three coins on the right hand, and the right
hand turns them back into the left hand. The left hand drops them
onto the table. The right hand picks them up, one at a time, and
drops them into the palm of the left hand. Both hands close, and
the second coin is squeezed out of the right hand and let fall on
the table. The right hand is opened and turned palm up.
The left hand drops two coins on the right palm. The right
hand drops them back into the left hand. Both hands are closed
and turned down, and the third coin is squeezed from the right
fist.
The right hand is opened, and the left hand drops one coin
into the right hand, and the right hand turns it back to the left
hand. The performer takes a pencil from his pocket and, dropping
the coin from his left hand onto the table, asks a spectator if he
would care to mark this coin. No one offers to do so. The coin is
taken in the right hand and turned over to the left hand. Both hands
are closed, and the coin is squeezed out of the right fist, and both
hands are seen empty.
This fine effect depends on the following secret moves, and
good timing.
96
When you reach into your vest pocket to procure the four
coins for the trick, you secretly palm a fifth coin in the right hand
from the vest right side pocket. Take the four coins openly from
the left side vest pocket, place them on the table, using both hands
to arrange the four coins into a square.
With the right hand secreting the fifth coin, pick up the four
coins, one by one, and drop them openly, for all to see, into the left
palm, opening and shutting the left hand as each coin is dropped
into it (see Fig. 2). Now bring the hands together. The left hand
97
tips three of the four coins into the right hand. The coin in the
center of the palm of the left hand is secretly palmed. The right
hand is opened, and four coins are seen. That is the crux of the
illusion, and it is a very good one indeed. You should practice this
move until you can do it as effectively and naturally as if you were
transferring all the coins from one hand to the other.
The remaining moves to learn are as follows: When you have
two coins in your left hand after squeezing out the third coin from
the right fist, these two coins must not be allowed to "talk," for the
spectators believe there is only one coin, and one coin does not
rattle. With one coin palmed in the left and one on the fingers,
drop the one that is held on the left hand fingers on the out-
stretched palm of the right hand, and immediately pretend to turn
it back to the left hand, the left hand opening to reveal the coin
already there. With the coin in the left hand now in full view, the
right hand with the other coin palmed reaches to the top left side
pocket for a pencil (have one ready). The coin is disposed of with-
out arousing the least suspicion.
The method of palming is not very important. Use the one
you are most proficient in. Many will prefer the thumb palm, while
others will prefer either the straight palm or holding the coin in
the crook of the fingers. I personally think for this effect that the
thumb palm offers advantages not presented by the other methods.
However, use the one you find best.
The last coin is disposed of by use of a move described in
Gaultier's book, "Magic Without Apparatus," Page 314. It is cred-
ited to Mr. Trewey, and is perfect for this effect. The coin is held
in the left hand, both hands palm up separated a space of six inches.
As the hands are closed they are turned smartly over, the thumbs
momentarily being brought together. At this moment the left hand
partly opens to allow the momentum caused by the move to carry
the coin unsuspected to the right hand. A trial will tell you more
than a volume of words, so try it out right now. You will like it, I
feel sure.
98
THE TRANSFER OF A SILVER DOLLAR FROM ONE
HAND TO THE OTHER
For those with a preference for artistic movement of the hands
to prove them, by conjuror's logic, to be empty, the following moves
are presented.
Stand with your right side facing the audience, or a mirror for
practice. Both hands are at shoulder height, the left hand palm
facing extended beyond the right hand back of right hand facing.
In the right hand, front thumb palmed, is a silver dollar.
The right hand is slowly turned over to show the palm, but
when is has been rotated through about forty-five degrees, the first
finger is closed around the thumb palmed coin, which holds it firm-
ly, while the thumb releases its hold and reaches clear across the
coin to the root of the fourth finger, thus bringing the thumb into
position to back thumb palm the coin as the hand is opened at
the completion of the turn, which should be less than half a revolu-
tion, and made at one continuous pace.
The left hand is then turned over to bring the back of the
hand facing out in the same slow manner. The last move is made
so the left hand is now lower than the right hand and directly un-
der it.
The backs of the two index fingers of the open hands are now
brought momentarily together, and the coin is readily transferred
from the back thumb palm of the right hand to the back thumb
palm of the left hand. At the completion of the transfer, both
palms are facing the floor.
The right hand is rotated to bring its back to the audience. To
do this properly, the sides of the tip of the fingers should remain
touching during the last move.
The left hand, with the coin back thumb palmed, is rotated to
bring the palms facing. The right hand acts as a cover to keep the
coin from being seen.
The right hand is lowered in front of the left palm, passing
downwards until the left little fingertip touches the right thumb
tip. With the finger and thumb tips still engaged, the right hand is
turned over to show its palm, and then turned down again. Bring-
ing the fingers of the right hand partly under the side of the left
hand, the coin is released from the back left thumb palm, and falls
secretly into the partly closed fingers of the right hand.
The left hand then partly closes on the right thumb; the hands
move away from one another. The left hand is slowly opened, and
the right hand produces the coin at the tip of the finger and thumb
by the simple act of sliding it up the fingers with the thumb.
I feel I should warn you to practice these moves very carefully
from the instructions I have given if you would retain all of their
beauty and illusion.
99
JOHN PLATT'S CHINESE COIN ON PENCIL ILLUSION
IWITH PERMISSION)
This illusion has already appeared in the "Sphinx" magazine
with permission of John Platt. However, the changes herein sug-
gested lie only in the use of a pencil and a Chinese coin in place
of using a ring and a wand.
Taking a Chinese brass coin from your pocket (one with a hole
through its center), you say, "This coin recalls a story that may
possibly interest you. If you don't mind, I would like to tell you
about it. I was playing in a town called Pekin, now called Peep-
ing. The incident I am about to relate occurred in the market
place there about nine o'clock in the morning of July seventh. I
have very good reason to remember both the day, which was
Thursday, and the date, July the seventh. They had brought some
twenty coolie prisoners from the jail house to the market place,
and they were kneeling while a guard stretched out their necks
by their queues as another proceeded to quickly lop off their
heads, one after the other, with a heavy two-handed sword. I asked
an Englishman standing nearby what it was all about. He said,
'They are river pirates and they chop off their heads if it does
not rain.' Well, I sood there fascinated, and not a little nause-
ated, by this spectacle, and as the third head rolled to the flag-
stones, this Chinese cash (Cash is the Chinese name for this coin)
rolled over to my feet and stood on edge. Fascinated, I watched
it intently, for the coin had fallen from the decapitated coolie's
hand. Dazedly I stooped to pick it up, but to my amazement it
was no longer there. Later a very strange thing happened. I
hastened away from the place, feeling quite troubled about the
whole affair. Imagine my bewilderment when, on reaching the
hotel, I found the coin in my pocket. You may say it was a lapse
of memory, that I picked up the coin and myself placed it in my
pocket. However, to this day I am superstitious about this coin,
and believe it has eerie properties. On three separate occasions
I have thought it best to dispose of it. Once I threw it in the sea,
but on going to my cabin later, the coin was on my pillow. I
assure you, gentlemen, that on more than one occasion I have had
cause to be quite disturbed. This little demonstration will, per-
haps, help you to understand what I mean.
"Look, I will place the coin in my left hand and place this
handkerchief around my hand. Would you mind slipping that
rubber band over my hand to hold the handkerchief securely on
my wrist to completely encircle the hand holding the coin? Thank
you.
"See this lead pencil. Examine it, please. It' s just an ordinary
pencil as you see."
While you show the pencil, your right hand can also be plain-
ly seen empty without your saying so. Then, holding the pencil
with your hand around its middle, you ask a spectator to clasp one
hand around each end of the pencil. You then place your hand
100 '
with the handkerchief around the pencil, remove the rubber band,
and on pulling the handkerchief away, the pencil is through the
hole in the Chinese coin, although the spectator did not let go of
its ends.
The secret of this very fine illusion is fairly simple when ex-
plained, because each of the moves has been carefully timed, ar-
ranged and planned with forethought. The story puts the audi-
ence in a receptive mood for the mystery.
The left hand is held, palm up; the coin is placed in it, and
the hand, plain for all to see, is closed on the coin and then turned
over. A handkerchief is taken from the pocket with the right hand
and held by one side midway between two corners, thumb upper-
most and the four fingers bent under the handkerchief. The right
hand is held about six inches above the left hand, which is hold-
ing the coin. The handkerchief is hanging down on the left side
of the right hand. In this manner the handkerchief is laid over
the back of the left hand and drawn down by the right hand to
center the left hand with the handkerchief. If the right hand
is holding the handkerchief as described, the coin can be dropped
from the left hand and caught by the fingers of the right hand
with complete secrecy. The right hand flips the coin up the
right sleeve, and then gathers the handkerchief over the left
hand. A rubber band previously given to a spectator is passed
over the hand by him to secure the handkerchief around the left
wrist.
You reach for the pencil lying on the table and let the coin
in your right sleeve drop secretly into your hand. Take up the
pencil so that one end passes into the hole through the coin. Press
the other end of the pencil against the left hand so that your right
hand is brought to the middle of the pencil now concealing the
coin which is on the pencil. Ask someone to hold the pencil by
its ends, and bring your left hand over to take the place of the
right. Remove the rubber band, then the handkerchief, and the
coin is seen on the pencil.
101
FIVE SILVER DOLLARS AND A HANDKERCHIEF ROUTINE
This is a beautiful illusion that I worked out about two years
ago with five dollars and a handkerchief. It is something quite new
and different and should appeal to the coin manipulator who wants
something apart from the ordinary run of coin passes. It will no
doubt lead the way to many different versions and variations.
Five dollars are held, not palmed, in the right hand. The right
hand removes by a corner a fine, but not transparent, cambric hand-
kerchief from the handkerchief pocket of the coat and shakes it
out. The left hand seizes the opposite corner of the handkerchief,
and the handkerchief is displayed for a moment. The left hand re-
leases its corner with a slight upward toss and is passed under the
handkerchief so that the handkerchief falls and lies spread over the
open left hand.
The five silver dollars are then dropped, one at a time, onto
the handkerchief, and then openly turned back into the right hand
again. A Downs "click pass" is executed, as described previously.
The left hand closes on the handkerchief as if the coins were held
therein, while actually they are secretly Downs palmed in the right
hand. Performer should be standing with his left side facing the
audience while executing the move, so that the palm of the right
hand facing the audience will disperse any suspicion of the decep-
tion.
The left hand turns over with the handkerchief so the four cor-
ners fall downward together, the middle held supposedly with the
coins.
The four fingers of the right hand pass around the handker-
chief about four inches down from the left hand, the thumb pass-
ing behind the handkerchief. The coins are all this time Downs
palmed in the right hand.
The right hand moves down the handkerchief to the four cor-
ners, and holds them bunched together. The left hand now lowers
the middle of the handkerchief, supposedly with the coins therein.
The both hands are holding the handkerchief. The corners in the
right hand conceal the coins, which are allowed to lie loosely on
the fingers.
Both hands jog up and down three or four times, and the coins
clink together. The audience thinks the coins are in the middle of
the handkerchief. The illusion is heightened that they are still there
by the clink of the coins as the hankerchief is shaken.
The first finger and thumb of the right hand seize a corner
of the handkerchief and suddenly pull it out of the left hand and
shake it out. The illusion is very startling, for the coins seem to
vanish.
102
Because of the moves to follow, the five coins should be Downs
palmed just prior to shaking out the handkerchief.
With the handkerchief held by a corner between the thumb and
first fingertip of the right hand, the performer turns right to bring
the left side of his body towards the audience. The careless man-
ner in which the hankerchief is held and shaken seems to make it
impractical to hold the coins without their being seen, but such is
actually the case.
Now follow these moves very carefully. The right hand is hold-
ing the handkerchief by a corner, and has five coins Downs palmed,
the palm of the right hand facing the audience.
Show the left palm to the audience by holding it about six
inches from the right hand. Then take hold of the handkerchief at
the corner held by the right hand, and draw it along the hem until
the adjacent corner is reached.
Then turn the body facing the audience, with the hankerchief
held by the two corners, one corner in each hand. Now turn left to
bring the right side towards the audience. Release the right hand
from the corner and hold the handkerchief up by the left hand cor-
ner only. Pass the second, third and fourth fingers of the left
hand in front of the handkerchief. This leaves the handkerchief
held between the second and third fingers. The thumb and second
and third fingers are spread open to reveal the hand empty.
The right hand, with the coins Downs palmed, passes the two
middle fingers and thumb in opposite directions completely around
the handkerchief until the fingertips and thumb tip meet. This is
done about four inches from the right hand. Now with the hands,
handkerchief and coins held thus, you make a right turn to bring
the left side to the audience. Now draw the right hand slowly down
and off the end of the handkerchief, and again pass the fingers
and thumb around the handkerchief, four inches from the left hand,
and draw the right hand off the end again.
Pass the right hand around the middle of the handkerchief, and
turn left to bring the right side towards the audience. The left hand
releases the handkerchief and the hand is shown, back and front,
with the fingers apart, while the right hand holds the handkerchief.
The left hand fingers and thumb take the handkerchief by the cor-
ner again, and the right hand is drawn off the end. The second and
third fingers of the right hand extract the underneath coin, and the
hand passes as before around the handkerchief, but this time as it
passes off the end, a dollar is seen to emerge from the folds of the
handkerchief, the coin between the tips of the thumb and first
finger. The coin is laid aside or dropped into the right side pocket.
103
The moves are repeated, and a second coin appears as before.
Now the right hand passes around the handkerchief for a third time
but this time the performer makes a right turn to bring the left
side to the audience, and the right hand is drawn off the handker-
chief without a coin appearing.
The right hand is now brought up level with and behind the left
hand, and the two middle fingers of the left hand are placed, one
above and one below, the three coins held Downs palmed in the
right hand. The right hand moves down the handkerchief, leaving
the coins held by the fingers of the left hand. The right hand seizes
the bottom corner of the handkerchief, and the left hand lets go of
the handkerchief and then presses the three coins into the Downs
palm position. The left hand is then passed around the handker-
chief until the thumb and middle fingertips meet. You now make
a left turn and draw the handkerchief and the left hand apart, keep-
ing the thumb tip and middle fingertip together to conceal the coins.
The handkerchief corner is now transferred from the first fin-
ger and thumb tip of the right hand to the first finger and thumb
tip of the left hand. This is done very precisely to give the im-
pression that there is no possibility of any deception. The perform-
er then turns face on to the audience.
The right hand passes as before around the handkerchief about
two inches from the left hand. The middle fingers of the left hand
move out the bottom coin of the three and hold it behind the hand-
kerchief. The coin is allowed to fall, and is caught by the right
hand. As the hand moves down the handkerchief, this coin is moved
by the fingers to be held by its milled edge. As the hand passes
off the handkerchief, the coin is seen displayed, a truly beautiful
effect if the handkerchief is drawn off the coin sideways.
The third coin is laid aside, and the moves of seizing the hand-
kerchief with the right hand two inches below the left hand and
droppng a coin into the right hand from the left hand are repeated,
but this time a coin is not produced. The handkerchief is pulled
through the right hand to the corner where it is held by the right
thumb and first finger. Then the performer turns right and places
the left hand around the middle section of the handkerchief and
draws it down the handkerchief, revealing the coin therein dis-
played between the thumb and second fingertip.
You now have the last coin finger palmed in your right hand,
which holds the handkerchief by one corner, and you are face on to
your audience.
Place the fingertip and thumb tip of the left hand on the seam
of the handkerchief next to the right hand, and draw it along the
hem to the adjacent corner. Place the left hand corner in front of
the right hand corner, and hold them together by the right thumb
and first finger.
104
The left hand is drawn along the folded hem, and then it reaches
down to the two loose corners which lie close together because of
the aforesaid straightening action. The two corners are picked up
together by the right hand thumb and first finger, which hold them
about one inch from the extreme edge. They are brought up behind
the right hand held corners, and as the thumb and first finger take
hold of the third corner, leaving the back corner for a moment,
the coin held finger palmed by the second, third and fourth fingers
of the right hand, is moved together with these fingers behind the
three folds of the handkerchief, and the first finger and thumb of
the left hand holding the remaining corner of the handkerchief
seize it and place the coin and the four corners of the handkerchief
together.
The right hand is then removed to be shown empty, and the
handkerchief is held by the extreme edge with the thumb and first
finger. Turn left and hold the handkerchief at arm's length from
the body. Reach into the air with your right hand, and appear to
catch a coin. Throw it towards the handkerchief, and at the same
time release the coin, allowing it to drop to the center of the hand-
kerchief. When the coin falls into the handkerchief, the right hand
secretly procures a coin, tied in a small piece of cambric to match
the handkerchief, from under the side of the coat where it is held
by a clip. With this small bundle concealed, the right hand seizes
the handkerchief near its middle, with the coin inside of it, and,
twisting the coin and the handkerchief together, holds the piece
of cambric with the same hand as if the coin, with its shape now
seen, was actually inside the handkerchief. Pick up from the table
a pair of sharp scissors, and cut the "handkerchief," letting the coin
out. Place the handkerchief with the original coin in your handker-
chief pocket, and perform a few passes with the second coin. Finally
cause it to vanish. Pull the handkerchief from the pocket, letting
the coin fall to the floor. Show the handkerchief restored.
The piece of cambric may be disposed of by the act of placing
the scissors in the side pocket.
This is a very effective and pretty routine, and will repay you
well for the time and practice necessary to perform it.
105
AN INVISIBLE JOURNEY
(Improved)
Two silver dollars are held in the left hand, and two silver dol-
lars and one half dollar in the right hand. Place the four dollars in
a square on the table, and the half dollar in the center. See Fig. 1.
Stack two of the dollars, and pick them up with the fingertips and
thumb of the left hand. Stack the two remaining dollars on the half
dollar on the table with the thumb
and fingertips of the right hand,
(see Fig. 2) and as you turn over
the right hand, transfer the three
coins on the second and third fin-
gers to the palm, pressing the two
dollars into the palm position. The
half dollar, being smaller, cannot
be held thus. Then turn the hand
over, letting the two dollars fall
into the left hand as you close the
hand. See Fig. 3.
Now with both hands held closed,
fingernails on the table, open the
left hand and let the two dollars
fall on the table, saying, "Two sil-
ver dollars in the left hand." Re-
cover the two coins unassisted by
the righ hand, and, while appar-
ently simply closing the two coins
in the hand, secretly maneuver
them to be held on the backs of the
two middle fingers (see left hand,
Fig. 3) and supported on their
edges by the first and second fin-
gers so that they may be instantly
released and left on the table with-
out any apparent motion of the left
hand releasing the coins (that' s im-
portant).
The half dollar held on the fingers of the right hand (see Fig.
3) is dropped on the two dollars which the left hand releases as the
left hand is moved to the left, and the right hand partly opens as
you say, "The right hand holds two silver dollars and a half dollar."
Immediately stack the two dollars, and the half dollar on top, and
pick up the stack with the fingers and thumb of the right hand.
Make a short movement with the left hand towards the right
hand, and release the palmed coins in the right hand. They should
fall with a clink, to indicate their arrival.
106
THE EUREKA VANISH
A USEFUL SLEIGHT FOR VANISHING FIVE COINS IN
SUCCESSION AT THE FINGERTIPS
T. Nelson Downs
This is not an entirely new sleight, being one of T. Nelson
Downs. However, it plays an important role as part of the routine
of my coin act, described at length under the heading, "A Phantasy
in Silver."
Five coins are on display on some suitable stand made of metal,
bakelite or wood. The performer, with his left side towards the
audience, picks up the coin nearest him with his first finger and
thumb of his left hand, and transfers the coin quite openly to the
first finger and thumb of his right hand, which is held palm facing
audience, as shown in Fig. 1.
The coin is vanished by the back palm, and is held between
the first and second fingers so that the hand is relaxed. The left
hand takes the second coin from the stand and places it between
the first finger and thumb of the right hand, exactly as the first
coin was placed. Fig. 2 is a side view, and Fig. 3 is a rear view
showing how the coin already on the back of the hand is trans-
ferred to the second and third fingers of the left hand. The coin
pinched between the first and second fingers of the left hand is
transferred by the middle fingers to the "Downs palm" while the
right hand causes the second coin to disappear exactly as it did
the first coin.
The left hand, holding the first coin concealed by the "Downs
palm," takes from the display stand the third coin, transfers it to
the thumb and first finger of the right hand, and in so doing the
coin on the back of the right hand is secretly transferred to the
two middle fingers of the left hand, which has the first coin in
the "Downs palm."
107
Again as the right hand back palms the coin it holds between
the first finger and thumb, the coin held between the two middle
fingers of the left hand is transferred to the "Downs palm" along
with the first coin already there. These moves as described are re-
peated until four coins are in the left hand, "Downs palm," and the
fifth coin has been vanished by the right hand.
These moves should be practiced well to eliminate any fum-
bling and until you can do it with complete silence. Yes, it is fairly
difficult, but it will repay you for the time spent.
During the entire performance of these sleights the left side
of your body is towards the audience.
Watch your angles and be certain the people seated in your
left front can see what you want them to see and that the people
on your right don't see too much.
REPRODUCTION OF FIVE COINS, ONE BY ONE, AT THE
FINGERTIPS AND AN ORIGINAL CHANGE OVER
This is a continuation of the last move commencing from the
vanishing of the fifth coin by the right hand and the secret palm-
ing of the first four in the left hand.
The right hand reproduces the coin, which it held back palmed,
at the first finger and thumb tips, and rests it on the thumb nail.
A flip of the thumb sends the coin several feet straight up, spinning
into the air. The coin, on its descent, is caught by the right hand.
This proves without words that the hand is otherwise empty.
The coin is now transferred to the thumb and first finger of
the left hand, and you turn left to bring the right side of your body
towards the audience and the right hand is shown back and front.
The coin is taken and the French drop pass is performed. The coin
is produced by the right hand and placed in the left hand as in
Figs. 1, 2 and 3. The four coins palmed there are secured by the
two middle fingers of the right hand (see Fig. 3.) As the right
hand moves away, the four coins are transferred noiselessly to the
"Downs palm", and three of the coins are then produced, one
by one, and placed between the fingers of the left hand or thrown
one by one as they are produced into the left hand. The fifth coin
is then produced.
108
THE THUMB PASS WITH A SILVER DOLLAR
This is quite different from any other method, and will, un-
doubtedly, have a certain appeal to many of my readers.
The silver dollar is held between the first finger and the thumb
of the left hand. The middle of the left thumb and the second joint
of the first finger support the coin by its milled edge. The back
of the left hand is towards the audience, with the coin held as
aforesaid, at an angle. The position in which the coin is held is
very important to the beauty of the illusion to follow.
The right hand approaches from the side as if to take the coin
between the tip of the first finger and thumb. The right thumb
passes back of the dollar, and the finger slides in front of the dol-
lar as the act of pushing the coin into the left hand is imitated.
This action has brought the fork of the right thumb and fist against
the edge of the coin, where it is readily palmed or held. The left
hand closes as if it received the coin and moves away to be shown
later empty.
FRONT THUMB PALM
Another useful palm is the thumb palm which also finds prac-
tical usage in the "Miser's Dream." The coin is held between the
thumb and first fingertip, and under the pretext of tossing it into
the hat held in the left hand, the coin is secretly conveyed by the
first finger and thumb to the position as shown in Fig. 1. The
thumb is withdrawn and the coin held by the folded first finger
as in Fig. 2. The thumb is then brought down on the coin, and
then the first finger is straightened and the coin is thumb palmed
as seen in Fig. 3. These actions are made under cover of seeming-
ly tossing the coin into the hat. The coin is produced from the
thumb palm by simply reversing the described order of the actions
as given.
109
SPLIT FANS AND COIN PRODUCTIONS
I Original)
While the left hand engages the attention of the audience by
a production of cards, the right hand secretly secures a stack of
four coins from the coin dropper attached to the right leg, con-
cealed by the coat. The right hand, with the four coins "Downs
thumb palmed," is raised to shoulder height, left side towards audi-
ence. The right hand is turned to show the back and front. The left
hand, with about twelve cards held concealed between the thumb
and fourth finger (see Fig. 1), is brought smartly up to the left
hand, and the twelve cards are back palmed in the right hand. Fig.
2 shows how the twelve cards are placed into position behind the
right hand. Fig. 3 shows how the coins and the cards are concealed.
The photos are taken from an angle to deliberately expose the
cards and coins to view for explanatory reasons only.
The right hand reaches out, the fingers bend forward and the
thumb fans the cards as seen in Fig. 4. The coins are shown held in
against the thumb. The first finger pushes between the King of
Clubs and the Ace of Hearts to separate the cards at that place (see
Fig. 5), and the six front cards are fanned out by the thumb, while
the rear six cards are held between the fingers as in Fig. 3. Fig. 6
depicts the audience's view of the move completed. Note the coins
and their position in the hand.
The six cards are allowed to fall as the hand opens out to carry
the other six cards to the backhand position. The thumb conceals
the four coins. The remaining six cards are then produced by bend-
ing forward the fingers as in Fig. 3, and the thumb fans the six
cards as in Fig. 7. The six cards are allowed to fall, and the thumb
fans out the coins as in Fig. 8, or they may be produced, one by one.
It is assumed the reader is proficient in performing the "split
fans" or that he will become accomplished in that sleight before
seriously attempting to perform this one.
Once proficient in the "split fans" (see Card Control, page
147-8), you should have little difficulty in mastering this other move.
110
I l l
THE PRODUCTION OF TWENTY-FOUR COINS
IN A SERIES OF FANS. I An Original Routine)
By John Brown Cook
Whose outstanding Coin Magic makes
him unique amongst the present day
coin manipulators. The following de-
scription and the nine accompanying
photographs are his.
John is without doubt the outstanding
"close up" performer with coins in the
U.S.A. I have watched his steady prog-
ress for the past five years.
John Brown Cook
In preparation for the production of fans of coins the performer
is loaded with the left hand hanging naturally at the side and
and holding a stack of fifteen or twenty silver dollars on the tips
of the two middle fingers. This hand can look surprisingly natural
while holding such a load. (See Fig. 3) The right hand holds four
silver dollars in a back palm, supporting them between the sides
of the first and little fingers near the tips.
With an outward reach, palm toward the audience, the back
palmed stack of coins is produced in a fan. In detail this move
is as follows: First, the hand curls half-way into a fist. Even if
only the outside coin is securely clipped by the first and middle
fingers, no coins will drop because of the pressure of the middle
and fourth fingers against the inside coin of the stack. Next, the
first and little fingers are on their own, so they pinch very tightly
to be sure to hold all the coins while the middle and fourth fingers
draw back till the nails have just passed the middle of the coin.
Now the thumb is placed close to the little fingertip, where it as-
sists these fingers in pivoting the coins until they are firmly gripped
between the ball of the thumb at the front edge and the middle
and fourth fingers at the back. Last, the thumb tip moves the first
coin upward a little more than half its width. Then the ball of
the thumb rests on the next coin and slides both up about the same
distance and engages the third coin, holding them in a group against
the first finger, while the other fingers slide down slightly to space
the other coin. A reversal of these same moves will back palm the
coins.
112
The performer has produced the group of coins, Fig. 1. He
looks with interest at them, and then makes a motion of dropping
them into the left hand. This means that the left hand is brought
from its natural hanging position at the side to waist height at the
front, with the palm turned inward, as the right hand sweeps toward
it. The right hand squares and back palms the four coins while
making this sweep, pausing for a moment with palm out just as
the coins are apparently dropped into the left hand, Fig. 2. The
left thumb has lifted the top five or six coins by the edge, and at
that moment allows the coins to riffle quickly back onto the stack.
This series of moves is repeated three or four times, and the
last time, with the same apparent motion of the right hand, the
coins are not back palmed, but actually tossed onto the stack in the
left hand.
Now the left hand is moved forward, palm up, to show the
coins. By dropping the hand quickly a few inches, the coins are
made to clink noisily against each other and spread themselves
on the palm so they can be showered in plain view from the left
hand to a hat, bowl, plate or other container. The loud solid sil-
ver clinking impresses the audience that real money is being used,
and not magicians' tin discs. Actually, if the performer uses thin
palming coins for his back palming, they finish on the top of the
stack and their tinny sound is hardly noticeable in the shower of
heavy coins.
While the coins are being showered from the left hand, as de-
scribed in the fan productions, the right drops to the side and
takes a load of seven silver dollars, on top of which a nickel or a
penny is waxed. As the shower is completed, the performer looks
over his left shoulder and apparently sees another coin. He reaches
across his body with the right hand, turning sufficiently to take
another load of six silver dollars in a finger palm of the left hand,
which is hanging at the side. At the end of the right arm reach,
the performer pushes the nickel or penny into view at the finger-
tips, turns to face the audience, looks at the coin and tosses it
away. Now he reaches toward the audience and shows the seven
coins in the right hand as one, holding them in position for the
roll-out. Three are thrown away, yet the remaining one spreads
into four. This is repeated twice more.
113
"The Multiple Roll Out"
By John Brown Cook
First the stack of coins is positioned between the thumb
and the next two fingers, and the fourth finger takes its place
beside the thumb, Fig. 4. The thumb releases the outer two
coins and allows them to slide against the fourth finger, which,
because of its angle, stops the inside coin slightly before it stops
the outer one. This leaves the outer coin securely clipped between
the fourth and little finger, and the next one clipped between the
fourth and middle fingers. Now the thumb and first finger move
the other coins straight back until the thumb is against the middle
finger. (Fig. 5) In this position, coins are held with the ball of
the thumb and back of middle finger at one side, and the ball of
the index finger at the other side. Now the thumb grips all but
one of the coins in that group. As the hand straightens, all the
fingers and the four coins roll into view, Fig. 6.
Three coins are dropped onto the table, and the roll-out
moves are repeated. This time the left hand comes up and, with
thumb and forefinger, removes the coin which is between the in-
dex and middle finger in the spread. This move brings the left hand
in exact position to add six finger palmed coins to the face of the
one between the thumb and first finger, and to push the group back
into proper position for additional roll-outs.
Fig. 8 shows the performer's view of this as the load is ap-
proaching and the thumb is reaching for the coin to be taken
away. Fig. 7 shows the audience view as the load is in position
to be added and the coin is being gripped to be taken away. Natural-
ly, to allay suspicion, the other two coins must be removed with
a similar action. Fig. 9 shows the next coin being removed from a
side angle so that the added load may be seen. Now the roll-out
may be repeated twice more.
114
A PHANTASY IN SILVER
MY COMPLETE ACT WITH
COINS, WITH EVERY DETAIL
FOR A SCINTILLATING
PRESENTATION FULLY AND
CAREFULLY EXPLAINED
AND ILLUSTRATED
115
A PHANTASY IN SILVER
(A complete coin act as it was last presented by me at the I.B.M.
Show in Chicago, on January 17, 1948)
With Many Original Features
Properties: One table with a heavy base to give it stability.
On the table is a trough made from a piece of brass tube, one and
a half inches inside diameter, cut in half lengthwise, with a piece
of brass soldered at each end. To the underside of this half tube
or trough is soldered a 6/32 screw. A hole is drilled through the
eighteen inch diameter, half inch thick table top, through which
the screw holding the trough passes. A nut then holds the trough
securely in place. Into this trough are placed twenty silver dol-
lars. A black paper flap conceals them from the view of any pry-
ing eyes. (See Fig. 4 of plate "C," page 120.)
The table top is bakelite, and has a three-quarter inch band of
forty thousandths thick brass around its edge. The band is made
to come flush with the bottom edge of the bakelite table top, and
protrudes above the top one-quarter inch. This prevents the coins
from falling off the table when they are turned out of the hat, as
will be described later on. (See plate "A" and "B".)
In the front of the top of the table, fixed by two screws, is a
piece of bakelite that has a one-eighth inch wide slot, one-eighth
inch deep and seven inches long, for standing up four coins as de-
picted.
The coin harness shown in Fig. 1 and 2 of plate "C" comprises
five separate coin holders. The one at the front right side holds five
coins. The one at the rear right holds ten coins.
The front left one holds five coins. The middle one holds five,
and the rear one holds eight. All the coins used throughout the act
are silver dollars, and are buffed to make them shine.
On the table is a "Walsh" cane, ready to spring open when the
clip is released. Also on the table or the left side pocket of your
coat is a clean fine linen or cambric handkerchief, neatly folded.
116
A Phantasy in Silver
The performer holds in his right hand, pressed against his body,
a silk opera hat, and concealed in his right hand is one silver dollar.
(See Fig. 1 plate "A", page 130.)
The lighting that I prefer is three spotlights, one each side
and one from the frontno other lights. My musical arrangement
is "The Storm" from William Tell for an introduction, followed
immediately by "The Barcarole" from the Tales of Hoffman.
Enter after musical introduction, carrying hat in right hand,
pressed against body. Standing two feet behind the microphone,
announce with deliberation, "Ladies and gentlemena phantasy in
silver." Take a step back, turn right and spring the hat open (See
Fig. 2 plate "A".) Place hat mouth downwards on the table, secret-
ly and simultaneously pick up the twenty dollars with the left fore-
finger and thumb and drop them onto the rim of the hat. This
must be done without watching. (See Fig. 3 plate "A".) Leave the
hat thusly loaded on the table.
Turn to face the audience, then right, bringing your left side
towards the audience, and "back palm" the coin held secretly in
the right hand. Extend the hand and produce the coin at the finger-
tips.
Turn left, bringing the right side towards the audience, and
shift the coin to finger and thumb position, and say, "The root of all
evil." Then perform the improved French drop, reproduce the coin
and say, "Money." Step back to the table, pick up the hat with the
left hand as shown in Fig. 4 plate "A" the coins are held between
the first finger and thumb on the rim of the hat and the second
finger in front of the hat.
The right hand tosses the coin into the hat and is then turned
palm out, thumb down, facing the audience.
The right hand takes hold of the hat by the far side rim.
You then turn right, bringing the left side towards the audi-
ence (see Fig 5 plate "A"). Note how the left hand holding the rim
conceals the dollars. The hat is turned over and momentarily held
in the right hand, coins in the left.
117
A Phantasy in Silver
The hat is placed on the left hand over the coins. (See Fig. 6
plate "A", page 130.)
The right hand secretly removes the five coins from the right
front holder as you momentarily look into the hat. The right hand
is raised, then extended to the right, with the coins palmed. A coin
is produced at the fingertips from the Downs palm as you remark,
"Easy money." You say this just before dropping this coin into
the hat. Then reach out (right) and produce the next coin. As
you pose with the coin at the fingertips, say, "The kind of money
that magicians like to make." Drop the coin into the hat, reach out
(right) again and produce another coin saying "Coin of the Realm."
Drop the coin into the hat. Reach out (right) produce another
coin and say, "Money from my ancestors." Drop the coin into the
hat and produce the last of the five palmed coins from behind
the cloth of the right leg. (See Fig. 9 plate "A".) Say, "I'm
ashamed at times to take the money." Instead of dropping
this coin into the hat, you turn left, bringing the right side
towards the audience, and make ready with the left hand to
drop one coin of the twenty coins held by the left hand as the right
hand is brought over the mouth of the hat. The displayed coin is
thumb palmed, as the coin is dropped from the left hand. If the
hands are held as shown in Fig. 10 plate "A" and the moves properly
synchronized, the illusion is perfect because the coin can be seen
falling and looks as if it fell from the right hand, especially when
there is no reason for suspecting the left hand of doing anything
more than holding the hat.
Produce the thumb palmed coin between the finger and thumb
(see Fig. 8 plate "A"), and as before imitate dropping it into the
hat, actually thumb palming the coin. Produce it again, holding
it as before between the thumb and first finger as in Fig. 8 plate
"A". Turn right with the coin thus displayed, bringing the left side
towards the audience. You back palm the coin in the right hand
as you pretend to throw it into the hat, letting a coin fall from the
left hand to sychronize with this act as the coin is back palmed.
You reach out (right) and produce the coin at the fingertips, saying,
"I once taught this to a friend of mine." Simulate the act of throw-
118
A Phantasy in Silver
ing the coin into the hat as just explained. Produce the coin at the
fingertips and say, "Poor fellowhe died." Simulate the act of drop-
ping the coin into the hat, produce the coin again and say, "From
sheer exhaustion." Simulate the act of dropping the coin into the
hat after you turn left.
Produce the coin between the thumb and finger from the thumb
palm. Simulate the act of dropping the coin into the hat, produce
the coin again, and as you press the coin against the side of the
hat (see Fig. 11 plate "A"), say, "I wouldn't believe this if I were
you." Press the coin against the hat, letting it slide behind the
fingers as a coin is allowed to fall from the left hand.
Thumb palm the coin and reproduce it, and as you press it
against the side of the hat a second time, say, "Just make believe."
Let the coin fall into the hat from the left hand. Produce the coin
again, press it against the crown of the hat (see Fig. 1 plate "B",
page 132 and say, "Merely an optical illusion." Let a coin fall from
the left hand.
Turn right, bringing the left side towards the audience and
with your right hand still held as it pushed the coin against the
crown of the hat, back palm the coin under the protection offered
by the hat. Reach out (right) and produce the coin. Simulate the
act of dropping the coin into the hat from the right hand. Repro-
duce the coin at the fingertips and say, "I only do this because
there's money in it!"
Simulate the act of dropping the coin into the hat and reproduce
the coin. Repeat the act of dropping the coin into the hat. Repro-
duce the coin and say, "Fancy doing this for real money!" In the
act of dropping the coin into the hat, reproduce the coin and say,
"Just fancy."
Produce the coin at the fingertips from the back palm, and
turn facing the audience. Then lower the hat to the side of the
left knee and say, "A painful experiment." Swing the right hand
down towards the other side of the left knee as if you were throw-
ing the coin through the knee. The knee is bent slightly. The coin
is back palmed and one coin dropped from the left hand.
119
A Phantasy in Silver
Produce the coin again at the fingertips of the right hand, and
standing with both knees close together, the hat at the left side, say,
"Twice as painful." The coin is back palmed as the right hand
swings down, and a coin is dropped from the left hand again.
The coin is produced at the fingertips of the right hand from
the back palm, and you turn left and then seemingly drop the coin
into the hat as you thumb palm it.
Reproduce the coin from the thumb palm, look at it for a mo-
ment and say in a disparaging tone, "A half a dollar." Simulate
the act of throwing it carelessly away to the left. Actually thumb
palm it. Reach out left and produce the coin, but raise the hat very
slightly without looking in the directon of the hat, and let a coin
fall from the fingers into the hat. (The idea you are trying to con-
vey is that the half dollar fell into the hat even though you threw
it away.)
Simulate the act of throwing the coin displayed in the right
hand into the hat, and produce it. This time, because you are out of
coins in the left hand, drop it into the hat.
Turn right, reach into the hat and gather up about sixteen coins
and let them slide off your fingers back into the hat, say, "I could
do this all night if I only had the time!" Bring your hand from
the hat with as many coins as you can Downs palm. (I do this move
with ten dollars.) Reach up in the air about three-quarters arm's
length high, and say, "And the money." Produce the coins, one by
one, rapidly, letting them fall into the hat as you do so. (See Fig. 2
plate "B", page 133.)
When the last coin is in the hat, reach in the hat and again
shower the coins. (See Fig. 3 plate "B".) Say, "The kind of money
that I love to touch." Back palm six coins, reach up, and as you
grab, produce them in the closed right hand, saying, "Spending
money." Let the six coins fall back into the hat and move back to
your table to place the hat on it. But as you are doing so, quickly
grab up and Downs palm about eight coins in the right hand, hold-
120
A Phantasy in Silver
ing them against the inside of the hat. This will leave the left hand
free, which slips down and secretly procures the eight coins from
the left side holder.
The hat is placed on the table, and the right hand produces
three coins, one after another, in rapid succession, letting them fall
into the hat. The left hand joins in and produces three coins, alter-
nating with the right hand.
The right hand then produces the remaining coins one by one.
The left hand is turned to the left and lowered to the side, palm
facing audience, with the five coins concealed in the Downs palm
position. The left hand is not removed from view of the audience.
Walk to the microphone and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, a
travesty with five silver dollars." Then produce, one at a time, the
five silver dollars Downs palmed in the left hand, transferring each
coin as it is produced into the right hand. Perform the Allen Shaw
fan pass, palming the five coins in the right hand in the Downs palm
position. Then produce them, one by one, and as you do so, place
the first four coins between the fingers of the right hand. Standing
with your right side towards the audience, bring the right hand up
quickly with the coin displayed between the finger and thumb, and
Downs palm it. This act and those to follow simulate the throwing
away of the coins. You take the second coin from the third and
fourth finger position of the left hand, and while seemingly tossing
it away, palm it under the second coin.
Then turn right to bring your left side towards the audience.
With the front of the right hand facing the audience, the third coin
is Downs palmed under the throwing motion.
The fourth coin is taken by the first finger and thumb of the
right hand from the first and second fingers of the left hand, and
while you display it, say, "Imagine throwing your money away."
Perform the act of apparently throwing it away, actually palm-
ing it beneath the other three coins.
Take the fifth coin from the left hand between the first finger
and thumb of the right hand, but as you do this, the second and
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A Phantasy in Silver
third fingers of the right hand carry the four coins from the Downs
palm position in the right hand to the Downs palm in the left hand.
Say, "Your money" as you do this. Then back palm the coin under
cover of the throwing motion. Pause a moment with the palm
exposed.
Produce the coin at the fingertips, and as you turn left to bring
the right side of your body towards the audience, place the coin
held in the right hand in between the first finger and thumb of your
left hand. This gives a natural reason for holding the left hand
with the finger and thumb together, which also conceals the four
coins in the Downs palm position.
Show the right hand, back and front, slowly turning it over.
Then take the exposed coin and hold it on edge between the first
finger and thumb.
Perform the new French drop. Move the left fingers and thumb
quickly, touching them together to indicate the coin has gone. Pro-
duce it between the first finger and thumb of the right hand. Place it
in the left hand between the first finger and thumb; as you do this,
the four coins in the Downs palm position are seized by the middle
fingers of the right hand and carried to the right palm. This is my
"Change over", and is described in detail herein under the heading
"Reproduction of five coins one by one at the fiingertips and an
original change over."
Turn right to face the audience, and produce the bottom coin
of the four palmed between the first finger and thumb, and throw
it into the left hand. At the same time let the coin held between
the first finger and thumb of the left hand fall also into the hand,
so that the coins click loudly together.
The remaining three coins are produced in similar fashion and
thrown, one by one, into the left hand.
The fingers of the left hand close on the coins, and the hand
is turned over. Turn left to bring the right side of your body facing
the audience.
Perform the sleight described herein as "The Steal", using my
method. As you steal the first coin, turn right to bring your left
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A Phantasy in Silver
side towards the audience, and in doing so, back palm the coin in
your right hand.
Produce the coin at the first and second fingertips. Place it on
display in the groove of the bakelite piece on your table. Turn
left and repeat the moves for the second coin. Give it a flip with
your thumb and send it spinning into the air. Catch it as it descends.
Place it on display in the groove. Repeat the steal for the third coin,
but this time produce it at the left elbow. Place it in the groove.
Repeat the first moves for the fourth coin. Place it in the groove.
Then walk across in front of your table so you are standing with
your left side nearest to it.
Show the coin in your left hand, and with your right hand
gesture towards the coins in the groove and say, "A vulgar display
of wealth."
With the coin that is in your hand, perform the "French drop,"
the "Shaw pass" and the "take-away pass."
As you vanish the coin the last time, say, "It' s an illusive little
thing." Step over to the table to bring your right side closest to it.
Take the coins, one by one, from the groove, performing the
Downs Eureka vanish. All these passes and moves are described
herein.
When the last of the five coins have been thusly vanished, this
move leaves one coin back palmed in the right hand and four coins
Downs palmed in the left hand. The coin is reproduced from the
back palm at the fingertips. The left hand takes it between the first
finger and thumb, palm of the left hand facing the audience, with
the other four coins Downs palmed therein.
The right hand is now shown back and front, and the coin is
once more taken between the first finger and the thumb of the right
hand, and you perform the leg vanish. Produce the coin from be-
hind the left leg.
Perform the "drop over," then the "roll down," both described
herein. The coins are dropped into the right hand and turned back
into the left hand, and then placed into position for the "improved
123
A Phantasy in Silver
Downs click pass." The coins are thus vanished. Turn left to bring
your right side towards the audience and produce the coins, one
by one, at the fingertips of your right hand. (See the move titled
"The Appearance of Five Coins One After Another at the Finger-
tips" by Allan Shaw.)
While you are producing the coins, the left hand secretly
extracts from the left side front holder the five coins, and Downs
palms them; then the five coins in the right hand are seemingly
placed in the left hand.
Actually these coins are palmed, and the five coins already
secretly held there are then displayed. (The illusion is a per-
fect one.) These coins are casually dropped into the hat. The
right side of your body is brought towards the audience, and
your left hand held up, palm towards audience, and the five coins
are secretly transferred, one by one, to the left hand. The left
hand is opened each time the right hand has passed in front of
it and a coin is revealed.
This move is very deceptive, and is described herein. Each
coin as it is produced is let slide off the left hand into the hat
until only one coin remains in the right hand. With the last
coin you perform the Allan Shaw vanish.
This gives you the right cover and opportunity for the left
hand to secretly steal the second five coins from the holder as you
produce the coin with the right hand from behind the right leg.
Now this is very important. The coin just produced is placed
between the thumb and first finger of the left hand, and the five
coins, palmed in the left hand, are secretly transferred to the right
hand.
The coin in the left hand is dropped into the hat. The five coins
now Downs palmed in the right hand are produced, one by one,
and transferred to the left hand to be displayed between the fingers
as in Fig. 9 plate "B, " page 132.
The four coins thus held are released from the fingers of the
left hand and are caught in the right hand. They are then tossed
back to the left and again into the right hand, and held on the palm
while the left hand takes a handkerchief from the left side coat
pocket. You are facing the audience while this is being done.
124
A Phantasy in Silver
The handkerchief is spread over the empty left hand so its
center lies on the palm, and the five coins are first pressed by the
middle fingers of the right hand into the right palm as the right
hand is brought over the covered left hand as if to drop the coins
there. But the coins are dropped only onto the curled right fingers,
(see Fig. 1 plate "D") and as they fall from the palm they clink
together, which heightens the illusion. The right hand is withdrawn
as the left hand is closed on the center of the empty handkerchief
and turned over. (See Fig. 2 plate "D".) The right hand, with the
coins bunched together, takes hold of the hankerchief midway be-
tween its center and the four corners and is drawn towards the
corners. As the left hand, still supporting the middle of the hand-
kerchief, is lowered, both hands move up and down to cause the
coins in the right hand to clink, clink together. (See Fig. 3 plate
"D".) The illusion is that the coins are in the center of the hand-
kerchef. A corner of the handkerchief is seized by the right hand,
(see Fig. 5, plate D) and the handkerchief is pulled clear of the
left. The corner is transferred to the first finger and thumb of the
left hand after this hand is displayed, back and front. As the right
hand moves away, the coins are transferred to the palm of the right
hand from the curled fingers of the right hand, where they have
been held till now, and the fingers of the right hand are passed
around the handkerchief. The handkerchief is pulled through the
fingers and thumb of the right hand.
The move of pulling the handkerchief through the right hand
is repeated a second time as you turn left to bring the right side
towards the audience. (See Fig. 7 and 8 plate "D," page 136.)
As the right hand approaches the handkerchief to stroke it for
the third time, the two middle fingers of the right hand extract one
of the five coins, and as the hand leaves the end of the handker-
chief after completing the down stroke, this coin is displayed be-
tween the finger and thumb tips, and is then thrown into the hat.
(See right hand, Fig. 7 plate "D".)
The handkerchief is again stroked, and as the stroke is repeated
a second coin appears and is thrown into the hat.
125
A Phantasy in Silver
Now make a right turn to bring the left side towards the audi-
ence, and as you do so, the two middle fingers of the right hand
secretly transfer the three coins from the palm of the right hand
to the palm of the left hand. This is done as the first finger and
thumb of the right hand take the corner of the handkerchief from
the first finger and thumb of the left hand. (See Figs. 9 and 10 plate
"D" page 136.)
The right hand now holds the three coins in the Downs' palm
position, and the handkerchief is held by a corner between the first
finger and thumb. The left hand is turned back and front to the
audience to be shown empty, and it then strokes the handkerchief
as you turn left to bring the right side towards the audience.
You then take the corner of the handkerchief from the right
hand between the first finger and the thumb of the left hand, and
the right hand strokes the handkerchief. The stroking move is re-
peated, but as the right hand approaches to make the second stroke,
the two middle fingers of the left hand extract a coin from the left
palm and drop it. The coin should fall a distance of about three
inches. The right hand is around the handkerchief when the coin
is dropped. The handkerchief hides its fall from the audience. (See
Fig. 1 plate "D".)
The coin is caught at the fork of the thumb and first finger of
the closed right hand. It then slides into the palm, and at the com-
pletion of the stroke is revealed at the thumb and fingertips.
The moves of stroking the handkerchief and letting the fourth
coin fall from the fingers of the left hand are repeated, as the right
hand reaches the end of the handkerchief, the left hand closes
around its end of the handkerchief, and the handkerchief is pulled
from the left hand. The hand is opened and the coin revealed there-
in. (See Fig. 11, 12 plate "D".)
The right hand now has the remaining coin and one corner of
the handkerchief. The left hand takes an adjacent corner, and the
handkerchef is thus displayed.
The coin is held concealed under the fingers against and in
front of the handkerchief. The left hand transfers its corner to
126
A Phantasy in Silver
the right hand, passing it in front of the coin. The coin now lies
between the two corners of the handkerchief.
The two corners and the coin thus held by the right hand are
taken by the left hand, and the right hand slides down the border
to gather up another corner, and transfers it to the left hand. The
last corner is picked up by the right hand and transferred to the left
hand; as simple as this is, it must be done with care and correctly
or the move to follow will fail you.
Holding the handkerchief up by four corners in the left hand,
the right hand seems to pick a coin out of the air and tosses it
towards the handkerchief. At the same instant the thumb and finger
of the left hand releases the coin, which appears in the handkerchief
in the middle, revealing itself by the sag.
The right hand takes hold of the coin with the handkerchief,
and the handkerchief is held up by its middle. The left hand has
not as yet released its hold of the four corners. The finger and
thumb release their hold of the coin, but still retain their hold
on the handkerchief.
The coin falls to be secretly caught on the fingers of the left
hand. The left hand releases the corners and is brought up be-
hind the handkerchief with the coin which is transferred to the
fingers and thumb of the right hand, to be held behind the hand-
kerchief.
The left hand is shown empty, and the middle of the handker-
chief with the coin hidden behind it is placed carefully into the
crotch of the left thumb and first finger. The right hand pulls
down on the four corners very slowly, and the handkerchef being
pulled away gradually, brings the coin into view as though it
penetrates the handkerchief. The coin is displayed and the hand-
kerchief, held by two corners, one in each hand, is shown for a
moment and then folded carefully but quickly and placed on the
127
A Phantasy in Silver
table by the left hand, which has first placed the coin on the back
of the right hand in position for the finger roll. As the handker-
chief is laid on the table, the Walsh cane is secretly picked up,
and as the "roll" is executed the release is worked off the cane
and made ready for opening. The coin is spun into the air and
caught in the right hand, and then transferred to the finger and
thumb of the left hand. The right hand then takes hold of the
rim of the hat and turns it upside down, spilling all the coins out
onto the table. The brass band around its edge keeps the coins
from spilling off the table.
The hat is placed on your head and the coin fixed in your right
eye. The left hand reaches in the air, and the cane appears, held by
its middle, and is placed under the left arm. Under cover of the
surprise the appearance of the cane creates, the right hand descends
to the coin holder, and the ten coins are extracted and Downs
palmed. The hand reaches into the air, (See. Fig. 11 plate "B, " page
119) and the band strikes up the chorus of "Old Lang Syne". As
>ou walk in step to the music, produce the ten coins, one by one,
throwing them into the left hand. At the wing you stop and turn,
pour the coins from the left hand to the right, take the cane in
your left hand, pass it to the right hand, remove your hat with
your left hand, let the coin fall from your eye into the hat, pass
the cane to your left hand holding the hat, and let the coins slide
off the fingers of your right hand into the hat. (See Fig. 12 plate
"B, " page 132.) Exit.
Hurry the music for bows. Perfect all the details of this act
before presenting it and you will have an Act worth many, many
times the price paid for it.
Before closing this chapter on Coins I wish to say to every
magician aspiring to present an act of coin manipulating not to fail
to read and study very carefully that little jewel of a book "Mod-
ern Coin Manipulation" by T. Nelson Downs and heed the advice
he gives in his concluding remark.
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A PHANTASY IN SILVER
Plate "A" shows a series of positions taken at different inter-
vals during the presentation of the "Phantasy of Silver". No. 1
shows the crushed hat held against the body as the entrance is
made and you address your opening remarks to the audience. Note
that the table is a few feet to the rear and at the left side.
Photo No. 2 shows the hat sprung open as you turn towards
the table. No. 3 shows the hat being placed on the table; the left
hand hidden by the hat secretly lifts the twenty coins from the
receptacle onto the rim of the hat. This takes only a fleeting mo-
ment.
Between photos Nos. 3 and 4, the coin held concealed in
the right hand during the execution of the moves in photos Nos.
1, 2 and 3, is produced at the fingertips, vanished and reproduced.
Then the hat is picked up, as shown in photo 4, by the left hand,
and the coin in the right hand thrown into the hat.
Photo 5 shows the left hand holding the coins concealed as a
left turn is made, and photo 6 shows how the hat is placed over the
left hand concealing the coins.
Photo 7 shows the absence of the right hand, which is tak-
ing advantage of this moment to secure five coins from the right
side holder. Fig. 8 shows the first of these five coins being pro-
duced. The other four are in the Downs' palm position in the hand.
There is a gap of considerable length between photos 8 and 9.
The position 9 depicts the last of the five coins being produced
from the cloth of the pants at the right knee. Photo 10 shows the
position of the right hand and hat as the coin is thumb palmed,
and the first coin of the stack of coins held in the left hand falls
into the hat. (If these moves are properly synchronized, the coin
can be seen falling behind the right hand, and the desired illusion
is perfect.)
Photos 11 and 12 show the position of the coin against the side
of the hat as it is seemingly pushed through. The coin falls from
the left hand to complete the illusion.
Photo 1 of Plate B shows the coin being pushed through the
bottom of the hat; photo 2 shows how the hat is held by the left
hand while the right hand is inserted into the hat and gathers a
129
A Phantasy in Silver
PLATE "A"
130
A Phantasy in Silver
handful of coins, letting them fall back into the hat. Then, repeat-
ing the first part of the move, eight or ten coins are quickly Downs
palmed to be reproduced one by one. It is the gag that helps out
here. The hand is placed in the hat, and the coins run through the
fingers, six or seven coins are back palmed, performer reaches into
the air and catches them in the palm, letting them fall off the hand
into the hat, as in photo 3. Plate B, page 119.
The hat is then placed on the table, but in taking the necessary
step to the table, the right hand again quickly palms eight or ten
coins from the hat. The hat is placed on the table, and these coins
are produced, one by one, and thrown into the hat. As the second
coin is thus produced, the left hand steals the load of eight coins
from its holder, and both hands produce coins, as in photo 4. How-
ever, only three of the eight coins are produced from the left hand,
which makes a total of eight or ten with the right hand and three
with the left.
There is quite a gap again in the continuity between photos 4
and 5; during this interval you have walked forward to the micro-
phone to say, "A travesty with five silver dollars." Proceed to pro-
duce the five coins with the left hand placing them in the right
hand. Vanish them by the Allen Shaw vanish, described herein, and
then produce them as shown in photos 5, 6, 7 and 8 placing each
coin between the fingers as you produce it. See Plate B, page 119.
There is a gap in the routine between photos 8 and 9. Photo 9
shows the coins in position after the roll down. Photo 11 depicts
the climax. The hat was placed on the head, the last dollar was
placed into the eye socket to represent a monocle, the Walsh cane
then produced and placed under the arm, at the same instant the
right hand stole the load of ten coins from the holder. The music
struck a popular air, and you walked off with your left side facing
towards the audience, producing the coins one by one and throwing
them into the left hand. At the exit wing you stop, face the audi-
ence, transfer the coins in the left hand to the right hand, seize
the cane in the left hand and place it into the right hand, and with
your left hand remove your hat. Holding the hat in front of you
at waist level, you let the coin fall from your eye into the hat as you
bow, and then shower the coins in the right hand into the hat.
Exit.
131
A Phantasy in Silver
PLATE "B"
132
A Phantasy in Silver
THE COIN HOLDERS
AND LOADING TROUGH
I Original I
PLATE "C
Fig. 1 shows the two holders at the left side for 5 and 10
coins. Fig. 2 shows three holders for 5, 5 and 8 coins. Fig. 3
shows the coins being removed from one of the right side hold-
ers. Fig. 4 shows the twenty coins being lifted by the left hand
from the trough on to the rim of the hat.
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A Phantasy in Silver
THE COIN HOLDER FOR
THE PHANTASY IN SILVER
Plate C, Fig. 1 shows two of my coin holders and the convenient
manner of suspending them from a belt. The front right side holder
carries five silver dollars, and the rear one of the two carries ten sil-
ver dollars. Fig. 2 shows the three coin holders on the left side. The
front two each carry five, and the rear holder on the left side carries
eight silver dollars.
Fig. 3 depicts the right hand removing the five dollars from the
holder by inserting the thumb into the space above the coins and
pressing down, the spring in the bronze wire from which the holders
are made allows the holder to spread apart allowing the coins to
come away.
I have experimented with many types of holders and coin drop-
pers, but these holders as depicted and the method of suspension
from the waist on a belt I have found to be the most practical of
them all. They fulfill the requirements, and hold the coins firmly
without fear of their becoming disengaged prematurely. They are
quickly and noiselessly released by the hand from the holder when
required. I believe this idea to be a valuable contribution to the
art of coin magic. Fig. 4 shows how the hand lifts the twenty silver
dollars from the trough to place them on the rim of the opera hat.
Referring to Plate D, page 136.
Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are behind the scene views. Fig. 1 depicts
the five coins being apparently dropped from the right hand into
the center of the handkerchief covering the left hand. Actually,
the coins were first palmed and then allowed to fall on to the
curved fingers, the sound of them falling thus adding to the illusion.
Fig. 2 shows the left hand turned over, holding the handkerchief
in a manner that encourages the belief the coins are therein, but the
view is taken so as to really show the coins Downs palmed in the
right hand, in the act of being placed around the handkerchief.
134
A Phantasy in Silver
Fig. 3 shows how the coins lie on the right hand behind the
handkerchief. Shaking both hands with the handkerchief, the coins
jingle and enhance the illusion that the coins are in the middle of
the handkerchief. Fig 4 is the next move; raising the center of the
handkerchief above the right hand. See the coins palmed therein.
Fig. 5 depicts the coins now resting on the fingers of the right
hand as a corner of the handkerchief is taken between the forefinger
and thumb. Fig. 6 shows the position of the hands and the coins are
on the fingers of the right hand as the handkerchief is pulled away
from the left hand. Figs. 7 to 12 inclusive are audience views of the
moves that follow, except Fig. 9 which depicts how the coins are held
between the second and third fingers of the right hand and trans-
ferred to the Downs palm position of the left hand. Fig. 7 depicts
the handkerchief held in the left hand after it is stroked by the right
hand, which extracts a coin from the palm, creating the illusion it
was drawn from the folds of the handkerchief. Fig. 8 shows the hand
repeating the stroking move again to produce a second coin. After
two coins are produced in this fashion, a turn is made from left to
right, and as shown in Fig. 9, the coins are transferred from the
right palm to the left palm, and the handkerchief taken in the right
hand by the corner between the first finger and thumb, as is shown
in Fig. 10.
In Fig. 11, if you look closely, the coins may be seen in the left
palm. The two middle fingers of the left hand are shown in the act
of extricating the bottom coin, while the empty right hand strokes
the handkerchief. On the second stroke the coin is dropped into
the right hand. The moves as depicted are repeated, and Fig. 12
shows the handkerchief being pulled by the right hand out of the
left hand. The coin therein is later revealed by opening the left
hand. The coin held in the right hand is produced by the method
of folding the handkerchief described hereinafter. (See "The Silver
Dollar and Handkerchief" routine.)
135
A Phantasy in Silver
PLATE "D'
136
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CHAPTER THREE
MAGIC WITH CARDS
137
FOREWORD TO THE CHAPTER THREECARD MAGIC
It has been stated by one author magician (and I think mis-
takenly) that "A card trick is either good or it is badjust like
eggs." I cannot stretch my imagination far enough to agree with
this. Experience has taught me that card magic is no different
in the basic interpretation than any other class of magic. To be
magic, it must, first of all things, be an illusion. If it is not an
illusion it is not magic! And if it is an illusion, then it is good
because card tricks that are illusions must be good to be illusions.
They are often presented in a dreary, long and tiring manner.
What I consider a major fault is this mediocre, poor or very bad
presentation of card magic.
All the elements for a wonderful effect may be laid before
a dozen magicians, but each will interpret and present it in a
different way, though each may go through exactly similar mo-
tions and apply the same methods. There will be a considerable
difference in the results. Each will embrace his own different
personality, and the effect will suffer from or be elevated by the
different degrees of skill, style and experience.
What will be good entertainment in the hands of one per-
former will border on sheer boredom when presented by another.
There is nothing unusual about that. It is the same with most
things, be it music, painting, singing, dancing or magic!
Another matter of some importance is "card magic" that is
easy to learn, that which requires little if any manipulative skill;
self-working illusions. These things I admire only for the crea-
tive thought necessary to give them birth, and also the art in-
volved in their presentation to maintain their secret. However, I
repeat myself in expressing that they are weak things on which
to build the reputation of a magician because their strength lies
wholly in their secret, which is much too easily disclosed. Once
the secret is revealed, often someone will remark, "Why, that's
nothing. I can do it!"
Nor do I consider that the best way to approach the problem
of producing an illusion is only by difficult methods. That is
farthest from the truth of my reasoning. What I advocate is
that any card magician that ever hopes to keep his reputation
as such should acquire the requisite degree of skill to perform
most any card illusion. After all, how many of these major sleights
139
Foreword to the Chapter on Cards
are there? Perhaps ten. Oh, I know there is an endless supply
of methods, but I am not advocating that it is essential to be pro-
ficient in a dozen ways of doing this or that sleight. Perfect
yourself in one method and do that one deceptively, and you do
not need to look for new and devious ways to attain the self-same
purpose. Find the one that offers the most perfect illusion, but don't
take something you will not practice sufficiently to attain the skill
essential to perform it indetectably and convincingly, for then
you will not be a magician but only a bungler.
Unless a person has a natural talent for presentation, (seldom,
however, the fortunate experience of the amateur magician,) he
will find that presentation means a great deal more than simply
doing the illusion before an audience, and if he is content to just
stumble along, wishing and hoping that sheer repetition will suf-
fice in making his performance artistic, he will assuredly meet
only severe disappointment. First, he must carefully analyze each
and every detail and eliminate all the unessentials, both in his
speech and actions. In other words, he must streamline the whole
procedure and then rehearse until it seems the most natural thing
in the world for him to do. This only comes from long experience
in presenting your performance in public.
The fellow that gets ahead in magic is he that really attends
to all the details first and then practices and practices indefatigably.
This requires much discipline of mind. When his reasoning tells
him he is ready, rather than his impatience, he should try the per-
formance publicly. He should not expect too much at first, for
audiences are unkind and critical, but that is the acid test.
Though you may never intend to perform in a theatre, but
aim only to show your wares at your magic club to other magicians,
it will do you credit and help elevate your art to pay attention to
this friendly advice, and there is no better time for you to start
than now.
If I intended to arrange an act for the public consumption,
I would first select a number of illusions that demanded skill and
artistry in presentation and were thoroughly adaptable to the audi-
torium in which the performances were intended to be given. These
things would have to either meet my present capabilities or I
should at least be willing to raise the standard of my limited abil-
ities to embrace them. Then I would decide, at least temporarily,
140
Foreword to the Chapter on Cards
on the order of arranging them, making sure the first illusion was
bright and snappy, and would secure and hold their attention
throughout. Nor would I make it so good or impossible that the
other things that I had to show looked foolish by comparison, such
as doing a miracle with the "Joe Berg deck" and then following
it up with an effect that necessitated my having to look carefully
through the pack of cards to find the card selected. Do magicians
who do such things ever stop to think that the audience can only
conclude you used a mechanical pack and are not so good when
left to your own resources?
Having selected the illusions for the program, I would make
certain of the climax, aiming at making it spontaneous, startling
and a sure curtain raiser.
When all these things were attended to, then I would exer-
cise all the care, judgment and patience I could muster to see that
this intended act was really streamlined before I even commenced
to practice.
Or do you think all this is too much trouble? If you do, then
you had better sell this book to reclaim what you can, for you
have not what it takes to make a real magician, but in all likeli-
hood you will simply graze along with the herd. Now, please do
not rationalize. If you really want to do MAGIC, you must prac-
tice and practice and practice.
There are many illusions that have the same principles for
their basis, but differ so entirely in their modus operandi as to
have little or no similarity to each other when considered from the
audience's point of view. This is particularly well exemplified in
the passing of the cards to the pocket as described herein (the
ten cards to pocket), and in the thirty cards and the two specta-
tors wherein five cards pass from one spectator's pocket to that
of another, and in the ten and ten card illusion wherein three cards
pass from the performer's packet of ten to the spectator's packet
of ten held under a handkerchief. These are three totally differ-
ent illusions in their presentation and modus operandi, but all are
founded on the same principle, transference. In fact, they are so
unlike in every respect that they may be, and in fact often are,
successfully presented on the same program by the same per-
former. It would be foolish to say that all illusions depending on
the same principles are alike. In truth, often magicians are baffled
141
Foreword to the Chapter on Cards
by the working of an illusion depending on the self-same principles
with which they are fully acquainted, so do not disparage using
the principle over again. But it is an advantage to offer variety
and use different principles. A disappearance followed by an
appearance is difficult to always distinguish between a transfer-
ence, but restoration, penetration, and suspension do offer variety,
and the wise performer will take full and proper advantage of all
his tools.
Very often the simplest of illusions, either with cards, coins
or balls, are even more effective than those which take months to
master properly. This is not always the advantage they first seem
to offer, for I have found that illusions that are easy to do have
certain drawbacks. For instance, they are immensely popular at
first, often because of their deceptiveness and convincing effect,
but because they are easy they have many adherents and because
of this their popularity wanes and they are discarded by any who
values his magical reputation as a skillful artist to any degree.
Sometimes for this very reason many good things in magic pop
up again years after being buried, and have another popular short
lived revival. For this reason I suggest you acquire the things it
takes practice to do well, and they will seldom die from over popu-
larity of the doing among the magical fraternity.
Often some illusion presents the appearance of being most
difficult to do, while in truth it is simply the "know how" that is
difficult, and when once learned it is more and more easy to do
each and every time you perform it, and there is some real basis
for your magical pride to sleep on when you have acquired a de-
gree of talent from your own personal effort. This point cannot
be overstressed, for it does mean so much to any magician. You
must realize this if you will only pause and think about it. All
the magicians that have stood out in the past were accomplished
at sleight of hand. By this I do not mean to imply that they had
to do cigarette, card, coin or ball productions, but they did have
to be skilled at the sleights that formed the basis for most card,
coin and ball illusions.
142
OPENING FOR A CARD ACT
Accessories: Walsh cane to silk handkerchief. Dove with
streamersred, white and blue, three feet in length, fastened to
its legs. A glove pull, the barrel spring type of pull that is re-
leased by pulling the line out. Two packs of cards prepared for
back palming. One paper clip to hold securely thirty cards. A
pair of loose fitting white chamois leather or cotton gloves.
Arrangement: The dove and the coiled ribbons are placed
in the left sleeve of your coat, dove facing outwards. Thirty cards
are placed in the clip, and the clip fastened to the right leg of
your pants, far enough back and high enough to be amply protect-
ed from view, but easy enough to get at when wanted. The gloves
are put on, and the cards concealed as follows:
About twenty-six cards are held by the bent fingers of the
left hand, outside the glove. About the same number are tucked
in under the palm of the left glove. The cards in the left hand
face the palm.
Thirty-six cards are back palmed in the right hand which
holds the cane in the fork of the thumb.
Enter from left wing. Place the cane under the left arm.
Produce six fans in succession in the right hand.
Take the cane in your right hand and change cane to hand-
kerchief. Place the handkerchief in your left hand, and secretly
place cards into position for back palming in the right hand, that
is, seize the cards behind the bent right fingers and straighten the
fingers to back palm them. Place the handkerchief over the right
hand so that you may readily take it by one corner in the left
hand. As you do so, turn the right hand over, reverse palming
the cards in the right hand. Place a corner of the handkerchief
between the backs of the two middle fingers and reverse the
right hand, and likewise the cards. Pull the handkerchief half
way through the middle fingers and produce a fan of cards, then
letting the cards fall. Then produce another fan and let it fall.
Now pull the handkerchief through and out from between the
fingers and produce the remainder of the cards in fans.
Place the last fan of cards produced into the left hand. Take
the handkerchief and place it in your right side pocket of your
pants. Take the fan of cards from your left hand with your right
hand, and under cover of this move back palm the cards clipped
by the left fingers. Drop the visible cards and produce the back
palmed cards in a series of fans.
143
Opening for a Card Act
Take off the left glove, but first place your right thumb under
the cards in the left hand, and as you pull the glove free, back
palm the cards in the right hand. Produce a fan of cards, split
the fan and back palm. Repeat the moves until you have only six
cards back palmed. As the left hand approaches the right to re-
move the right glove, transfer the cards to the palm of the left
hand. Remove the right glove and place it in the left hand. Re-
gain the cards from the left hand to the back of the right hand.
Produce a fan of cards. Roll up the gloves and attach to the
pull. The gloves change to a dove, the dove coming out of your
left sleeve by force of throw.
Under cover of surprise, obtain the load of thirty cards from
the right side holder with your right hand. Back palm the cards
and produce them in series of fans. When there are only twelve
to sixteen cards remaining in the last fan, split the fan, back palm-
ing half the cards. With the left hand take the fan of cards show-
ing, and back palm them in the left hand, producing the ones
from the back of the right hand. Repeat the moves of seemingly
passing the cards from right to left and left to right, through
the knees, and finally vanish (back palm) the fan in the left hand.
Turn the body to bring the right side to the audience, at the same
time bringing the cards in the right hand to the "front palm".
Press the ends of the cards between the right palm and left arm
to permit the fingers to be extended momentarily. Produce a fan
at the left fingertips, and then vanish it and produce the fan at
the right elbow.
With the fan of cards in the right hand, get rid of the cards
held in the left hand between the third and fourth fingers of the
right hand, behind the fan held in the right hand. Square up
the cards into one packet. Place it into the left hand. As you
turn the left hand over, steal the cards between the second and
third fingers. Turning to bring your left side to the audience,
transfer the cards to the left fingers. Press the ends against the
body, and open your fingers wide momentarily. The right hand
procures the cards from this position and back palms them.
As you turn left to bring your right side to the audience,
the cards are secretly transferred behind the left hand (cards well
back). This is done as the palms are brought together. The hands
are held palms facing audience. You are face on, arms bent at
elbows, fingers straight up. Bend the fingers of both hands to
palms. (The cards are back past the middle joints to allow this.)
The right hand is brought around behind the left to conceal the
cards on the back of the left hand as they are quickly brought
to the mouth and pushed half way into your mouth and rapidly
pulled out by working the fingers and the thumbs of both hands
while the packet is supported by the sides in the mouth. This
makes a brilliant climax to the manipulation.
144
A FINISH FOR AN ACT
This finish is preferable for an act that has used the Walsh
cane and gloves to a dove opening.
Accessories: An appearing Walsh cane from handkerchief,
an opera hat and a pair of white cotton gloves.
Preparation of the gloves: The right glove is turned inside
out. Then carefully sewn to the inside of the glove is a piece of
white cloth, to which has been sewn feathers and a dove's head.
This is made to look as lifelife as possible when held by the
assistant, who hands it to you with the left glove tucked inside
the right glove, prepared with the head and feathers of a dove.
The Walsh cane, with an eighteen inch white silk handker-
chief attached, is in the top left handkerchief pocket of your
dinner jacket.
The opera hat is closed and is hung behind a chair or table
so it may be readily reached by the left hand at the surprise
moment of the cane appearing. When the right hand lets the
cane open, the left hand procures the hat and then causes the
hat to spring open. The assistant meets the performer and hands
him the dove, or what looks like a dove. He takes it with proper
care, turns the gloves right side out and puts the left glove on.
Carrying the right glove, he tips his hat and exits.
If you are a stickler for detail, you may care to arrange a
piece of cardboard with a portion of a handkerchief fastened to
it in the handkerchief pocket, and a thread attached to the low
end of the cardboard and brought through the coat and down
to a button or stitched to the pants so that when you pull on the
thread the handkerchief will appear in the pocket to supplement
the one you used to change to the cane.
Since the publication of "Card Control", I have had a feel-
ing that several items, e.g. cards to pocket, card and cigarette, ten
and ten, etc., should have appeared therein. Because of the vast
changes and improvements that I have made in these effects since
their previous publication in "Thirty Card Problems", I have de-
cided to describe them again with the improved additions for
their presentation, together with a few others that I unintention-
ally omitted from "Card Control".
145
THE BUCKLEY FALSE SHUFFLE
Creating and developing "false shuffle" methods is a fad of
mine. I have already given to the fraternity excellent methods
of false shuffling, several of which are published in my book,
"Card Control". However, I do believe that the method that I am
about to reveal is the one that will rate first place with many
magicians. It has the advantage of being executed in the hands,
and maintains the original order of all the cards. It is a riffle
shuffle which can be repeated without fear of detection. It ful-
fills all the requirements that the most fastidious magician could
desire. Follow the details closely.
The cards should be fairly new for the best results. The pack
is held in the left hand, face down, thumb at the index corner,
first finger bent and resting on the back of the top card, the sec-
ond, third and fourth fingers curled around the bottom of the
pack.
With the thumb, riffle about half the pack so they are released
and fall onto the second, third and fourth fingers of the right
hand, as in Fig. 1. The second, third and fourth fingers of the
left hand then raise the bottom packet up to the right thumb,
as in Fig. 2.
Each hand then assumes the position with half the cards in
each hand, ready for riffling the right hand packet into the left
hand packet. This is done by the left thumb first releasing sev-
eral cards of the left hand packet, and then both the thumbs
riffle their packet together, the left hand finishing last, so that
several cards of the left hand packet are above and several cards
are below the interwoven right hand packet. See Fig. 3, which
illustrates the position of the hands when the cards are thus
riffled.
Now follow all these moves very carefully. The right
thumb is extended to the inside end of the left hand packet as
the first, second and third fingers move over the outside end
of the right hand packet. The fourth finger of the right hand sup-
ports the right hand packet at the side. This position is clearly
shown in Fig. 4. Fig. 5 shows the position as seen from under-
neath the pack.
The fingers of the right hand then extend across under the
pack to the side of the right hand packet (see Fig. 6), and as the
two packets are squeezed together by the fingers and fork of the
thumb of the left hand, the fourth finger of the right hand presses
on the end of the right hand packet, forcing the right hand packet
to protrude from the inside end of the right hand packet about
half an inch (see Fig 7). The right hand completely conceals the
protruding end from view. (See Fig. 8.) Figs. 5, 6 and 7 were
photographed from under the pack so the moves could be more
easily followed.
146
The cards that were previously designated the left hand
packet are held by their sides between the thumb on one side
and the first finger of the left hand on the other side. The sec-
ond, third and fourth fingers of the left hand support all the
cards at the low side, as in Fig. 9. The right hand then changes
its position to that shown in Fig. 10. This change of position
of the right hand is made without exposing the protruding ends
of the cards to view.
The right hand packet is then held firmly between the sec-
ond and third fingers on one side, and the thumb on the other
side, and moved diagonally as depicted in Fig. 11.
The right hand pack is then withdrawn and placed on top
of the left hand pack, but the fourth finger of the left hand is
placed on the left hand packet before the right hand packet
arrives, so that a break between the packets is maintained. (See
Fig. 12.) The pack is then double cut below the break, and all
the cards are then in their original order.
I repeat, this is a truly great master sleight and worthy of
your patience to perfect its execution in every detail. Sleights
like these raise card conjuring to a higher standard.
147
CARDS TO POCKET, WITH TEN CARDS
IWith Improvements)
This classic of all card effects is undoubtedly one of the finest
opening card illusions ever invented. To my knowledge it was first
described in Lang Neil's book, "Modern Card Manipulation".
Since then it has undergone many minor changes, but the basic
idea of a number of cards passing from the hand to the pocket
is the same.
Arrangement: Ten cards are counted off a pack and bent
together so that when they are replaced on the bottom of the pack
they will have a good sized bridge at both ends, separating their
ends from the pack. The pack is placed in the case and on a
small table, which should be a little to the left of center of where
you intend to stand to perform. Another detail is to arrange the
ten cards so they are distinctive, one from anothera black king,
a red five, a black ten, a red two, etc. The right hand pocket of
your pants should be unsoiled, and quite empty.
You enter, make a brief announcement, such as, "A few classics
with a pack of playing cards". Pick up the pack from the table
on your left and remove the cards from the case. Do this in silence
and be very sure of each of these moves of this very simple act.
Place the card case on the table and insert your little finger into
the pack above the ten cards on the bottom. This is easy because
of the end bridge. You can feel the place without looking at your
hands or the pack (that's important). Riffle or perform the water-
fall shuffle only a short distance to carelessly disperse any thought
of a possibility of a separation. Do this with your little finger in
the break. Then say, "For my first deception I use ten cards." You
cut off the cards above the break and lay them on the table. Do
this with nonchalance, and don't look at what you are doing.
Look towards or at your audience. Transfer the packet of ten
cards to your right hand and count them over into the left hand.
A completely illustrated description of this count, and also the
false counts are included herein for your convenience. As the
fifth card is counted and placed into the left hand, your little
finger is placed on the back of this card. The count is continued
until all ten cards now lie in the left hand, the little finger secret-
ly separating them into two packets. The right hand is brought
to the left to square the packet, but actually moves the top packet
of five cards forward about half way on the bottom packet of five
cards, and the left thumb moves onto the edge. The packet of ten
cards is pointing its end directly at the audience. No one can see
that the packet is not square.
You now say, "Notice my hand and pocket are quite empty."
Turn the right pants pocket inside out, look down and say, "Noth-
ing unusual, I assure you."
148
Your right hand is held up, artistically poised, palm toward
the audience for a moment that it may be observed empty with-
out intentionally appearing to do so. You say, "My object is
to cause these ten cards to pass along my arm, across ray body
and into my pocket." Now here is a very excellent opportunity
to explain something to you about proper timing. As you say,
"My object is to cause these", your right hand reaches the pack
in your left hand, so that the right thumb passes behind the cards
and the bottom packet of five cards is pressed firmly into the fork
of the right thumb. The four fingers rest on the middle of the
back of the top card of the top packet, and you continue to say,
"cards". You turn left. The backs of the top packet may now
be seen by the audience without their suspecting you have already
more than half way accomplished the palm. Never once have you
so much as glanced at your hands or the cards. Continue with
your remarks, "up the arm". As you say this, your right hand,
with the ten cards, moves away from the left hand, and you move
the cards up the arm to illustrate your words, "across my body
and into my pocket." Tap the cards near the pocket and con-
tinue, "without seeming to let them go." As you say this, you
place the cards in the left hand, with the backs of the cards to-
wards the audience. Grip the side edges of the protruding top
packet with your two middle fingers and thumb. The right hand
moves away with the bottom five cards, and when clear of the
left hand, the cards are bent by closing the hand until the second
finger rests under the right thumb. The first finger of the right
hand is pointing up, and you say, "only one at a time." The
right hand is moved across in front of your body to the right
side pocket of your pants, and just as it reaches the pocket, the
cards held therein are allowed to straighten, and the hand is held
flat with the cards palmed. It is then inserted into the pocket,
and you look towards your left hand and give the edges of the
left hand packet a sharp, audible click, and with your eyes seem-
ingly follow the passing of the card to your pocket. Remove
your right hand from your pocket with the card displayed be-
tween the sides of the first and second fingers, and hold it momen-
tarily in this fashion against the leg of your pants. Repeat the
audible click and reach the empty hand into the pocket again,
and produce the second card. The same moves are repeated for
the third card. The fourth card has seemingly not arrived after
the audible click, so you click again and look worried. Then you
palm the fourth card from your pocket and produce it from be-
hind your left knee, saying, in a relieved tone of voice, "I some-
times have trouble with that one."
You now count the five cards remaining in your left hand as
six. The method of this false count is illustrated and explained.
The audible click is again made with the packet of five cards
in the left hand, and the fifth card is taken out of the pocket
with your right hand, as explained. The packet of five cards is
149
taken from the left hand into the right hand and counted over
into the hand in the same manner as the ten cards were counted.
The fourth finger of the left hand is placed on the second card
counted. In this way the two bottom cards are held separated
from the three top cards. At the finish of the count cf the five
cards, the right hand moves forward the packet of three top cards
on the packet of two bottom cards, and the whole packet is held
in the left hand with one of the ends towards the audience so
the separation point is not seen. To give a reason for the move
to follow, which allows the right hand to be seen empty, you say,
"Sometimes when I try to pass two cards together those with
ultra violet or even infra red vision do see a flicker." As you say,
''two cards", you hold up the right hand artistically with the
palm towards the audience and two fingers held up. Then you
take hold of the cards, pressing the bottom packet of two into
the fork of the right thumb. Straighten the left hand out and
turn it over, back and front, and replace the top three cards in
the left hand, palming away the packet cf two. As your hand
moves away with the cards, bend them to the right thumb and
straighten two fingers as you say, "two", with a certain emphasis.
Then thrust the hand slowly into the pants pocket and audibly
click the packet of three in your left hand with your left thumb.
Remove the two cards from your pocket.
Then count the three cards so that it is quite apparent that
there are only three. Say, "I'll give you one more chance to de-
tect the illusion. Watch closely, please. I shall pass all three
cards together." Saying this, you hold the cards squared together
in your left hand by their side edges, and tap them gently into
the left hand with several light taps with your right fingers. When
they are almost hidden behind the left hand fingers, the right
fingers press the end they were tapping, causing the card to ro-
tate endwise and come into the right palm. The left hand moves
away as if it held the cards. The right hand reaches into the
pants pocket. The left hand seems to gently squeeze away the
cards as you watch the process intently. The right hand draws
forth the three cards, and you bow to receive the applause this
fine effect will most assuredly bring forth.
If I have seemed to be at all lengthy with this description, I
have done so with the purpose of emphasizing the need for exact
timing and carefully covering any false moves with those natural
moves that were introduced to allay suspicion. It is worth the
time and trouble to perfect the working to suit your own person-
ality. It has served me well for nigh onto forty years, and will
live as long as magic with cards is enjoyed.
Six card effects as good as this go far to make a high-class
card act.
150
THE COUNT lOriginal)
The Sleight:
The cards are held level with
ycur chin and from twelve to
fifteen inches in front of you.
The packet of ten cards is
facing you. The bottom end at
one corner rests on the fourth
finger. The first, second and
third fingers are on the side
and thus press the cards into
the fork of the thumb. The tip
of the thumb rests on the bot-
tcm end of the card, about half
way between the two corners.
This is the first position for
the count. (See Fig. 1.)
The second position (Fig. 2)
is arrived at by pushing up the
Jack of Clubs with the thumb
until the ball of the first finger,
not seen in the figure, and the
ball of thumb hold the card at
the bottom midway between the
corners. The second finger
stretches out and presses the
corner and bends it around the
tip of the first finger (Fig. 3).
The first and second fingers
stretch out with the card thus
gripped at the corner. The card,
released by the thumb, swings
around and makes a sudden ap-
pearance at the fingertips of
the first and second fingers
(Fig. 4). It is important that
the card be kept square with
the pack or the sleight loses a
great deal of its artistry.
The card is removed by the
left hand, and the sleight is re-
peated with the remaining nine
cards, one at a time.
151
THE FALSE COUNT FOR MORE
The Sleight:
A packet of five cards is placed in the left hand, face down.
The four fingers on one side press the other side into the left
thumb fork. The thumb can push the top card well out over the
tips of the fingers, and can readily draw it back again square with
the other cards.
The first card is pushed out in this manner, and the right hand
is brought up to receive it in the following manner. The thumb
of the right hand reaches over the back of the extended top card
of the packet till it touches the far corner of this card. (See Fig.
1.) That puts the index corner into the fork of the right thumb,
and in this manner this card is drawn off the packet into the right
hand. Then another card is pushed off the top of the packet in the
left hand exactly as before, and the right hand holding the first
card approaches to take the second one. The position assumed
when the two hands come together is as follows. The four fingers
of the right hand with the card pass under the back of the left
hand. The thumb reaches the far corner of the extended top
card of the packet into the left hand and simulate the act of taking
the card, but the left thumb draws it back, and the move is falsi-
fied. (See Fig. 2.) Showing the left thumb drawing back the card.
THE FALSE COUNT FOR MORE
The illusion is indistinguishable to the eye from the actual
taking of the card, but wait! The illusion can be further height-
ened or completely destroyed because in taking a card in this man-
ner there is a sound peculiar to the move. Therefore it becomes
an essential part of the illusion to make the noise of the false
move and the real move exactly alike. This is accomplished by
the amount of pressure of the right thumb squeezing down on the
cards as the hands are drawn apart. Close your eyes and listen.
It won't take you long to make the move indetectably.
152
MIT CARD IN CIGARETTE ILLUSION
IWith Improvements)
The illusion: A chosen card is torn into small pieces, and
one piece is retained by a spectator. The others are placed into
an envelope and retained by the spectator. The performer borrows
a cigarette, lights and smokes it. Noticing that the spectator as-
sisting him is not smoking, he takes a cigarette from the spec-
tator's ear and lights it for him, and both puff away for a moment
or two. The performer suddenly asks the name of the card. On
being told, he flicks the lighted ash from his cigarette and peels
away the covering paper, revealing the card named, with a piece
missing. The spectator is told to fit the piece to the card. The
performer takes back the envelope and opens it, emptying out
the tobacco, crushing the envelope and leaving it with the spec-
tator for later examination if he wishes.
Accessories: Three plain letter-size envelopes; two cigar-
ettes; a pack of cards, and one card to match it from another pack,
preferably a black 9, 10 or jack; a packet of matches and a pair
of scissors.
Arrangement: Place one of the envelopes inside the other.
This is easy to do if you are careful.
Roll the cigarette between your fingers, starting near one end
and working up towards the other end until you have extracted
three-fourth of the tobacco from the cigarette paper onto a plain
sheet of paper. Then lay it aside for a moment while you roll the
card.
First tear off one of the index corners about three-quarters
of an inch through the corner index spot. Place the piece inside
the envelope behind the inside envelope. Place the tobacco from
the cigarette inside the inside envelope and seal the flap lightly
at one spot only onto the outside envelope. Fold over the outside
flap and crease it down. Place the envelope into the inside pocket
of your dinner jacket, ready for the performance.
Roll the end of the untorn edge of the card over with your
fingers very sharply so that you can roll the rest of the card over
it into a tube that will fit inside the cigarette from which you
took most of the tobacco. Do it very carefully, and be sure you
have rolled the card tight enough to insert into the cigarette with-
out tearing the cigarette paper. Press it carefully home up to
the white border of the card. This will allow a considerable por-
tion of the tobacco to remain in the cigarette. Then take the
scissors and trim the excess tobacco off. Place the cigarette into
your coat pocket on the lower left side, the tobacco end of the
cigarette pointing rearward. Place a few grains of tobacco into
the remaining envelope and seal it. When the seal is dry, tear
it open, crush it into a ball and place it in the left pants pocket,
up near the waistline.
153
Place the other cigarette and the packet of matches into
your right side coat pocket.
Take the duplicate card to the one inside the cigarette and
crimp it on the corner so that you may use the cards for other
card effects and yet at any time easily find this card when it
is wanted.
When the time arrives to perform this effect, you hold the
pack in your hands and find the crimped card, cut it to the center
and force it on the spectator you have requested to assist you.
(If you are wary of the force, then look at the Hoffsinger's force
in "Card Control". This cannot miss.) Say, "Tear it in half, please.
Put the halves together and tear them again. My, but you're strong.
Try once more. Fine. Will you put all the pieces together and
try once more. Say, you wouldn't believe it, but you are the first
person that I have seen do that. Place the pieces here."
You have taken the envelope from your pocket while you
watched the spectator tear the card as instructed, and your fingers
opened up the inside and secured the torn corner, which you are
now holding under the two middle fingers against the front side
of the envelope. You extend your hands with the envelope held
thus as you say, "Drop the pieces in here, please." As soon as the
spectator has done so, you say, "Did you keep a piece. Then please
do so." You withdraw the corner under your fingers and hand it
to him.
You seal the flap down and place the envelope in the opening
of the spectator's vest, saying, "Do you mind if we leave this here
for a moment." Turn to the audience and say, "Will someone oblige
me with a cigarette?" As you say this, you tap both the side
pockets of your coat as if you were unconsciously feeling for one.
The left hand enters the pocket and secretly procures the prepared
cigarette, holding it in the cup of the bent fingers, tobacco end
resting near the fourth finger. The hand and concealed cigarette
are brought forth as you reach to receive the cigarette handed to
you. As soon as you take it, the right hand moves towards the left
hand with the cigarette reclining on the fingers. As the hands are
brought together, the left hand brings its cigarette to view, and the
right hand is thrust into the right side pocket, with the secreted
borrowed cigarette, to get the matches, leaving the cigarette be-
hind and bringing forth the matches. The left hand places the
faked cigarette in your mouth, and you casually light it. Return-
ing the matches to your pocket, you procure a cigarette and with-
draw your hand with the cigarette concealed. Pause a moment to
draw on the cigarette you are smoking, and then say, "Do you
smoke? I thought as much," and you pluck the cigarette from
his ear and place it in his mouth. You reach into your pocket, bring
out the matches and light his cigarette, return the matches to your
pocket and procure another cigarette if you have two assistants,
repeating the performance of finding the cigarette.
154
After a short pause, ask the name of the selected card, flick off
the lighted ash and produce the card. Hand the card to the assist-
ant to match the corner. While he does so, take away the envelope
from his vest, open it and shake the tobacco into his hand. Crush
the envelope, place it in your left hand (your right side is toward
the audience), reach out to shake the assistant's hand, and exchange
the envelopes. Place it in his hand and say, "Here, take all of the
materials with you. You may be able to work it out for yourself."
This is one of the finest illusions with cards (in my opinion).
I worked it out and first used it in 1908, and have, during the years,
added to the details of presentation. If you make it a part of your
performance, I am sure you will profit by same.
THE THIRTY CARDS AND TWO ASSISTANTS
I With Improvements)
To the best of my knowledge, this effect first appeared in the
"Modern Conjuror" by Lang Neil. It has always rated with me,
and still does, as one of the ten best card effects ever invented.
It lends itself admirably to any audience at any time or place.
I am publishing it again here because I have a few original twists
that I discovered while performing it as a regular item in my card
act for more years than I care to remember.
Having obtained the helpful assistance of two members of
your audience, you station one at your left side and the other at
your right. You are facing the audience, with a table in front
of you. On the table rest a pack of cards. The bottom four cards
of the pack are the four fives.
Taking up the pack, you address the man on your left, saying,
"I want you to take the cards out and count off thirty onto the
table. Count them one by one to yourself like this." You illustrate
by counting one, two, three, and dropping the cards one by one
on the table, face down. You gather up the three cards, square
the pack and hand it to the spectator with the request, "Will you
do that, please?"
You palm off the top of the pack about a dozen cards, and as
soon as he takes the cards to carry out your instructions, you
reach into his coat and produce the fan of cards, saying, "I only
asked you to count them." Replace these cards on the pack and
let him proceed with the count, but you count aloud each time
he places a card on the table, regulating the pace of the count.
When thirty cards have been counted, you say, "Please place the
remainder of the pack here," pointing to the furthermost corner
from you.
155
"Now will you gather the thirty cards into one heap." When
he has done so, say, "Place the heap on the table and cut it to
make two heaps. Now choose either heap. Place it in the inside
pocket of your coat." As he takes away the heap he chose, you
pick up the remaining heap and immediately push off the top of
the pack five cards, one by one. Do this without looking at your
hands. Square the cards up with the pack after you have inserted
your fourth finger of the left hand to separate them. Remove your
right hand and say, "Please button your coat." As you say this,
you illustrate with your right hand, doing so expressly so it may
be seen empty without otherwise referring to this fact. Just as
the last button of the coat is fastened, (you are intently watching
the procedure) your right hand takes the packet, palming the five
cards off the top. You hand the packet to the spectator, saying,
"Please count these also like you did the others." (You know he
did not count the others, if by the others you mean the packet he
placed in his pocket, but actually he did count thirty cards at first,
so this exceedingly clever inference that he counted the cards he
put into his pocket is most certain to click if your timing is right.)
As the second packet of cards, minus the five you palmed, is be-
ing counted out onto the table, you do the calling out as the cards
fall onto the table. When the last card is down, suppose the num-
ber is nine, you slowly and deliberately place your hand with the
five palmed cards on top of the nine, and, looking straight up into
the spectator's face, say, "And nine from thirty leaves how many?"
This is a complete distraction, and comes suddenly as a surprise
and if he hesitates you help him out of this simple dilemma by
smilingly saying in an undertone, "Twenty-one." Square the five
up with the nine, and hand the packet to the man on the right,
but just as you do so, say, "Have you an inside breast pocket in
the coat you are wearing?" You know that he has, but at this mo-
ment you wish to divert his thoughts because when you hand him
fourteen cards instead of nine he could easily notice this discrep-
ancy, but not if you give him a simple question to answer. You
hand him the cards and say "Place them in your inside pocket,
please." You do not refer to the number as you say this. When
the cards are in his pocket, say, "Please button your coat on the
nine cards," and turning to the man on your left again, you say,
"And that leaves you with how many?" If he is slow, you repeat
in an undertone, "Twenty-one," continuing, "And our mutual friend
here has how many? Nine? Quite so."
"Now the object is to cause the cards to leave your pocket,
one by one, and pass across into the pocket of our mutual friend."
You turn to the spectator on your right and say, "You don't
mind me calling you our mutual friend, do you?"
Take up the cards from the corner of the table with the four
fives on the bottom of the pack. Cut the packet to bring the four
fives to the approximate center and spread them so only the four
fives are spread. Say, "Take one card, please." You don't look at
your hands as the card is selected, for you know he can only take
one of the four, and they are all fives.
156
"Call the number please. Five? Thank you. Then five cards
I shall take from your pocket. Watch closely, for the closer you
watch (pause), the closer you watch."
You reach over with the packet of cards to his pocket and draw
a line with the packet of cards to the other man's pocket, and
give the packet a click with your thumb, saying as you look him in
the eye, "Did you feel that one?" If he says, "Yes," you say, "Splen-
did. It' s nice to know you are feeling okay. Let's try again." Re-
peat until the five cards have been duly passed. Then you say to
the man on your left, "How many cards did you place in your
pocket?" He answers, "Twenty-one," and you say, "Twenty-one
is correct, and if I have taken away five you will now have only
sixteen. Is that correct? Then sixteen is all you have. Please
count them."
Again you do the counting, dropping off to a slower pace as
you say thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen." You look at him and
smile with that expression"You didn't think I could do it." You
turn to the man on your right and say, "How many cards did you
place in your pocket? And if I really passed five more into it, you
should now have fourteen. Is that correct? Fourteen is the num-
ber. Please count them." As the cards are counted, you raise your
voice on the last three cards counted, and take a bow.
TEN AND TEN
This is another of the classic card illusions that has helped
to make the name of more than one performer. The really good
things do not die, especially when a touch to the presentation is
added every so often. I have added one or two to the following de-
scription which I found from practical experience to be welcomed
and appreciated by my audience.
The illusion: The performer, standing with an assistant from
his audience on his left and another on his right, hands a pack of
playing cards to the assistant on his left, as he says, "Take the
pack and count ten cards off the pack, face down, on my left hand."
(There is no waste of words here. Your instructions are simple and
clear. You have a reason for the cards being counted face down.
An observing spectator may note and remember details that you
do not want remembered. If you have the cards dealt face down
from the beginning, the procedure will not be considered as an
unusual one when they are counted that same way later. I think
these little things are important.)
With your left hand held palm upwards, the assisting spectator
counts ten cards, one by one, from the top of the pack, faces down,
on your outstretched hand. As each card is dealt, you count, "One,
two, three, etc." up to ten. Then you say, "I will count them again
over into the right hand," and your proceed to do so. Pull off the
top card into your right hand with your right thumb, and the others
one by one at a fairly rapid pace. However, when you have counted
seven cards, you count the last three without any change of pace
so that these three cards extend over the end nearest the thumb
and first finger by about a third of their length.
157
At the completion of the count of ten, you press on the back
of the top card with your right thumb to hold the cards in place.
Outstretch your hand and say to the spectator on your right, "You
watch them, please."
This barefaced procedure disarms the spectator. He does not
know what to think of the protruding cards, and will probably
watch your hand and cards with no little curiosity, which you want
him to do.
You turn again to the person on your left, hold out your left
hand and say, "Will you deal ten more cards please on my left
hand?"
You are now standing with your feet facing center, with your
body turned left, your right hand outstretched to the right and
your left hand held before the spectator on your left. You swing
towards the right and bring the left hand holding ten cards to your
right elbow, and say to the assistant on your right, "Have you a
pocket handkerchief?" He will immediately look towards the pocket
where he keeps it, and without waiting you swing left, and in do-
ing so the right hand is brought to the left elbow, and in this act
it naturally passes the left hand. When this happens the left thumb
is placed on the protruding ends of the three top cards of the
right hand packet, and they pass to the left hand packet.
There is no hurry. Everything is carried out at a well regulated,
even pace, without stops or hesitation. The right hand continues its
journey up the left arm to your handkerchief pocket, where you
must have a handkerchief in readiness. The thumb and first finger
seize it by a corner, and you pull it from your pocket, handing it
to the assistant on your left with the words, "Take this one, please.
Oh, lay the cards on the table. Place the handkerchief over the ten
cards in my left hand. Now hold the cards through the handkerchief.
Careful, please. Those queens may object if you squeeze too tightly.
I will count these once more." So saying, you false count the seven
cards as ten, as described herein.
Place the cards in your left hand, the face of the cards towards
the audience, ready for the color change, and say, "I will pass these
cards, one by one, from my hand into the handkerchief. Watch close-
ly, please." As you make the last remark you palm the card from the
back of the packet in your left hand. Passing your hand with
the palmed card, leave it on the face of the pack, but appear to
carry the face card away, watching intently. You make a pass
in the direction of the handkerchief as a chord is struck on the
piano, or drum and cymbals produce the sound effect. Two more
times a card is passed. Each time you proceed as before, first
palming off a card from the back of the pack and placing it on the
front, and using the sound effects to simulate its passage to the
handkerchief. A great deal of interest can be created here. In fact,
the color change, if well done, is no small part of the illusion.
When the three cards have been thus dealt with, you say as you
count the cards onto the table, "And that leaves only one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven cards; and in the handkerchief you have thir-
teen in place of ten. Please count them onto the table."
As he uncovers the cards, take your handkerchief and return
it to your pocket, and as the thirteen cards are dealt, count aloud.
158
TO VANISH THE LAST TWO CARDS IN PRESENTING
"THE TEN CARDS TO POCKET"
Place two cards, the King of Clubs, on the bottom in the left
hand as in Fig. 1. You will observe from the photo that the cards
are supported on side edges at one end between the left thumb and
second finger. The first finger is on the face of the cards while the
left hand is at the other end across the edge. The right hand pushes
the cards, causing them to slide towards the left hand, but the
outward pressure on the cards on the right hand causes the cards
to rotate between the thumb and second finger of the left hand
and come into the right hand, where they are palmed while seem-
ingly pushed into the left hand.
The illusion is heightened by a half left turn as the palming
move is executed, and the left hand in a half closed position is raised
to shoulder height with the back of the hand towards the audience.
The right hand is lowered and thrust into the pants pocket. The
left hand is opened and turned around as the right hand produces
the cards from the pocket.
159
METHOD OF DOUBLE CUTTING CARDS
This sleight is one of the most useful sleights in card con-
juring, and unless one is fully aware of what is happening it is
impossible to follow, though
ridiculously simple to perform.
It should be practiced thor-
oughly before being used in
public.
The Sleight:
Place the pack in your left
hand face up and cut off about
half the pack with the right
hand. Note the card cut to
(say it is the three of clubs),
and that is the card it is de-
sired to bring to the bottom of
the pack. Remember, the pack
is held face up.
When the cards lifted off
above the three of clubs are re-
placed, the tip of the fourth
finger of the left hand is in-
serted above the three of clubs
to retain a break. (See Fig. 1.)
The thumb of the right
hand retains this break while
the left hand is shifted to form
a second break about halfway
between the three of clubs and
the top of the pack. (See Fig.
2.) The illustration depicts
this latter break to be at the
nine of spades.
The right hand transfers
the packet with the nine of
spades at the bottom of it to
the bottom of the pack. The
act is a simple cut.
The right hand returns to
its former position, obtains the
packet with the three of clubs
and transfers this packet to the bottom, and that' s all there is to it.
Of course, you hold the pack face down while performing this
sleight for the effect described herein.
160
THE TRIPLE CLIMAX
I Original)
This is another effect that has served me well for many years.
It was originated by me around 1910 or 1911 in the early days of
my career as a professional card magician.
The illusion: Three cards that are seen in the pack by the
spectators are discovered in a novel manner.
The working: An assistant from the audience stands at the
performer's right side, which, for explanatory reasons, shall hence-
forth be referred to as Assistant No. 1. On the performer's right
stands Assistant No. 2. Assistant No. 1 is requested to look at a
card in the pack. The performer extends his left hand, holding the
pack, and raises the corners with the fingers of his right hand,
being careful not to expose any of the cards to the assistant, say-
ing, "I want you to just open the pack at the index corner, like
this, and look at one card, only one. Is that quite clear?" (See "The
Peek", herein.)
The performer raises his hand with the pack, and Assistant
No. 1 peeks at one card.
"Please remember it." The performer has, by means of the
sleight described at the end of this explanation, retained a break
with the tip of the fourth finger. He proceeds to casually cut the
cards several times, doing so by means of the double cut (ex-
plained herein), which secretly brings the spectator's card to the
Bottom of the pack, where the performer secretly glimpses and
remembers it. By means of the riffle shuffle, made very casually
and ever so fairly, the card thus glimpsed remains on the bottom.
The performer turns to Assistant No. 2, saying, "Would you mind
lifting the cards at the corner of the pack, just open the cards
like this." (Illustrate without letting the faces of the cards be
seen.) "Just one card you are to look at. Thank you. You will
of course remember it? That' s splendid." While you were saying
this, you secretly inserted the tip of your fourth finger into the
pack below this card, and now you cut off this card with the cards
above it in your right hand, and fairly riffle the two packets to-
gether. Take care to riffle the card lying on the bottom of the
161
Triple Climax
right hand packet first. Then riffle several cards from the left hand
packet and complete the riffle. This brings the No. 2 Assistant's
card to the bottom of the pack, and the No. 1 Assistant's card
second card from the bottom of the pack. Give the pack another
casual riffle shuffle. Keep several of the bottom cards intact,
but riffle an indifferent card to the bottom and crimp it at the
index corner.
Then, looking at Assistant No. 1, say, "You remember the card
you saw? Will you point to any card in the pack." Spread the
cards out fanways before him, saying, "With your first finger point
to any one card. I want you to be sure you have a free choice.
That one? Splendid."
Cut the cards, transferring the bottom card which you crimped
the corner of from the left hand packet to the right hand packet.
This is called the "Hofzinser force" (see description herein). Hand
him this packet and say, "Note the card you chose, and shuffle
the cards." Take the packet from him at the completion of the
shuffle, and say, "Now if I shuffle these into these, that will be
fair and square."
While you are talking and shuffling the cards, you locate the
crimped card and insert your fourth finger of the left hand above
it. Then cut off the cards above the crimped card. You should
now have on the bottom of the pack in your left hand the second
assistant's card next, and above it the first assistant's card, and
on the top of this packet the crimped card. Riffle the two packets
together, riffling the right hand packet into the left hand packet.
Holding the pack of cards in your left hand. With your right
hand take the lower half and place it on the other half, first put-
ting down your fourth finger on the crimped card to keep the
location. Then, pushing the two assistants' cards with the tips of
the fingers of your left hand, you withdraw your fourth finger and
reinsert it above the assistants' cards, and perform the double
cut (described herein). The cards now lie: Assistant No. One's first
card on top; Assistant No. Two's card second; and Assistant No.
One's second card third from the top. You say to No. One As-
sistant, "Take the pack and deal the cards, one by one, face down
on my left hand." Hand him the pack and repeat "Face down,
so I can't see when you deal your card."
As the cards are dealt, say aloud, "One, two, three." At "three"
stop him, and as if you just thought of it, say, to No. Two
Assistant, "Do you think you could tell him to stop when
he reaches his card? " He will probably reply, "I don't know
his card." "Then just say ' stop' any old time before he reaches
thirteen, because thirteen is unlucky." (This is to prevent the
162
Triple Climax
count being drawn out to the point of boredom.) As each card is
placed on your hand, you bring the right hand down onto the
packet of cards and promptly raise it to receive the next card
dealt. When Assistant No. Two calls "Stop!" you bring down the
right hand on the packet of cards in the left hand and raise it a
few inches and bring it down on the packet of cards again. (This
is to enable you to execute the "Slap Shift", described herein.)
As you turn your head to look in his direction, say, "You
meant him to stop now?" Not waiting for an answer, you say to
Assistant No. One, "Will you lift off the top card? Please name
your card first. The first card you thought of, please. The two
of spades? Lift it off the pack, please, and hold it up so that
everyone may see it."
At this moment, shift the bottom card of the packet in your
left hand to the top of the packet. Take the card from him, and
as you turn to the No. Two Assistant on your right, make the
top change. Hold the cards, face down, about a foot below his
eyes, and say, "Your card was not by chance also the two of spades?
No? What is your card, please?" When he names it, say, "Please
blow on the two of spades. Now it's the seven of hearts, your
card?"
Palm the bottom card of the packet (this is the crimped card),
and drop the rest of the cards on a chair or a table. Say to Assist-
ant No. One, "I believe you have forgotten the second card you
thought of." He will name it if he has not forgotten. In most
cases you name it for him. Reach into his inside coat pocket and
take the card out.
Before explaining the sleights employed in the method of
the "Triple Climax", I wish to say to you that I have found from
professional experience this to be one of the very finest of stage
and/or drawing room effects. It must be performed brisklyno
undue stalling or fumbling. There is not a move in the whole
effect that is not completely protected by a natural action, and
I am confident that those who take the time and care to incorporate
it into their routine will use it ever after. Of course, it is more
difficult than a thousand others that you can do overnight, but
this is a saleable professional effect. Ask yourself, "Is it not worth
while?" And another thing, the sleights embraced by this effect
are ready to serve you henceforth. They are yours forever, once
mastered. They are not too difficult if you will give a little of your
time to correctly understand them. Here they areThe slap
shift, the top change, the double cut, the palm, the peak, the Hof-
zinser force.
163
AN AMAZING CARD ILLUSION (Original)
JUST THINK OF A CARD
This is one of the finest of intimate card illusions that I
have had the pleasure of working. The effect and the sleight of
peeking at the card I claim to be entirely original. It is one of
the thirty uncompleted card effects I left with Zado Goldenberg
to do with as he saw fit at the time I left for Australia in 1923.
These were later published by Dariel Fitzkee. During the last
twenty-five years I have worked this illusion many times and add-
ed to its splendid effect, so I feel that in justice to it, it should
appear here with my present presentation. So here it is.
While you stand and efficiently riffle shuffle the pack of cards,
you address the gathering: "I am going to have several of you
people select a card, not by removing it from the pack, but just
by thinking of it." Having completed the riffle shuffle while talk-
ing, you square the pack and approach a spectator with the pack
held by both hands, face down. The cards are run from left to
right until about ten cards at the center of the pack are spread
in a semi-circle and the other cards below and above the fanned-
out ten are not spread. All this must be done in a very casual
way, not at all appearing as too planned. As you reach the first
spectator, you raise the cards and hold them centered before
his eyes and watch his eyes to see that his gaze does not wander
from the fanned-out cards.
You say as you raise the cards for him to see, "Please think
of one card, only one, and having made up your mind please don't
change it." You allow only sufficient time for him to make up his
mind, moving the cards in a small arc back and forth to keep the
fanned-out cards before his gaze. Close the pack together, secret-
ly inserting your fourth finger of the left hand below the bottom
card of the fan as you close it, and say, "Did you see one? Thank
you." (Now it would be more than likely that the spectators near
the person making the selection may have seen the fanned-out
cards, so you must pick your victims at sufficiently remote points
of the group to avoid this happening.)
Double cut the cards below the left fourth finger to bring the
ten fanned-out cards to the bottom of the pack, and riffle the pack
in a manner to insure the group of ten remaining undisturbed, and
holding the pack in the left hand in position for the Hindu shuffle
(see "Card Control"), undercut about forty cards of the pack and
Hindu shuffle about twenty cards of this packet on the packet in
164
An Amazing Card Illusion
the left hand, and drop the fourth left finger on them. Then place
the remaining twenty cards which you have in the right hand on
the left hand packet. The ten now directly above the left hand
fourth finger are the ten cards from which the first spectator
made his selection. You spread the ten cards as before, holding
the pack face down so no one sees them prematurely, and you ap-
proach your second victim. Holding the fan directly before his
eyes and watching his eyes, you repeat, "Please think of one."
Now here is an important point that it may take you some
time to discover for yourself. As you hold the cards before the
spectator and you watch his eyes, you can usually tell where
and when he makes his choice, and you try to have the choice made
so that different cards of the fanned-out cards are selected by
different spectators.
The same procedure of shuffling, cutting and fanning the
cards before the third spectator is gone through, until you have
five cards remembered by five of the spectators.
Then you shuffle the pack as heretofore explained to keep
the ten cards on the bottom of the pack. Hold the pack in your
right hand, face down, in position for an overhand shuffle, that
is, so the thumb of the left hand can pull off the cards from the
pack into the left hand, one by one. Pull off four cards in this
manner, and then as you pull the next card with the left thumb
take the bottom card of the right hand packet with it. That will
make a packet of six cards in your left hand, and the second top
card may be one of the cards the spectators chose to think of.
Lay this packet on the table and continue to once more shuffle
off four cards, one by one, and then one from the bottom, with
the sixth card taken from the top, and lay this packet alongside
the first packet. Repeat this until you have about eight packets,
each containing six cards.
You have kept talking while you shuffled, saying, "Let me
see. I had five of you select cards, not take them out of the pack,
but you just thought of any of the cards as I spread the pack
before you. At no time did I look at the faces of any cards of
the pack, nor will I do so now, so I could not know what cards
you are thinking of. Yet I will try to tell you those very cards.
You pick up the third heap of six and spread it face down
with care, fanned out in both hands. The fingers of your hands
are underneath the faces, and your thumbs are on the backs. As
you raise the fan of cards thus, the left thumb pushes up the in-
dex corner far enough for you to glimpse the index of this card,
which may or may not be a chosen one. The six cards are held
165
An Amazing Card Illusion
fanned in the right hand only, before the first spectator, and you
ask, "Look carefully. Is your card there?" You go from one to
another, making the same statement. (We will assume that the card
you glimpsed the index of, is the six of spades, and that the
fourth spectator you approach says, "Yes, my card is there.")
Then you know the six of spades is the fourth spectator's card.
You continue to ask the fifth spectator, and lay the cards squared
in a packet on the table, and pick up the second set of six. While
you fan them and glimpse the index of the second top card, you
retain in your memory the six of spades the first card you glimpsed,
the fourth spectator's card, and say to the first spectator, "Is your
card there?", and the second, third and fourth spectators, but the
fourth spectator will say, "No, my card was in the other packet,"
and you say, "Oh, yes. You did tell me that. Please think of it
and see if I can read your mind. The six of spades, I believe."
Then address the fifth spectator, "You say your card is there?"
Close the fan and lay it on the first discarded packet. Say to the
fifth spectator, "Please think of it. A little harder, please. The
two of clubs. I see you like the deuces wild."
You take up the fifth packet, and the first and second specta-
tors both acknowledge that their cards are in the packet. You
lay the packet of cards aside on the other discarded cards and
say, "Will you think of your cards, and I will see what impression
I receive the strongest." You say, "You are both thinking of the
same card, the Jack of hearts."
Now assuming you go through all the packets except the last
packet, and the third spectator has not acknowledged that his card
is in any one of the packets so far shown, then you rightly assume,
barring errors on his part, that the card must be the second top
card of the last packet, so you glimpse it and palm it from the
pack to your pocket as you gather up the cards and shuffle them,
saying, "I would like to show you another one."
At this point you will probably be interrupted by the person
whose card you have not declared, and you say, "That is right.
I did not tell you your card, did I? Here, shuffle the cards please."
And you hand the pack over, being careless about it, but making
sure that they see your hands are not withholding any of the
cards. While the shuffle is being made, say, "Please tell me
what is the name of your card?" He says it, and you take it from
your pocket, saying, "That' s funny how you thought of that one."
If you will practice this card illusion until you can do it
with all the frills it embraces, you will have the finest intimate
group card effect I know about.
166
THE CRIMP (One Hand)
To crimp a card so that it may be readily located anywhere
in the pack while the pack of cards is held squared in the hands
is one of the oldest methods of location but it still remains one
of the very best of all. First because all you need to do to locate
the card is turn the pack on its side. There are many good and
simple methods already published from which you may exercise
your choice of placing a crimp.
A favorite of mine is to place the crimp after the card has been
returned by holding the pack fanned in both hands and bending
the corner with the second finger of the right hand over the sec-
ond finger of the left hand. However, this method illustrated is
excellent for crimping the bottom card and only using one hand
to accomplish the process. Fig. 1 shows the fourth finger crimp-
ing the card. Fig. 2 shows how the spectators see the pack while
the finger secretly does the work. It should never be so crude
as to be noticeable by the spectator.
167
EXCHANGING A CARD IN PASSING
Top Change
Hold the cards in your left hand in position for dealing. Take
a card in your right hand and hold it between the first finger and
thumb at the inside end at one index corner. Display the card
to an imaginary assistant supposedly standing on your left side.
Turn to a second imaginary assistant standing on your right side,
and as you do so, lower the right hand holding the cards at a slow
even pace and up again, the card still held between the first finger
and thumb, held back up, face of the card parallel with the floor,
the card about fifteen inches from the chin of the imaginary as-
sistant. This move is made so that the right hand holding the
card passes just in front of the left hand holding the pack with-
out any change of pace, and you turn your head from the assist-
ant at your left to the one at your right. The exchange is made
in passing the pack as follows: As the right hand approaches
the pack from the left, the left thumb moves the top card a third
of its width over the left finger, where it is retained in that pos-
ition by the light pressure of the thumb, not the ball of the thumb,
for that part is not actually resting on the card.
As the right hand with the card to be exchanged comes level
with the pack, the card in the right hand is brought under the
left thumb and the card over the pack passes between the second
and third fingers of the right hand. The left thumb draws the
card wedged under it onto and square with the pack as the right
hand continues on its journey with the card between the second
and third fingers. Under cover of this continuous movement, the
thumb replaces the first finger, and the second finger is then re-
placed by the first finger as the travel motion ceases. No haste
or hurry, just a steady easy-going, natural pace. Now one more
thing before I close this explanation. There are three more travel
moves executing this sleight. If the card is first shown to a
person at the right and you then turn left, the right hand is
brought to the pack held as explained in the first method, and the
card exchanged as explained, but the right hand now holding
the exchanged card between the two middle fingers stops, and the
left hand is moved away to direct or gesture to the assistant on
your left side. The right hand approaching and the left hand
moving away should be made one continuous move.
The third method: Having taken a card from someone you
are addressing, the right hand with the card is moved in the
direction of your body. At the same time the left hand moves
in the direction of the spectator you are addressing, and as the
two hands come abreast of each other, the exchange is made, as
explained, in passing.
The fourth method is made the same way, but the hands move
in the opposite directions, a method that I do not care for.
168
THE PEEK LOCATION (Original)
Fig. 1 depicts the spectator's hand raising the corners of the
cards to look at a card, which is the six of clubs in the illustra-
tion.
The pack is held in the performer's right hand, the four fingers
resting up one side of the pack, and the thumb lying across the
corner exactly as depicted in Fig. 2. If you will try this position
as shown you will observe that the cards open bookwise, and on
closing when released they will pinch a little of the fourth finger
between the opening.
This is a truly great improvement on the older method of
pinching the first finger as taught by others.
It' s these little touches that really mean so much to better
card magic.
THE HOFZINSER FAN FORCE
The pack of cards is spread in a fan, faces down, before the
spectator. The performer's right hand assists in the final spread-
ing. The right thumb is on the backs of the cards, the fingers
underneath. In this manner the right hand, unobserved, easily
moves the bottom card of the pack across to the right under the
fingers of the left hand. When the spectator points to the back
of any card, the right hand carefully draws the cards at this point
to the right to form a separation. Square these cards carefully
with the bottom card, and offer them to the spectator to observe
the bottom card. Performer tells him to shuffle the cards after
he remembers the card he pointed to. Because of the very lightly
bent corner, this card is easily located after the shuffle.
169
"THE SLAP SHIFT"
(See THE TRIPLE CLIMAX)
The Sleight:
As the first card from the top is dealt into your left hand
(that's the first selected card), you partly close and again open the
fingers of your left hand on the card, and on each card dealt by
the spectator.
As each card is dealt, the right hand slaps down on the card
firmly, but not too heavily, covering the cards. Each time this cov-
ering move is made, the cards slide over the edge of the first card,
and the inside edge of the selected card is uncovered. (See Fig.
1.) It is then very lightly gripped by the base of the right thumb
and first joint of the first finger. (See Fig. 2.)
You call, "One! Two! Three!", etc., very deliberately as the
cards are dealt, pausing no longer than is necessary with the hands
together, the dealt cards between them, sufficient to give the
dealer time to say, "Stop," if he is going to do so. If "Stop" is
called you lift the bottom card six inches above the packet dealt.
Fig. 3 is a camera view from the rear showing hand with card
slightly tilted, and it is thus placed on the top of the other cards
already dealt. The photos are intended to show how card is brought
up from the bottom of the packet in the left hand and unsuspect-
ingly placed on top of them. You have the spectator name his
card, and then let him lift it off the packet. During the distraction
that ensues palm the bottom card and place it on the top ready
for the top change.
170
In my manuscript of "Thirty Card Tricks" I describe an effect
that calls for a dexterous handling of this sleight because it must
be performed repetitiously. There is no danger of detection if
the sleight is properly executed.
A packet of six cards, the faces of which are unknown to you,
are face down on the table. What you do secretly know is that the
second top card is a card which has been selected, and you desire
to secretly learn the name of this card.
The Sleight:
The cards are picked up with the right hand and placed, face
to palm, held spread out, in the left hand, as shown in Fig. 1, hold-
ing them at a 30 angle with the floor.
The cards held in the hands in this position are raised to face
the spectator. You ask him if he sees his card. As the cards are
beng raised, the left thumb tilts up the index corner of the sec-
ond card sufficiently to glimpse it. A split second does it, and
you secretly look at the index of the spectator's card under the
cover afforded by other cards, as shown in Fig. 2.
171
PRINCIPLES AND DECEPTIONS
CHAPTER FOUR
MAGIC WITH BILLIARD BALLS
173
SIGHTING WHILE FANNING THE CARDS
MY ORIGINAL BILLIARD BALL AND CARD HARNESS
Similar In Many Respects To My Coin Harness.
Showing the manner in which Billiard Balls or Cards are held
by a belt to be suspended from the waist. This allows the balls
to be readily concealed by the coat and easily procured when want-
ed. The Cards are in a paper clip as shown but I found that a
screw and nut through the extension on the clip to prevent its
two halves from completely closing is desirable to eliminate the
noise of closing.
174
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
CHAPTER FOUR
Magic With Billiard Balls
Pointers:
The type of ball that I find best suited for manipulating,
and sold by many of our magical dealers, is the spray gun lacquered
hardwood variety. These balls sell at from two to four dollars
each, according to their quality, and may be obtained in several
sizes, ranging from one and a half inches to two and one-eighth
inches. The two inch ball I believe to be the most suitable for
the average hand.
An advantage that the solid wood ball has over the hollow
plastic ball lies in its solidity. It may be knocked against another
ball to indicate it's solid, or dropped intentionally for the same
purpose.
At the beginning, the larger size balls are somewhat more
difficult to handle than the smaller balls, but use, and practice
mean everything. The appearance of a two inch ball instead of a
ball that is one and three-quarters inches is much greater than
can be imagined without a trial.
Cardini uses solid wood polished balls, two and one-quarter
inches, and his hand is, if anything, a trifle smaller than average.
Bill Baird has a normal size hand, and he also uses the two and
one-quarter inch ball. So unless you have some sensible reason
for using the smaller ball, let's settle for the two inch or larger
ball of solid spray gun lacquered hardwood.
The colors are red or white. White is used because the ball
looks a trifle larger than red. But of the two, red is easier to
see under average stage conditions, so in the main, red is the color
we recommend for the greater number of balls; for our color
changes, white; and when another different color is to be used,
then green or blue is a suitable contrast.
175
THE PRODUCTION OF ABALL FROM BEHIND THE LEFT
HAND FOLLOWED BY THE TAKE AWAY VANISH
The ball is palm-
ed in the right
hand, back of hand
towards audience.
The left hand is
held palm towards
audience, as in
Fig. 1.
The right hand
is turned palm to-
wards audience as
it is brought up be-
hind the left hand.
The moves must be
timed so that the
ball remains con-
cealed. See Figs. 2
and 3.
The second fin-
ger of the right
hand rests on the
ball, and the hand
is drawn down-
wards, causing the
ball to be rolled on
the back of the left
hand and the sec-
ond finger to the
position shown in
Fig. 4.
The vanish: The
left hand is rotated
against the ball to
bring the thumb
pointing down-
wards, and the back
of the left hand
towards the audi-
ence. The second
finger of the right
hand supports the
ball against the left
hand during the
move. See Fig. 5.
The right hand
moves up so that
the fork of the
thumb is pressed
against the first
finger of the left
hand. The ball is
176
not moved up, but allowed to slide down the fingers to the right
palm. The palming of the ball in the right hand is assisted by the
third finger of the right hand. The right hand is rotated to bring
the back of the hand towards the audience. See Fig. 6. The right
hand is moved away with the ball palmed, the left hand partly closes
as if it had retained the ball.
A BALL HELD IN THE FINGER PALM POSITION BY THE
LEFT HAND IS SECRETLY REMOVED BY
THE RIGHT HAND IN PASSING
The three photos are all taken from the rear to expose the
moves. In Fig. 1 the left hand retains the ball in the finger palm
position. The palm of the right hand moves across the back of
the left hand. See Fig. 1. The second finger and thumb press
lightly on the ball, see Fig. 2, and carry it beyond the left hand.
The fingers of the left hand curl to their former position before
the right hand exposes them. See Fig. 3. As the right hand is
moved away after leaving the left hand, the ball is palmed and the
left hand is turned palm towards the audience. The move may be
reversed and the ball recovered by the left hand, and perhaps pro-
duced by the little finger as explained. See the De Biere produc-
tion.
177
THE WRIST ROLL
The right hand is brought up to the left hand and the ball
placed against the left wrist. See Fig. 1.
The right hand is then closed so the backs of the fingers are
against it. See Fig. 2.
The right hand is then opened as it is rotated to bring the
palm of the hand facing the audience. See Fig. 3.
The left hand is then rotated to bring the back of this hand
towards the audience. See Fig. 4.
The right hand is then rotated as the ball is rolled onto the
back of the left hand, as in Fig. 5. The ball is then palmed in
the right hand, and the left hand turned over, as in Fig. 6.
178
THE PRODUCTION OF A BALL ON THE FIST
The ball is palmed as in Fig. 1. The second finger wraps it-
self around the ball, see Fig. 2, and on retracting, rolls the ball
to the position shown in Fig. 3. The fourth finger is then brought
up against the underside of the ball, and the thumb reaches over
and rests against the second joint of the fourth finger, as in Fig. 4.
The fingers of the hand are then closed as the thumb carries
the ball upwards, see Fig. 5, and on completion of the move the
ball rests as shown in Fig. 6.
179
MOVING THE BALL DOWN FROM THE FIST
POSITION TO THE FIRST AND SECOND FINGERS
This move is designed to follow the move just described, and
if it is carried out as it will now be explained, you will find it a
very effective piece of manipulation.
The ball rests on the closed fist, as in Fig. 6 of the last move
described.
The fingers and thumb of the hand open in one continuous
move, the ball rolling down from the closed fist to the first and
second fingers, as depicted in Fig. 4. However, for the purpose
of explanation, the move is shown in steps. Fig. 2 shows the sec-
ond finger lagging behind as the fingers are opened and the ball
is checked on its forward roll. The first finger moves over the
top of the ball, as in Fig. 3. The fingers straighten as in Fig. 4,
with the ball between the thumb and first finger position. The
thumb is bent down to the second finger as in Fig. 5, and then the
thumb rolls the ball ever the first finger to the position shown in
Fig. 6. When this move is made skillfully, with the back of the
hand towards the audience, the ball seems to be on wires. Follow
each move carefully.
180
MOVING THE BALL TO THE FIRST AND
SECOND FINGER FROM THE FIST
181
THE PRODUCTION OF A BALL BETWEEN THE TWO
MIDDLE FINGERS FROM THE PALM WITHOUT
AID FROM THE THUMB
This is a somewhat difficult move to master, so please pay
attention to the details that at first may not appear to you as
significant. They really are, as you will find from practicing the
move. These photos, like most of the others, were made from the
rear, and in posing I have tried to do so by going through the
completed move and freezing at the crucial movents so that the
photos would convey the correct and important points of the
move. Particularly notice photo One. Study the seemingly re-
laxed position of the right hand, with the ball palmed, and yet
the ball is held quite firmly as it had to be, for the heat of the
photographer's lights was quite intense.
Fig. 2 shows the second fingertip resting on the palmed ball.
In this position it can move the ball up and back into the posi-
tion of Fig. 3. Then the third finger passes under the ball as
shown in Fig. 4, and the fingers then move out with the ball, as
in Fig. 5, to the position as shown in Fig. 6.
182
PRODUCTION OF A BALL BETWEEN THE TWO MIDDLE
FINGERS FROM THE PALM WITHOUT
AID FROM THE THUMB
183
THE DE BIERE PRODUCTION OF A BALL FROM THE
PALM TO THE THIRD AND FOURTH FINGER
De Biere is the performer to whom credit for this splendid move
must be given. De Bier was one of the greatest performers of his
day and he excelled with Billiard Balls. It is thirty-five years since
I saw him use the move, and I have not seen it used since. It
seems a great pity, for it is definitely outstanding to see the ball
pop up between the third and fourth fingers, with almost no move-
ment of the hand or at most a very slight one.
The six views are taken from the rear. The ball is palmed
as in Fig. 1. The third finger reaches across the ball as far as
it can, wrapping itself over and around the ball, as in Fig. 2. The
finger then retracts, rolling the ball with it to the position as in
Fig. 3. The top of the thumb is then placed against the ball as in
Fig. 4, and the fourth finger is then brought over the ball to rest
against the thumb, as in Fig. 5. The fingers suddenly straighten
out, and the ball pops up as in Fig. 6. This is easy enough when
you follow each move carefully, isn't it? Of course the moves
blend more nearly into one with practice.
These separate moves blend more nearly into a single move
with practice, but take it slowly at first. Speed will come later.
I have found that a slight, almost imperceptible little toss of the
hand considerably aids in getting the ball into position shown
in Fig. 3.
184
THE "DE BIERE" PRODUCTION OF A BALL FROM THE
PALM TO THE THIRD AND FOURTH FINGER
185
THE "BALL ROLL" FROM FINGER TO FINGER
This is not only a very pretty and dexterous move to watch,
but it serves a double purpose of very great value to the ball
manipulator. First, it permits the performer to sustain attention
on the hand while he procures another ball with the hand that is
seemingly disengaged. Also, it is one of the best exercises for de-
veloping dexterity in the fingers and stabilzing the palm muscles.
While the six photos are self explanatory, for the sake of
clearness I am describing each move.
The ball is held between the first finger and thumb of your
right hand. The second finger is then carried under the ball to
rest against the side of the thumb, as shown in Fig. 1.
The thumb releases the ball, and the fingers, on straighten-
ing, carry the ball to the position shown in Fig. 2.
The third finger then moves under the ball and rests against
the side of the first finger. See Fig. 3. The fingers again straighten,
and the ball is carried to the positon shown in Fig. 4.
The fourth finger is then carried under the ball until it rests
against the second finger, as in Fig. 5. Again the fingers straight-
en, and the ball is carried to the position shown in Fig. 6. The
thumb reaches across the ball to rest against the fourth fingertip,
and the first finger is placed against the third fingertip. The
thumb and first finger return the ball to the first position described,
not shown.
The foregoing moves are repeated. Practice slowly at first,
and later as you acquire speed the return action from the last to
the first position is so fast that you cannot tell the ball is not
rolled back, finger to finger, and though this latter move may be
186
accomplished, I do not recommend it as the other action explained
is quicker, and I believe it is the better one. It is used today by
all the top ranking ball manipulators. It had a place in my ball
routine more than 27 years ago.
THE "BALL ROLL" FROM FINGER TO FINGER
187
THE "BALL ROLL" WITH ANOTHER BALL
CONCEALED IN YOUR PALM
This is like the first "ball roll" described, but it has a differ-
ent purpose. It apparently convinces the watcher that your hand
is empty, other than of the ball being manipulated, because of the
seeming impossibility of holding a ball palmed while you so dex-
terously roll a ball between your fingers. If you can palm a ball,
which I assume you can, and you can roll a ball which you are
advised to learn from the foregoing explanation, then you are
going to have very little trouble indeed to do both of these things
at the same time, as you will find for yourself after a little prac-
tice. Remember, knowing what your fingers are supposed to do
puts an end to more than four-fifths of the trouble. Observe the
illustrations and note the way each finger lies in respect to the
others. I repeat, this move will repay any ball manipulator far
more for the time spent in its perfection than any other that I
know, so be patient and practice with determination. The moves
are exactly similar to those described for the "Ball Roll" from
finger to finger so I will not repeat the description but refer you
to the description already given under that heading.
188
THE "BALL ROLL" WITH ANOTHER BALL IN THE PALM
189
"THE KNEE ROLL VANISH"
The photos were taken from the left side to expose the moves
to your view.
The right hand, with back of hand towards audience, holds
the ball between the extended second and third fingers, and the
left hand takes the ball between the first finger and the thumb.
See Fig. 1.
The fingers of the left hand close but not around the ball.
They press the ball against the left leg just above the knee (see
Fig. 2), and the left hand is rotated on the ball, palm outwards
(see Fig. 3). At the same time the right hand, also palm outwards,
is brought partly behind the left hand so that the third and fourth
fingers of the right hand pass each side of the ball and support
it. See Fig. 4.
Turning partly towards the left, both hands carry the ball
thus concealed to shoulder level. See Fig. 4.
The right hand supports the ball between the third and fourth
fingers, while the left hand conceals it.
The left hand is then rotated to bring its palm towards the
ball, as in Fig. 5.
The ball is palmed by the left hand, and the right hand moves
away. The left hand produces the ball between the third and
fourth fingers, as heretofore explained. See De Biere's produc-
tion.
190
FIG. I FIG.2
THE STRIKE VANISH
The extreme simplicity of this move may discourage its use,
but permit me to assure you it is quite as effective as others re-
quiring a great deal more skill. The views are taken from the
rear.
The left fist supports the ball. The palm of the right hand
is brought smartly down on the ball as though to strike it into
the closed right hand. See Fig. 1.
The left hand is immediately turned over and raised to a posi-
tion above the right hand. See Fig. 2.
The left hand then appears to squeeze the ball away and is
turned palm toward the audience as it is opened. The right hand
produces the ball as fancy dictates. Do not pass this without try-
ing it.
192
THE "WRIST ROLL" AND PALM OFF VANISH
The ball is pro-
duced, as hereto-
fore explained, at
the third and fourth
fingers (see Fig. 1),
and then allowed to
fall into the right
hand, as in Fig. 2.
The ball is then
thrown from the
ri ght hand and
caught by the left
hand. See Fig. 3.
Figs. 1, 2 and 3 are
as seen by the audi-
ence. Figs. 4, 5 and
6 are rear views.
The ball is rolled
from the palm by
the tips of the sec-
ond and third fin-
gers of the left
hand to the left
wrist. See Fig. 4.
The left hand is
then turned. The
right hand conceals
the ball. See Fig. 5.
The left hand re-
mains closed as if
it retained the ball.
The ri ght hand,
with the ball palm-
ed, moves away, and
the left hand is
opened, the ball be-
ing produced as de-
sired.
193
CONCEALING A BALL BEHIND THE HAND
WHILE BOTH PALMS ARE SHOWN
This six views are all self-explanatory. They are taken from the
rear.
The ball is palmed in the left hand. The fingers of both hands
are interlocked, the first finger of the right hand being uppermost
in the interlocked position. See Fig. 1. That is important.
The thumb and first finger of the right hand seize the ball as
in Fig. 2, and the hands rotate to bring the palms outward, but
the ball is always hidden by the left hand. See Fig. 3.
As the palms of both hands are brought towards the audience,
the fingers are separated, the ball being held in position by the
right thumb tip. See Fig. 4.
The right hand then moves over behind the left, as in Fig. 5,
and palms the ball.
The right hand remains in this position, and you turn left
to bring the right side of your body towards the audience, and
likewise the backs of the hands. The right hand with the ball
palmed is then moved away and the ball produced as your fancy
dictates. This is not a new move but there are important points
in the description not previously given such as the interlocked
position of the hands and the method of recovery.
194
CONCEALING A BALL BEHIND THE HAND
WHILE BOTH PALMS ARE SHOWN
195
COLOR CHANGES
I Original Methods)
Color changes, when well performed and good, are always ex-
tremely popular. I have given several different methods as I find
it desirable to have a repertoire in this branch of ball manipula-
tion.
Method 7
This explanation includes a plate with four photographic
views, all taken from the rear. The right hand holds a red ball
concealed in the palm and a white ball opened displayed between
the first finger and thumb. The left hand, palm out, is held at
shoulder level, with your right side towards the audience.
Place the white ball in the left hand, close it and turn it over.
Lower the right hand a little for a moment, and finger palm the
red ball. See Fig. 2. Then raise the right hand smartly to the left,
and just as it reaches the left hand, produce the red ball between
the fingers and thumb of the left hand, where it is partly inserted
by the right hand. This, when correctly done, appears that the
white ball changed to red, and is now emerging from the left hand.
See Fig. 3, which shows the red ball being pushed into place be-
fore it emerges.
The ball is squeezed out of the left hand and is caught on the
closed right fist. The left hand, with the white ball palmed, is
immediately above the left hand, with thumbs touching. The left
hand is rotated without separating the two thumbs. This brings
the white ball, concealed perfectly by the closed right hand dur-
ing the rotation of the hand, to the right palm. The white ball is
then palmed in the right hand, and you are back to the first posi-
tion and may repeat the moves or follow on to the next.
196
Co/or Changes
197
Co/or Changes
Method 2
Following on from the last position of the two balls, the white
one palmed in the right hand, the red one on the closed right
fist, the left hand behind the right hand, having first transferred
the white ball to the left palm. This method is illustrated in six
photographic views.
The left hand takes the ball from the top of the closed right
fist and holds it by the pads of the fingers against the palm. See
Fig. 1.
The left hand is then lowered behind the right hand, as shown
in Fig. 2. When the left hand is concealed from the audience's
view, the white ball is palmed, and the left hand fingers straighten
at the same time. The palmed red ball in the right hand is rolled
under the pressure of the right hand fingers to the finger palm
position of the right hand. Fig. 3 is a view of Fig. 2 taken from
above, looking down into the hands, and shows the exact position
of the two balls.
The right hand is drawn towards the left wrist, carrying the
white ball now palmed, and the left fingers curl around the red
ball to keep up with the move so as to give the appearance the
fingers around the ball never altered during the change, simply
that the left hand was drawn over the white ball and it changed
to red.
Fig. 4 is a view also taken from above to show the move in
action. Fig. 5 depicts the red ball coming into view. The left hand
places the red ball on the closed right fist to complete the change.
198
FIG.2
Co/or Changes
Method 3
The red ball is rolled to the first and second finger position,
and then rolled down to the fourth finger. The manner in which
this is accomplished has already been explained and illustruated.
See the "Roll down".
The balls are now held in the right hand in the position as
shown in Fig. 1.
Figs. 1, 4, 5 and 6 of these illustrations were photographed
from behind, and Figs. 2 and 3 were made at an angle for the best
explanatory reasons.
Standing with your right side towards the audience, the left
hand is held at shoulder level, palm facing the audience. The right
hand is brought up to the left hand so that the white ball is pressing
into the left palm. See Fig. 2. The left hand palms the white ball,
and the two hands rotate on the red ball. This brings the hands
into the position shown in Fig. 4.
The first finger of the left hand presses into the fork of the
right thumb, and the right hand palms the red ball. The left hand
closes on the white ball, as in Fig. 5. The left hand is raised and
the right hand lowered, and the white ball is produced at the third
and fourth fingers, as depicted in Fig. 6. The left hand is turned
around and the white ball placed on the closed right hand.
200
Co/or Changes
201
Color Changes
Method 4
The four views depicting the moves of the fourth method are
all taken from the rear.
A red ball rests on the closed right fist, back of the right hand
towards the audience, and on the palm is a white ball.
The left palm is brought, palm to palm, with the right hand,
and the white ball palmed into the left hand.
The left hand is then rotated, protected by the cover afford-
ed by the right hand, and placed directly under the right hand,
as in Fig. 2.
The right thumb opens and the red ball seems to pass into
the left hand, but what takes place is that the right hand stops the
descent of the red ball and palms it therein, while the left hand
simulates the act of catching it. Actually, it simply closes around
the white ball already in the palm. See Fig. 3.
The left hand is raised, and the white ball is produced at the
third and fourth fingers, as shown in Fig. 4.
"THE THROW VANISH"
This move though not accompanied by any illustrations is far
too important to be left out and it can be learned from the text.
A ball is held between the first finger and thumb of the right
hand. You are standing with your right side towards the audience.
The back of the left hand is also towards them. The ball is thrown
up to the left hand and caught and a moment later released and
caught by the right hand. The move is repeated. The third time
the ball is palmed, the left hand closing as though it actually
caught the ball. A thoroughly convincing sleight.
202
COLOR CHANGES
203
THE BALL AND THE HANDKERCHIEF
This makes a nice interlude to any ball routine. The illusion
is that a ball placed in the center of a silk handkerchief passes
through its center without leaving a hole.
A two-inch colored ball is held in the right hand. The two
middle fingers press the ball against the palm to retain it, (not
conceal it), while the first fingertip and thumb of the right hand
seize a corner of a pocket handkerchief and pull it from the pocket
of your coat. The first finger and thumb of the left hand take
hold of the adjacent corner, and in this manner the handkerchief
is held up, displayed before your audience. With a short, up-
ward toss, the left hand releases its corner and immediately places
the left hand palm upwards under the center of the handkerchief.
The ball is dropped from the right hand onto the center of
the handkerchief resting on the left hand. The first, second and
third fingers and the thumb of the left hand balance the ball on
the fingers and thumb tip, so that it is plainly brought to view.
The fingers and thumb of the left hand then move the handker-
chief up around the ball in a rolling motion until the ball is com-
pletely concealed by the folds of the handkerchief. The right
hand then takes hold of the corner of the handkerchief nearest
the body, with the palm of the right hand uppermost.
The ball is allowed to roll down the handkerchief under cover
of the folds of the handkerchief to the right hand. It is palmed,
and both hands are turned over. The left hand is still half closed
as if it contained the ball inside the handkerchief, hanging corners
downward by its center from the left hand. The right hand, with
the ball palmed, is moved up to the left hand behind the handker-
chief, bringing the ball to the fingers of the left hand, where it
is held between the right hand palm and the two middle fingers
of the left hand. The fingers of the right hand pass around in
front of the handkerchief, the thumb around the back of it.
The left thumb and fingers release their hold when the first
finger and thumb of the right hand pass around the handkerchief
near the ball.
The second finger and thumb of the left hand pass around
the handkerchief from behind and between the right hand and ball,
and the right hand is withdrawn. The right hand then takes hold
of the corners and tugs gently downward several times. As the
204
The Ball and The Handkerchief
ball comes into view as if it were penetrating the handkerchief,
the handkerchief is finally pulled away, and the ball remains on
the left hand.
Or you may prefer to seemingly cause the ball to vanish after
dropping it into the middle of the handkerchief; in that case after
the ball is palmed in the right hand and the handkerchief is held
corners down from the middle in the left hand, the right hand
holds one corner as the left hand lets the center of the handker-
chief fall presenting an appearance of a very pretty vanish.
205
THE PRODUCTION OF EIGHT SOLID BALLS AT THE
FINGERTIPS WITHOUT A SHELL
This, my friends, is really something that has required a lot
of ingenuity. First of all, there was the problem of arrangement,
and then the difficulty of concealment. However, like most things,
it is relatively simple when these and the manipulative problems
are all solved for you, as is the case here. Follow the instruc-
tions implicitly and you will find fairly smooth sailing. So let's
go to work.
The eight balls are concealed as follows: one and two at arm's
length behind the right leg in the ball holder hanging from your
belt; three and four in the same position behind the left leg; five
and six at the vest line on the right side; and seven and eight
at the vest line on the left side, suspended from shoulder straps.
These are the places in which the balls may be most suitably con-
cealed and yet be readily procured secretly, as required.
My ball holders are made of hard drawn copper or bronze wire,
about one-sixteenth inch in diameter. They are fastened together
in pairs so that they will remain in their proper places. Each of
the holders retains two two-inch balls securely in place, but re-
leases them readily when a light downward pressure is applied
to the ball. As a precautionary measure against the balls being
seen as you are moving about, a loose fitting cloth cover of a dark
or similar material to your clothes is fastened, mouth downward,
over the holders.
I have found evening dress clothes the most suitable for this
ball production act, mainly because the dress coat terminates at
the vest line, forward of the hips. This is very desirable for ob-
taining the last four balls from the vest level which I have found
to be the most practicable.
Assuming you are dressed in evening clothes and the balls
have been arranged as explained, you obtain ball One from the
holder at your right leg. This is done while you stand facing
your audience, or with your left side partly towards them. Wi t h
your left hand seize your handkerchief by one of its protruding
corners between your left thumb and first finger, while you care-
fully and intently watch this action, draw the handkerchief from
your handkerchief pocket. At the same time synchronize the act
of secretly procuring Number One ball, and, palming it in your
right hand, turn left as you hold the handkerchief up by the cor-
ner so the left hand is seen otherwise quite empty. The right
hand, with the ball palmed, lightly takes hold of the handkerchief
around the middle and strokes it; as you stroke the handkerchief
with the right hand, you face the audience. This act gives the
impression that the right hand must also be empty. As the right
hand passes off the end of the handkerchief, you close the fingers
of your hand around the ball, and, finger palming the ball, pass
your thumb and fingers around opposite sides of the handkerchief,.
206
Production of Bight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
and then move your hand downwards to again stroke it. As you
do so, your thumb rolls the ball into position between the thumb
and second fingertip, and the handkerchief is drawn away, reveal-
ing the ball held at the thumb and second fingertip. Hold the hand-
kerchief by the two adjacent corners. The ball is held in the right
hand. Let go the left corner and place the left hand under the
middle of the handkerchief. Lay the ball in the middle and grip the
ball through the handkerchief with the thumb and second finger of
the left hand. Turn the hand over so that the four corners of the
handkerchief fall downwards, the handkerchief concealing the
ball. The first fingertip moves over the ball and pinches a small
piece of the handkerchief against the left thumb. The right hand,
palm up, takes a hold of a corner of the handkerchief, and the
second finger of the left hand releases the ball, which falls into
the right hand, where it is palmed as the right hand pulls the hand-
kerchief away from the left hand.
The handkerchief corner held by the right hand is then trans-
ferred to the first finger and thumb of the left hand, and the right
hand again strokes the handkerchief twice, as before explained,
the second time producing the ball. (If you prefer it, this ball
may be a different color to the eight balls. In that case it is re-
turned to the holder, a special one like those at the vest, and the
first of the eight balls secured. Procurement of this ball is ac-
complished when the handkerchief is transferred to the thumb
and finger of the left hand and the ball is vanished. You bring
your left side towards the audience and smartly but unhurriedly
press the ball back into its holder, from the finger palm position,
and procure the ball of another color. You simply repeat the
moves as described. This is a very pretty move, as you will realize
when you try it.)
The ball, having been produced, is transferred to the left hand.
As you drop your right hand to secure the second ball, the left
hand tucks the handkerchief back in your pocket. You watch the
action intently. With the ball procured in the right hand, you
turn slightly left as you bring up the right hand and take the
ball from the left hand, which completes the replacement of the
handkerchief in the pocket. The right hand now has one ball
showing and one secreted in the palm.
Execute the "roll down" (described herein). While doing so,
you secretly procure two balls with your left hand from their
207
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
holders on the left leg. Your right side is towards the audience
while you are doing this. Now bring up the left hand with the
back of the hand towards the audience. Place the ball you have
rolled to the third and fourth fingers of your right hand in between
the third and fourth fingers of your left hand. At the same time
secretly transfer the finger palmed ball in the left hand to the
finger palm position in the right hand. Extending your right arm,
produce the ball at the thumb and first fingertips, immediately
rolling it back and forth between the fingers, (see roll with ball
palmed) terminating the roll at the third and fourth finger posi-
tion. Bring the right hand up to the left and transfer this ball
to the second and third fingers of the left hand. As the transfer
is completed, rotate the left hand and secretly transfer the ball
in the palm of the left hand to the finger palm position of the
right hand. With the right hand, produce the finger palmed ball
at the thumb and first fingertip.
Execute the "Roll down" several times, and then transfer it
from the third and fourth fingers to the first and second fingers of
the left hand. (See Fig. 6, plate K). Again extend the right arm and
produce the ball from the right palm, roll it back and forth and
transfer it to the thumb and first finger of the left hand. (See Fig.
3, Plate K). Display the four balls as though you had reached the
climax. You do this by looking towards the audience and smiling,
but as you do so, the right hand is brought in front of your right
side, and secretly procures the two balls from the holder. You
reach out as before and produce the ball that is finger palmed,
and repeat the roll. While you do this, the two balls from the
left holder are pressed into the left palm. This is not as difficult
as it may seem. The fact that you have four balls between your
fingers aids the procedure and helps conceal the extra balls. The
rolling action holds the attention so you do not have to hurry.
You finish the roll with the ball between the first and second finger,
and then roll the ball from the palm with the second and third
finger, and then to the thumb and second finger. The third finger
smartly moves it into place between the third and second fingers.
208
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
Plate K
209
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
The hand is shown back and front and brought to the left hand
palm, facing palm. Four balls are between the fingers and two
lying on the palm of the left hand, palm upwards. The right hand
has two balls between the first, second and third fingers. The palm
of the right hand is placed on the ball in the palm of the left
hand nearest the fork of the middle fingers. The right hand is
then drawn towards the left wrist. This action brings the ball
that is in the palm of the left hand into the palm of the right
hand, and at the same time rolls the ball at the fork of the mid-
dle fingers of the left hand into the left palm proper.
The left hand is then turned over to bring the back of the
hand towards the audience, and the right hand clicks the balls
against the balls in the left hand and moves away to produce the
secretly palmed ball. This is done by bending the third and fourth
fingers around the palmed ball. Bending the hand open and hold-
ing the ball under the third and fourth fingers, the thumb moves
the ball up to be held between the thumb and third fingers, while
the fourth finger moves it into place between the third and fourth
fingers. Both hands are brought palm to palm again to click the
balls together, and the ball in the left palm is secretly transferred
to the right palm, which moves away from the left hand. This
ball is produced from the palm by first tilting the right hand down
at a slight angle and letting the ball roll down to the center posi-
tion of the other three balls. The right thumb is moved over to
rest its tip between the fork of the third and fourth fingers and
touch the side of the eighth ball. Straightening the thumb, the ball
is rolled up smartly into place between the first finger and thumb.
You turn facing the audience. Both hands are brought up to head
level, one hand at each side, backs of hands towards audience. The
hands are then lowered, palms to audience, as you bow. Allow
the balls to fall on something so that their solidity is self evident.
Curtain.
The moves will be clearly understood from the illustrations.
In order not to confuse you, I did not tie in the illustrations with
the description, but explained them separately. Don't let this
frighten you. It is not nearly as difficult as it sounds, though it
is assumed that you are a fairly capable exponent of the art of
manipulation before you attempt this act, for you would hardly
be likely to attempt exercises in mathematics before you learned
the rudiments of arithmetic.
This is an alternative method that may prove more practical
210
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
for the production of the last four balls between the fingers on
display. This gives the performer a moment when the audience
is not likely to be watching over-critically, mainly because this
climax seems to them to indicate the production is finished. The
two balls on the right side vest holder are secretly secured in the
right hand and held, one ball finger palmed and the other ball in
the palm muscles of the right hand.
The right hand reaches out to the left, and the finger palmed
ball is produced between the first and second finger. The produc-
tion of the second ball follows, being produced by first closing
the second and third fingers around the palmed ball and by straight-
ening the palm of the hand, rolling the ball to the finger palm
position. The thumb is then placed under the ball and rolls it up
slightly, where it is supported between the thumb and second
finger. The third finger is then laid against the thumb. The hand
is straightened with a ball between the first and second fingers and
a ball between the second and third fingers.
The hand is then turned palm out and back again. The two
hands are brought palm to palm, and the balls in each hand clicked
together. The left hand presses the ball held between the thumb
and first finger into the right palm, and the left thumb is held
against the left first finger and the left hand turned over, so the
back of the left hand is towards the audience. This action prevents
the spectators from observing the ball is not between the left
thumb and first finger.
The right hand produces the third ball from the right palm
by closing the third and fourth fingers over the ball in the palm
and then straightening the palm. The ball is held under the
third and fourth fingers. The tip of the right thumb is placed
against the ball, and the ball is rolled up slightly to be supported
between the thumb and third fingers. The fourth finger is placed
against the side of the thumb. The thumb removes its support,
and the ball is produced and held between the third and fourth
fingers as the hand is straightened out. At this moment the thumb
and first finger of the left hand secretly procure a ball from the
vest holder. The hands are brought palm to palm, and the balls
clicked together.
The first finger and thumb press the ball into the palm, and
as before the left hand is turned over. The right hand now has
211
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
a ball between the first and second fingers, the second and third
fingers and the third and fourth fingers, and a ball on the palm.
The right hand reaches out and slightly downwards at an
angle so the ball in the palm will roll when released against the
ball between the second and third fingers and between the other
two balls. In this position the thumb is brought under and against
the ball, and the ball is easily rolled to position between the thumb
and first finger.
Immediately the balls are clicked together, the hands then are
raised, one at each side of the head, backs of the hands towards the
audience, and then both hands are lowered to waist level, palms
out.
Figs. 1, 2 and 3 of Plate Kl are audience views of the hands,
while Figs. 4, 5 and 6 are the same positions as 1, 2 and 3, but
taken from the rear.
Figs. 1 and 4 show the two hands extended to the performer's
left, with two balls held in each. The position is maintained only
momentarily so the audience is not allowed any lengthy opportunity
to ponder the whys and wherefores. The right hand is extended
beyond the left, and a ball appears between the first and second
fingers. The ball is rapidly rolled down to the second and third
fingers, and then to the third and fourth fingers, and is immedi-
ately transferred to the third and fourth fingers of the left hand,
as depicted in Figs. 2 and 5, plate Kl . The finger palmed ball in
the left hand is simultaneously transferred to the finger palm posi-
tion of the right hand. The right hand is extended beyond the
left hand, and the finger palmed ball is produced between the
first and second fingers as was previously explained. The ball is
rapidly rolled to the third and fourth finger position, and then
the ball is transferred to the second and third fingers of the left
hand. This move is depicted in Figs. 1 and 4 of Plate K2.
The left hand is turned over, and the ball in the palm of the
left hand is secretly brought to the finger palm position of the
right hand, and transferred as shown in Figs. 2 and 5, Plate Kl .
The right hand is extended beyond the left hand, and the finger
palmed ball appears between the first and second fingers, rolled
to the third and fourth fingers and transferred to the first and
212
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
Plate Kl
213
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
second fingers of the left hand, as shown in Fig 3, Plate Kl .
Fig. 6 is not a rear view of Fig. 3. The left hand is rotated to
bring its empty palm towards the audience. The right hand pro-
duces the ball from its palm, and rolls it down to the third and
fourth fingers as heretofore described, and transfers the ball to
the thumb and first finger. Or you have an alternative method
of producing the first ball from the right hand finger palm posi-
tion. The second ball is transferred from the finger palm position
of the left hand to the finger palm position of the right hand, and
produced.
The third ball is produced from the right hand palm, and as
it is placed into position in the left hand, the left hand is rotated
and the ball in the left palm secretly transferred to the right hand.
This move is shown in Fig. 6, Plate Kl .
The ball is then produced and placed into position between
the thumb and first finger of the left hand, and the four balls dis-
played, while the right hand secretly procures the two balls from
the vest holder.
The right hand now has a somewhat difficult job to do to pro-
duce four more solid balls, so let us carefully examine Plate K3*
These are all rear views of the moves.
Fig. 1 shows the position following the position as depicted
for the right hand in Fig. 1, Plate Kl, where the two balls are kept
one in the palm and one in the finger palm position. We proceed
as follows to produce the finger palmed ball.
The right thumb moves over the finger palmed ball and rolls
it up with the right thumb against the first finger, and the second
finger closes under the ball, as shown in Fig. 1, Plate K3. The
hand opens, and the ball is displayed between the first and second
fingers. The ball is rolled down to the fourth finger and trans-
ferred back to its first and second finger position.
The two middle fingers then close over the palmed ball and
retract the ball to the finger palm position. The right thumb then
moves into position against the ball as depicted in Fig. 2, Plate K2.
The third finger of the right hand then closes under the ball as
shown in Fig. 3, Plate K2. The hand is straightened, and the
two balls are displayed, one between the first and second fingers
and one between the second and third fingers.
At this point the right hand is brought to the left hand, palm
facing palm, and the balls in the right hand are struck twice sharp-
ly against the two balls held by the second and third and fourth
fingers of the left hand, and then against the other two balls held
by the thumb and first finger and the first finger and second finger.
This detail is important, because as the hands are moved apart, the
ball held by the thumb and first finger of the left hand is pressed
into the palm of the right hand, and the thumb of the left hand
closed against the first finger of the left hand. This is done as
the left hand is turned over to bring the back of the hand towards
the audience.
. 2 1 4
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
Plate K2
215
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
The right hand extends out, and the ball is produced from the
right palm by first wrapping the third finger over the ball and
then retracting it. Then place the thumb against the ball and pass
the fourth finger underneath it, as shown in Fig. 4, Plate K2.
The hand is then straightened, and the ball displayed. A ball is
now between the first and second, second and third and third and
fourth fingers.
During this time the left hand conveniently recovered a ball
between the thumb and first finger from the left vest holder, and
the two hands are brought palm to palm and the balls struck to-
gether sharply. As the hands separate, the ball between the first
finger and thumb of the left hand is pressed into the right palm
as heretofore explained. The hands are moved apart. The left
hand turns over. The right hand produces the ball from the palm
as the left hand steals to the left vest holder for a ball to replace
the one secretly transferred to the right palm.
The eighth ball is moved from the palm to the finger and
thumb position, as depicted in Figs. 6, 7 and 8, Plate K2. Fig. 6,
Plate K2, shows the ball released from the palm, rolled against
the ball between the two middle fingers. The thumb is instantly
moved over the ball, as depicted in Fig. 7, Plate K2, and rolled
up to be displayed, as shown in Fig. 8, Plate K2. Fig. 9, Plate
K2, shows the eighth ball being transferred from the thumb and
first finger of the left hand to the palm of the right hand. Both
hands click the eight balls together. The hands are raised to each
side of the head as the performer faces the audience. Then as che
performer bows, the hands are lowered to waist level, and the balls
are released to fall on a tray so their solidity is instantly apparent.
The applause you will receive from any audience will repay
you for the time you spend to produce this masterly illusion with
solid balls.
Referring to Plate K3, this shows a variation in the method
for producing the last four balls. It may appeal to some more
than others, so I offer it only for completeness.
As the right hand displays the first four balls produced and
the right hand takes advantage of the moment to secretly procure
two balls from the right vest holder, the left hand gets into posi-
tion to press the balls from the left vest holder into the left hand.
The right hand is extended towards the left to produce the finger
palmea bail, and then the palmed ball. The hands are brought to-
gether, and the ball in the palm of the left hand is transferred to
the palm of the right hand. The ball in the finger palm position
of the left hand is rolled to the palm of the left hand. The seventh
ball is produced, and the hands, on being brought together again
to strike their balls together, transfer the eighth ball to the right
palm, from where it is produced as heretofore explained. The
additional balls are not noticed because of the four balls the left
hand is holding. These moves are clearly depicted in Figs. 1 to 6
of Plate K3. If you have good hands, and want to do it, you will!
216
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Fingertips
Plate K3
217
PRINCIPLES and DECEPTIONS
Concluding Remarks
The very pleasant task of writing "Principles and Deceptions"
is completed, and I await the judgment of my. friends and critics
to learn how well this effort will be received.
To write and publish a book of this magnitude, containing
three hundred and fifty-eight separate illustrations, is no mean
task, especially when you are the model for the illustrations and
the author as well as the publisher of the book. It has been a very
enjoyable task indeed.
I have given my best, sparing neither expense or trouble wher-
ever I thought the effort or material would be of benefit to the
reader. It is my hope and desire that I shall not only keep the
many friends that I have now, but that this book will encourage
many more, for I believe in the adage: "The man may be judged
by the friends he keeps."
Magic is a wonderful art. There is no such thing as a "master
of magic", for magic as a subject cannot be mastered. There is
always something that eludes you for the present, a different new
thought that creeps in on us or strikes suddenly from remote places,
and thoughts from many that tangle to give birth to new ideas in
magic. Magic may be traced as far back as the Bible, and I be-
lieve will live on to eternity.
There are very few people who do not relish an illusion when
it is skillfully performed, whether it be with a deck of cards, a
billiard ball or a coin, or a transformation on the stage of a woman
to a cherry tree. The interest centers around the mystification
which magic affords us because without this one ingredient it is
not magic, no matter how well it is presented or how much the
performer succeeds in entertaining us. He must succeed in mysti-
fying us if he be a true magician. I say this to you here because
the truth is readily apparent if you will reflect for just a moment.
When you are thoroughly aware of this, remember it always, for
your strength lies herein.
218
Concluding Remarks
Make up your mind to protect the secrets of what you do in
magic, and aim to mystify. Always try to present the mystery
in a subtle, entertaining manner. Select those things to combine
harmoniously with the surroundings, things that are appropriate
to the occasion, those things that suit you and your mannerisms
and personality, or otherwise be prepared to adapt your person-
ality to suit these mysteries of your selection. Don't be afraid
to practice, for nothing was ever attained without the required
effort. And above all things, don't lose your temper; if you do,
then smile on the incident, no matter how provoking. Then later
you shall laugh.
If misfortune should befall you while presenting some magi-
cal effect, don't speak about it to your audience, apologizing for
this and that, but carry on. Then the chances are no one will re-
member, or if they do, their memory will fail them all the sooner.
Billy Robinson (Chung Ling Soo) said he never really knew his
act until everything had gone wrong that could possibly go wrong
with it. And other great artists have said the real test of a per-
former is his ability to keep his audience in ignorance of the hap-
pening when something unpredicted happens during a perform-
ance.
It is a great mistake to present ah effect before the public
without due and proper rehearsal, and it is often fatal to do so
without being completely conversant with each and every detail,
including just what to say and how to say it.
The only reason that the late John Barrymore could deviate
from his part in a play was because he had so thoroughly mastered
the part first.
That is the real essentialknow the part before you try to
ad lib. If you try it otherwise, you are heading into dangerous
territory.
219
Concluding Remarks
I think that herein lies the difference between the amateur
and the professional. The former seldom knows his part, or in
fact often has no part at all. He is not experienced in the knowl-
edge of just what his part should be, so he blunders on; while
the professional knows exactly what he must do and when to do
it, and what to say and when to say it, and how to say it. That,
I think, is the true dividing line between a performance presented
by most amateurs and professional magicians. I do know of sev-
eral amateurs that present their acts as commendably as many
professionals, but these all have had some professional experience.
Don't make your performance unduly long. Remember, it is
far better to send an audience away hungry for more than com-
pletely satiated. Select the things you do with care, and exercise
good judgment in the order of their arrangement, for several effects
may be each in themselves excellent, but they may not combine
into a routine as well as if they were interposed with others. This
I think you may well understand, and the routine that you propose
to do must necessarily have a climax, for this is exactly what you
should have been building up to in your routine.
Because you do something better than you do something else
in magic, don't persist in continually inflicting this on your friends,
even though it may appeal to one or two of them, or you will
probably be thought a bore, even though they may refrain from
telling you so. Approach your magic intelligently, and keep it
on that basis.
And remember that a professional magician who makes his
livelihood from magic should, and in all probability does, know
a great deal more about this subject than those who do it as a part
time job and practice it as a hobby.
Before I close, let me say there are a great many things in
magic that you can apply to your proposed routine. Some of these
things you may find herein.
220
Concluding Remarks
That is the main purpose of this book, that you shall glean
something useful from its pages. I have often been asked: What
are the essential qualities for developing a successful magician?
I have pondered this question, and here is my answer. First,
a love of magic; second, an aptitude for its performance; third,
a pleasing personality; fourth, self control; fifth, a sense of humor;
and sixth, persistence or an overwhelming desire to succeed as a
magician. Besides these six essential qualities, you will require op-
portunity and salesmanship, besides an agent who has the ability
and the desire to sell you, which often entails the right kind of
publicity and the "know-how". You must not sit or stand around
hoping and wishing for the opportunity, but make it, preparing
yourself for the advent when it is here. Many of us do not always
recognize opportunity as such when we see it, and so few of us
are prepared to pay the price demanded for success. Seldom in-
deed is this mythical thing, success, a bed of roses, and when it
is there are so many thorns and so little room on the top rung of
the ladder. But really trying to get there often shows in itself a
strength of character and a determination that is so commendable,
and you will be a better man and a magician for the effort.
I wish to thank once again all my friends who have contributed
so much to "Principles and Deceptions, and to offer my thanks and
gratitude to Harold Ripley. I have said my piece.
Yours sincerely,
Arthur Buckley.
221
PRACTICE
222
Reprinted From The Con/urors Magazine, Feb., 7947
CARD CONTROL BY See Cord Control
ARTHUR BUCKLEY
P o g e 8 3
The long heralded "post graduate
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Buckley is well qualified to compile this
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erature which will live through the ages.
As long as playing cards are made (and
magicians use them) just so long will
Buckley's book live.
We are taking the space which or-
dinarily would be devoted to a review
of this book to let Dr. Harlan E. Tarbell
tell you the story of Arthur Buckley.
You have the word of Conjurors' staff
that the book is the finest tome of this
type ever published.
The sleights are practical, beautifully
described, remarkably well photographed
and in general give both professional
and amateur a deeper insight into card
magic regardless of their experience,
ability or background.
Some choice gambling principles are
revealed, easy-to-do card magic of all
descriptions as well as close-up enter-
tainment ideas are all given in this book
which is beautifully bound in genuine
buckram with gold stamping on back-
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The composition is of large, well
chosen legible type and the paper is an
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envious because such good stock has not
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for some time.
The $10.00 asked for the book is far
too little. Get a copy today from your
favorite dealer or write direct to the
author-publisher, Arthur Buckley, 639
No. Homan Ave., Chicago 24, Illinois.
Congratulations, Arthur Buckley!
Julien J. Proskauer, President, The
Conjurors' Magazine, February, 1947.
223
A REAL CLASSIC
GEMS OF MENTAL MAGIC
By JOHN BROWN COOK and ARTHUR BUCKLEY
A splendid collection of new and baffling miracles; Close-up
routines for press publicity, Complete Acts and Stage routines.
How to Answer questions. A reference work en the subject of
mental magic that will always be a standard guide for the discrim-
inating amateur and also for professionals.
GEMS of Mental Magic consists of thirty carefully tested pre-
sentations, any one of which will repay you handsomely.
Ask your dealer for a copy. Price Six Dollars.
224