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Secrets of the

Third (Revised) Edition.

Street Conjurer
WILFRED

MUGGINS & FREDERIC

CULPITT

A world-wide collection of Conjuring Secrets


for Magicians who entertain when
surrounded by spectators.

London :
GEORGE JOHNSON. M A G I C A L PUBLICATIONS,
24, Buckingham Street, Strand, W.C.2.

M.I.M.C.

(LONDON)

V.V^1N 1 tlN 15.


....
PREPARATION
A

TABLE

THE

FOR T H E "HANDS

TIP

...

GUINEA-PIG

CARD

CHANGE

...

FLAP

DISPOSALSINGLE

CAP AND

PENCE

"WATER

ON T H E

THE
A

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...
...

...
...

6
7

...

...

...
...

BRAIN"
...

...

...

...

USEFUL T I P

...

...

...

...

CARDS

...

...

BALLS

...

...

...

...

...

...

10

...

...

...

11

...

11

BILLIARD
THE

FOLDED

SILENT

THE
A

REPEAT'

MARKED

...

SLATE

I. The Load
II. The Getaway

Page

...

COIN

MAGNETIC

USEFUL

WALKING-STICK
...

...

...

12

RINGS

...

...

...

12

CENTURY

SILKS

...

...

13

F.VER-CHANGING

CARD

...

...

13

...

...

13

...

14

AND

TWENTIETH

ANOTHER
FOUR

VANISH

SECRET

ROPES

THE

PAPERS

CHANGING

PENCE

CARD

AND A GLASS T U M B L E R

UNUSUAL

FINALE TO THE

ACES"

"FOUR

TRICK

" C U P S AND
...

BALLS"
...

Made and Printed in Great Britain hy


Percy Nnldrett, Buc^s Green, Horsham, Sussex.

16
18

The State Library of Victoria


"ALMA CONJURING COLLECTION"

PREFACE.
T h e c o m p i l a t i o n of

"A

Street

Conjurer's

Secrets"

is

t h e o u t c o m e of m a n y y e a r s of o b s e r v a t i o n in t h i s c o u n t r y ,
Australia, America, France and Germany.

T h a t the effects

a r e w e l l - k n o w n is not to be d e n i e d , but it is e x t r e m e l y d o u b t ful if m a n y c o n j u r e r s a r e a w a r e of t h e a c t u a l m e t h o d s u s e d


by the street entertainer.
It is t h e r e f o r e h o p e d t h a t e v e r y o n e w h o r e a d s t h e s e
will a p p r e c i a t e

the

always

in

bearing

ingenuity
mind

the

of

the

methods

conditions under

pages

employed,
which

the

various effects are performed. T h e n , when next they witness


s o m e such show, t h e y will g e n e r o u s l y p a t r o n i s e t h e

artist

not for " s w e e t c h a r i t y ' s " s a k e , b u t to p a y t r i b u t e t o t h e


of which t h e S t r e e t C o n j u r e r is a w o r t h y e x p o n e n t .
WILFRED

HUGGINS.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE.
T h e a d d i t i o n a l m a t t e r in this b r o c h u r e w a s c o n t r i b u t e d b y
the late Frederic Culpitt.
T h e P u b l i s h e r is i n d e b t e d to
t h e w r i t e r s w h o s e i n t i m a t e k n o w l e d g e of t h e wiles of t h e
S t r e e t C o n j u r e r is, in this t h i r d e d i t i o n , s u b m i t t e d to
the fraternity.

art

Cold hands, or hands which a r e moist with p e r s p i r a t i o n a r e


a b u g - h e a r to most c o n j u r e r s .
This very simple method of
p r e p a r i n g the h a n d s and thus e n s u r i n g a safe g r i p for coins
or billiard balls, especially in the case of t h e ."Multiplying
Billiard Balls," should prove a boon.
W i p e the h a n d s dry with a cloth, then t a k e a small l u m p of
c o n j u r e r ' s wax and r u b it b e t w e e n t h e palms. D r y - w a s h the
h a n d s and the result will be that the fingers a n d p a l m s will
be covered with a very thin film of wax. Manipulation is
t h u s m a d e almost foolproof.

A TABLE TIP.
W o r k i n g in the middle of a crowd, a p a r t from t h e
m a n i p u l a t i v e side of the g a m e , o f t e n places t h e s t r e e t conj u r e r in a spot from an a p p a r a t u s s t a n d p o i n t . For instance,
the ordinary music-stand table is often in d a n g e r of g e t t i n g
knocked over and this can just as easily happen in a crowded
drawing-room as in a b a r p a r l o u r ; this latter venue often
provides a source of income to b u s k i n g c o n j u r e r s when it is
raining.
T h e s e facts m a d e clear to me the reason why one such
e n t e r t a i n e r ' s table-top spun round when it was touched. T h e
flanged central spigot was not fastened to the leg with t h e
usual thumb-screw.
This omission allowed the table-top to
revolve and t h u s obviated the whole lot going over when a
passer-by accidentally passed too n e a r to the s t r u c t u r e .

THE GUINEA-PIG.
O n e of the most i n t r i g u i n g of t h e effects peculiar to the
street c o n j u r e r when
by his audience is the
almost miraculous a p p e a r a n c e of a guinea-pig under a h a t .
It usually occurs a f t e r a p o t a t o has been only a p p a r e n t l y
placed under the p e r f o r m e r ' s soft hat, both of which rest 011
the usual small table. S o m e o n e then r e m a r k s , or the c o n j u r e r
p r e t e n d s to o v e r h e a r it said, that t h e p o t a t o is not under t h e
hat.
T u r n i n g swiftly to a s p e c t a t o r on his left t h e p e r f o r m e r
invites him to step n e a r e r . T h e n , p o i n t i n g to the hat with
his right hand, t h e c o n j u r e r e n q u i r e s of his h e l p e r :
" D i d you see me t a k e t h e p o t a t o a w a y ? "
" N o , " replies the s p e c t a t o r .

surrounded

" N o ! " repeats the conjurer with emphasis, because it's


still there ! " and snatches the hat off the table, disclosing
the potato. Simultaneously with this movement lie covers his
right hand, which during the foregoing altercation lie slyly
dipped into either his outside pocket, or the usual "poacher's"
pocket and gripped and withdrew the guinea-pig. This is
done with a backward swing of the body and the spectator on
the performer's left affords good cover on that side.
Scarcely pausing in his movements the performer quite
casually transfers his hat to the table, guinea-pig and all. fie
now picks up the potato with his left hand and holds it aloft
for all to see. The spectators have by now lost all interest
in the hat. The hat, by the way, is an old one with a soft
crown. The potato is now vanished by a very.simple sleight,
during which move it usually finds its way into a pocket.
Finally, when the hat is lifted, instead of the potato, the
guinea-pig presents itself to the astonished gaze of the
onlookers.
In the whole category of conjuring leats there are few
which compare with this piece-de-resistance
of all street
conjurers. The misdirection is perfect.
CARD CHANGE.

For simplicity of manipulation and decepliveness the


following card change ranks with the best. In effect the card
is apparently thrown on the table. Actually this is what
happens. The pack is held in the same position in the left
hand as in the standard top and bottom change. The card to
be changed is also held in the approved manner. Having
shown it, the performer moves to his table and without pause
swings the card down to the top ot the pack. As the card in
his light hand reaches the pack the left thumb simultaneously
Hips the top card on the table.
The change must be made as the performer walks round
his little table. In the effect "Everybody's Card" where the
performer moves from one part of his audience to another,
this change is indetectible.
This is important.
As soon as the card in right hand is
safely on the pack, the arm swings up again and the hand
gesticulates towards either the audience as a whole, or to a
single person whose help is about to be solicited.

T h e slate, b e a r i n g the m e s s a g e , or sum total, hidden by t h e


flap, is shown on both sides, then placed flap side down on
t h e table. . A full sized s h e e t of n e w s p a p e r , that is, four p a g e ,
is unfolded and torn in half. T h e t w o half-shee.ts a r e held in
t h e right hand s e p a r a t e d by t h e fore-finger. T h e s h e e t s a r e
simultaneously spread over the table as the slate is lifted
m i n u s t h e flap. T h e l a t t e r , which is, in a sense, slid from
u n d e r t h e paper, must be kept r a t h e r low, a n d is s t r a i g h t w a y
dropped on t o p of the s p r e a d n e w s sheets.
T h e slate is then w r a p p e d in the t o p sheet only, the o t h e r
sheet b e i n g left on the table covering the flap.
W h e n t h e effect is concluded t h e slate is thrown on t h e
n e w s p a p e r table-cloth which is then w r a p p e d a r o u n d t h e
slate and flap and placed aside.

CAP AND PENCE. I. The Load.


T h e " C a p and P e n c e " is a n o t h e r f a v o u r i t e effect with the
s t r e e t - p e r f o r m e r , and he uses many ingenious s u b t e r f u g e s to
deceive his audiences. T h e d r a w e r portion of a match-box,
instead of the leather cap, is generally used to cover t h e coins.
T h e move to secretly introduce the six faked pennies is
very subtle. T h e " p i l e " as t h e six hollow coins a r e called, is
deposited in t h e outside right coat or t r o u s e r s pocket. A
small die, or button, with the d r a w e r of the match-box mouth
d o w n w a r d s beside it, a r e seen on the table.
T h e d r a w e r is daintily lifted, held b e t w e e n t h e right t h u m b
and forefinger across one end, and the die is covered and
uncovered several times.
Then comes the feint. T h e mouth
of the d r a w e r is t u r n e d t o w a r d s t h e onlookers, t h e b a c k s of
the t h r e e remaining, unoccupied fingers r e s t i n g on the t a b l e
with the die b e t w e e n the little a n d third fingers. T h e d r a w e r
is s w u n g over t h e die and the t w o fingers b e t w e e n which it
lies.
W i t h o u t pausing, t h e s e fingers a r e w i t h d r a w n from
u n d e r the d r a w e r and curled into the palm.
The d r a w e r is
released and lelt, opening d o w n w a r d s , on the table a n d n e a r l y
e v e r y o n e will s w e a r that the die was removed b e t w e e n t h e
fingers and is in the c o n j u r e r ' s hand. T r u e , it would have
been q u i t e an e a s y m a t t e r for him to have retained the die
b e t w e e n iiis fingets, but he doesn't,
T h e n , t r a d i n g on the audience's a s s u m p t i o n t h a t he

drawer.

he leaves it under the

holds the die in his hand, he dives it into his pocket and
finger-palms,
opening t o w a r d s t h e fingers, t h e hollow pile of
pence.
A f t e r sufficient by-plav he lifts the d r a w e r , again b e t w e e n
his right t h u m b and fore-finger, and while the onlooker's
attention is m o m e n t a r i l y rivetted on t h e die, he t w i s t s the
d r a w e r over the finger-palmed "pile."
A slight g r i p r e t a i n s
t h e d u m m y h e a p of p e n n i e s in t h e now mouth-down d r a w e r .
W h e n the p e r f o r m e r again covers the die he does it in such a
m a n n e r t h a t t h e r e a r e no d o u b t s this t i m e and n e i t h e r have
the s p e c t a t o r s any idea that the pile of hollow coins cover
the die.

II. The Get-away.

W i t h t h e fake h e a p of p e n c e u n d e r t h e d r a w e r , six o r d i n a r y
p e n n i e s a r e now shown and vanished. T h i s is n e a r l y a l w a y s
done by m e a n s of t h e tourniquet, the coins b e i n g r e t a i n e d in
t h e left hand for s u b s e q u e n t reproduction. A s soon as t h e
right hand is shown e m p t y it lifts the d r a w e r a n d discloses
t h e "pile."
V e r y little t i m e is now w a s t e d . T h e h e a p e d p e n n y f a k e is
again covered and t h e loose coins a r e p r o d u c e d , usually f r o m
a b o y ' s pocket. T h e d r a w e r , with the d u m m y pile inside it,
is lifted b e t w e e n the right t h u m b and fore-finger, and t h e
mouth of the d r a w e r is held over the t h r e e unoccupied right
fingers which a r e c u p p e d as soon a s the hand is clear of t h e
table. On t h e l a t t e r now rests t h e die which, aided by t h e
c o n j u r e r ' s p o i n t i n g left finger, holds the onlookers' a t t e n t i o n
for a m o m e n t . D u r i n g t h a t brief spell t h e pile is allowed to
d r o p into the w a i t i n g fingers which g r i p the fake.
The hand
is t u r n e d palm down as soon as the coins a r e held and at t h e
same instant the t h u m b j e r k s u p w a r d s r e l e a s i n g t h e e m p t y
d r a w e r which tumbles to t h e s p e c t a t o r s ' feet. T h i s diversion
covers the swing-back of the right hand which, with a clean
throw, disposes of t h e " p i l e " in the w a i t i n g inside coat
pocket mentioned in a previous effect.

"WATER ON THE BRAIN."

The production of a glass of w a t e r from the t o p of a b o y ' s


head is a most effective trick of t h e out-door e n t e r t a i n e r .
It
also s e r v e s as an introduction to t h e " M a g i c F u n n e l " which
is well-known to e v e r y c o n j u r e r .
T h e glass of w a t e r covered with t h e usual r u b b e r - c a p r e s t s
in the inside coat pocket. T h e double h a n d k e r c h i e f , in t h e

c e n t r e of which is sewn a light ring, is shown 011 both sides


and then d r a p e d over t h e boy's head. T h e ring is positioned
well hack on the crown so that the m a j o r portion of t h e
handkerchief h a n g s over the back of his neck.
A f t e r t h e usual palaver the c o n j u r e r g r i p s the ring and
lifts it, e x p r e s s i n g s u r p r i s e as the s h a p e of t h e glass a p p e a r s .
H e lifts a little more, then leans over and asks the boy if he
is feeling all right.
W h i l e the c o n j u r e r is in this position he
deftly removes the glass from his inside coat pocket and slips
it u n d e r the h a n g i n g folds of the handkerchief. P e r f e c t cover
is provided for this move. T h e b e n t a r m on one side a n d the
p e r f o r m e r ' s body 011 the left. He n a t u r a l l y leans to the left
side of the boy to question him and the coat s w i n g s open,
t h u s allowing easy access to the glass. As the right hand
lifts the ring still higher, t h e left follows
until t h e covered mouth of the glass m e e t s the
ring. T h e latter is allowed to rest for a second 011 t o p of t h e
glass, then the handkerchief and the rubber cover a r e
snatched a w a y revealing the b r i m m i n g glass of water.

underneath

handkerchief

the

THE REPEAT.
A friend once saw the foregoing effect p e r f o r m e d 011 a racecourse. The conjurer, he said, gave several p e r f o r m a n c e s and
r e p e a t e d the production on each occasion, but n e v e r once did
he a p p e a r to load himself in readiness. F u r t h e r m o r e he k e p t
to the same pitch all the afternoon. As the biggest p a r t of
t h e w a t e r was spilled 011 the g r a s s and the rest d r u n k by t h e
boy at e v e r y show, the repeated production was lor a time
very puzzling. T h e n close observation revealed this fact when
t h e c o n j u r e r linished u s i n g the glass and f u n n e l : when he
was replacing these " p r o p s . " in his b a g before p r o c e e d i n g
with the next trick in his p r o g r a m m e , he slipped a n o t h e r
filled and c a p p e d glass in his inside pocket all r e a d y for the
following show.

A USEFUL TIP.
A pack of c a r d s is placed face-up b e t w e e n t h u m b and forefinger and a s p e c t a t o r is told to hold the c a r d s tightly.
The
c o n j u r e r with a s h a r p d o w n w a r d blow knocks all the c a r d s
out of his helper's hand with the exception of a previously
selected card.

.1 lie effect is well-known, but this tip will always ensure


the chosen card being left in the assistant's hand, lie is told
to hold his fore-linger out straight and parallel to the floor;
the hand is, oi course, palm upwards. I'lace the pack, after
the usual preliminaries, diagonally on the out-stretched
linger, then tell the assistant to bring his thumb down on the
pack and grip it tightly. A sharp downward blow with the
side of the hand does the rest.
MARKED CARDS.
Long before the various inks, daubs, and so forth became a
commercial proposition in magic, the street conjurer had his
own method of card markingone that proved useful in many
an emergency. A free choice was given in the matter ot card
selection and, while haranguing the crowd, the wizard of the
pavement casually scratched his ear. Now, not to put too fine
a point on it, washing facilities are not always a source of
anxiety to the street performer, and when that card was
returned our worthy's now unclean finger left a mark on the
back, which to his keen eye, was readily spotted. An unsavoury item it is true, yet undoubtedly the origin of the
grease-paint on waistcoat button dodge.
BILLIARD BALLS.
A series of vanishes and recoveries are performed with a
single, examined ball. Finally it is apparently placed in the
left hand, from which it vanishes.
The right hand, in which the ball is palmed, is placed in
the pocket and it is loaded in this way. A second ball is
finger-palmed and a third one, with the usual half-shell, is
taken between the thumb and lore-finger. Thus, when the
hand, back to the audience, is withdrawn they only see the
latter ball. This one is .transferred to the left thumb and
fore-linger and displayed as the ball which, a moment before
vanished from the same hand. The right fore-finger points at
the hall and successfully disguises the load.
The right hand now approaches the left, and in passing,
the finger-palmed ball is transferred to the left palm and the
palmed ball is claimed by the left fingers. By this time the
right thumb and fore-finger have reached the ball (and half
shell) held between the left thumb and fore-finger, from
which it is removed. Simultaneously the performer swings

to the right and t h e right hand, now e m p t y save for t h e ball


and shell b e t w e e n the t h u m b and finger, is lifted high and left
r e m a i n i n g motionless.
As t h e right hand moves down to the usual position for the
production of No. 2 ball at the finger-tips, the 'left is withd r a w n and the p e r f o r m e r is all set to p r o d u c e No. 3 and No.
4 ball without once h a v i n g to go to a pocket.

THE FOLDED PAPERS.


Airily w a v i n g four s q u a r e s of coloured p a p e r of v a r y i n g
sizes and colours, the s t r e e t c o n j u r e r then places t h e m flat on
t h e table. H e p l a c e s a half-penny in t h e smallest p a p e r ,
folds it over at t o p and sides, and so proceeds with the o t h e r
p a p e r s until he h a s encased all p a c k e t s , W h e n re-opened t h e
half-penny has multiplied into two.
T h e four s q u a r e s of coloured p a p e r r a n g e in size from a b o u t
3in. s q u a r e to 9in. s q u a r e . T h e p a p e r s a r e first exhibited
held n e a r one corner. It should be noted that when t h e
p a p e r s a r e waved a b o u t n o t h i n g is a p p a r e n t b u t flat s h e e t s
d e s p i t e the fact that t h e r e is a concealed p a c k e t b e t w e e n t w o
of the sheets. It is the same old double p a c k e t a r r a n g e m e n t
and the turn-over, but notice the little i m p r o v e m e n t t h a t
m a k e s all the difference.
"In this little packet 1 put a ha'-penny,'' s a y s the c o n j u r e r .
"I fold over the sides, then the o t h e r sides, turn t h e p a c k e t
over and down il goes on the next p a p e r t h e blue. Now, the
blue p a p e r in the same way.
T u r n over the p a c k e t and into
t h e pink p a p e r . O v e r once more and we w r a p it up in the
green. Now for the magic, word 'Millionairitis.' O p e n t h e
green and we come to t h e pink ;
and we come
to the blue, turn it over and we come to the purple, turn t h a t
over, open it, and what do we f i n d ?
Two h a ' - p e n n i e s t h e
money has doubled i t s e l f ! ' '

open the pink

H e r e is the secret. T h e double p a c k e t (set) is t h e second


l a r g e s t t h e pink p a c k e t . P a s t e d to the back of this is t h e
duplicate set and in t h e smallest p a c k e t t h e r e a r e t w o halfpennies. T u r n i n g over each p a c k e t puts the w a t c h e r s off (he
scent. W h e n re-opening, however, it will be noticed that t h e
c o n j u r e r does not turn over t h e
packet
opening.
In e x h i b i t i n g to s h o w the two half-pennies the p a p e r s a r e
opened out one on t h e o t h e r on the table.
In m a k i n g up, construct the faked (pink) p a c k e t s first. T h e

pink

before

p a p e r s a r e folded carefully into t h e n e c e s s a r y


the two p a c k e t s a r e p a s t e d hack to back.
At the end of the trick t h e c o n j u r e r is in
e i t h e r turn the two half-pennies hack to one, or
a six-pence back to the original half-penny.
most puzzling.

s q u a r e s and
a position to
c h a n g e , say,
T h e effect is

A SILENT COIN VANISH.

T h e effect in which the w r i t e r saw this vanish used is very


well known. T w e l v e pennies a r e laid on the t a b l e in t w o
equal rows. Six of the coins a r e counted on to a t r a y and
then tipped into a b o y ' s cap. T h e r e m a i n i n g six p e n n i e s a r e
vanished and when the boy re-counts the coins in his c a p he
finds he has twelve.
T h e " t o u r n i q u e t " or d r o p sleight is used to vanish t h e
coins, a f t e r which they a r e deltly thrown into the usual
" T o p i t " or p o a c h e r ' s pocket. T h e puzzling p a r t of this vanish
to a n y o n e who w i t n e s s e s t h e sleight is t h e fact that t h e coins
do not " t a l k . " H e r e is the reason : T h e six coins c o u n t e d on
t o the t r a y (a m o n e y - t r a y ) a r e q u i t e u n p r e p a r e d
The u n d e r side of each of five of t h e o t h e r s is s m e a r e d with wax.
Thus
when the coins a r e stacked, a slight p r e s s u r e t r a n s f o r m s t h e m
into a solid pile. T h e d r o p and t h r o w can t h u s b e c a r r i e d
out without the least fear of a chink b e t r a y i n g the w h e r e a b o u t s ot the coins.

THE MAGNETIC WALKING-STICK.

A walking-stick is held erect, with t h e left hand a t the top,


the lower end of the stick r e s t i n g on the floor.
T h e outside
of the right t h u m b , just below the first knuckle-joint, is
pressed a g a i n s t the slick about halfway u p it, T h e right hand
is lifted with an a l t e r n a t e horizontal s w i n g i n g movement, first
to t h e left then back to the l ight. As long as t h e hand is
kept in motion the stick a d h e r e s to t h e side of t h e t h u m b , but
as soon as t h e m o v e m e n t stops t h e slick falls to t h e floor.
The stick a d h e r e s to t h e side of the t h u m b p a r t l y b e c a u s e
t h e l a t t e r h a s been m o i s t e n e d with b e e r which h a s b e c o m e
tackily dry, and p a r t l y by the i n w a r d s w i n g i n g m o v e m e n t .
T h e effect was first seen in a c o u n t r y t a v e r n w h e r e the
r e q u i r e d adhesive w a s easily and secretly applied. A s m e a r
of c o n j u r e r ' s wax would, no doubt, serve t h e s a m e p u r p o s e .
D e s p i t e the use of wax or b e e r , a c e r t a i n a m o u n t of p r a c t i c e
is necessary b e f o r e the correct balance can be o b t a i n e d a n d
the k n a c k is a c q u i r e d .

A coin is b o r r o w e d and dropped into a glass of b e e r , or


milk. H o l d i n g t h e glass in his left hand the p e r f o r m e r
beckons with his right, and the coin rises out of^the liquid to
his waiting fingers.
The piece of money is immediately
r e t u r n e d to the lender.
T h e r e a d e r will doubtless recognise this effect and immediately m u r m u r " H a i r ! " Indeed a hair is used, but our wily
friend t h e s t r e e t c o n j u r e r does not fasten one end to his
waistcoat button (so t h a t when the f r e e end with its tiny
pellet of wax is fixed to the coin he can cause it to rise by
m o v e m e n t of the hand or the b o d y ) .
True it is f a s t e n e d to
his clothing, but to the b u t t o n situated at the fork of t h e
front of his trousers. T h u s t h e hair is out of t h e line of
vision of the audience a f t e r it passes over the rim of the glass.
W h e n the c o n j u r e r removes from t h e coin the wax pellet and
the a t t e n d a n t hair, the latter s w i n g s down b e t w e e n t h e legs
where it is a l w a y s available. T h e pellet of wax a t the end of
the hair is usually p r e s s e d a g a i n s t the inside leg of t h e
trouser until r e q u i r e d .

ROPES AND RINGS.


T h e p r e m a t u r e s n a p p i n g of the t h r e a d with which the two
ropes a r e stitched for the " R o p e s and R i n g s ' ' led to a certain
street p e r f o r m e r in Australia using the following m e t h o d .
'I'lie ropes are displayed singly, then laid side by side.
Around the c e n t r e of the t w o ropes a small silk is tied with
t h e r a t h e r weak b u t plausible excuse t h a t the audience
would now be certain that the ropes a r e not c h a n g e d . At an
o p p o r t u n e m o m e n t they a r e s e p a r a t e d in the usual way and
the t w o e n d s (of one rope) of t h e ropes a r e t h r e a d e d through
the handle of a pint pot. A knot is tied round t h e handle
and a few b u n c h e s of keys, etc., a r e tied in what a p p e a r s to
be t h e c e n t r e of the ropes.
T h e y a r e then t h r e a d e d t h r o u g h
the sleeves of the b o y ' s coat and tied in the a p p r o v e d m a n n e r .
T o release the articles and the boy the p e r f o r m e r first
unties the silk and then removes the pot and all the o t h e r
articles. Finally he pulls the ropes, or s e e m s to, through
t h e b o y ' s body. T h e use of a silk m a y not a p p e a r very
artistic to the fastidious but as a " g e t - o u t " it leaves little to
be desired.

The usual double silk is k n o t t e d to an ordinal') - one. T h e


knotted ends of t h e silks a r e placed b e t w e e n a boy's lips and
he holds the f r e e e n d s of the h a n d k e r c h i e f s one in each hand.
T h e c o n j u r e r now rolls a third silk b e t w e e n his hands, p a l m s
the silk in his left hand and holds the clencMied b u t e m p t y
right hand aloft. He walks behind the boy, pocketing t h e
p a l m e d silk as he t a k e s up his position. T h e right hand is
now lightly slapped down on top of the b o y ' s head, t h e hand
o p e n i n g as it s t r i k e s the crown. T h e c o n j u r e r then t a k e s
hold of the boy's hands and s t r e t c h e s t h e m a p a r t .
The
vanished silk, h a v i n g a p p a r e n t l y passed through the b o y ' s
head, m a k e s its a p p e a r a n c e (via the double handkerchief as
usual) b e t w e e n t h e other two.

THE EYER-CHANGING CARD.


This old trick is v e r y effective in the h a n d s of t h e s t r e e t
conjurer, l i e generally offers it for sale at two-pence.
The
card is double faced. On one .side is p r i n t e d t w o d i a m o n d s
but the top s p a c e is blank. T h u s t h e t h u m b c o v e r i n g t h e
lower pip c o n v e r t s the c a r d into an ace, a n d c o v e r i n g the
blank s p a c e c o n v e y s the impression that the card is the t h r e e
of d i a m o n d s
The other side of the card depicts e i t h e r the
six of clubs or t h e four, one side spot of the six b e i n g blank.
By covering the sides of the card a l t e r n a t e l y with t h e t h u m b
the card may be exhibited as the six of clubs or t h e four.
T h e p e r f o r m e r s t a n d s with his side to the s p e c t a t o r s a n d
continually works his a r m up and down. H e shows the card
as an ace, then as a t h r e e ( d i a m o n d s ) , then as a six of clubs,
then as a four, f i n a l l y he pulls off his hat, d r a w s t h e c a r d
across his head and shows the ace spot with which he s t a r t e d .
The moves a r e s o m e t i m e s varied by t h e p e r f o r m e r d r a w i n g
the card b e t w e e n t h e sleeve ol the coal and the coat p r o p e r ,
the c h a n g e b e i n g m a d e u n d e r t h e a r m . Briskly p r e s e n t e d
the trick is most illusive.

ANOTHER CHANGING CARD.


T h i s trick has long been a f a v o u r i t e with the s t r e e t conj u r e r ; he also offers it for sale. A court card, held in t h e
hand c h a n g e s first to a spot card, then to a " h a n d " of toy
cards, t h e latter d i s a p p e a r i n g a l t o g e t h e r .

T h e construction is simple, though tedious. A court card is


doubled in half, face inwards. T h u s folded it is p a s t e d , on
one half, to a n y odd card, so that a loose flap of the court
card results. A n o t h e r card, usually a ten-spot, is soaked in
w a t e r and t h e face peeled off. T h i s is p a s t e d fairly on t h e
odd card and on t h e folded part of the court card. As a
result t h e card can be shown as a court card or spot c a r d by
b e n d i n g t h e flap to and fro. P r e s u m i n g the card to now
indicate the " s p o t " card,
s t r i p s of toy c a r d s a r e pasted in a row.
T h e conjurer holds the m a d e u p card in his left hand,
using all fingers and the t h u m b . W i t h the court card t h u s
exposed he d r a w s his right hand down the card, b e n d s t h e
flap and exhibits as t h e spot card. R e p e a t i n g t h e m o v e m e n t ,
he b e n d s the spot card a n d so discloses t h e row or " h a n d " of
toy cards, for as such the s p e c t a t o r s a c c e p t t h e little c a r d s
now on view. A p r e t e n c e is m a d e of a f u r t h e r b r u s h i n g and
smoothing movement, d u r i n g which the now folded card is
t h r u s t into t h e right palm while t h e left turns, n e a r l y closed,
back to t h e s p e c t a t o r s . T h e right hand of t h e p e r f o r m e r
dives into a b a g on his table, d r o p s the faked card a n d
i n s t a n t l y w i t h d r a w s an envelope, simultaneously t u r n i n g and
exposing t h e e m p t y left hand. " H e r e you a r e , all complete
with instructions, a child can do i t ! "
The card within t h e
envelope is often badly c o n s t r u c t e d .

at the top and at the back of this,

S o m e t i m e s a complete toy card is loosely pivoted by t h r e a d ,


at one corner of the row of cards. T h e n the p e r f o r m e r is
enabled to tilt this loose card a w a y from t h e others. It m a k e s
t h e hand of little c a r d s look more convincing.
Sold for twopence it will be conceded that t h e vendor e a r n s his money.

Additional Effects by Frederic Culpitt.


FOUR PENCE AND A GLASS TUMBLER.
T h i s is a favourite trick with s t r e e t m a g i c i a n s and saloon
b a r p e r f o r m e r s . T h e o p e r a t o r c o m m e n c e s by f u m b l i n g in his
various p o c k e t s for pence, eventually p r o d u c i n g two pennies.
He explains t h a t four coins a r e n e c e s s a r y , " S o will some
kindly disposed person please r e m e d y t h e deficiency ? "
N e e d l e s s to add, t h e t w o p e n n i e s so cadged rarely find their
way back to those who loaned t h e m , for t h e w a y s of t h e
itinerant c o n j u r e r a r e d a r k , devious and full of guile.

the four coins a r e now laid on the table (or bar c o u n t e r )


the e d g e s overlapping, and a f t e r p u s h i n g them into a s t a c k
with t h e rim of an inverted tumbler, they a r e covered with
this glass. G r a s p i n g t h e t u m b l e r by its b a s e t h e c o n j u r e r
moves it a r o u n d in a series of circles, s w i n g i n g the s t a c k e d
coins about at t h e s a m e time. A f t e r a few seconds at this
sort of thing, t h e f r e e hand reaches b e n e a t h the table, or edge
of the counter, a n d a coin is produced and t h r o w n down. T h e
t u m b l e r is slightly raised a n d by its rim t h e coins a r e s e p a r a t e d by sliding one off the other.
T h r e e coins remain.
These a r e a r r a n g e d as before, the e d g e s overlapping, and a r e
again covered with the t u m b l e r , and the s w i n g i n g m o v e m e n t
r e p e a t e d . A coin is produced from b e n e a t h the t a b l e . . . t h e
pile b e n e a t h the t u m b l e r is shown to consist of two coins
o n l y . . . a n d these a r e covered as before. A third coin is taken
from b e n e a t h t h e t a b l e . . . t h e glass is raised to show b u t
one
penny, which is now thrown out for e x a m i n a t i o n .
G r e a t s t r e s s is laid on the fact that, a f t e r t h e coins have
been covered, they a r e not touched by the h a n d s at a n y time.
The guilty secret is a "shell p e n n y " of t h e o r d i n a r y t y p e .
At the c o m m e n c e m e n t of affairs this is in the top p o c k e t of
the p e r f o r m e r ' s waistcoat, t o g e t h e r with an u n p r e p a r e d coin,
and a f t e r a suitable a m o u n t of f u m b l i n g in his o t h e r p o c k e t s ,
these two p e n n i e s a r e p r o d u c e d . W i t h the b o r r o w e d coins,
these two a r e stacked on the table, t h e shell p e n n y b e i n g
u n d e r m o s t . As this coin is d r o p p e d t h e fingers retain t h e
shell and the " n e s t i n g " coin is released ; t h e shell is laid 011
(and o v e r l a p p i n g ) the n e s t i n g coin. O11 the shell is laid an
u n p r e p a r e d penny, and on this a n o t h e r , which leaves a coin
held by the fingers. 'This coin is palmed. 'To the s p e c t a t o r s
t h e r e a p p e a r to be four p e n n i e s o v e r l a p p i n g each o t h e r on
the table.
A glass is next inverted over the coins, t h e e d g e of t h e
t u m b l e r b e i n g used to slide each p e n n y into a stack. T h i s
move causes t h e shell (second from bottom of the pile) t o fall
over the smaller coin b e n e a t h it, t h e t w o u n p r e p a r e d p e n n i e s
r e m a i n i n g on t o p of the shell c o n t r a p t i o n . 'The hand containing the palmed penny now g r a s p s t h e glass and c o m m e n c e s
to " c i r c u l a t e " t h e coins.
A f t e r a few s e c o n d s of this
manoeuvre t h e p a l m e d p e n n y is produced f r o m b e n e a t h t h e
table, the rim of t h e glass g e n t l y slides the coins a p a r t ,

showing there are hut three. These are picked up, the nesting coin is dropped, overlapped by the shell, on top of
which one of the unprepared pennies is placed, the remaining
coin being palmed, as before. Again the glass is brought
into play to stack the coins, the swishing movement is
repeated, a penny produced from beneath the fable, and the
edge of the glass separates the coins on the table, showing
that but two remain. Pick these up, show them on each side,
drop the nesting coin on the table and overlap it with the
shell, palming the remaining coin. Repeat the glass swinging movement, produce the palmed penny from beneath the
table, raise the glass and show that there is but one coin
there. Pick this up, palm off the shell and, if you think it
necessary, hand this last coin for examination. This is not
advised, as the dilference; in the circumference is apt to
cause comment.
UNUSUAL FINALE TO THE "CUPS AND BALLS."
Rightly, or wrongly, this version is claimed by Tom Reid,
a wandering wizard who presented his escamotage in the
Pimlico market places fifty years ago. Having completed the
proverbial routine and brought the little black balls beneath
their respective goblets the magician removes these spheres
of cork and transfers them one at a time to the right hand
outside pocket of his coat. Again the cups are lifted, to
disclose three large balls (about one-and-a-half inches in
diameter) on the table top. The magician stated that it was
an easy thing to smuggle these larger balls under each cup,
as the onlookers were not expecting such craftiness ; but it
would be a much more difficult matter sneaking them out
again. As he said this, Reid would raise cup No. f (at the
right hand end of the row) and pretend to take the large ball
away and convey it to his right hand pocket. Paying no heed
to the remarks of the audience, Tommy went on with the
trick, making a feint of removing balls 2 and 3. The crowd
would keep up a chorus of protest at such swindling. "Show
us the balls," they would bawl out. Reid looked pained,
stroked his De Kolta-like beard, and lifted each goblet to
reveal the balls on the table, placing the cups at the side of
each ball as he lifted them. "Oh, no," the artful old codger
would say, "if I wanted to put the balls in my pocket, f would

do it quite openly, like this," and s u i t i n g the action to the


word he would pick up each ball s e p a r a t e l y and dispose of
them in turn in his pocket, b e i n g careful to show t h a t his
hand was e m p t y each time he w i t h d r e w it. " S o f a r , " our
magician would say, " e v e r y t h i n g has been fair, s q u a r e , and
above b o a r d " ; a r e m a r k which never failed to register. " M y
job is to get those balls out of my pocket and back b e n e a t h
t h e goblets without b e i n g detected. In any case they haven't
arrived y e t . " At this point the c u p s were again lifted to
show t h a t the balls were not b e n e a t h them. " T h i s is g o i n g
to be a difficult task because you a r e all w a t c h i n g me so
closely. If I succeed it ought to worth a few more c o p p e r s . "
T h i s was the signal for the t a k i n g up of a collection. . T h i s
having been done to T o m ' s satisfaction the c u p s were lifted
to reveal t h r e e large balls,
red, blue and
yellow !
A p a r t from the sleight-of-hand, m a s t e r l y in e v e r y way, the
p r e p a r a t i o n s were simple enough. T h e right hand p o c k e t
was in reality two pockets, in one of which reposed t h r e e
large black balls, in the other, t h r e e coloured balls. In the
c e n t r e of each g o b l e t ' s roof was soldered a s t r o n g needle-

but coloured

point about t h r e e - q u a r t e r s of an
inch in length ( F i g . 1).
Without
d e s i r i n g to d e t r a c t
from t h e
cleverness of R e i d ' s m e t h o d a n d
working, 1 m a y be p e r m i t t e d to
remind r e a d e r s t h a t Bosco m a d e
use of some such artifice, e m p l o y ing several needle-points in one
of his cups.
H a v i n g reached t h a t part of the routine w h e r e the small
balls a r e shown to b e back in their original positions b e n e a t h
their respective cups, the p e r f o r m e r secretly gained p o s s e s s ion of one of t h e large black balls Iron) his pocket, p a l m i n g it
in the right hand.
This hand would raise c u p No. 1, the left
hand picked up t h e small ball from the table, the large b a l l
was loaded into t h e goblet (which would be r e t u r n e d to t h e
table top) and the small ball t r a n s f e r r e d to t h e right hand,
which would then deposit it in the pocket. T h i s m o v e m e n t
was r e p e a t e d with the o t h e r c u p s a n d balls, a f t e r this t h e
cups were again raised to disclose t h e large balls.
T h i s d e n o u e m e n t was sufficiently s t a r t l i n g to b r i n g a b o u t a

37

m o m e n t a r y distraction on the p a r t of t h e onlookers, and R e i d


seized t h e o p p o r t u n i t y to gain possession of, and palm, one
of t h e coloured balls. G r a s p i n g t h e rim of c u p No. 1 with his
right hand, he tilted it top t o w a r d s his audience, allowing the
p a l m e d coloured ball to roll into it, and h a v i n g d r a w n a t t e n tion to the large black ball on the table, covered it with the
goblet. T h i s action forced the coloured ball to the top of t h e
cup, where it b e c a m e impaled on t h e needle-point. (Fig. 2).
H e r e our friend m a d e p r e t e n c e of t a k i n g t h e ball a w a y and
c o n v e y i n g it s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y to his pocket. Actually it was
an e m p t y hand which stole into t h e pocket, but the hand
c a m e a w a y with a n o t h e r coloured ball p a l m e d . T h e right
hand lifted c u p No. 2, loaded in t h e coloured ball, d r o p p e d
t h e goblet over t h e l a r g e black ball, and the p a n t o m i m e of
s n e a k i n g a w a y the black ball w a s indulged in. T h i s manoeuvre
followed with coloured ball No. 3.
Lifting c u p No. 1 by i t s top with t h e right hand t h e l a r g e
black ball was removed and t h e c u p d r o p p e d to t h e table t o p
with a decisive thump, t h e resulting concussion dislodging
t h e coloured ball from the needle-point. T h e black ball w a s
openly d r o p p e d into the left-hand pocket. T h e s e m o v e m e n t s
were repeated in t h e case of cups 2 a n d 3. At t h e p r o p e r
moment (which was
t h e collection had been taken up)
t h e t h r e e c u p s were lifted to disclose the t h r e e coloured balls.
T h e interior of each c u p can b e safely shown, the needle
points being practically invisible.

after

A FOUR "ACES TRICK."

T h i s was a favourite item with Solly Marks, who had a


luncheon hour pitch in t h e F e t t e r Lane district some f o r t y five y e a r s ago. He possessed an a r r e s t i n g personality and
had a s t r o n g facial resemblance to Charles M o r r i t t . His good
looks were s o m e w h a t m a r r e d as he had only one eye, which
possibly explained why it was that Solly did not switch his
undeniable talents to wider and more productive fields.
From t h e ranks of the g a p i n g crowd he would d r a g some
t i m e - w a s t i n g e r r a n d boy and from his pockets, nose a n d chin
e x t r a c t b u n c h e s of cards, g e t t i n g laughs from the varied
collection of small objects b r o u g h t forth in addition to t h e
p a s t e b o a r d s . T h e n , r u n n i n g t h r o u g h t h e pack faces u p p e r most, he would remove the four aces and deposit them (faces
up) on t h e table top.
T h e p r e s s - g a n g e d helper would
then be r e q u e s t e d to lay t h r e e " i n d i f f e r e n t " c a r d s on each

18

down).

ace (faces
M u m b o J u m b o of a more or less R a b e l aisian flavour followed ; the c a r d s on the t a b l e were t u r n e d
over to disclose t h e fact that each p a c k e t now consisted of
four indifferent cards, the aces h a v i n g vanished.
The assistant was invited to search t h r o u g h his pockets and would
eventually produce from his inside jacket pocket t h e missing
aces. An excellent finale to a s t r e e t act, full of d i v e r t i n g
m a t e r i a l a n d never failing to elicit a c h o r u s of a p p r o v a l and
a s h o w e r of coins.
T h e card p a l m i n g p r e l i m i n a r y was actually an excuse for
s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y i n t r o d u c i n g t h e four g e n u i n e aces into t h e
b o y ' s p o c k e t ; t h e s e were left b e h i n d as some half-a-dozen
o t h e r c a r d s were b r o u g h t to light. The " a c e s " t a k e n openly
f r o m the p a c k and placed on t h e t a b l e - t o p were double-faced
cards, p r e p a r e d by s k i n n i n g four aces to single t h i c k n e s s by
first i m m e r s i n g t h e m in hot w a t e r and p a s t i n g on the reverse
side four indifferent c a r d s similarly t r e a t e d , t h e process
b e i n g completed by i r o n i n g out t h e c a r d s or p r e s s i n g them
with a p h o t o g r a p h i c p r i n t roller.
W h e n ready for p r e s e n t a tion t h e f a k e aces would b e p l a n t e d at i n t e r v a l s in the pack
t h e ace side in line with the rest of the cards.
W h e n removing these faked aces from t h e pack the
c o n j u r e r held the cards in t h e left hand, faces u p p e r m o s t ,
and ran them t h r o u g h from left to right, picking out each ace
as it w a s a r r i v e d at and placing it on the tablebeing
T h e pack was then h a n d e d
to the boy, who was told to count off t h r e e c a r d s faces down
on to each ace, leaving about an inch of the ace visible. This
having been done and a suitable a m o u n t of
indulged in, t h e magician s q u a r e d up the four p a c k e t s on t h e
table by t a p p i n g the sides with a single card. T h i s card
was next used as a lever with which to turn over t h e four
packets, when the
side of t h e aces would be disclosed.
T h e boy would then be invited to search t h r o u g h his pockets,
t h e p e r f o r m e r s u g g e s t i n g t h e order in which the e x a m i n a t i o n
was to be carried out. " Try your jacket p o c k e t 011 the outside of that horse-cloth which they sold you for a coat in
P e t t i c o a t Lane. N o t h i n g t h e r e ? F u n n y : what a b o u t y o u r
h a n d ? T r y the o t h e r side... O n l y a hole there. Mind y o u r
dinner d o e s n ' t slip t h r o u g h it. W h a t about y o u r handkerchief
p o c k e t . . . You don't use a h a n d k e r c h i e f . N o need to tell me
t h a t . ' E a v e n help t h e fly t h a t tries to nestle 011 y o u r cuff.
' H a v e a t r y a t your inside pocket.
W h a t have you f o u n d ?
T h e four aces I And 1 never p u t my hand near y o u . . .
Remember that."

not to show the backs of the aces.

careful

hocus pocus

reverse

tyr
1
V

"BUT NOT TO PLAY"


by Wilfrid Jonson.

BUTNOTTOPLAY

" W i l l heroine a standard treatise on C a r d


W o r k . A p a r t from technical a n d expository
excellence it has that quality common to all
great hooks -it is the work of a scholar."
The whole art of C a r d Conjuring.
in a
book which will not become " d a t e d " even
fifty years hence.
Acclaimed as a first rate
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rWILFRID JONSON

Cloth. 130 diagrams.


21/- Postage 3d.

AlvMflkP NEO MAGIC,


l^Z
by S. H. Sharpe.
HSTSE

'y

act
U n i v e , sal
'epted as the standard critical
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Magic..."
It raises M a g i c far above the level of mere
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A magician who studies this work cannot
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A MAGICAL BROADSIDE.

Tricks, Twists, Hints and Tips. N o publication of this type has been
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setting of the conjurer J A C O B S .
Printed on art paper a n d dispatched

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Price l/7d. post paid.


SLOW SLEIGHTS,

By E. Brian MacCarthy,
COIN-.

SLOW SLEIGHTS
8y

E BRIAN MCCARTHY

CCDAce Johnson

Masterly misdirection.
Slow manipulation covering
a v a i l e d field in Magic.

New edition. 3 1 |d.


MODERN SLEIGHTS
by the same Author.
3/1 dJ, post paid.

(DODEFRN

SLEICK75

BY BRIAN aWcCAHTMy

A N e w Book by Brian M a c C a r t h y is in preparation.

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24, Buckingham Street, Strand, London, W.C.2.