Magic Trick: The Wandering Coins

Though old, the following trick may be used to introduce another that is not generally known. The performer places both hands on the table, palms upward, and about eight inches apart, and requests some one to lay a quarter or a half-dollar in the palm of each hand. The hands are now turned down, so that the palms rest on the table, and when they are raised it is seen that two coins are under one hand, while there is nothing under the other. The trick is very simple and easy of execution. In turning the hands down, the left hand moves somewhat slowly, while the right moving a little toward the left is turned quickly and with a throwing motion, causing the coin to be shot from that hand under the left. With but little practice, the transit of the coin is imperceptible.

Having shown this trick successfully, the performer announces that he will repeat the trick, with a slight variation and his hands further apart. He asks for two more coins, as for this version of the trick, it is imperative that he shall have four coins of equal value. Taking a coin in each hand, he rests the back of his hands on the table, at a much greater distance apart than in the first trick, and then slowly closing them, he asks that of the two remaining coins one be placed on the finger-nails of each of the closed hands. In each hand there are now two coins, one inside, the other outside. Announcing that he will cause one coin to pass from one hand to the other, as in the first case, he turns his hands over, but alas! the trick proves a miserable failure, for two coins fall on the table. These the audience, naturally, imagine are the two that were on the finger nails, but such is not the case. When the performer turned his wrist he quickly opened his left hand for a moment, and allowed both the coins, the one in and the one on that hand, to roll out on the table. Just before the right hand was turned, the fingers were opened a trifle, just enough to allow the coin that rested on them to slip inside the hand. Both hands are again rested on the table and the two coins on the table are placed one on the nails of each hand. Under pretence of taking unusual care this time, the performer with his eyes measures the distance between his hands, moves them a little closer, then further away, and, finally, suddenly turns them over, and as he does so opens the fingers slightly so as to admit a coin in each hand. He opens his hands deliberately and in the left hand is seen one coin, while in the right there are three.

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