Magic Trick: A Coin and a String

A coin, about the size of a half-dollar, with a small hole drilled in the center, is passed out for examination and marked. After this the performer runs a string, about two feet long, through the hole, and requests two of the audience to hold the ends. The coin, which hangs from the middle of the string, is then covered with a handkerchief. "Now," says the performer, "if I remove the coin from the string, and these gentlemen keep hold of the ends of the string, I think you will admit that it will be impossible to put the coin again on the string. Yet that is what I shall try to do." Showing his right hand empty he puts it under the handkerchief and taking hold of the coin draws it to one end of the cord, until it comes in sight. The person who holds that end of the cord is asked to let go for a moment, until the coin is removed. Then the string is taken hold of again. Wrapping the coin in a piece of paper, which is held high up that every one may see it, the performer orders the coin to leave the paper and go back to the string. The paper is torn up and thrown on the floor. The coin has gone! Pulling off the handkerchief, the coin is seen, spinning on the cord.

For this trick a shell-coin is used. Having such a coin, the performer has a hole drilled through both coin and shell, and is then ready for the trick. When the string is through the coins and the ends of the cord are held, the handkerchief is called into play to conceal the method of working the trick. The performer removes the shell, taking care to keep the open side out of sight. The marked coin is still on the string, covered by the handkerchief. The performer now proceeds to wrap the shell coin in a piece of paper. The paper, which is ordinary writing paper, is about five by six inches. It is folded not quite in half, but so that one side is about an inch longer than the other. Taking the coin in his right hand, the performer places it between the folds, as shown in Fig. 95. Holding the paper with the shorter side toward him, he folds the sides away from him (see Fig. 96). Finally he turns down the inch of paper, gained in the first fold, over the side folds, when, to all appearances, the coin will be tightly enclosed (see Fig. 97). Appearances, however, are frequently deceiving, and never more so than in this case, for the top A is open, so as to allow the coin to slide out, as will be found by any one who will fold a piece of paper, following these instructions. Taking the packet at A in his left hand, the performer taps the coin with his wand, so as to convince the audience that the coin is still inside. Then he turns his hand, bringing the end A behind his fingers, when the coin will slide into his hand, where he holds it palmed. The paper is torn up; the coin has gone. The performer snatches the handkerchief away, and to the surprise of all, the marked coin is seen spinning on the string. To add to the effect, the coin may be wrapped in flash-paper, which may be touched off instead of being torn.

The paper folded in two. Fig. 95

Fig. 96

Fig. 97

When the trick is finished, the performer announces that he will repeat it in a "slightly different way," so that the audience will see more clearly. He hands out for examination a large metal ring, calling attention to the fact that there is no joint or secret opening in it. Taking a piece of tape he has it tied around his wrists, an end to each wrist, and has the knots sealed, if the audience so desire. His wrists are about two feet apart. Picking up the ring, he apologizes to the audience and turns his back for a moment or passes behind a screen. When he faces about the next minute, the ring is hanging on the tape between the wrists, as shown in Fig. 98.

Fig. 98

Of course, while the tricks are similar, the modus operandi is entirely different. Two rings, exactly alike and each large enough to slip over the hand, are used. The audience, however, have no idea that more than one ring is used. Before beginning the trick, one ring is concealed about the right forearm, inside the coat-sleeve. After his hands are tied and he has picked up the one ring, he thrusts it under his vest, as he turns his back, and lets the other slide down over his wrist and hand on to the tape. When he faces his audience, they wonder how the trick is done.

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