Three borrowed Derby hats are placed in a row on the table, and in front of each hat are three balls on a small plate. On one plate there are three red balls, on the second, three white, and on the third, three blue. They are handed out for examination before beginning the trick, which may be done without fear, for there is no preparation about them. The performer begins by putting a red ball into the first hat, a white ball into the second, and a blue ball into the third. This he repeats twice, and naturally, each hat should contain three balls of one color. Instead of that, such is the perverseness of the conjuring tribe, each hat contains a red, a white, and a blue ball. And yet it is so simple, as will be seen if these explanations are carefully followed. Let us call the hats A, B, and C.
1. A red ball is taken up and apparently put in A. The ball, however, is palmed, a filip with the finger against the inside of the hat giving the impression that the ball was dropped into the hat.
2. With the same hand a white ball is taken up and apparently put into the hat B, but instead, the red ball goes in and the white is palmed.
3. A blue ball is taken and this is supposed to be put into C, but instead the white ball goes in and the blue is palmed.
4. A red ball is now supposed to go into A, but the blue takes its place, and the red is palmed.
5. A blue ball is picked up, but palmed and a red is put into C.
6. Another white ball is apparently put into B, but it is palmed and a blue ball is dropped in.
7. A red ball is picked up and put into A, and the palmed white one goes into the hat at the same time.
8. A white ball is put into B.
9. A blue ball goes into C.
As the hand is empty after the seventh move, the audience ought to be given an opportunity to see this, without calling attention to it in words. This may be done by simply moving the hats a little, as that will show the hands are empty. As there is no palming in moves 8 and 9, the performer ought to make the most of this, as it will go far to convince the audience that the same procedure has been followed in every move. When the hats are finally emptied on the plates, it will be found that in each there is a red, a white, and a blue ball.
The trick requires address, good palming and little else. The following tables will make everything clear:—
|1||Red||apparently dropped in A, but palmed.|
|2||White||apparently dropped in B, but palmed.||Red||dropped in.|
|3||Blue||apparently dropped in C, but palmed.||White||dropped in.|
|4||Red||apparently dropped in A, but palmed.||Blue||dropped in.|
|5||Blue||apparently dropped in C, but palmed.||Red||dropped in.|
|6||White||apparently dropped in B, but palmed.||Blue||dropped in.|
|7||A,||R.& W.||dropped in.|
|Condition after each move.|
|5||B.||R.||W. &; R.|
|6||B.||R. &; B.||W. & R.|
|7||R. W. B.||R. & B.||W. & R.|
|8||R. W. B.||R. W. B.||W. & R.|
|9||R. W. B.||R. W. B.||R. W. B.|