"Will some lady oblige me with a handkerchief that has seven corners?" asks the performer. None being offered he steps back to his table and picking up a large silk handkerchief or scarf, announces that this will have to answer his purpose.
"Just for the moment you may see only four corners," he says, "but the others will soon be visible to all."
To begin he ties two corners of the handkerchief together, and covers them with the rest of the handkerchief, and asks some lady to hold the knots. Then he ties two other corners, puts those under the body of the handkerchief, and asks the lady to keep her hands on those, also. Then he calls attention to the fact that although he has tied four corners there are still two others remaining. These he ties and puts them with the four. "You have six now, as you can feel," he says, addressing the lady who holds the knot, "and yet here is a seventh." This he asks her to take hold of, but requests that she drop it when he counts three. "Here goes," he says, "one, two, three!" She drops it, and as the magic spell is broken by her action, the handkerchief resumes its original form.
A large handkerchief is necessary for this trick. To begin, the performer ties two corners with a slip knot. In this he really ties the end of one handkerchief round the other and does not tie them together. This so-called knot may be made very tight, and even when one end is withdrawn the folds of the other will be preserved and if felt through a handkerchief will seem to be a genuine knot. In the trick now under consideration just as the lady is asked to hold the knots, the performer draws out one of the corners, and the lady will hold only the semblance of a knot. Three corners will be left, and the performer takes two, knots them in the style, of the others, and puts them under the handkerchief to be held. In doing so he again releases one corner. The audience believe that four of the corners are now held by the lady, while there are only two, and two corners are hanging down, which the performer calls numbers five and six. He again goes through the same operation, and still leaves one corner hanging down. "Ah!" he says, "here is the seventh." Of this he takes hold and counts as described; the lady lets go, and he shows the handkerchief with its original four corners.