This is a good after-dinner trick. Showing his hands empty, the performer takes a few matches from a box, and wraps them up in a handkerchief. The next moment he shakes the handkerchief and the matches have vanished. They are afterwards produced from the pocket or inside the coat of one of the audience.
The secret of this pretty little trick is a tiny rubber band. It is stretched over a box of safety matches. On the label of these boxes there is generally a heavy black line at each end. Where there is not, the performer marks it with ink, and it is over one of these lines that he stretches the rubber band. The band ought not be fresh, but one that is dark from use. The match box may lie on the table without attracting notice. The handkerchief, also, ought to be on the table. As the performer picks up the box, his right thumb rests on the top, at one end, and the first and second fingers push in the end so as to open the box. See Fig. 123. As the left hand takes out some matches the right thumb rolls the rubber-band backward so that it encircles the two fingers, which are then closed in on the palm to conceal the band. Laying down the box, the performer picks up the handkerchief with his left hand and spreads it over the right. Under cover of the handkerchief the right thumb joins the fingers inside the rubber-band. See Fig. 124. The left hand now stands the matches upright in the center of the handkerchief, and the right hand grasps them. The handkerchief is then turned over, and, at the same moment the band is stretched over the matches, through the handkerchief. The left hand takes hold of one corner of the handkerchief and shakes it. The matches do not fall to the floor. They are gone! Before beginning the trick the performer, who is sitting down, conceals a second lot of matches in a fold of his trousers leg. These he gets hold of, and apparently takes them out of a pocket or from inside the coat of some one in the audience.