Magic Trick: With a String—a Reminiscence

It was about the year 1845 that Alexander Heimburger, a foreign conjurer, came to New York. Under his stage name of Herr Alexander he appeared at the Minerva Rooms, a cozy hall that stood on Broadway between Walker and Canal streets. His manager was a personal friend of this writer's family and the writer, then a little boy, had not only the run of the house, but became intimate with Alexander. One afternoon while the conjurer was arranging something for the evening's performance the boy came into the hall and, boylike, began to ask questions, and then the conjurer, in turn, asked some. One of these was, "Which of my tricks do you like best?" "The one where the card comes up out of the pack," was the answer. "Good. And how is it done?" "With a string." "Ah, that is the boy's answer. It's always with a string. But how; but how?" "Don't know, but it's with a string." And with a string, that faithful ally of the conjurer, that potent motive power of so many tricks, it proved to be. Then and there the conjurer, who had taken a liking to the boy, explained the trick. The secret is known to many now, and as Alexander Heimburger, dexterous conjurer and genial gentleman, has passed away, the little boy, now an old man, will explain the trick for those who do not know it, and moreover will tell many other ways of doing it that have been invented since that day, years and years ago.

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