Magic Trick: The Travelling Cards

This is a pretty trick, and one that is always much commented upon by spectators who have seen it neatly performed. The performer has a couple of cards chosen, which he brings to the top of the pack; then, addressing the company, he refers to the notion that the sleeve of the coat is employed by conjurors for their concealment. He deprecates the attempt, made by many performers, to deny the immense aid afforded by this portion of the attire, especially for the effective concealment of eggs, pigeons, cannonballs, and other articles equally easy of manipulation (this as sarcastically as he pleases), and says he will now proceed to demonstrate, conclusively, in what way the sleeve is employed. "So far from there being any difficulty, ladies and gentlemen, in concealing cards, in the sleeve, for instance, it is a very easy matter to cause them to travel up or down with great rapidity, and invisibly. My waistcoat, as you see, contains nothing". The performer cannot very well unbutton and open his waistcoat before the company, so, to show it is empty, he places his hand inside, and performs the action of emptying sufficiently vigorously to dislodge anything that might be there. He next palms a dozen or more cards from the top of the pack, and then, extending the left arm, ruffles the edges of the remaining cards. This act, he explains, has had the effect of sending a card up his sleeve, and he affects to watch its progress. A jerk of the arm is made, the contraction being caused, the performer says, by the passage, by the card, of the elbow. Plunging the right hand into the vest, the cards palmed are dropped there, one card only, taken from the bottom, being slowly extracted. A second card is made to pass in the same way, and another indifferent card extracted. The performer now asks the choosers of the two cards on the top at what numbers they shall pass up the sleeve. This feat is easy of accomplishment, as the cards are taken from the bottom until the proper number has been reached. When the cards in the vest have been exhausted, more can be palmed, and the operation continued until all the pack has been employed; but this finish is by no means necessary to the success of the trick, which may be considered concluded when the two selected cards have been withdrawn, although it is as well to continue passing cards until no more are left in the vest.

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