Magic Trick: To Exchange Borrowed Rings for Dummies

With a single ring, and in a small way, this may be done by means of the finger palm (Fig. 3), the dummy being already held in the left hand, between the roots of the fingers, and a feint made of placing the borrowed one into it. (See "Tricks with Coins," b, p. 11). This does very well for the drawing-room, in which domain the following method may also be adopted when two or more rings are borrowed. Have the dummies screwed up in a piece of paper, which hold in the left hand, and cover with a precisely similar piece of paper, open. Into this latter place the borrowed rings, and screw up. All that is now necessary is to reverse the positions of the two parcels, the left hand carrying away the borrowed rings, the right taking the dummy ones, the paper containing which is, of course, not opened again during the trick. The same method should be adopted with large audiences when a borrowed watch and chain have to be exchanged; but the following method is far away the best to adopt on the stage with rings.

For the purpose of collecting rings borrowed from the audience, the conjuror should provide himself with an ebony wand, rather thicker than an ordinary penholder, and about eight inches in length. If he be performing with an assistant, that person should do the collecting. Upon the wand are already placed the dummies, covered by the hand holding it by one of its ends. The wand is presented the persons lending the rings, who slide them on. The performer remains well up the stage, and, the assistant, turning towards him, changes the wand from one hand to the other, securing the borrowed rings under the latter, and spreading the dummies along the wand. This can be quickly effected, and the assistant at once turns round facing the company, presenting the wand, with dummy rings, to the performer, who takes it; the borrowed rings remaining in the assistant's hand, dropped at once to his side. The performer at once draws attention to himself, and the assistant makes off with the rings for whatever purpose may have been previously arranged. An assistant must be something of a conjuror to possess the necessary sang froid for effecting the exchange without drawing attention to his movements, so the performer may have to execute it himself, in which case he would place the dummy rings in some conspicuous position, and pass behind the scenes momentarily on the strength of some plea, which would suggest itself according to the trick in course of performance.

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