Magic Trick: Coin Trick 8

Another very pretty trick is the following, although also well known. Procure (a "magical repository" will be found the best place to go to in the long run) a "nest" of round boxes, one fitting inside the other. If the outside one is of the size of a crown piece, and the inner one large enough to contain a shilling, the "nest" should consist of nine or ten boxes. Have the lids arranged in order, one within the other, and the bodies in the same manner, beside the lids. If you are performing with a retiring screen, the boxes can be arranged behind it. Lacking this, the next best plan is to have them at the bottom of a bag, which will stifle the noise made by shutting them. Borrow a marked coin, which you will exchange for a similar one in your palm (Palm No. 1). Give this to be held. Say, "Now, here I have a small box." But as you have purposely left the "small box" behind your screen or in your bag, as the case may be, you will have to go and fetch it. As soon as your hands are out of sight, pop the coin (which will be the marked one) into the smallest box, and shut all the lids down together. If you have to do this inside the bag, and consequently in full view of the audience, your face must bear an anxious and slightly annoyed expression, as if the box could not be found. As soon as the manœuvre is executed, exclaim, as if much relieved, "Ah, here it is. Now, ladies and gentlemen," &c., &c. The operation of shutting all the boxes down at once is a very simple one if the lids are taken in one hand and the bodies in the other, the two halves meeting, as it were, half way. A little practice will soon show the futility of attempting to turn the lids over on the bodies. Place the box in a prominent place (do not give it to be held, as a slight shake will reveal the fact that there is a coin already inside), and, taking the coin out of the handkerchief, "pass" it into the box, which now ask someone to open. Of course, box No. 2 will be found inside, at which you will say, "Dear me!" or make any other expression of surprise. Boxes Nos. 3, 4, and so on will in turn be revealed, amidst great amusement, and in the innermost one, which the performer must, on no account, open himself, the coin will be discovered. You cannot very well avoid allowing an examination of the boxes, but always take care that the lids are in one place and the boxes in another, and all in great confusion as to gradation of size, and at the earliest opportunity sweep them away. It is the fashion to perform this trick with a coin previously sewn in a handkerchief, which handkerchief is whisked in the air. The effect is decidedly good, if not spoilt (as it certainly will be, ever and anon) by a demand to examine the handkerchief, which demand, I need hardly say, it is impossible to accede to. This sort of thing the conjuror must never indulge in. Let him borrow and return his handkerchief like a man, and trust to his sleight of hand.

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