Magic Trick: The Shower of Gold

The conjuror can perform this trick with the same tumblers and prepared cloth. One tumbler must be filled with imitation sovereigns (which are sold cheaply as whist counters) and placed upon the shelf. The empty tumbler is handed round, and then covered with the cloth, and apparently placed upon the table. It is instead rapidly exchanged, under cover of the prepared cloth—which, when held by the circular card, will sustain the idea that the tumbler is inside it all the time—for the one containing the coins. The performer now goes down to the audience, and continues to find in various ways either single coins or three or four of such at a time, which are "passed" into the distant tumbler by the various methods described in "Drawing-room Magic." As coins thrown from a distance would not in the ordinary way fall into a glass receptacle without causing any sound, it behoves the conjuror to imitate such sound. This is easily accomplished by having an assistant behind the scenes, stationed as close to the table as possible, and provided with a quantity of coins and a tumbler. When the performer "passes" any coins towards the tumbler, the assistant should, after a short lapse of time, allow some to pour into his tumbler. The attention of the audience is so riveted on the covered glass that the deception cannot be detected. Indeed, it is difficult for anyone who knows exactly what is going on behind to notice anything at all suspicious. The deception is a very perfect one, and is used in many ways by the best conjurors. Of course, performer and assistant must be en rapport with each other, the one being careful to state loudly at each "pass" how many coins are being transmitted, and the other paying strict attention to what is going on. Supposing the performer finds a single coin, he will exclaim loudly, "Ah! madam, here is just one coin on the edge of your fan! Permit me." And, on finding several, he will say, "Ah! in your head, sir, quite a quantity of coins. One, two, three, four, five!" Sometimes, too, it is as well, for effect, to vary the speed with which the coins perform their imaginary aerial journey. "This one," the performer will say, "is, I see, a very old coin, so will go very slowly indeed;" or, "quite a new one, I declare; see how quickly it will travel." If the assistant be not listening, the effect will be absurd. The tumbler into which he drops the coins should be covered, or the sound will be too sharp. It should be a muffled sound.

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