Magic Trick: The Magic Omelette

This is a very favourite trick. The performer borrows two or three rings, which are cast into an omelette pan. Eggs are broken into the pan, and spirit added, and lighted. A cover is momentarily placed over it, and, when removed, all traces of the omelette have vanished, two doves taking its place. This would, perhaps, not be so very extraordinary were it not for the fact that around the birds' necks are pieces of ribbon, having upon them the borrowed rings. Such a trick may well be admired. It is thus performed: The pan, about 10in. in diameter, and between 2in. and 3in. deep, is made of plain brass, copper, or nickel, and has a slight turnover edge, turning outwards. The cover, which is a shallow one, has a 2in. flange. This flange is for the reception of a secret lining to the pan, containing the doves, and left behind when the cover is raised, after being placed over the pan. It fits outside the cover flange, loosely, but very tightly into the pan, for there must be no danger of its being carried away when the cover is lifted. It also has a turnover edge, precisely as has the pan, and by means of this edge it is temporarily attached to the cover. The cover, on the under side, at the extreme border, has two flat hooks, an inch or so in length. These are placed on opposite sides. In the turnover edge of the lining are two slits, admitting the flat hooks. To attach the lining to the cover is therefore simple, the hooks being placed in the slits and a twist given to the cover, which has only to be twisted the reverse way to withdraw the hooks from the lining again.

Firstly, the performer sends his assistant forward to borrow the rings, which the lenders place upon the little wand he carries. In returning he changes them for dummies, as described at page 176, and at once retires behind the scenes, where he has the cover and lining already prepared with the birds inside, but not with the hooks in position. The ribbons around the necks of the birds are left outside, the insertion of a stick in the loops preventing their being pulled inside by the movements of their wearers. This pre-arrangement is necessary, as rapidity of action is essential. A ring is rapidly attached by the ribbon loop being first passed through it, and then opened out over it. When attached, the rings are popped inside, the cover hooked to the lining, and a prearranged signal given the performer that all is in readiness. The performer, in the meanwhile, has been making his omelette, which he must not light until his assistant signals that he is ready. Then he applies fire, and, rushing forward, shows the spectators the rings frizzling in the midst of the eggs. This is done rapidly; and it is certainly advisable to avoid, if possible, the actual owners of the rings, or the absence of a lent one may be noticed. The assistant seizes this opportunity for bringing on the cover, which he does in a careless manner; and it is as well to bring on the wand at the same time, as though both articles had been carelessly forgotten. The majority of the spectators, if not all, will, however, be engaged with the movements of the performer, who rushes back to his table, claps on the cover, his assistant firing a pistol to stir up the company to increased excitement, and takes it off again, giving, at the moment, the disengaging twist, the lining being thus left inside the pan, with the doves. The latter are brought down to the company, with the rings on their necks, and the pan shown empty, the contents being concealed between the bottom of the lining and the bottom of the pan.

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