Ten New Pocket Tricks


Preface The Mesmerized Alarm Clock A Silk Production From Empty Hands The Bewitched Umbrella The Vanishing Coin Paper Tearing Supreme New Coin Trick The Psychic Ring Release The Impromptu Mind Reader Up Your Sleeve The Mystic Knife



IN PRESENTING this little booklet to the magical fraternity, no apologies are tendered for including in its contents some of the most popular of the effects formerly marketed singly by me. I believe that any one of the experiments described will be found well worth while, and that the trivial price of this little collection, consisting almost exclusively of impromptu effects will be considered ill-spent by no one. Again thanking all who have so generously supported the publication of this series; also Dr. Ervin, and Mr. Haley, who have kindly contributed to the bill-of-fare of Magic herein contained; and not forgetting the magical reviewers here and abroad, who have received the previous numbers of this series with a welcome that warms the writer's heart, I will leave the reader to explore for himself the pages following. Charles T. Jordan. Penngrove, California, December 17, 1920.
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

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THE PERFORMER hands a spectator an ordinary alarm clock, a napkin and an elastic band, then turns his back. The spectator is then requested to set the long (minute) hand of the clock at any hour, and to cover the dial with the napkin, securing it to the clock by means of the rubber band. The performer now turns a-round, and holding the clock to his forehead, divines the hour the hand has been set to, and may repeat the experiment as often as he desires. This is one of those simple secrets that are productive of the utmost effect when mysteriously presented with proper misdirection. The clock must be very slightly prepared beforehand. The long hand is set at 12, then the back of the clock is turned up. With a knife or file a tiny scratch is traced vertically across the diameter of the button used to set the clock. The line should be wider at its bottom, so that its narrow top end may serve as a pointer. It will be noted that this turn-button makes a complete revolution every time the long, minute hand makes a complete circuit of the dial at the clock's face Consequently, no matter where the long hand is set to, its position may readily be learned by glimpsing the miniature "button-dial" at the clock's back. The pointer traced across it is regarded as the hand on a miniature clock dial (12 at the top when the alarm clock stands upright). The only difference is that the reading must be taken just the opposite way from that on a clock dial. If the tiny indicator reads 12, the large clock hand is at 12; but if it reads 1, the large hand is at 11; if 2, the large hand is at 10; if 3, at 9; 4, at 8; 5, at 7; 6, at 6; 7, at 5; 8, at 4; 9, at 3; 10, at 2; if at 11, the large hand reads 1. This method of reading the dial is readily learned, in performing, the reading being done in the act of raising the clock to the forehead. The result is most mystifying. Back to Contents


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Ten New Pocket Tricks

WHILE THE PRESENTATION of this little deception might be termed impromptu, it requires a slight preparation. But when presented with. the necessary misdirection, sometimes referred to as "adroitness," its solution and effect is a real mystery. It is done in fact with such rapidity, that your audience does not realize what you are doing, until you have done it. The only requisites are four silks and an ordinary pin. The first silk, a green one, rolled somewhat tightly, is impaled upon a pin, point downward, just out of sight under the edge of your coat, right side. The other three are tied or threaded together at one corner, allowing the thread to extend about one half inch from the corners, upon which is tied a fairly good sized knot. These three, which may be of any varying colors that you might have on hand, are carefully draped, (no twists), around the body inside of the trousers, on left side, allowing the thread to protrude between the second and third buttons of the trousers flap. Any dark thread is unnoticeable. To present: After showing the hands empty, all sides, turn right side slightly toward your audience, and make a grab into the air with left hand. At the same time, while attention is directed to the left, pick off the impaled green silk with right, in a finger palm; but keep left hand suspended in the air, hand closed, knuckles toward you. "Some one think of a color. Right quick." And before any one of your audience has time to formulate your request into words, select some one of them that you might know to have Gaelic tendencies, and with a "Thank you; I have it," quickly pass the right hand containing the silk behind the left, slightly opening the hand to receive it, and with the thumb and first finger of the right, draw it downward out of the again closed fist. Now take the produced silk by two end corners, placing corner in right hand at center of trousers. Pass the left holding that corner, in a circle to right, "just alike on both sides," getting knot in fingers of right hand at same time. Pass left corner back to left side, and under cover of green silk, give the whole "load" a jerk upward with right, passing left hand over it. "Some one else, any color, QUICK." And holding corners of silks in right, make a pass down them with left hand, and show the production. Explaining, "You see, I had to do this, as you all thought of a different color." As a suggestion, I would not advise the production of more than three silks from the trousers front. You might invite disaster, or something worse. Back to Contents

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Ten New Pocket Tricks

THIS EFFECTIVE EXPERIMENT has been successfully used by several performers making a specialty of quasi-spiritualistic effects, and should be found simple and mystifying by any one interested in that branch of entertaining. Borrowing an umbrella, the conjurer asks a spectator to assist him. The wizard lays the umbrella ferrule across the open palm of his right hand, and giving the handle to the spectator, requests him to lift the umbrella from his hand. Strive as he may, he cannot do so until the magician wills it, when it can be lifted with ease. Make a long loop of strong black thread of such length that, when one end is slipped over left suspender button, and the other end is carried up across the back and down the right sleeve, and looped over the little finger of the right hand, as in Sketch 1, the right, arm is allowed plenty of freedom; yet if loop is released, and right: arm extended slightly, it will vanish up the sleeve.

Face the company, the spectator standing at your left. Take the umbrella from him with your left hand, holding it from above at about the middle, ferrule to the right. Grasp the ferrule with right hand, allowing it to slip into the loop, as in Sketches 2 and 3, snug against the cloth umbrella top. Requesting the spectator to hold the handle, slide your left hand snugly against the right. Remove the right hand, showing it empty, both sides, hiding the thread with left hand and right wrist. Place the right hand palm up under the ferrule, allowing the thread loop to come between the first and second finger roots, as in Sketch 4, and extend the right hand far enough to tauten the thread. Make passes with the left hand, as if to magnetize the umbrella. Remove the left hand and request the spectator to seize the umbrella handle firmly in both hands, and to try to lift it from your open right palm. He cannot do so! Strange as it may seem, if the thread is taut, the umbrella rod is likely to
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

bend, rather, than the thread to break. When you want the spectator to succeed, allow the loop to slide off the end of the ferrule and up the sleeve. Back to Contents

FOR IMPROMPTU WORK with borrowed articles, the effect about to be described is one of the most perfect illusions of which the present writer knows. Too, it is a very nice little. stunt to have on tap for the man who has a smattering of conjuring. Should he desire to examine the goblet after the experiment is over, the performer may with relish lead him on, by means of apparent reluctance to acquiesce with his request, then pass the glass to him. No circular crystal disk will reward the inquisitive "sucker's" search. Briefly, a borrowed coin, covered with a borrowed handkerchief, is audibly heard to drop into a borrowed goblet, half full of water. The handkerchief is secured about the goblet with an elastic band, and all is handed to some one to hold. Upon examination, the coin is found to have vanished completely, being reproduced at the performer's discretion. In your left vest pocket have an elastic band. Borrow a stemmed goblet with a fairly large base, and half fill it with water. Openly place a borrowed half dollar in the center of the borrowed handkerchief, which lies across the right hand. Seize the coin from beneath with the right thumb and fingers, through the fabric of the handkerchief, and pick up the goblet by its base in the left hand, the thumb and first or second fingers encircling the stem to steady the goblet, the other fingers lying around the circumference of the base, to form a sort of cup. The right hand drapes the handkerchief, coin still beneath, over the goblet. Say that, at the count of "Three," you will drop the coin into the goblet. Count very slowly. Just as the right hand is about to drop the coin, the left hand tilts the top of the goblet toward the company, far enough. so the coin cannot fall into it, but not far enough to spill water. The coin drops onto the tilted BASE of the goblet, ringing with striking naturalness, and slides into the cupped left fingers. Immediately the right hand draws the handkerchief tightly over the goblet's mouth, and seizes the stem through it. The left hand, going to the vest pocket, drops the coin therein. The handkerchief is secured by slipping the rubber band over the goblet's stem.
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

Then all is handed to a skeptical party for the denouement. Back to Contents

SO MANY have been the calls for this advertised effect, that it is believed fitting to include it in this collection of pocket tricks. A piece of paper, openly torn to shreds, is mysteriously restored. The novelty lies in the fact that only one piece of paper is employed. It is of the peculiar shape shown in 5, the two rectangular parts being of any de-sired dimensions. The narrow connecting strip is from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches; long, depending on the size of the hand. B is crumpled into a ball, and the narrow strip twisted into a cord. A is placed on the table with B under its rear corner, as in 6.

With sleeves to elbows, hands empty, A is picked up by rear corner with the left hand, thumb under the corded strip, back of hand to company, as in 7, performer facing the right. The right hand is shown empty and the paper transferred to it (right palm to company) B hanging behind the hand as in 8 and 9. The left hand is now shown empty, and seizing a corner of A, turns the paper over laterally, showing either side, the corded connecting strip permitting the utmost

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Ten New Pocket Tricks

freedom in this deceptive move. The performer now faces the company, taking A in both hands, and allowing B to fall into the right palm. A is torn to, pieces, leaving a fairly large piece attached to the connecting strip. The pieces are wadded up tightly, inclosed in this corner piece, and A and B are pressed together and exhibited as one, both hands otherwise empty. Now B is slowly opened and shown restored, the crumpled A being concealed by the moves used to hide B at the start. The connecting strip may now be severed where it joins B, B being passed for examination -- A disposed of by any means preferred. A few minutes' practice before a mirror will convince any one of the practicability and deceptiveness of this. Back to Contents

A la Hang Ping Chien, with apologies By LOUIS C. HALEY

EFFECT: Six pennies are counted and made into a heap on the table. Pennies are now covered with a small handkerchief. A small die is shown, and placed in the trousers pocket. The left hand is now placed under table and right whips off the handkerchief. The die is found on the table instead of the coins, which the left hand brings up and throws onto the table. PREPARATION: Place six pennies in your left trousers pocket, and six pennies in your right trousers pocket, together with two dice. The pennies in your right trousers pocket should have a little bit of magician's wax on one face of each. PERFORMANCE: Seat yourself at the table and take out the six prepared pennies and the two dice (concealing one in the hand). Lay the pennies singly on the table, and place the die nearby. Get a small handkerchief from your pocket. Piling the pennies in a stuck, waxed. surfaces one way, cover them with the handkerchief, pressing on them so they will stick together, at the same time introducing the concealed die under it. You now state that you will place the visible die into your left trousers pocket --from whence it will vanish and appear under the handkerchief, while the pennies will, pass through the, table-top. As your left hand comes from the pocket, it brings the other six pennies, stacked, and, as you point under the table, explaining what you will do, you
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

leave the coins on your knee (If you have a knee like mine, you will have to have a saddle put on it, such as bare-back riders use in a circus.) You now bring up the left hand and explain again what you intend to do, showing the hand empty. Now reach under the table with it, snatching the coins from your knee as you do so: With the right hand whip off the handkerchief, secretly brining away the coins in a block beneath it. Bring forth the left hand with the loose coins, which you throw on the table with a bang as you pocket the handkerchief and the pennies concealed in it. I would suggest, in order to eliminate the danger of the coins slipping off your knee, that you have a cushion on your chair and, as you sit down, secretly pull it forward between your legs far enough to make a shelf on which you can easily lay the coins and later scoop them away. As you rise you can readjust the cushion. Back to Contents

A SINGLE PIECE of soft, thin clothesline is examined, and any one runs it through an ordinary curtain ring, securing the latter at the line's center with a single knot. The performer removes his coat and runs an end of the cord down either sleeve, the tied ring remaining in full sight. Two spectators hold the cord ends, and under cover of the coat the performer removes the ring, which may be secretly marked to obviate exchange. Then all is examined. This is the height of perfection in misdirection, the method employed being absurdly simple, yet practically indetectable. The only requisites are a soft cord and two wooden curtain rings, one being placed beforehand in the inner breast pocket of the coat. The tying is absolutely fair, and the cord ends are run through the sleeves with no deception whatever. As the two parties seize the cord ends, the performer's only move is to secretly hunch the coat shoulders toward one another, so that not many inches of cord can be seen when the inside of the coat is shown. The coat is suspended by the cord its back to the company. To show the ring, the wizard gives the coat a half turn to his right, which of course slackens the cord somewhat. When he turns the coat back again, and as his asassistants are drawing the cord taut, he indetectibly slides the coat slightly to his right along the cord, causing the ring to enter the coat's right arm unsuspected by any one. A couple of trials will teach the moves better than a page of print can. The performer steps aside a moment, then goes to the coat again. Reaching inside it he secretly takes the second ring from its breast pocket, and with the other hand again
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

swings the coat around. Holding the ring against the cord, it naturally appears to be the one tied thereon, as it is the only ring in sight. Holding the coat by its collar with one hand, he apparently yanks the ring free with the other. Requesting his assistants to release their hold of the cord ends, he carries the coat to the table, laying it there on its back. The ring still in view in his right hand, he seizes with the same hand the end of cord protruding from the LEFT cost sleeve, and with the left hand he secretly seizes the ring inside the RIGHT coat sleeve, through the fabric. The need of a soft cord becomes apparent. If the ring is smooth, and the knot not too tight, the act of pulling one end of the cord automatically unties it. The cord pulled free, the right hand, holding the duplicate ring, enters the right coat sleeve for the purpose of putting the coat on. But on the way it drops THAT RING into the pocket whence it came, and emerges from the lower end of the sleeve with the original one, picked up on the way. The coat on, the ring and cord are passed for examination. Back to Contents

THE PERFORMER writes several numbers in groups on an ordinary piece of typewriter paper, then tears the sheet into nine pieces, each containing a column of numbers -- passing a slip and a pencil to each of nine spectators. Names of well known persons or ordinary concrete objects are suggested by the company. The first word suggested is written opposite the number 1 on all slips of paper containing that number; the second opposite 2, etc., until 16 words have been written. Any one shuffles the papers and places them in a face-up row on the table, the conjurer's back being all the time turned. Some one steps forward, thinks of any word written, and pockets every paper on which he finds it, turning all remaining slips writing-side down. Facing the company, the performer now touches the spectator's forehead and NAMES THE VERY WORD HE IS THINKING OF. First must be learned a code of 16 words, each representing a number. The following will do, if you do not know a list already: 1, toe; 2, knee; 3, me; 4, ear; 5, owl; 6, hash; 7, hack; 8, hoof; 9, bee; 10, dice; 11, toad; 12, den; 13, dome; 14, deer; 15, tail; 16, ditch. This makes it easy to artificially memorize the words as suggested. When the first word is called, the wizard has a mental image of a toe in mind; he must picture the given word in conjunction with toe. If the word were WASHINGTON, he might imagine him cutting his toe with his little hatchet. If ELEPHANT, an elephant, might be pictured stepping on a man's toe, etc., making as striking a picture as possible, that it may readily be recalled. The second word is pictured in conjunction with KNEE,
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

the third with ME, etc. Now for the principle. The tearing of a sheet into nine rectangles causes ONE ONLY originally the center of the sheet -- to have all four edges ROUGH, the tearing being done a little carelessly on purpose, so this piece is sure to be recognized, even from some distance. See the diagram below. It gives the scheme for writing the nine columns of numbers.

A 1 2 3 4 5 7 9 11

B 1 2 3 4 5 7 9 11

C 1 2 3 4 6 7 9 12

D 1 2 3 4 5 7 9 12

E 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

F 1 2 3 5 6 8 10 13

G 1 2 3 5 6 8 10 13

H 1 2 4 5 6 8 10 14

I 1 3 4 5 7 8 11 15

M ---------- N

O ---------- P

R ---------- T

Write first of all the even numbers in the imaginary rectangle E. Then, ignoring E from now on, write the numbers in rotation on A,B,C,D,F,G,H,I, going round and round the circle till done, as this will be found the easiest way to remember, what numbers to write. Write 1 on all eight imaginary rectangles, 2 on 7 of them; 3 on 7; 4 on 6 of them, 5 on 6; 6 on 5 of them, 7 on 5, 8 on 4, 9 on 4, 10 on 3, 11 on 3, 12 on 2, 13 on 2, 14 on 1, and 15 on 1. Written in rotation as indicated, there will be eight numbers on each rectangle. Now tear the paper along the line M-N, then along the line O-P. Place the three strips together, the lower one on top, and tear along the lines Q-R and S-T. Distribute the nine pieces, and as the words are named form your mental pictures. The party selects a word, pocketing all papers containing it, placing the rest writing down on the table. As you turn a round, you must note the number of papers on the table, and whether the one with FOUR ROUGH EDGES IS AMONG THEM. IF it IS NOT, multiply the number of rectangles on the table by 2, which gives you the number of the chosen word. If the ROUGH-EDGED one IS PRESENT, multiply the number present by 2, and SUBTRACT 1 from your PRODUCT, your result again being the number of the word selected. The CODE WORD representing that NUMBER immediately conjures up the mental picture you formed, and so readily brings to mind the chosen word itself. This odd combination of an old ruse with a mnemonic system has been found a baffler
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

by more than one entertainer. Back to Contents

A HALF DOLLAR is borrowed, and its date noted. Holding the left arm crooked so the left fingertips touch the left side of the chin, the wizard takes the coin between his right thumb and forefinger, and openly inserts it several times inside the left coat sleeve, finally dropping it therein. The right hand, shown empty, then kneads the elbow of the left coat sleeve, and the coin is apparently pulled through the fabric and returned to its owner. When first the coin is borrowed, the conjurer makes as if to throw it down the right coat sleeve, the right arm being held as described above for the left arm. HE REALLY DOES DROP IT INTO THE RIGHT COAT SLEEVE, seizing in its stead a duplicate previously palmed in the right hand. This is openly transferred to the right hand, and the left, arm is held as described. The right hand, the substitute held between thumb and forefinger, APPARENTLY inserts it repeatedly into the left coat sleeve, but really only the second, third and little fingers enter the sleeve, the thumb and first finger going behind it. This brings the coin directly over the mouth of the outer breast pocket of the coat, into which the coin is in detectibly dropped when apparently left in the left sleeve. The right hand then tugs at the left cuff, as though to shake the coin further toward the elbow, the illusion being perfect at the closest range. The left arm is extended, and the empty right hand dropped for an instant, the borrowed coin falling into it from the sleeve, to be apparently extracted from the left, elbow. No move in this is at all difficult. Back to Contents

THIS IS A suitable little prelude to some trick in which a pocket knife is to be used, rather than a trick itself. It goes well introductory to the old trick of stabbing a chosen card while blindfolded. Passing a small penknife for inspection the performer takes it back and opens and closes one of its blades, to show that it is an ordinary knife. Borrowing a handkerchief, he places the closed knife in its center, then drops it into a glass under cover of the handkerchief. The glass is shaken and the knife heard to rattle but when the handkerchief is jerked off the knife is gone. The handkerchief is returned
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Ten New Pocket Tricks

to its owner, but needing the knife, the performer brings from his pocket an ordinary cardboard playing card case, in which the knife is found. This is simple, but effective, and can be very briefly explained. The knife is ordinary, and must be small enough to go into the case. When opening the blade and apparently closing it the wizard does not allow it to entirely close, stopping it by pressure of thumb and finger. When placing it in the center of the handkerchief; he allows a bit of the latter to go under the end of the blade, which is then allowed to close, the handkerchief being nipped to the knife by the blade. Naturally, when yanking the handkerchief from the glass, the knife comes away inside it. The handkerchief is stroked to prove it, contains nothing, preliminary to its return to its owner, but in stroking it the knife is easily carried away by the hand doing the stroking. Entering the pocket to get the case, the knife is easily slipped down between the flap and the front of the case proper, thereby landing inside the card container, to be found there when it is opened at the denouement. Snappily worked, this little stunt is perfectly mystifying. Back to Contents

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