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tions, and in this I propose to describe a new and easy method of making money. Don't be alarmed; I am not going to initiate you into the art and mystery of forging, or write an essay on “Counterfeiting made Easy”; I am merely going to teach an elegant trick, which has lately been “performed with the greatest success in all the principal cities of the Union," as the show-bill says.
For this trựck it is necessary to have a hat, which is used as a bank of deposit for the money which is everywhere found; this hat is borrowed from one of the audience, and is entirely without preparation.
Having procured the hat, the performer returns to his stage, and commences his search for the precious metal, which is soon to be showering down on him. The music commences “piano, pianissimo"; the audience are hushed, silence reigns supreme; the performer strikes an attitude, clutches wildly at the air, and lo! he has in his hand one of the curiosities of the age, a silver half-dollar. He holds it up for a second, showing it to the audience in a most aggravating way, and then, with a look that says plainly, “Don'tyou-wish-you-might-get-it ?” tosses it into his hat. The music continues; the performer approaches the leader of the orchestra, and from the top of his bald and shiny old head picks up a second " half,” which he throws into the hat to keep company with the first. He now goes to work in earnest, and picks up money everywhere. Whatever he touches literally turns to gold, - or, what is about the same, silver, — until at last he is exhausted, and, wiping the perspiration from his brow, — from which, by the by, several pieces of silver fall the moment his hand touches it,- he stops the work, and turns out the pro ceeds from the hat to a plate, which it nearly fills.
There are several ways of doing this trick, but the one I will explain is that practised by Bosco, the best sleight-of-hand performer in the world, and the originator of the trick.
Get twenty or more pieces of money about the size of a half-dollar. Put one in the right hand, and the balance in the left. Take your “wand” -or a glove will do, as the object is to have an excuse for keeping the hand closed - in your right hand, and you are ready for the trick. As you walk towards the audience, request that some one will loan you a hat. As it is offered, take it in your right hand, and, immediately passing it to the left, place that handwhich is filled with money — inside, the thumb only coming outside the rim. Now extend your arms and beg the audience to feel them, and convince themselves there is nothing there concealed. The right hand is apparently holding the “wand” (or glove), and the left the hat; and these they will not think of examining. Having satisfied them that you are not in any way deceiving them,
you walk back to the stage. As you do this, you throw your “wand” (or glove) away, under pretence of getting rid of it, and at the same time drop the coin which you have in your right hand into your sleeve. When about to commence the trick, you take a position with your right side to the audience, the hat being in your left hand.
Open your right hand, and show the audience that it is empty. Make one or two clutches in the air, and each time, after doing so, look eagerly into your hand, as though expecting to find something there. Nothing appears, however; and at last you strike your brow in a despairing way, and afterwards let your hand fall by your side. At this movement, the piece of money which is in your sleeve will fall into your hand ; you immediately "palm” it, and again — this time as if in desperation - you clutch at the air. You now let the piece fall to the tips of your fingers, and hold it up for the audience to see, and they will imagine that you have but that moment caught it. Let them look at it a second, and then make a movement as if throwing it into the hat, but, instead of doing so, you “palm” it, and let one of the pieces which are in your left hand drop into the hat. The audience, hearing the money fall, will imagine that you really threw the piece in from your right hand.
In this way you continue catching money, “ palming” it, and dropping from your left hand, until there remain in that hand but about five of the nineteen pieces which it contained. By this time some of the “'cute ” ones in your
audience may have begun to suspect that you have been "palming” a single piece, and, in order to quiet any such suspicion, you have recourse to the following ruse. Instead of pretending to throw the piece into the hat, you actually do so, and in such a way that all can see it. You now show your right hand to the audience, shake your sleeve, and convince them in every possible way that there is nothing concealed either in or about that hand; whilst you are doing this, you work the remaining four or five pieces that are in your left hand between the third and little fingers of that hand, and bring those fingers outside of and under the rim of the hat. The audience being assured that your right hand is empty, pass the hat to that hand, and at the same time take with it, from the left hand, the remaining pieces of money. Hold up your left hand now, that they may see that it, too, is empty; pass back the hat, but retain the money in your right hand. Let one of the pieces fall to your finger-ends, and toss it visibly into the hat. Continue in this way until all the pieces are thrown in, and then turn out the money, with considerable shaking and jingling, from the hat to a plate.
Although pure sleight of hand, this trick is equal to any, mechanical or otherwise, that is exhibited.
I have never, however, seen but one magician in this country who really knew how to do it; most of them not allowing their sleeves to be examined, none of them practising the ruse which I have described of changing the hat and with it the money from one hand to the other. Some few bunglers, whom I have seen attempt it, do not "catch” anything, but, after clutching at the air, close their right hand as if it held something, and then, placing it over the hat, open it, and let a piece drop from their left hand. Stupid as this method may seem, I have known a “first-class magician " to practise it.
In order to be really effective, this trick, and in fact any one, requires considerable acting.
HOW TO MAKE A PERSON DRAW LONG OR SHORT IN DRAWING CUTS.
In my school-days, whenever we wished to decide some vexed question, — such, for instance, as who should be “It” in playing “Tag," or who be blindfolded in “ Blind-Man's-Buff,” — we always settled the matter by “ drawing cuts” for it. Of course every one knows what that is, but as there may be some poor benighted person who yet remains ignorant of this indisputably fair method of determining matters, I will briefly describe the process. A number of pieces of straw (the wisp of a broom makes a good “cut ”), all but one of the same length, are placed together in the hand of a person, the ends only projecting between the thumb and forefinger; in this state, of course, it is impossible to tell which the short piece is. Those interested then each draw a straw, and the one who gets the short piece is the loser; should the person who held the straws, and who must also be an interested party, happen to have the short one left with him, he, of course, is the loser.
I never heard the fairness of this test questioned, and was therefore greatly astonished on being informed lately, by an ingenious friend of mine, that he had discovered a way of cheating in drawing cuts. Of course I suggested, as was only proper, that he might have employed his time more profitably; but as long as he had found out how to do the thing, and there was now no remedy for the evil, I was willing to be shown the secret. In order to show how sensibly he was affected by my reproof, he immediately explained the whole mystery to me, which I will confess I did not see through ; and, as it is too good to keep, I will now give it to my readers, with the explicit understanding, however, that they will not divulge it nor act upon it.
As it is easier to explain this with two straws than more, and as the principle is the same, – that is, if a person who cheats his neighbor can lay claim to any principle, - I will take that number to illustrate the trick.
Take two pieces of straw, one an inch and a half and the other two inches long; cut the longer piece into two equal parts, and you have everything ready for your trick. As I wish to make this perfectly clear, I will call the inch-and-a-half piece A, and the other two pieces B and C.
Take B and C, and, placing them end to end, hold them between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, to give the effect of one straight piece ; next lay A alongside them, and close the hand partly, so that the person who is to draw may not be able to see which is the longer piece, as in the figure. Offer the straws to some one to draw. If A happens to be drawn, you exclaim, “Ah, my dear fellow, you've lost this time ; you've drawn the short piece," and show him B and C; and, as the ends where they are held together are concealed by your fingers, it really appears as if you held the long “cut” in your hand. If, however, B should be drawn, you still claim to have won, and, pulling out A with the fingers of your left hand, you hand it to the one who drew, under pretence of letting him compare the length of the pieces, whilst you let C, which is still between the fingers of your right hand, drop on the floor. “Drawing cuts” in this way is very similar to the equally fair game of “ Heads, I win ; tails, you lose," — the only caution necessary being that you do not use the same straws twice, as your trick would then be easily and deservedly detected.
P. H. C.
I ten years of A
age, Davy was scarcely taller than a flour-barrel, and it was decided that he would never be able to look over that familiar article. A tiny, delicate waif, he seemed most like some pretty flower that had blown, by chance, in a kitchen garden, without any one to tend and nurture it according to its needs ; for Davy's home was an almshouse, his toys the chips and blocks and rusty nails that collected in the yard from time to time, his playmates the rough ragamuffins who slept under the same roof as himself, — hardy little fellows, who had inherited quick tempers and poverty in common with Davy, but to whom Nature had added the further endowment of rosy cheeks and healthy frames she had denied to him.
But, after all, Davy had his aspirations, his miniature day-dreams, his castles in the air. He aspired to be a man, to be a tall man, and wear a coat like the overseer's, and go wherever he pleased, and do as he liked, and read without spelling his words, like the clergymen who visited the almshouse, and to earn his own living. Was n't it odd that he should have set his heart on this ? Poor Davy! he really believed there would come a day when all the benefits of manhood should be his own ; when he would leave the gloomy almshouse and its uncouth inmates, all but old Aunt Nancy, - Aunt Nancy, who was everybody's aunt, perhaps because she had never been anybody's; who tucked him up on cold winter nights, and sung to him with her quavering voice, and cosseted him as well as her slender means would allow. He used to stroke her gray hair, and say: “ Dear Aunt Nancy, when I'm a man, I will buy you a red gown and a rocking-chair ; and you shall live in my house, and keep your myrtle-tree in the sunny windows; and your pussy shall sleep all day before the fire, and nobody shall tread on its tail, — when I'm a man.”
And so Davy used to plan about being a man, till one day when the overseer
set the other boys to piling wood in the yard. Davy was seldom given any such tasks, because he was such an infant; so he built mud forts, while the others worked away at the wood, some of them secretly envying the little engineer.
“Why don't Davy pile wood ? ” asked one, at length.
“ No, I'm not too little,” said Davy, who really seemed to sleep with one ear open, and eagerly resented being called little ; so he caught at the sticks almost as long as himself
, and tugged and pulled and piled them with a will, till his hands were torn and his strength exhausted. Then he sat down on a log, and listened to the boys, as they talked of what they should do when they grew up, — for they all seemed infected with the desire of “ growing up.”
One lazy little fellow fancied he would be a shoemaker, “ Because he sits all day on a bench, and pegs away like a clock."
“And that's awl!” put in the would-be wit.
“I am going to be a farmer, and have lots of apple-trees,” remarked another, who was uncomfortably fond of apples, since he seldom got them.
“And I'll be a soldier, and have a gun that will go Bang!” continued another.
“ Humph !” rejoined a fourth, “I won't be any of those things ; I'll be a tailor, - I will, — and have as many new coats as I like.”
“Well, I mean to be like Mr. Blue ; I heard some one say he was the richest man in town, and a banker; so I'm going to be a banker!” declared one more ambitious than his neighbors.
“A banker ! ” they all sang out, opening their eyes and mouths at the same time; “what's that ? ”
“ I don't know," answered the young banker, rather brought to bay ; "but that's no matter. O, he takes money out of a bank !”
“Well,” said Davy, rising, and thrusting his hands into his empty pockets, “ I'm going to be a man to put money into the bank.”
“Pooh,” returned the tailor, “ you won't ever be a man ; you 're nothing but a dwarf.”
“ Never be a man! Sha' n't I ?” Davy asked of the others, all white and trembling at the idea.
“Keep still, — can't you u ?" said the little shoemaker to the tailor ; " don't you know better than to twit a fellow ? If he does n't grow to be a man, he won't have to do a man's work, will he?"
“ But that's what I want to do when I grow up."
* You won't ever grow up, I tell you," persisted the wicked tailor. “You will never be anything but a baby, and by and by you 'll be taken round for a show. There !"
Davy's eyes glowed like sparks, he shook like a leaf, doubled up his tiny fists, and declared war.
“Pooh!” said the tailor again, as if he were blowing a feather, “ I am not going to fight you; I should knock you into a cocked-hat-and-cane in a minute.”