, I J-
THE MASTER CARD TRICKSTER'S FEATS
ELLIOTT'S LAST LEGACY Secrets of the
KING OF ALL KARD KINGS Many Tricks That Have Mystified the Best Magicians of the World, Laid Bare for the First Time, Together With Many Novel Inventions, Taken From Note Books Left By
DR. JAMES WILLIAM ELLIOTT Edited by
H OUDI NI Compiled by Clinton Burgess.
Illustrations by Oscar S. Teale
NEW YORK CITY
ADAMS PRESS PRINT 278 W. 113th STREET 1923
Copyright 1923, by HOUDINI All Rights Reserved, Including Translation Into Foreign Languages.
Printed in the United States of America
I hereby dedicate this book to the FATHER AND MOTHER of my good friend DR. JAMES WILLIAM ELLIOTT as I feel this would have been his wish.
H O U D I N I
W. GOLDEN MORTIMER 1902 to 1905
H>!l\ W. SARGENT* 1905 to 1906
President and Past Presidents of the Society of American Magicians
who have guided
the good ship S. A. M.
^^^^^^ . ^^^^^BL ^^K^^^W
through its stormy career ^nt:o present calm waters
H OU DINI PRES! DK.NT 1017 . 1924
(*Deceased) FK.WCIS J. \\ 1 KN ]-:R 1>'06 to 1908
O S C A R S. T E A L E 1'iOS tf> 1909
7 WAI. A. RANSOM 1909 to 1910
( H A S E. R O L T A R E 1911 to 1912
L I O N E L M. IIAKTLY 1914 tn I'M 5
E L M E R 1'. R A N S O M 1910 to 1911
HENRY HATTON* 1912 to l'M4
Kl( H A N I ) \ A N HI E N I'M 5 tu I'M/
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DR. JAMES WILLIAM ELLIOTT INTRODUCTION by Houdini FOREWORD PERSONALITY by Clinton Burgess EULOGIUM by Dr. Ezra Lee Buckey A DISCIPLE OF VERSATILITY by Houdini
Frontispiece 13 17 19 23 2u
MAGICAL EFFECTS BALL: Baseball, Magical Floating, The Fortune-telling, Right, Left, Centre Vanished Beyond Recovery BOTTLE: Chameleon, A Milk Baby, The Puzzling the Prohibitionist BOX: Japanese Magic Occidentalized Self-filling Box CANDY: Just Enough, Yet An Abundance CARD: Advantage, Elliott's Palm Animated Bat, Improved Cricket Combination, For Card Location Card Stacking for Exhibition Games Control, Mechanical Deck, Elliott's Nailed Fan Off From Vest Feat With the Feet, A Floating Card Houlette Giant Card Houlette Inseparable Jumping Card Elliott's Cards, Plates and Goblets Loading Extra Card Packet on Deck Luck, Science or Hokum ? Elliott's 52-Card Poker Combination Elliott's (New) Numerical Card Producers The Elliott Method of Card Marking Nine Card Trick Novel Card Change Elliott's, Double, Triple, Quadruple, Card Productions From Body Effective, Simplex Mechanical Card Production Rising, The Giant Scissors, The Sleight for Card in Lemon, Etc Target, New Card
29 31 31 35 36 38 40 43 50 52 53 54 54 56 317 58 59 63 64 66 69 76 76 78 80 81 83 83 84 86 92 95 101 104 106 Ill 112
Think Stop CARDS: Force, A Natural Sure-Fire Giant Fan of Location, Card Palm, The Elliott, Ducrot Change-over Pass, The Elliott Pass, Elliott's Riffle Pass, Houdini's Two Effective Moves by Houdini Acrobatic Rising Card Production of Selected Card, A New Way The "O. K." Card Trick Reverse, Invisible Riffling Scaling Spelling Card Tearing Deck in Two An Original Method of Palming CHAIRS, MECHANICAL: Automatic Hat-loading Novel Chair for Huge Loads Explosion Chair Chair-cover, Correct Dimensions of CHEMICALS: Wine and Water Variation CIGAR: Single-handed Production From Nose CLEANING: Fabric, Glass, Metal, Etc CLOTH: An Ingenious Die "Form" CONVEYING: The Art of
Secret Method of, for Borrowed Articles COINS: Box, Self-filling Dropper, Welsh Miller's Money Melting, Elliott Wand, Welsh Miller's Original DIE: Wire Form for T .' ELECTRIC: Hand-shake, A Shocking Tray. The Touch-me-not FLOWER: "Growth of Flowers," Kellar's Spectacular Effect for Same Additional Spectacular Effect
114 117 122 123 125 128 129 131 133 134 135 136 138 141 142 145 147 149 151 152 153 154 155 157 302 157 159 167 50 174 175 191 158 193 193 177 180 181
GLASS: Table, Miller's, for Penetration Effects Vanishing, Unique HAND: The Human Hand Hand Versus Eye HANDKERCHIEF: Obedient Handkerchiefs Stand, Silk Producing HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS: Bird and Cage, Vanishing Effect Cage and Bird Vanishing "Black Artists," Hints to Cabinet Curtains Cards, Comical Effect for Rising Cards, DeKolta's, A More Effective Way Cards, Palming, Advantage for Celluloid for Magical Purposes Chinese Names, Genuine Cleaning Fabric, Glass, Etc Code Communication, Simplex Color, Flesh, to Mix Color Value Duplicate Articles, Identification of Efficiency, Professional Egg-bag, Novel Presentation Live-Stock, Care of Mirrors for Illusions Palming Advantage Paraphernalia, Scale of, and Detail Passe-passe Bottle Effect Precaution, Professional Proficiencv Servante for Vest, Simplex ILLUSIONS: "Anchor" or "Cross," Improved Astronomagic Book of History, The Bottled Authors Broom Witch, The Change of Livinsr Subjects Concealment. Old Method of Human Counterweight, Regarding "C Y S T," (nr) "Can You Solve Tt?" Elixir of Life, The Afetamorphosis, A Novel Patriotic, Novel Snectacular Prisoner. The Pierced Queen Queer, H. R. H
184 185 187 187 189 190 301 301 302 302 300 300 301 302 302 302 307 307 306 307 310 310 311 307 301 309 311 310 310 310 19? 205 206 208 210 213 213 316 214 219 221 / >?2 224 227
Refrigeration Extraordinary Tall Illusion, Regarding Unusually Tenibac Mystery, The Thread of Life Thimble Lady Trunk, Triple Walking on Water LIVE STOCK: Incubation, Incredible Rabbits, Magical, Why White Rabbits Instead of Roses Stunts With the "Anermiles" Live Stock, Care of LOADS: Chair, Novel Front, Table Huge, Non-body MILK: Invisible Cow MUSIC: A List of 120 Musical Compositions, Suitable for Magical and Mystery Performances, Embracing 15 Marches, 12 Waltzes, 63 Miscellaneous and Oriental Oddities, 14 Additional Compositions and 16 National and Patriotic Airs ORIENTAL: Hindoo Sticks, Self-working Japanese Magic Occidentalized REGURGITATION: Practical Value of in Magic RINGS: Genuine Ten Ichi Thumb Tie Improved Examined Rings on Cord SERVANTES : Reversible, Chair SLATE: Spencerian, The TABLE: Trapless, Yet All Traps TELEPATHIC: (Genuine) "Experimental Telepathy With Playing Cards" WANDS: Original Coin, Welsh Miller's Rising, Welsh Miller's WATER: Traveling WELL DEVICE: Noiseless in Operation ; . : ,
229 316 232 235 238 239 242 244 248 249 251 311 252 253 255 257
258 262 43 263 264 265 267 268 272 274 284 191 29? 294 297
INTRODUCTION The paper on which I am writing this introduction is serving as a substitute for a "Gazing Crystal"窶馬ot in the sense of prognosticating the future, but rather does its scintillating rays reflect realities of the past. In it I see a most vivid portrayal of an event that occurred long ago. I see two men in Boston, Massachusetts, standing in the middle of the street just back of Keith's stage entrance; it is four o'clock in the morning and these men have occupied that same place since the letting out of the show at midnight preceding, and they are as seriously engaged as combatants in a duel for defense of honor. It was a conflict between two enthusiasts, and the weapon of destruction was a pack of playing cards. The light of conflict flashed from their eyes, both were heated with excitement, and it is doubtful if ever two human beings faced each other in an arena with the conflicting thoughts that these two rivals had. No
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO THE
statesman, no warrior ever delivered a more sincere speech for love of country, life or liberty, with more obsession-like earnestness than they did over that pack of cards as it was taken from one and handed to the other in a weird, mysterious manner; one after the other manipulating the pack with the dexterity that can only be acquired by a passionate love of magic and years of training and practice, in fact, the fingers coordinating, if such a thing is possible, with the mind, and moving with a greater speed. This, was the meeting of Dr. James William Elliott and the editor of this book. We had never met before. This was our first meeting although we were vieing in mortal combat, showing our pet moves to one another —and now, by reflection of the mysterious mirror, I can see that we were twenty years ahead of the other manipulators because even at this date, with due modesty, I can say that I recognize no one as my peer. Without question, doubt or contradiction, in my mind, Elliott and I were unsurpassed in that particular line of manipulative skill, and I must explain that Elliott loved to manipulate cards. He would practice cards morning, noon and night, and I know that the cards would lie at his bedside. It is proverbial with the bachelor that "his pipe is his wife," but the pack of cards was Elliott's, not better half, but four-fifths. Fate had decreed that I should pass the "college of experience" on the platform of dime museums, where I was compelled to give from nine to fourteen shows a day. At Kohl and Middleton on a Christmas and New Year I gave forty-four shows—twenty-two on the lecture platform and twenty-two on the stage—each
performance lasting only about ten minutes. I am referring to this as a fact not generally known, and because for years I took a pack of cards in my hands at ten o'clock in the morning, and until ten o'clock at night they were constantly being mixed, shuffled and manipulated, and that is how the back and front palming, now known all over the world, was introduced to popularity. Otto Maurer taught it to me at a time when it was unknown. Elliott and I both contended as claimants to the priority of presenting the back and front palm before an audience; while Elliott claimed that he was the first one to do it, we both obtained it from Maurer at the same time. From the foregoing, it can easily be surmised that a most cordial friendly feeling existed between us. We were in perfect sympathy, one with the other. We did not care for money. It was no love affair that we were battling for it was simply a battle of two men, ardent admirers of skill, who thought the axis of the world was a pack of playing cards around which the magicians of the earth circumnavigated, or should. At the time of my sailing for England in 1920, I received an eight page letter from Elliott, in which he asked me to help publish his book. At that time I was busy on a number of publications and wrote it would be impossible to do anything until I returned. His reply was a startling surprise, and I have all reason to believe that I am the only human being to whom he confided the secret that he was doomed, "not having more than three months to live." The reader can well imagine the terrible shock I received, Elliott
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO THE
being a physician, and limiting his time at approximately sixty days, with the possibility that he might live ninety. I wrote a letter cheering and comforting him with the thought that he might have been mistaken, and not to give up hope. In the letter of his doom he also wrote that he had misunderstood me for years; that he was writing a letter which was practically a death bed missive, apologizing for errors窶馬ot what he had said, but what he had thought. When I read that he had departed for his forebears, on my return to America, I immediately got in touch with Mr. Clinton Burgess and took full charge of this book, which I have named "Elliott's Legacy to the Conjuring Fraternity." There is no doubt in my mind that the magicians of the world when looking over the experiments contained herein, will realize that if there ever was a magician who had given his whole life for Magic, it was James William Elliott. If the magicians of the future learn, or find anything in this book that will help them advance either as amateur or professional, I know that Elliott will not have lived in vain. For sentimental reasons it is difficult to write this introduction. I am writing as I feel; the paper at which I am gazing seems to convey through a sort of translucent "ectoplastic" vision that Elliott is saying, "I agree Houdini, that is quite alright."
FOREWORD In comparison to the great mass of notes left by the late and ingenious Dr. James William Elliott, the present work may be said to embrace but a small portion of the many ideas suggested there, however, there is assembled herein, what is believed to be a collection of material so varied and novel as to make it of absorbing interest to the World of Magic. A number of Dr. Elliott's ideas, hastily jotted down by him and left in the rough, have been considerably elaborated, if not improved upon, and while in some cases it is quite possible the Compiler has deviated some what from the original invention in mind; he has endeavored so far as within his power to work along the lines suggested by the late Doctor's notes. In numerous instances these notes were found somewhat indefinite owing to several ideas in mind not having been fully written down, but in such cases where the effects suggested were believed to have sufficient merit, the Compiler was obliged to work out their modus operandi, or mould others into practical form. Great care has been taken to embody in the present work only such ideas as might be useful in effects other than those herein described, and in the elimination of all material (no matter how new and good) be-
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO THE
lieved to be covered already in other works on the Art. The true value of any work on Magic consists not so much in the effects described, as in the methods set forth for producing them and the numerous "kinks" or "wrinkles" suggested by the varied methods given.* The compilation of "Elliott's Last Legacy" has been a somewhat strenuous task, extending over many months, and while hundreds of references have been made to works not treating on Magic, not ONE Magical book nor publication has been referred to. This fact leads the Compiler to the belief that the major portion of the material embodied herein must, necessarily, be novel and "away" from that already known. It was the original intention of Dr. Elliott that this book should bear the distinguishing title "ELLIOTT'S QUALITY MAGIC," but the title having been used for another publication, hence the change in title of this book to "ELLIOTT'S LAST LEGACY." * In assuming an interest in this bonk I have full reason to believe that its contents are absolutely original ; I am not conscious of any repetition from any existing book or that a charge of plagiarism can be sustained against the originator, Dr. Elliott, or the compiler, Mr. Burgess. My editorial perusal of the original manuscript was done under stressed circumstances of my tour across the continent and sandwiched between my hazardous per-, formances, consequently I feel confident that in the event of any error having been overlooked, or apparent discrepancy escaped attention, it will be viewed with leniency by an indulgent reader with a full realization that my heart was in the right place for protection and giving due credit to our mutual friend, ihe late Dr. Elliott.â€”Editor.
CLINTON BURGESS Dr. Elliott had two mottos—"Practice" and "Quality." He practised incessantly for weeks—possibly months—in order to master but ONE sleight; then again underwent another long siege of practice until he had mastered ANOTHER, and so on, for hours at a stretch, thru many weary weeks and months, he spent the earlier years of his life, MASTERING the most useful and practical sleights with cards. And, for obvious reasons, the major portion of these hours of incessant practice were spent in a state worse than that of a hermit. For, renting an unfurnished room in a quiet section, with nothing else before him than a table, a chair and his beloved CARDS—and with absolutely nothing to distract attention from his work— Elliott would leave strict orders not to be disturbed, then lock himself in and begin—possibly a five-hour
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO THE
stretch of incessant practice, after which, and following a short walk and bite to eat, he would resume his dreary labors, often returning home in the early hours of the morning. The following day w7ould find him again imprisoned in his bleak and cheerless room hard at work on his self-appointed slavery, and so these w7eeks and months of solitary confinement spen-t in assiduous practice made Elliott the master over every known card sleight of importance, the originator of scores upon scores of master sleights, and the foremost card manipulator of his time. Away back in 1898, in September issue of "Mahatma," Dr. Elliott challenged all card manipulators in the world for a contest in card manipulative dexterity, yet, during all these years, that challenge never was accepted. Elliott used ordinary cards and pure manipulative skill only, and for twenty-two years he was recognized by card experts and the Magical Fraternity in general as the peer of all card manipulators. When exhibiting before the public, Elliott wore a handsome gold, diamond-studded Howard watch, attached to which was a fob of unique and (for a card manipulator) most appropriate design. This fob consisted of four gold frames which held, under glass, the four Aces of a Junior-sized deck. This beautiful fob was presented to Elliott in 1894 by the card manipulators of Boston; attached to its upper and lower ends by miniature gold rings were gold plates upon which were engraved his name and titleâ€”firmly linked together for over twenty-two yearsâ€”"James William Elliott, Champion Card Manipulator of the World."
Elliott's Novel Entrance* Entered from left side of stage, attired in eveningdress, crush hat and carrying a cane; stood cane (which had a knob handle) at right, front of stage where it remained upright. Removing hat he placed it over the handle of cane thus making an improvised "table," which he completed by spreading a silk pocket handkerchief over crown of hat. From upper right-hand coat pocket he produced a glass of water, upon drinking which, and drying the glass, he placed it on top of the handkerchief and hat. Retrospective Elliott next made a bare-arm production of a full deck of cards, from which he had six selected and marked by the choosers, and returned to the deck. He then caused three of them to rise from the glass on "table," and the other three cards to slowly float up from deck to hand. Each of the six cards, as it rose from glass or deck, was scaled out into the audience. Next, holding the deck in left hand, and using that hand only, Elliott would bring any card selected to the front of the deck; in fact the cards called seem to appear on the face of the pack almost instantaneously. Finally, after working a series of other fine card effects, followed with some remarkable manipulative work with a two and one-half inch billiard ball, Elliott then removed the pack from the goblet and, with a tossing movement, caused the deck to vanish; by a similar tossing movement the goblet melted away, and finally * I witnessed this performance at College Point.
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO T H E
the silken pocket 'kerchief by slow rubbing between palms. He then finished by removing hat from cane, placing it on his head and removing cane from floor; then, carrying cane in right hand, walking to left side of stage, he doffed hat and made exit. Wherever Elliott gave public exhibitions of his skill, his original effects and superb dexterity created great sensation, for at card magic he was indeed the pastmaster.
By DR. EZRA LEE BUCKEY (Manager and Conductor 'Round the World Tour of LeRoy, Talma & Bosco, of which roster Dr. James William Elliott was a member.) James William Elliott, the peer of Card Manipulators, came from sterling New England parentage; born at Rumford, Oxford County, Maine, Monday, April 27th, 1874. His father, James Prescott Elliott and his mother Catherine Elizabeth Elliott, both survive him, having attained their three-score years and ten and are still enjoying splendid health. Another son, two years "Billy's" junior, Charles Joseph Elliott, counselor-at-law, and a graduate of the Boston University Law School, passed away Saturday, November 28th, 1914. Dr. James William Elliott attained his early education at Phillips' Grammar School, in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, later graduating from the Burdett Business College in same City (Class of 1892). He then took up a preparatory course in medicine at Harvard University during the years 1893 and 1894, entering Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, a year later, and graduating therefrom Monday, May 9th, 1898, with honorable mention by the faculty of that famous Institution.
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO T H E
Dr. Elliott was well versed in materia medica, excelling in anatomy as well as the action of chemicals. He was a great reader, and aside from keeping up with the medical sciences, he was a good exponent of history, ancient and modern and, as an extensive traveler, he acquired experience and knowledge that in later years served him to good advantage. The writer knew Dr. Elliott intimately, and classed him among his very best friends. Having recently accompanied him on a tour around the world, covering extensive experiences in India and Australasia, during which we were almost inseparable companions, sharing quarters on land and sea whenever possible for us to do so. In my long, world-wide association with "Billy," as I affectionately called him, I do not recall ever hearing him indulge in, or even listen to, unseemly language or lewd conversation; never heard him utter a profane word; never knew him to use tobacco or wines in any form. In short, I learned to regard him as an exemplary man, most chaste in habits, and all-around most lovable character I have ever known, better than whom I do not think ever lived. My friend, Dr. Elliott, was of staunch Christian habits, and a regular church attendant. He was modest and retiring (perhaps to a fault), always eager and willing to lend a helping hand to those in need or distress, and he was, indeed, a splendid entertainer and a prince of good fellows in all that the terms implies. In submitting this eulogium for publication, I do so voluntarily in an effort to introduce to those who never met the conceiver of this Work, a true gentleman as
well as a veritable genius, whose short life was untiringly devoted to his vocation, and as a card manipulator he was generally conceded by press and public to stand supreme. To those who knew Dr. Elliott, nothing that may be written can in any way add to his sweet, forceful character; to know him was but to love him, and those of us who knew him intimately understood his kindly interests and earnest desire to do for those who were less fortunate, and unable to do for themselves; and especially true was this of his chosen Art, necromancy, preferring to entertain and enlighten, rather than mystify. Many who are to-day recognized in the World of Magic as leaders were his pupilsâ€”Howard Thurston, for example, took many lessons from Dr. Elliott in card magic. Veritably, Dr. Elliott left this world the better for the few short years that he lived, and 'twas, indeed, a great privilege to have enjoyed his delightful companionship. Dr. James William Elliott passed away at the Boston City Hospital, Wednesday, January 28th, 1920, of intestinal nephritis, to which same malady his only brother, Charles, succumbed six years previously, having likely resulted from scarlet-fever in their early childhood. They both are interred in the family burial plot at Abbott's Mills Cemetery, Rumford, Oxford County, Maine.
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO T H E
ELLIOTT INTRODUCES A "DISCIPLE OF VERSATILITY"
An amusing incident and perhaps a treat for ail magicians was afforded me by Elliott, and I think it worthy of being put on record. One evening after my show at Keith's, Elliott met me and asked, "Do you want to see the greatest magician in the world?" Facetiously I said, "I see them now, they are both in the room." He answered, "No joking, put on your hat and I'll take you to see Stockton, the many-sided entertainer." So, we jumped into a car and after one-half hour ride we arrived at Stockton's home, who, by the way, must have been able to do some part of any form of amusement known. We went upstairs. There were big massive sleigh-bells, musical instruments, magicians' magic tables in great variety and conjuring implements laying around in the direst confusion. Stockton was stone deaf and a very nice sort of chap. We had to shout in his ear to make ourselves heard. I noticed that there were a lot of holes punched through the ceiling and through the wooden floor, and wondered why this man who appeared to be in comfortable circumstances, should reside in a place so ap-
parently neglected, but the mystery was solved about 4:30 in the morning. He started to do magic. He vanished heavy objects through a trap in his table, which were supposed to fall into boxes of sand, but Elliott surreptitiously removed the boxes of sand and every time poor Stockton would vanish a billiard ball or a glass, he would say, "I will now vanish this glass," suiting action to his words, not being able to hear; but we could, however, distinctly hear the kerplunk to the bottom of the table on each successive vanishment. The poor fellow, not knowing that the sand boxes had been removed, kept right on vanishing objects, and accepted our amused grins and shaking of our heads as signs of admiration. He entertained us for an hour or so. He did Punch and Judy using two ventriloquial figures, and to cap the climax, Elliott, with a mischievous grin shouted in Stockton's ear, "Let Houdini hear you play Lohengrin's March on the bells." In no way daunted, although it was after 4 o'clock in the morning, Stockton, believing implicitly in Elliott's assurance, started to play those massive bells. The mystery of the holes in the ceiling and in the floor was then solved. The people on the floors above and below Stockton, knowing he was deaf, had broomsticks ready and they were banging them up and down to. attract his attention and to insist on the stopping of the infernal racket, but, and as stoically as an Indian. Stockton played with all the strength and fervor at his command. We nearly died laughing; to see the sticks coming through the floor and through the ceiling, and Stock-
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO THE
ton banging away with two wooden hammers at the big bells was a sight that I will never forget. After he stopped playing, Elliott said, "We better get out of here before the neighbors kill us." So, bidding our host a rapid farewell, we made an exit through the back way, reached a car and returned home. This happened more than twenty-three years from the date of this writing, and the incident is as clear in my mind as if it happened last night.
MAGICAL EFFECTS MAGICAL BASEBALL Performer exhibits an enormous "baseball scorecard" from which, after showing- both sides and forming it into a cornucopia, he produces a baseball bat, after which he inverts the cornucopia and a regulation baseball rolls out. An ordinary soup-plate is now laid face down on the table, a tossing motion (to bring ball into position to bat) is given the ball, the bat is swung around by hand in striking movementâ€”and the ball is gone! The performer now walks to the table, turns over the soup-plate and reveals the ball, remarking: "The ball arrived at the plate before the player." The only peculiarity of the "score-card" is its size, which must be sufficient to permit its being rolled into a cornucopia of rather large proportions. The "bat," however, is telescopic and of such diameter at the "head," or hitting-end, that an ordinary "baseball" will fit loosely into this cup-shaped end of the "bat." The duplicate ball which appears under the china plate" is an ordinary baseball which, by action of a piston, is * This ball, if previously concealed behind and under the rim of an ordinary china plate, may by sleight-of-hand be loaded under the plate, thus eliminating the use of a mechanical table.
ELLIOTT'S LEGACY TO T H E
forced through a trap in the table-top, or if preferred, a spring ball, over which a baseball cover has been sewn may be utilized in conjunction with a plate having a circular flap, white on one side to represent the bottom of the plate, while the reverse side is covered
with the same material as table-top. The vanishment of the ball occurs in the second toss of same into the air preparatory for batting, when, purposely missing the first strike, and while stooping to pick up the ball (which is allowed to drop close to his left side, which is turned away from the audience) the performer pockets (coat-tail) the ball and the second toss is therefore only a pretense; however, the bat is gripped for striking and swung around as if a hit were made. As the left hand coat-tail pocket is used for the disposal of the ball it will be found necessary for the performer to bat ''lefthanded" or, rather, hold the bat between both hands over towards the left side of his body. However, as it is not uncommon to see ball players who so wield the bat, this peculiarity will not provoke comment.
Published on Oct 24, 2013