Chapter 3 PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 05 March 2009 02:36


We have now the second trick that is usually shewn by the Jadoo-wallah, that of the bamboo sticks, essentially one of purely Indian origin.

The performer takes two small bamboo sticks which have threaded through them a piece of string at each end of which is a bead. He holds these sticks together and when he pulls one bead the other is naturally drawn into its stick. He now takes a knife and passes it between the sticks ostensibly cutting the string between them. He again pulls one bead and wonderful to relate the other bead is still drawn in towards its stick, as before. He now separates the sticks and holds them in the shape of a "V," and one can see that there is no string between the sticks. Still the same thing happens. When he pulls one bead the other is drawn into its stick.

Stick Positions

This little trick is usually sold as one of a box of tricks for children at any of the toy shops in England. The explanation is given in the diagrams below, which show that the string does not pass directly through each stick, but from one side only, then through its centre down to the bottom, across to the other stick, up through its centre, and out through its side. Consequently passing the knife between the sticks cannot harm the string in any way.

The Indian conjuror goes still farther than the trick as supplied in the child's box of tricks. After pulling the string to and fro while the sticks are held as a "V" he separates the sticks completely. The same result occurs nevertheless. When he pulls one end of the string the other end is drawn towards its stick. This is brought about by a different construction of the apparatus than that described above.

In this case the string is put through one side of the stick and is attached to a small weight that can move freely up and down the hollowed out centre of the bamboo. When the stick is held vertically the weight will drop and the bead attached to the visible end of the string will be automatically drawn in. When the performer wishes to leave the pulled string out, he must incline the stick to a horizontal position when the weight will not slide down. The diagrams will show how the sticks should be held while showing the trick. It can be easily manufactured or bought in a bazaar for a few annas.


Later Positions


The sticks are put away into the basket, and the magic wand is produced for our next little experiment, that of putting a borrowed ring on to the middle of a stick that is held at both ends. Almost every European in India has seen this performed in India for it is the favourite of the Jadoo-wallah, and is the most effective of the small tricks that he can show. It takes up a considerable time and is simplicity itself.

In case any of my readers have not seen the trick in India, or on their way out at Port Said, I will describe it. The performer either borrows or uses his own thin cane, and passes it round to his audience to show that it is devoid of all mechanism. He then borrows a wedding ring, which he also allows to be freely examined. He gets A and B, two of his audience, to hold the ends of the stick each by one hand. He
then boldly proclaims that he proposes to pass the ring on to the middle of the stick without either A or B letting go of their respective ends. In order, however, not to divulge the secret he must pass it on under cover of a handkerchief. He takes the borrowed ring and wraps it up in the middle of the handkerchief which he asks some one to hold, and to feel the ring wrapped up in it. In order to let everyone know that the ring is really there, he takes the stick from A and B and gives a tap on the ring. He then gets A and B to hold the stick once more and persuades C, who is assisting with the handkerchief, to hold it over the middle of the stick. The performer holds the corner of the handkerchief and instructs C to let go his
hold on the word "three." "One! two! three!" The handkerchief is sharply pulled away and the borrowed ring is seen to be spinning on the middle of the stick!


The Shah at Work

This is how it is done. The stick is an ordinary one, thin enough to pass easily through a wedding ring. The only prepared article is the handkerchief, in one corner of which is a duplicate wedding ring sewn into a small pocket. It does not matter whether or no it is exactly similar to the ring that is borrowed, as the performer takes care that the owner of the borrowed ring does not get a chance of feeling the duplicate even through the folds of the handkerchief. When the performer takes the borrowed ring to fold in the handkerchief, he folds the one that is already sewn in it, and secretes the borrowed ring in his hand. He takes the stick from A and B to tap on the ring folded in the handkerchief, really to slide the borrowed ring into the middle of it. He hands the stick back to be held by A and B but keeps his hand over the ring now on it, thus concealing it until it is covered by the handkerchief. When the handkerchief is pulled away on
the word "three" it takes with it the ring sewn into its corner and as it brushes the stick it makes the borrowed ring on the stick revolve apparently as if it had just arrived in that position.

For simplicity's sake let us take the various moves as they occur.

     A. Borrow a stick and hand it round for examination.

     B. Get A and B to hold it at the ends.

     C. Borrow a wedding ring.

     D. Take the handkerchief from the pocket. (The duplicate
     ring sewn in the corner being held preferably in the right

     E. Pretend to wrap up the borrowed ring in the handkerchief,
     in reality wrapping up the corner ring, and secrete the
     borrowed ring in the right hand.

     F. Take the stick from A and B and tap the folded ring with
     it, now being held by C. While doing so, slip the borrowed
     ring into the middle of the stick. G. Hand the stick back
     to A and B but keep the hand on the stick over the ring.

     H. Get C to cover this hand with the handkerchief, holding
     the ring over the middle of the stick and instruct him to
     let go on the word "three."

A neat little trick that can be performed by anybody who takes the trouble to practice it a couple of times.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2009 16:51


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