THE CONJURER’S REVENGE by Stephen Leacock
The conjurer called the attention of the people and showed an empty cloth. He said, ‘Presto!’ He took out a bowl of goldfish. All around the hall people wondered that how he did it. But the Quick Man on the front seat said in a big whisper to the people that he had it up his sleeve. Then everybody whispered round the hall that he had it up his sleeve. Then everybody whispered round the hall that he had it up his sleeve. The conjurer said that his next trick was the famous Hindostanee rings. He showed that the rings were separate. At a blow they all joined. The Quick Man whispered that he had another lot up his sleeve. Again everybody nodded and whispered that the rings were up his sleeve.
The conjurer worried a lot but he continued his tricks. The conjurer got a hat from the audience and he extracted seventeen eggs in thirty five seconds. The audience began to think that he was wonderful. Then the Quick Man whispered along the front bench that he had a hen up his sleeve and so all the people whispered it on that he had a lot of hens up his sleeve. The egg trick was ruined. It went on like that all through. Whatever the tricks he did, he got the same response. It seemed that the conjurer must have concealed his sleeve. The reputation of the conjurer was rapidly sinking below zero.
He rallied for a final effort. He said that he would present to them the famous Japanese trick recently invented by the natives of Tipperary. He turned toward the Quick Man and requested him to give his gold watch. It was passed to him. The conjurer asked the Quick Man if he had his permission to put it into that mortar and pound it to pieces. The Quick Man nodded and smiled. The conjurer threw the watch into the mortar and grasped a sledge hammer from the table and smashed it. The Quick Man whispered that he had slipped it up his sleeve. The conjurer asked him whether he would allow him to take his handkerchief and punch holes in it. He made visible holes in it. The real mystery of the thing fascinated the Quick Man.
Then the conjurer asked for the Quick Man’s permission to dance on his silk hat. The conjurer passed on the hat with his feet and crushed his it. Then he got his celluloid collar and burnt it with his permission. Then he got his spectacles and smashed it with hammer. The Quick Man puzzled and he whispered that he didn’t see through it a bit. The conjurer concluded that he had broken his watch, burnt his collar, smashed his spectacles and danced on his hat with his permission. The audience dispersed with a acceptance that there were some tricks that were not done up the conjurer’s sleeve.