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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/383

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The Hand String-Trick.

Hold the left hand palm towards you. Place the loop over the left hand, omitting thumb, and draw tight behind so that the string crosses the palm. Loop the dorsal part of the string over the middle and ring fingers, draw out to the palmar side, and pass the two strings round the back of the thumb, keeping them parallel, and the string which comes between index and middle finger distal on the thumb (Fig. 20). Pass this distal thumb string round the ulnar side of the index, and over the backs of the index and thumb; and pass the proximal thumb string round the radial side of the little finger, letting the loop then hang in front of the palm (Fig. 21). Detach the thumb loops and put them between the middle and ring fingers. Pull the original palm string, and the whole loop comes away.

Fig. 20.

Fig. 21.

I learnt this trick from a Bristol boy about 1870, and have never seen it since. There is a certain crudeness about the doing and undoing of the disposition of the loop which suggests a degeneratioii of method. It is therefore interesting to find that there is another method free from this defect. It was obtained by Miss B. W. Freire Marreco from a patient in S. Peter's Convalescent Home, Woking, who had been brought up at the Freemasons' School, Clapham. Miss Marreco's