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    by Professor HoffmannThis work has been kindly donated toThe Learned Pig Project by Jim Hoy.

    Enter eBook

    Conjuror Dick was published in 1885and is not autobiographical as stated in"L'ENVOI" but pure fiction.

    In the first edition--not this one--both"Angelo Lewis" and "ProfessorHoffmann appeared on the title page.This was corrected in all subsequenteditions. The "Professor" did not feelthat it was good for his legal practice tohave it generally known that he wrotebooks on conjuring and related topics.The first edition of this novel is the onlytime his real name (Angelo Lewis) andhis nom de plume (Professor Hoffmann)appeared in the same work.

    "Conjuror Dick" is ProfessorHoffmann's only novel, although hewrote numerous short stort stories, someof which won literary awards.

    Conjuror Dick [4/23/2002 3:36:43 PM]

  • Conjuror DickProf. Hoffmann

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    CONTENTS.CHAPTER I.Early Recollections-My Uncle Bumpus and the Plate-Warmer-MyAunt Priscilla-An Interrupted Banquet-Our Own Household-JemimaJackett-Domestic Diplomacy-Our First-Floor Lodger-AnUnfounded Suspicion

    CHAPTER II.My First School-A Sad Humiliation-The Misses Potter and their LittleWeaknesses-An Unrequited Attachment-An Effectual Cure-MySecond School

    CHAPTER III.My First Introduction to the Major-The "Other Things"-A DelightfulPromise-A Deadly Combat

    CHAPTER IV.Athletic Exercises-The Noble Art of Self-Defence-Our NewGymnasium-My First Pantomime Harlequin Der Freischiitz and theSeven Bad Shots-In Love with Columbine-An UnexpectedRival-Disillusion

    CHAPTER V.My First Visit to a Conjuring Entertainment-MyEnthusiasm-Extraordinary Indifference of Peter-Early Studies inPrestidigitation-The Tribulations of a Neophyte

    CHAPTER VI.Dumpton College--A Rash Promise--The Major's Parting Advice--Showingmy Colours--A Struggle for Religious Liberty--An UnexpectedVictory--Wanted by the Vice-Principal--All Well that Ends Well--The Lastof Gunter.

    CHAPTER VII.My First Appearance as a ConjurerPreliminary PreparationsMyProgrammeA New Remedy for NervousnessGrandfather's ClockABreakdown in the Musical DepartmentA Flying EggThe Wanderingsof a HalfpennyCurious Effects of the Human BreathThe Mysterious

    Contents (1 of 4) [4/23/2002 3:36:44 PM]

  • DieThe Magic Hornpipe

    CHAPTER VIII.The Second Part of my EntertainmentThe Phoenix CardA MysteriousDisappearanceThe Inexhaustible BottleA Cure for GreedinessTheDoctor's Speech

    CHAPTER IX.Home for the HolidaysPeter in Low SpiritsAttempts atConsolationPeter Runs AwayBreaking the NewsReturn to DumptonCollegeAt Home Once MoreShowing OffAn Awful RetributionAMoral Safety Valve

    CHAPTER X.The Last of my ReprieveThe Modern CagliostroAn UnexpectedOpeningTesting my CapabilitiesAssistant to a ConjurerCHAPTER XI.My FlightA Wizard at HomeThe Professor and his FamilyMadameLinda and the DuchessMy New QuartersA Big Box and a SmallBedroomThe Difficulty Solved

    CHAPTER XII.Reconnoitring the PremisesLily and her Dog TipThe "Second Sight"TrickBeginning WorkGimp the Money-TakerThe Professor'sProgrammeOpinions of the PressBehind the ScenesLearning myBusiness

    CHAPTER XIII.Breaking the News of my FlightMistaken SuppositionsThe Lack of aDress-coatMy First Experiences as a Gentleman UsherAwkwardCustomersMoney-making ExtraordinaryA Sceptic ConvincedAnEnchanted HandkerchiefA Light-headed Gentleman

    CHAPTER XIV.The Clairvoyance TrickMesmeric InfluenceThe SuspendedWandThe Obedient BallThe Fairy ViolanteThe Morality ofConjuringCHAPTER XV.Professor LedoyenCard-Conjuring ExtraordinaryAppealing to the"Spirits"A Transformation TrickA Dazzling Promise

    CHAPTER XVI.The Sober Side of ConjuringA Magician at RehearsalExhaustedEnergiesA Dangerous RemedyA Remarkable HatAn EnthusiasticAmateurLessons in MagicA New Occupation

    Contents (2 of 4) [4/23/2002 3:36:44 PM]

  • CHAPTER XVII.Starting for a Country TourBrightonWalks with LilyThe Professor'sReligious OpinionsA Visit to OxfordA Liar Exposed

    CHAPTER XVIII.Crossing the ChannelA Life on the Ocean WaveGimp on SteamboatTravellingA Visit to OstendThe Chevalier d'ArrasPoor FredHowardA Tragical HistoryPointing a Moral

    CHAPTER XIX.BrugesGhentBrusselsA Serious DilemmaThe Only Way out ofitA Bed-chamber RehearsalThe Mysteries of "Make-Up"My firstPublic ShowWashing the Paint offAn Unexpected MeetingPuttingThings in a New LightLetters from Home

    CHAPTER XX.Arrival in ParisGastronomic ExperiencesGimp MissingTheMorgueReturn of the ProdigalThe History of his AdventuresAnEpicurean BanquetPresenting the Bill

    CHAPTER XXI.The Gingerbread FairA Trip by RailMerry-go-RoundsExtraordinarySea on LandA Montagne RusseTheShooting-GalleriesThe Encyclopedie MethodiqueThe TonquineseDwarf and the Fair Cleopatra

    CHAPTER XXII.A Spiritualistic SeanceHarmonising the InfluencesToo MuchLightRemarkable Manifestations The Sceptical DoctorTheProfessor open to ConvictionThe Third SittingA SuddenIlluminationDiscomfiture of the Medium"How it wasDone"Supplementary Revelations

    CHAPTER XXIII.Departure from ParisA Round of Watering-PlacesThe Professor goingto the BadLilyHopes and FearsA Terrible VerdictReturning toBrighton The Beginning of the EndA Last PromiseLily'sLegacyDust to DustA Faithful Friend

    CHAPTER XXIV.Stricken HouseholdA Gallant StruggleVictory at LastA Council ofWarShall we go to America?HesitationA Letter from theMajorThe Death of Uncle BumpusAttending the FuneralTheReading of the WillRefusing a LegacyA FamilyConclaveUnexpected Revelations


    Contents (3 of 4) [4/23/2002 3:36:44 PM]

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    Contents (4 of 4) [4/23/2002 3:36:44 PM]

  • Conjuror DickProf. Hoffmann

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    CHAPTER I.Early Recollections-My Uncle Bumpus and the Plate-Warmer-My Aunt

    Priscilla-An Interrupted Banquet-Our Own Household-JemimaJackett-Domestic Diplomacy-Our First-Floor Lodger-An Unfounded


    INTERROGATING my memory for the purposes of this history, I findthat the most prominent positions among my early recollections areoccupied by my Uncle Bumpus, and a plate-warmer. I should be disposed,indeed, to give the place of honour to the plate-warmer, as involving thepleasanter associations. It was a small sheet-iron cupboard on four legs,japanned red externally, and black internally. I am inclined to believe thatthe outside had been originally red and gold, but on this point I feel boundto speak with caution. It had shelves inside, and a door in front, but,(hereinresembling the poor savage)

    "Whose untutored mindClothes him in front, but leaves him bare behind,"

    it was open in the rear, in order, no doubt, when placed before a fire, toallow free access of caloric to the plates within. People don't make suchplate-warmers now. Possibly they passed away with the openkitchen-ranges; or possibly they were not found, as plate-warmers, asuccess. The calm judgment of maturer years suggests that they would beapt to make one edge of the plate unpleasantly hot, while leaving theopposite extremity comparatively cold, but no such irreverent doubtstroubled my juvenile mind; indeed, I question whether I ever regarded ourplate-warmer in the light of a plate-warmer at all. In its normal position itfigured as a Punch-and-Judy Show, a pulpit, a robbers' cave, shops ofvarious kinds, and even, on emergency, as a light-house. Laid on its face itbecame a boat, an open carriage, or a railway truck. On its back itrepresented an old oak chest or the entrance to a subterranean passage, andon its side a wine cellar, a house to let, and a wild beast-show. Once, it wasSpurgeon's Tabernacle. We hadn't the least idea what a tabernacle was; andin later years, on actually visiting the edifice in question, I rememberthinking, with almost a sense of injury, that it wasn't a bit like the

    Chapter I (1 of 8) [4/23/2002 3:36:45 PM]

  • plate-warmer. On one occasion, in our very early days, my brother Petercaused me great anguish of mind, and made me weep bitterly, bysuggesting that the plate-warmer should represent a Catacomb. Why Ishould have drawn the line at catacombs, I don't know, for I had never seenone, but the proposal caused me so much distress that Peter, who was agood-natured boy, gave up the point at once, and we compounded for anAsylum instead.

    Quite recently, at an evening party, I was introduced to a partner, with thewords "This young lady is an old acquaintance of yours, Mr. Hazard." Thelady gave me her hand with a blush and a smile, saying as she did so, "Youhaven't forgotten your old friend Nelly Barnes, Mr. Hazard?" I looked ather, and began to ransack the outlying districts of my memory, but in vain. Iwould have given a great deal, under the circumstances, to be able to saythat I had not forgotten Nelly Barnes, for Nelly Barnes was a remarkablypretty girl, but for the life of me I could not recall even her name. As for myhaving intimately known the fair damsel whose laughing eyes wereenjoying my discomfiture, it seemed impossible. "You must help me," Isaid at last. "Crushing as the confession is, I really don't remember you." "Itis too bad of you to have forgotten," she said, "though it is a good manyyears ago. Don't you remember Tilbury Street, and the fun we used to havewith the dear old plate-warmer?" The allusion to the plate-warmer lightedup the darkened chambers of my memory. The mystery was solved. Manyyears before, my fair friend's parents and mine had been nex


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