PRINT April 1984


ONCE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST WENT to India with a movie camera and filmed the Indian rope trick. The trick was performed by an old man and a boy, in front of a crowd that gathered on the street. The old man threw a rope into the air and it stayed there, upright, on end. Then the boy climbed up the rope and disappeared from sight. A moment later the old man took a scimitar in his hand and climbed up the rope behind him, also disappearing from sight. Sounds of hacking and crying were heard, and the dismembered, bloody limbs of the boy fell to the ground one by one. The old man reappeared, climbed down, took the bloody limbs, and threw them into the air, where they disappeared from sight. In a moment the boy reappeared, whole and healthy, and climbed down the rope. The anthropologist who had been filming the event watched it through the viewfinder. He saw it happen as described here, and so did

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