Upon slackening the string the face assumes its normal expression (Fig. 4).

 

    fig 4

 

 

 

The bent wire in the arm can be used with any figure, provided the puppet is on a level with the performer, so that its manipulation is concealed. While standing by the side of the Colored with his arm back of the figure, the manipulator may cause the lat­ter to touch his (the performer’s) chin with its hand and at the same time give utterance to this sage re­mark, ” Nice massa needs er shave, deed he do,” or any other equally wise observation that   the action suggests.

Dancing Coloredes do not properly belong to a ventriloquial entertainment, but they may be used to create a few moments’ diversion from the regular thing and at the same time give the per­former a little rest from vocal effort.

They can be worked from a distance by a cord or from behind a screen by pedals attached to the heels of the figure.    A still better plan is to work the feet by wires running through the trousers legs from the heel and coming out under the coat tails, which conceal the hands as they pull the wires. The feet are such as marionettes have, the joint and weighted toe giving the double rap of the clog dancer.

 

By means of a rubber tube, large enough to hold a cigarette or cigar, fitting into the mouth and running through the back of the neck to a rubber-bulb, the representative of Dark Town society may be made to puff away like a veteran smoker. This feat may be made more effective by working the mouth with a treadle and allow­ing the figure to place the cigar, held between his fingers, in his mouth himself and take it at will. Of course the wife which lifts the arm will have to be manipulated in such a manner as to insure the cigar’s entering the end of the hidden tube; the mouth being shut down upon it helps to re­tain it as the hand, which may be a tightly stuffed black cotton glove, is allowed to drop, although by forcing the fingers around the cigar and opening the mouth the weed can be removed. The wire to the arm gives complete control of all movements, but practice is necessary to insure a precision of action.

 

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