Richard Barham Middleton (1882-1911) was an English poet and author who is remembered mostly for his short ghost stories and supernatural tales. 'The Conjurer' is a short story about a stage performer whose act includes juggling and magic tricks. In one trick he makes his pretty young female assistant, who happens to be his wife, disappear.
It is a pretty dull trick, but the audience applauds wildly, much too enthusiastically.... Why on Earth can that be? It is a while before the conjurer realises the horror of the situation.