Mr. Magic, an elderly man whose real name is Lou Bundles, comes onto the stage to do a trick. He selects a volunteer from the audience to help him with his card trick, but he botches it. He tries again, but he messes up again. The audience starts laughing at him.
After the show, his boss Murray tells him he can't let him perform anymore. Murray says he'll let Lou stay on at the club in a different capacity, but Lou refuses. He says his time has not come yet, and Murray leaves the room.
Lou goes to his favorite diner, where he runs into some of his friends. He tells them if he's going to go out, he wants to go out in style. Another friend comes in and introduces Lou to his brother-in-law, Harry Striker. Lou's friends ask him to do a trick for them, so he makes a knife and fork disappear, then retrieves them from Harry's coat, along with a bagel.
Lou goes back to the magic club. He picks up an old deck of cards from the equipment room, then heads out onto the stage. He blunders badly, dropping his magic ball on the floor. He crawls around on the floor looking for it, and the audience laughs. He starts to get rattled, but he pulls out his new deck of cards to try a card trick. When he opens them, two of the cards start flying around the room, then come back and hover in mid-air in front of him. The audience applauds.
Murray offers to pay him whatever he wants to come back to the club full time. Lou does amazing card tricks where the cards float in the air, and the audience is continually amazed. After his show, he returns to the diner. He tries to do his card trick, but it doesn't work. One of his friends picks up a card, and when Lou goes to take it back from him, it rips. He becomes distressed and leaves the diner.
At home, Lou puts a new coat of wax on the cards, talking to them as he works. He tells them he is going to use them only once per performance from now on, and he shows them a new traveling case he bought for them. He continues to talk to his cards, saying that in that evening's performance, he is going to play the song "Autumn leaves." He wants them to form into a maple tree, then fall down slowly onto the floor like leaves. He starts singing to practice, and the cards tremble but don't fly. He gets mad and yells at them, saying he doesn't need them to do magic. He tries to do some tricks, but they don't work. He walks over and sits down in front of his cards sadly.
At the show that night, Lou announces that he is going to retire. He leaves the stage, then the cards fly out and form the word "Goodbye." They then fly back into his hand, and he leaves.