do a disappearing act

Vanish, as in As soon as the teacher came outside, Mary did a disappearing act. This expression describes a sudden disappearance as if by magic and presumably alludes to a magician's performance. [Colloquial; early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.