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JULY, 1927



'How are you going yourself, Jack?' I asked him.

'You seen this Walcott?' he says. 'Just in the gym.'

'Well,' Jack says, 'I'm going to need a lot of luck with that boy.'

'He can't hit you, Jack,' Soldier said. 'I wish to hell he could n't.'

'He could n't hit you with a handful of birdshot.'

'Birdshot'd be all right,' Jack says. 'I would n't mind birdshot any.'

'He looks easy to hit,' I said.

'Sure,' Jack says, 'he ain't going to last long. He ain't going to last like you and me, Jerry. But right now he's got everything.'

'You'll left-hand him to death.'

'Maybe,' Jack says. 'Sure. I got a chance to.'

'Handle him like you handled Kid Lewis.'

'Kid Lewis,' Jack said. "That kike!' The three of us, Jack Brennan, Soldier Bartlett, and I, were in Handley's. There were a couple of broads sitting at the next table to us. They had been drinking.

'What do you mean, kike?' one of the broads says. 'What do you mean, kike, you big Irish bum!'

'Sure,' Jack says. "That's it.'

VOL. 140-NO. 1



'Kikes,' this broad goes on. They're always talking about kihes, these big Irishmen. What do you mean, kikes?'

'Come on. Let's get out of here.' 'Kikes,' this broad goes on. Whoever saw you ever buy a drink? Your wife sews your pockets up every morning. These Irishmen and their kikes. Ted Lewis could lick you, too.'

'Sure,' Jack says. And you give away a lot of things free, too, don't you?'

We went out. That was Jack. He could say what he wanted to when he wanted to say it.

Jack started training out at Danny Hogan's health farm over in Jersey. It was nice out there, but Jack did n't like it much. He did n't like being away from his wife and the kids, and he was sore and grouchy most of the time. He liked me and we got along fine together; and he liked Hogan, but after a while Soldier Bartlett commenced to get on his nerves. A kidder gets to be an awful thing around a camp if his stuff goes sort of sour. Soldier was always kidding Jack, just sort of kidding him all the time. It was n't very funny and it was n't very good, and it began to get to Jack.

It was sort of stuff like this. Jack

would finish up with the weights and the bag and pull on the gloves. 'You want to work?' he'd say to Soldier.

'Sure. How you want me to work?' Soldier would ask. 'Want me to treat you rough like Walcott? Want me to knock you down a few times?'

'So long, Jerry,' he says. "You be in town before the fight?'

'I don't think so.' 'See you then.'

He went in and the conductor swung up and the train went out. I rode back to the farm in the cart. Jack was on the

"That's it,' Jack would say. He porch writing a letter to his wife. The did n't like it any, though.

One morning we were all out on the road. We'd been out quite a way and now we were coming back. We'd go along fast for three minutes and then walk a minute, and then go fast for three minutes again. Jack was n't ever what you would call a sprinter. He'd move around fast enough in the ring if he had to, but he was n't any too fast on the road. All the time we were walking Soldier Bartlett was kidding him. We came up the hill to the farmhouse...

'Well,' says Jack, 'you better go back to town, Soldier.'

'What do you mean?'

mail had come and I got the papers and went over on the other side of the porch and sat down to read. Hogan came out the door and came over to me.

'Did he have a jam with Soldier?' 'Not a jam,' I said. 'He just told him to go back to town.'

'I could see it coming,' Hogan said. 'He never liked Soldier much.'

'No. He don't like many people.' 'He's a pretty cold one,' Hogan said. 'Well, he's always been fine to me.' 'Me too,' Hogan said. 'I got no kick on him. He's a cold one, though.'

Hogan went in through the screen door and I sat there on the porch and read the papers. It was just starting to

'You better go back to town and stay get fall weather and it's nice country there.'

'What's the matter?'

'I'm sick of hearing you talk.'
'Yes?' says Soldier.
'Yes,' says Jack.

'You'll be a damn sight sicker when Walcott gets through with you.' 'Sure,' says Jack, 'maybe I will. But I know I'm sick of you.'

So Soldier went off on the train to town that same morning. I went down with him to the train. He was good and sore.

'I was just kidding him,' he said. We were waiting on the platform. 'He can't pull that stuff with me, Jerry.'

'He's nervous and crabby,' I said. 'He's a good fellow, Soldier.'

"The hell he is. The hell he's ever been a good fellow.'

'Well,' I said, 'so long, Soldier.' The train had come in. He climbed up with his bag.

there in Jersey up in the hills, and after I read the paper through I sat there and looked out at the country and the road down below against the woods, with a car going along it, lifting the dust up. It was fine weather and pretty nicelooking country. Hogan came to the door and I said, 'Say, Hogan, have n't you got anything to shoot out here?'

'No,' Hogan said. 'Only sparrows.' 'Seen the paper?' I said to Hogan. 'What's in it?'

'Sande booted three of them in yesterday.'

'I got that on the telephone last night.'

'You follow them pretty close, Hogan?' I asked.

'Oh, I keep in touch with them.' 'How about Jack?' I says. 'Does he still play them?'

'Him?' said Hogan. 'Can you see him doing it?'

Just then Jack came around the corner with the letter in his hand. He's wearing a sweater and an old pair of pants and boxing shoes.

'Got a stamp, Hogan?' he asks. 'Give me the letter,' Hogan said. 'I'll mail it for you.'

'Say, Jack,' I said. 'Did n't you used to play the ponies?'


'I knew you did. I knew I used to see you out at Sheepshead.'

'What did you lay off them for?' Hogan asked.

'Lost money.'

Jack sat down on the porch by me. He leaned back against a post. He shut his eyes in the sun.

'Want a chair?' Hogan asked. 'No,' said Jack. "This is fine.' 'It's a nice day,' I said. 'It's pretty nice out in the country.'

'I'd a damn sight rather be in town with the wife.'

'Well, you only got another week.' 'Yes,' Jack says. "That's so.' We sat there on the porch. Hogan was inside at the office.

you know, when you can't shut your hands.

'He's stale as poorhouse cake,' Hogan said. 'He's nothing.'

'I never seen Walcott,' I said. 'He'll kill him,' said Hogan. 'He'll tear him in two.'

'Well,' I said, 'everybody's got to get it sometime.'

'Not like this, though,' Hogan said. 'They'll think he never trained. It gives the farm a black eye.'

'You hear what the reporters said about him?'

'Did n't I! They said he was awful. They said they ought n't to let him fight.'

'Well,' I said, 'they're always wrong, ain't they?'

'Yes,' said Hogan. 'But this time they're right.'

'What the hell do they know about whether a man's right or not?'

'Well,' said Hogan, 'they're not such fools.'

'All they did was pick Willard at Toledo. This Lardner, he's so wise now, ask him about when he picked

'What do you think about the shape Willard at Toledo.' I'm in?' Jack asked me.

'Well, you can't tell,' I said. 'You got a week to get around into form.' 'Don't stall me.'

'Well,' I said, 'you're not right.' 'I'm not sleeping,' Jack said. 'You'll be all right in a couple of days.'

'No,' says Jack, 'I got the insomnia.' 'What's on your mind?'

'I miss the wife.'

'Have her come out.'

'No. I'm too old for that.'

'We'll take a long walk before you turn in, and get you good and tired.' 'Tired!' Jack says. 'I'm tired all the time.'

He was that way all week. He would n't sleep at night and he'd get up in the morning feeling that way

'Aw, he was n't out,' Hogan said. 'He only writes the big fights.'

'I don't care who they are,' I said. 'What the hell do they know? They can write, maybe, but what the hell do they know?'

'You don't think Jack's in any shape, do you?' Hogan asked.

'No. He's through. All he needs is to have Corbett pick him to win for it to be all over.'

'Well, Corbett'll pick him,' Hogan


'Sure. He'll pick him.'

That night Jack did n't sleep any either. The next morning was the last day before the fight. After breakfast we were out on the porch again.

'What do you think about, Jack, when you can't sleep?' I said.

'Oh, I worry,' Jack says. 'I worry about property I got up in the Bronx. I worry about property I got in Florida. I worry about the kids. I worry about the wife. Sometimes I think about fights. I think about that kike Ted Lewis and I get sore. I got some stocks and I worry about them. What the hell don't I think about?' 'Well,' I said, 'to-morrow night it'll all be over.'

'Sure,' said Jack. "That always helps a lot, don't it? That just fixes everything all up, I suppose. Sure.'

He was sore all day. We did n't do any work. Jack just moved around a little to loosen up. He shadow-boxed a few rounds. He did n't even look good doing that. He skipped the rope a little while. He could n't sweat.

'He'd be better not to do any work at all,' Hogan said. We were standing watching him skip rope. 'Don't he ever sweat at all any more?'

'He can't sweat.'

'Do you suppose he's got the con? He never had any trouble making weight, did he?'

'No, he has n't got any con. He just has n't got anything inside any more.' 'He ought to sweat,' said Hogan. Jack came over skipping the rope. He was skipping up and down in front of us, forward and back, crossing his arms every third time.

'Well,' he says, 'what are you buzzards talking about?'

'I don't think you ought to work any more,' Hogan says. "You'll be stale.

'Would n't that be awful?' Jack says and skips away down the floor, slapping the rope hard.


That afternoon John Collins showed up out at the farm. Jack was up in his room. John came out in a car from town. He had a couple of friends with

him. The car stopped and they all got out.

'Where's Jack?' John asked me.
'Up in his room, lying down.'
'Lying down?'

'Yes,' I said. 'How is he?'

I looked at the two fellows that were with John.

"They're friends of his,' John said.
'He's pretty bad,' I said.

'What's the matter with him?'
'He don't sleep.'

'Hell,' said John. "That Irishman could never sleep.'

'He is n't right,' I said.

'Hell,' John said. 'He's never right. I've had him for ten years and he's never been right yet.'

The fellows with him laughed.

'I want you to shake hands with Mr. Morgan and Mr. Steinfelt,' John said. "This is Mr. Doyle. He's been training Jack.'

'Glad to meet you,' I said.

'Let's go up and see the boy,' the fellow called Morgan said.

'Let's have a look at him,' Steinfelt said.

We all went upstairs.

'Where's Hogan?' John asked.

'He's out in the barn with a couple of his customers,' I said.

'He got many people out here now?' 'Just two.'

'Pretty quiet, ain't it?' Morgan said.

'Yes,' I said. 'It's pretty quiet.'

We were outside Jack's room. John knocked on the door. There was n't any answer.

'Maybe he's asleep,' I said.

'What the hell's he sleeping in the daytime for?'

John turned the handle and we all went in. Jack was lying asleep on the bed. He was face down and his face was in the pillow. Both his arms were around the pillow.

'Hey, Jack!' John said to him. Jack's head moved a little on the pillow. Jack!' John says, leaning over him. Jack just dug a little deeper in the pillow. John touched him on the shoulder. Jack sat up and looked at us. He had n't shaved and he was wearing an old sweater.

'Hell! Why can't you let me sleep?' he says to John.

'Don't be sore,' John says. "I did n't mean to wake you up.'

'Oh no,' Jack says. 'Of course not.' 'You know Morgan and Steinfelt,' John said.

'Glad to see you,' Jack says. 'How do you feel, Jack?' Morgan asks him.

'Fine,' Jack says. 'How the hell would I feel?'

'You look fine,' Steinfelt says.

'Yes, don't I?' says Jack. 'Say,' he says to John. 'You're my manager. You get a big enough cut. Why the hell didn't you come out here when the reporters was out? You want Jerry and me to talk to them?'

'I had Lew fighting in Philadelphia.' 'What the hell's that to me?' Jack says. "You're my manager. You get a big enough cut, don't you? You are n't making me any money in Philadelphia, are you? Why the hell are n't you out here when I ought to have you?' 'Hogan was here.'

'Hogan,' Jack says. "Hogan's as dumb as I am.'

'Soldier Bahtlett was out here wukking with you for a while, was n't he?' Steinfelt says, to change the subject. 'Yes, he was out here,' Jack says. 'He was out here, all right.'

'Say, Jerry,' John said to me. 'Would you go and find Hogan and tell him we want to see him in about half an hour?'

'Sure,' I said.

'Why the hell can't he stick around?' Jack says. 'Stick around, Jerry.'

Morgan and Steinfelt looked at each other.

'Quiet down, Jack,' John said to him. 'I better go find Hogan,' I said. 'All right, if you want to go,' Jack says. 'None of these guys are going to send you away, though.'

'I'll go find Hogan,' I said.

Hogan was out in the gym in the barn. He had a couple of his healthfarm patients with the gloves on. They neither one wanted to hit the other for fear the other would come back and hit him.

"That'll do,' Hogan said when he saw me come in. 'You can stop the slaughter. You gentlemen take a shower and Bruce will rub you down.'

They climbed out through the ropes and Hogan came over to me.

'John Collins is out with a couple of friends to see Jack,' I said.

'I saw them come up in the car.' 'Who are the two fellows with John?' "They're what you call wise boys,' Hogan said. 'Don't you know them two?'

'No,' I said.

"That's Happy Steinfelt and Lew Morgan. They got a pool room.' 'I been away a long time,' I said. 'Sure,' said Hogan. "That Happy Steinfelt's a big operator.'

'I've heard his name,' I said.

'He's a pretty smooth boy,' Hogan said. 'They're a couple of sharpshooters.'

'Well,' I said, 'they want to see us in half an hour.'

'You mean they don't want to see us until a half an hour?'

"That's it.'

'Come on in the office,' Hogan said. "To hell with those sharpshooters.'

After about thirty minutes or so Hogan and I went upstairs. We knocked on Jack's door. They were talking inside the room.

'Wait a minute,' somebody said.

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