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78

BABOO HURRY BUNGSHO

cloud, assuring them that the perfume of tobacco was noxious and disgustful to the combatants, and threatening to mention disobedient tobacconists by name.

Whereupon most did desist; but some, secreting their cigars in the hollow of their hands, took whiffs by stealth, and blushed to find it fame; while others, who were such grandees and big pots that their own convenience was the first and foremost desideratum, continued to smoke with lordliness and indifference.

And I am an approver of such conduct—for it is unreasonable that a well-bred, genteel sort of individual should make the total sacrifice of a cigar, for which he has perhaps paid as much as two or even four annas, out of consideration for insignificant common chaps hired to engage in snipsnaps for his entertainment.

The last competition was to be the bonne bouche and pièce de résistance of the evening, consisting of a rumpus in twenty rounds between Misters Tom Tracy of Australia, and Tommy Williams, from the same hemisphere, at which I was on the tiptoe of expectation.

But, although they commenced with dancing activity, one of the Toms in the very first round sparred the other under the chin with such super-abundant energy that he immediately became a recumbent for a lengthy period, and, on being elevated to a chair, only recaptured sufficient consciousness to abandon the sponge.