Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/333

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The fighting, which was agony to Phelem, was play to Helmsgail; such are the triumphs of science. The little man found means of putting the big one into chancery; that is to say, Helmsgail suddenly took under his left arm, which was bent like a steel crescent, the huge head of Phelem-ghe-Madone, and held it there under his armpit, the neck bent and twisted, while the Scot used his right fist again and again, like a hammer on a nail, only from below and striking upwards, thus smashing his opponent's face at his ease. When Phelem, released at last, lifted his head, he no longer possessed a face. That which had been a nose, eyes, and a mouth now looked like a black sponge soaked in blood. He spat, and four of his teeth fell to the ground. Then he also fell. Kilter raised him on his knee.

Helmsgail was hardly touched: he had some insignificant bruises, and a scratch on his collar bone.

No one was cold now. They bet sixteen and a quarter to one on Helmsgail. Harry Carleton cried out,—

"It is all over with Phelem-ghe-Madone. I'll bet my peerage of Bella-aqua and my title of Lord Bellew against the Archbishop of Canterbury's old wig, on Helmsgail."

"Give me your muzzle," said Kilter to Phelem-ghe-Madone. And stuffing the bloody flannel into the bottle, he washed him all over with gin. The mouth reappeared, and he opened one eyelid. His temples seemed fractured.

"One round more, my friend," said Kilter; and he added, "for the honour of the low town."

The Welshman and the Irishman understand each other, though Phelem gave no sign of having any power of understanding left. He arose, supported by Kilter. It was the twenty-fifth round. From the way in which this Cyclops (for he had but one eye) placed himself in