Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/80

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52
MY LIFE AND LOVES.

A cold, hard exultation took the place of nervous excitement in me, and when I struck, I tried to cut with my knuckles as Raleigh had once shown me.

The bleeding of Jones's nose took some time to stop and as soon as he came into the middle of the ring, I started it again with another righthander. After this round, his seconds and backers kept him so long in his corner that at length, on Stackpole's whispered advice, I went over and said to him: "Either fight or give in: I'm catching cold". He came out at once and rushed at me full of fight, but his face was all one bruise and his left eye nearly closed. Every chance I got, I struck at the right eye till it was in an even worse case.

It is strange to me since that I never once felt pity for him and offered to stop: the truth is, he had bullied me so relentlessly and continually, had wounded my pride so often in public that even at the end I was filled with cold rage against him. I noticed everything: I saw that a couple of the Sixth went away towards the schoolhouse and afterwards returned with Shaddy, the second master. As they came round the haystack, Jones came out into the ring; he struck savagely right and left as I came within striking distance, but I slipped in outside his weaker left and hit him as hard as I could, first right, then left on the chin and down he went on his back.

At once there was a squeal of applause from the little fellows in my corner and I saw that Stackpole had joined Shaddy near Jones's corner. Suddenly Shaddy came right up to the ringside and spoke, to my astonishment, with a certain dignity:

"This fight must stop now", he said loudly, "if another blow is struck or word said, I'll report the disobedience to the Doctor." Without a word I went and put on my coat and waistcoat and collar, while