Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN wasn't Lewis any longer— it was me. I was getting all the blame for the rigors of that one-jump journey by freight train. The ringleader in all the hollering and blustering was an ugly, shambling Boer with a loud mouth and body as broad as it was long, who had been a wrestler by trade before he took up soldiering. When I entered the bar, he was leaning up against Lewis, a good three sheets in the wind, and telling him in detail just what he was going to do to this man Brady when he met him. It was an interesting description. Followed by my henchmen, I stepped up and tapped him on the shoulder: "My name's Brady," I said. He looked round, detached himself from Lewis and silently and solemnly punched me in the jaw. I punched him in the jaw to match and then, remembering the French sport of la savate which I'd met during Corbett's European tour, retreated to the wall and got a good brace. As the Boer rushed me, I picked the right moment and kicked him solidly in the solar plexus. He sailed backward through the air all hunkered over like a skater racing against time, crashed against the opposite wall and landed in a heap, winded and sick. The crowd contemplated him, then me, then my myrmidons, who were as tough-looking a set of thugs as you could hope to see and really could have cleaned out the place in ten minutes— and decided to be good boys. From then on I got a snappy hand salute from every 246