At the age of twenty, to which point this narrative has arrived, Jerry Benham was six feet two inches in height and weighed, stripped, one hundred and eighty-two pounds. His hair was brown, his eyes gray and his features those of the Hermes of Praxiteles. His skin, naturally fair, was tanned by exposure to a ruddy brown, and his body, except for the few white scars upon his shoulder, relics of his encounter with the lynx, was without blemish. He was always in training, and his muscles were long and closely knit. I can hardly believe that there was a man on the Olympian fields of ancient Greece who could have been prettier to see than Jerry when he sparred with Flynn. He was as agile as a cat, never off his balance or his guard, and slipped in and out, circling and striking with a speed that was surprising in one of his height and weight. “Foot-work,” Flynn called it, and there were times, I think, when the hard-breathing Irishman was glad enough at the call of “time.”
Flynn’s own reply when I reproved him for the nonsense he had put into Jerry’s head about the prize ring will show how Jerry stood in the eyes of one of the best athletes of his day. “He’s a wonder, Misther Canby. Sure, ye can’t blame me f’r wantin’ to thry him against good ‘uns. He ain’t awake yet, sor, an’ he’s too good-nachured. Holy pow’rs! If the b’ye ever cud be injuced to get mad-like, he’d lick his weight in woild-cats—so he w’ud.”
There were times, as you may imagine, when I felt much like Frankenstein in awe of the creature I had created. But Jerry fortunately couldn’t be “injuced to get mad-like.” If things didn’t happen to please him, he frowned and set his jaws until his mood had passed and he could speak his mind in calmness. His temper, like his will, was under perfect control. And yet I knew that the orderly habit of his mind was the result of growth in a sheltered environment and that even I, carefully as I had trained him, had not gauged his depths or known the secret of the lees which had never been disturbed.
At the age of twenty, then, Jerry had the body of a man, the brain of a scholar and the heart of a child. Less than a year remained before the time appointed when he must go forth into the world. Both of us approached that day with regret. For my part I should have been willing to stay on with Jerry at Horsham Manor indefinitely, and Jerry, whatever curiosity he may have felt as to his future, gave no sign of impatience. I knew that he felt that perhaps the years to come might make a difference in our relations by the way he referred to the good years we had passed together and the small tokens of his affection which meant much from one not greatly demonstrative by habit. As Jerry had grown toward manhood he did much serious reading in books of my selection (the Benham library having been long since expurgated), and I had been working steadily on my Dialectics. We did our out-of-door work as usual, but there were times when