chair wrapped in blankets, Marcia sat beside him,
talking in subdued tones. Sometimes I heard their
voices raised, but whatever their differences they
were not such as to cause a breach between them.
They were hardly ever entirely alone and for purposes
of endearment the terrace was not the most secluded
spot that could have been found. Flynn’s
word was law and his eye constantly watchful.
If he had been paid to make Jerry win this fight, he
was going to earn his money, he said, and anyone who
interfered with the training would be put out and
kept out of the grounds. Whatever her own wishes,
the girl recognized Flynn’s authority, and came
and went at fixed times which could not interfere
with the rigid rules. Jerry rose at five and
took to the road with Flynn on horseback and either
O’Halloran or Sagorski afoot. When he came
in he had his shower, rubdown and then breakfast.
After a rest, Flynn boxed four or five rounds with
him, after which came rope jumping, and exercises with
the machines to strengthen his arms and wrists.
In this way the morning passed and after the midday
meal came the real work-out of the day with his training-partners,
where real blows were exchanged and blood often flowed.
Jerry had improved immeasurably. Even I, tyro
as I was, could see that his encounters with these
professionals had rubbed off all signs of the amateur.
He had always been a good judge of distance, Flynn
had said, but he had been schooled recently to make
every movement count—to “waste nothing.”
In spite of myself, the excitement of the game was
getting into my blood. If for the while Jerry
was to be a beast, why should he not be the best beast
of them all? Stories came to us from the camp
of the Terrible Sailor, who was training down on the
Jersey shore. He was “coming” fast,
they said, and was strong and confident. The
newspapers followed him carefully and sent their reporters
to Horsham Manor, one of whom, denied entrance at the
Lodge, climbed over the wall and even reached the
gymnasium where Jerry was boxing with O’Halloran,
to be put out at my orders (as Jeremiah Benham) before
he got a fact for his pains. The result of this
of course was an account full of misstatements about
the millionaire Jeremiah Benham and his protege which
brought a protest in the mails from Ballard the elder
who, fortunately for Jerry, hadn’t gotten at
the truth of the matter.
Once or twice I had been on the point of going to
Ballard’s office and making a clean breast of
Jerry’s plans, hoping that Clancy might be bought
off and the match canceled. But I could not bring
myself, even now, to the point of betraying the boy.
I am not a fatalist by profession or philosophy, but
Miss Gore had made me pause and I had resolved to
see the thing through, trying to believe as she believed
that Jerry could only be toughened to the usages of
life by the rigor of circumstance. And so I was