The man reached back and jammed Killigrew’s hat down over his eyes. Killigrew stumbled and fell, and Crawford and Forbes surged to his rescue from the trampling feet. Thomas, however, caught the ruffian’s right wrist, jammed it scientifically against the man’s chest, took him by the throat and bore him back, savagely and relentlessly. The crowd, packed as it was, gave ground. With an oath the man struck. Thomas struck back, accurately. Instantly the circle widened. A fight outside was always more interesting than one inside the ropes. A blow ripped open Thomas’ shirt. It became a slam-bang affair. Thomas knocked his man down just as a burly policeman arrived. Naturally, he caught hold of Thomas and called for assistance. The wrong man first is the invariable rule of the New York police.
“Milligan!” shouted Killigrew, as he sighted one of the club’s promoters.
Milligan recognized his millionaire patron and pushed to his side.
After due explanations, Thomas was liberated and the real culprit was forced swearing through the press toward the patrol-wagon, always near on such nights. Eventually the four gained Crawford’s box. Aside from a cut lip and a torn shirt, Thomas was uninjured. If his fairy-godmother had prearranged this fisticuff, she could not have done anything better so far as Killigrew was concerned.
“Thomas,” he said, as the main bout was being staged, the chairs and water-pails and paraphernalia changed to fresh corners, “I’ll remember that turn. If you’re not Irish, it’s no fault of yours. I wish you knew something about coffee.”
“I enjoy drinking it,” Thomas replied, smiling humorously.
Ever after the merchant-prince treated Thomas like a son; the kind of a boy he had always wanted and could not have. And only once again did he doubt; and he longed to throttle the man who brought into light what appeared to be the most damnable evidence of Thomas’ perfidy.
We chaps who write have magic carpets.
A marble balcony, overlooking the sea, which shimmered under the light of the summer moon. Lord Henry Monckton and Kitty leaned over the baluster and silently watched the rush of the rollers landward and the slink of them back to the sea.
For three days Kitty had wondered whether she liked or disliked Lord Monckton. The fact that he was the man who had bumped into Thomas that night at the theater may have had something to do with her doddering. He might at least have helped Thomas in recovering his hat. Dark, full-bearded, slender, with hands like a woman’s, quiet of manner yet affable, he was the most picturesque person at the cottage. But there was always something smoldering in those sleepy eyes of his that suggested to Kitty a mockery. It was not that recognizable mockery of all those visiting Englishmen who held themselves complacently superior to their generous American hosts. It was as though he were silently laughing at all he saw, at all which happened about him, as if he stood in the midst of some huge joke which he alone was capable of understanding: so Kitty weighed him.