Jimmy did not strike him then. He merely placed the palm of one hand against the man’s breast and pushed him backward, but with such force that, striking a chair, Steve Murray fell backward and sprawled upon the floor. Scrambling to his feet, he rushed Jimmy like a mad bull.
In his younger days Murray had been a boiler-maker, and he still retained most of his great strength. He was a veritable mountain of a man, and now in the throes of a berserker rage he was a formidable opponent. His face was white and his lips were drawn back tightly, exposing his teeth in a bestial snarl as he charged at Jimmy. His great arms and huge hands beat to the right and left like enormous flails, one blow from which might seemingly have felled an ox.
Torrance had stood for a moment with an arm still around the girl; but as Murray rose to his feet he pushed her gently behind him, and then as the man was upon him Jimmy ducked easily under the other’s clumsy left and swung a heavy right hook to his jaw. As Murray staggered to the impact of the blow Jimmy reached him again quickly and easily with a left to the nose, from which a crimson burst spattered over the waiter and his victim. Murray went backward and would have fallen but for the fact he came in contact with one of his friends, and then he was at Jimmy again.
By this time waiters and patrons were crowding forward from all parts of the room, and Feinheimer, shrieking at the top of his voice, was endeavoring to worm his fat, toadlike body through the cordon of excited spectators. The proprietor reached the scene of carnage just in time to see Jimmy plant a lovely left on the point of Murray’s jaw.
The big man tottered drunkenly for an instant, his knees sagged, and, as Jimmy stood in readiness for any eventuality, the other crashed heavily to the floor.
Towering above the others in the room suddenly came a big young fellow shouldering his way through the crowd, a young man in the uniform of a chauffeur. Elizabeth saw him before he discovered her.
“Oh David!” she cried. “Quick! Quick! Take us out of here!”
As the chauffeur reached her side and took in the scene he jerked his head toward Jimmy. “Did any one hurt you miss?”
“No, no!” she cried. “This man was very kind. Just get us out of here, David, as quickly as you can.” And, turning to Jimmy: “How can I ever repay you? If it hadn’t been for you—oh, I hate to think what would have happened. Come out to the car and give David your name and address, and I will send you something tomorrow.”
“Oh, that’s all right,” said Jimmy. “You just get out of here as quick as you can. If the police happened to look in now you might be held as a witness.”
“How utterly horrible!” exclaimed Elizabeth. “Come, David! Come, Harriet!” David making a way for her, she started for the door.