Chapter 18892335

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Chapter NumberXV
Chapter TitleBILLY MAKES A NEW FRIEND.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18892335
Full Date1887-04-30
Page Number20
Corrections0
Word Count1217
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleA Long Chase
article text

FICTION.

From KuftlUli, liiierlcn», find Other Periodical!»

A LONG CHASE,

CHAPTER XV,

BILLY MAKES A NEW FRIEND.

Kick's destination on leaving Ralph was " McGuireV " a dive .where the roughest of the rough might meet and indulge in the sort of-amuse

ment that best suited theui.

McGnire's was a peculiar place. Thieves and murderers and sports of all kinds were the patrons of the dive yet it was an orderly place, too

^ ''No FIGHTS ALLOWED OFF THE STAGE."

This notice posted in conspicuous places around the walls told its own Btory.

A number of professional bruisers were hired to exhibit on the stage, and before each professional bout there would be an offer of a money prize to any man in the audience to go forward and stand up for four rounds before either of the pugilists.

The feeling that they could fight if they wanted

to seemed to take away the desire from the rough crowd of men, as they sat at the tables drinking.

Occasionally, however, a country rough with some courage and a local reputation, would take up the offer and the spectators would be treated to a general set-to, which invariably, resulted, in the mortification of the country pugilist.

At one of the tables in this place sat'Billy, who though sober, yet was evidently doing his best to have what he called a good time.

No one noticed Nick's entrance with more than a passing glance, for he was too evidently an ordinary ruffian to merit any attention.

He slouched carelessly along and dropped into a chair at Billy's table, taking no notioe of that ruf-

fian as he did so.

"Hot Scotch," he growled to the waiter who came up to him.

When his whisky wa3 brought he condescened to glance at Billy and ask :

" Wot's de noxt on de list ?"

" Tom Boyd an' Harry McGee."

"Middle weights an' no good," .was Nicks'

scornful comment.

"Why ain't they no good?"

Billy was short, and gruff. He didn't like to see such a steedy chap airing his opinions,

" McQee's always too full o' gin, .and Boyd's

alower'n cold molasses."

" Either on 'ein could git away with ¿rou all the

same."

" Ye don't know me."

Nick winked confidentially at Billy.

" No I don't."

With twenty thousand pounds in his purse Billy did not feel it necessary to be polite. And his manner, even more than IIÍB words, was contemptu-

ous.

" Of course ye don't. Ef ye did ye'd talk dif- ferent. I used to be a bouncer,"

Billy looked him all over, and a wicked grin spread

over his face as a brilliant idea struck him.

" Oh, you was a bouncer was you ?"

" Well, I'll tell you wot I'll do. Tom Boyd'll como out in a little while, an' they'll offer any man a five to stand up to him for four rounds. I'H bet you Ave more you dassent go and take a lickinV

" I ain't got no fivejdollars, boss, or I'd take you «p. But I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll stand .up to him if you'll show mo around an' stan' the racket. I'm fresh from Chicago, sonny, an' I'm dead broke, but I'm g*ne, I ara. What d'ye say ?"

"I'll do it."

Nevertheless, Billy had no idea that he would be

called on to go very far with Nick, for lie had seen i too many men go up for a bout and be battered into a helpless condition.

Kick did most of the talking, until the stage manager came forward to announce that Mr. Boyd . -would be delighted to spar four rovuids with, any .

.gentleman in the audience ; and that a prize of five .dollars would be given to any gentleman who ,fiho.uld not be knocked out by the end of the fourth

.round.

" Now's your time," said Billy.

And Nick, seeing in this plan a way to Billy's .confidence, walked shufflingly forward.

"Oh! Here's a gentleman wants to try," cried the stage-manager, with a grin of delight.

""What name, sir?" he inquired, with mock ipQKteness, as he helped Nick up to the platform.

"Jimmy de Bouncer is wot dey calls me ii

(Chicago."

" Jimmy the Bouncer, from Chicago, gentlemen," said the manager, with a sly wink at the audience, which was in a state of high delight at the pros- pect of a good knocking-out.

Nick took off his coat and vest, and laid them on a, chair;. [Then he put on the gloves, and waited in in A loose-jointed fashion for Tammy Boyd.

That gentleman presently came upon the stage, looking very trim, formidable, and smiling.

They shook hands, and the manager called time.

Tommy Boyd was a little careless, until Njjqk,

who rather enjoyed the affair as a sort oWjSgSl», hie feelings, gave him a sharp tap fuIÍ^¡^j¡JHBg||j^ v A shout went up from the crowd^anl^Soiamy

looked a good deal surprised, and much more

angry.

-But^omehow he couldn't hit Nick at ali, while Nick kept tapping him all the time.

Tommyvrew very sa viigo,\and. rushed on Ni*k to bear him down. Nick had ^iis glove in the way and Tommy went down like a lump of lead.

It will suffice to say that at the end of the fourth round the manager awarded Nick the five dollars ana that Tommy Boyd did not spar nny mor« that

CyßMTlg.

»

As for Nick, he very wisely did not offer to take the money, but told the barkeeper to give it in

drinks to the crowd.

Of course he was at once a sort of hero, and, as he had calculated, Billy was proud to claim him as an acquaintance.

And as a result Jimmy tho Bouncer and Billy became great friends.

Such friends that shortly after midnight both were very drunk together. At least Billy was drunk and Jimmy seemed so.

And it was not long afterward that the iwo were stumbling up the stairs into Billy's room.

Billy at once drew a bottle from a closet and

proceeded at once to'drink to a good-night.

By one o'clock Bilíy was sound asleep.

Then Nick drew from his pocket a sponge, and a small bottle containing a dark liquid.

It was chlorofonm.

He made Billy take several inhalations of the sleepy fluid.

" There," said Nick. " I guess you'll sleep now ; but in case you«hould wake too soon I'll take a little precaution.

Ho put a pair of handcuffs on "the sleeping man's wrists, and then wre a sheet in two lengthwise and tied the two hands to the head of the bed.

With the -other half of the -sheet he tied Billy's feeÇ to the, foot-board.

Then he took from his pocket n piece of wood that looked,like a small pear, but was not.

It was a patent gag.

Unless somebody helped him Billy would never get it out of his mouth after Nick put it in ¡ vthich

he did at once.

" Now I'll go to sleep myself," said Nick.

And sharing the not wy nice bed clothing with Billy, the tired man lay down on a sofa and went to sleep with the ease and peacefulnoss of an in-

fant.