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AS A STEP sounded at the street door the Widow McGlynn glanced significantly at her daughter, and the two, as though acting upon a signal, jerked the corners of their aprons to their moist eyes and assumed an air of cheerfulness. But rapid as the change had been, it did not escape the quick eye of the powerfully built young man who suddenly appeared in the doorway and now sent his searching, half-accusing gaze from one to the other.

"Crying again, eh?" he challenged, more in deprecation of a foolish habit than in unkindness toward those who indulged it. "Well, I suppose it does women-folks good. I've heard so. But you mustn't cry any more to-night, mother. See what I've brought you—a brand new five-dollar gold-piece!"

The widow took the coin, slipped it in her bosom and disappeared from mortal sight into the yawning chasm formed by her big boy's outstretched arms and expansive chest. Held thus for a full minute in total eclipse, the world must ever remain in ignorance as to how she would have interpreted the series of astonishing facial contortions with which the young giant now favored his staring sister. Nor was that rattled young woman herself able to guess what was intended to be conveyed to her by the volley of cumbrous winks, smirks and grins winch came her way. There was something so ridiculous in the pantomime, with its impromptu setting, that she laughed outright—and was sorry in a second, as a fierce frown of disapproval darkened her brother's face. In apparent disgust at her dullness, he jerked his head toward the door by which he had just entered and—released his prisoner.

"Patsy, you're a regular old grizzly bear!" gasped the smiling old mother, now restored to the best of humor. "You nearly smothered me, so you did; you're that strong! Where's Annie?"

"Stepped across to the Morrissy's—back in a minute. And while you're fixing us a bite to eat, mother, I'll drop down to the corner and see if there is any news from the factory."

A few minutes before filled with apprehension of the calamity she felt must speedily come upon the little family, the widow now moved with sprightly step about the narrow kitchen, humming an air to the accompanying rattle of pots and pans—an air that came faith-full and hope-laden from the heart and dissipated every fear. Such are mothers of big boys.

To be sure the boiler-factory had been closed for months, keeping Patsy out of work. The coal-man was importunate. The grocer refused further supplies. The rent-collector had threatened to put them out. For the past few weeks Patsy had earned varying sums at some training-quarters across the Bay, where he had assisted in preparing certain athletes for certain coming contests—she didn't know what. She only hoped he was not mixing up with prize-fights and those terrible prizefighters. Anything but that!

Her son's small and irregular earnings had been far from adequate. Troubles seemed to be coming from every direction, threatening to culminate all at once. During the long day, when her son was away, she simply could not avoid the dreadful picture of hurrying disaster. Human reason refused to justify any hope of escape. There was ho avoiding the inevitable. How was it that, in face of the coming calamity, Patsy man* aged to remain cheerful? She couldn't understand it; yet she was forced to admit that it was no more strange than the regular disappearance of her own fearful apprehensions when night brought him rollicking home and stood him there in the center of the little sitting-room, his great arms spread out, like the wings of some gigantic bat, inviting her to the enjoyment of her regular evening "smother."

But even the training-club employment was now at an end. Patsy had said so himself when he gave her that five-dollar piece, bidding her make the most of it. Matters were thus worse than ever. Still she hummed that air. Fear had flown. Hope was in her heart. Why?

"NOW, you look here, Sis," commanded Patsy McGlynn, towering over his sister Annie in the half-light of the areaway before their little flat, "You look here!"

"I'm looking," said the girl, squaring herself in mock belligerency.

"I want advice," he announced curtly.

"Well, sir, you've come to the right shop. What seems to be the nature of your trouble?"

"No josh—this is serious. I want advice, but it has to be advice with a string to it."

"Advice with a strin—what do you mean?"

"I mean I want you to give me the advice I tell you to give me. Are you game?"

"Game? You know I'm game. State your case."

"It's like this. You know that fellow Mike Doolan I've been training for the heavyweight fight Friday night? Well, he's supposed to be the hardest proposition the Coast has ever turned out. They had to go to Australia to get a man to lick him—Jack Farnum. Even at that, the betting is ten to seven, with Doolan the favorite, which shows how the 'insiders' feel about it. Now, you listen to what I'm saying, for I wouldn't say it to any one else on earth—without your advice.

"Doolan first hired me to wrestle with him, because I'm husky and heavy and he needed a lot of hauling about to prepare him for work in the clinches. He got all the hauling he wanted, all right. Well, the third day after I began work one of his sparring partners failed to show up and I was asked to spar with him for four rounds. At the end of the bout he called me into his dressing-room and offered me the job of boxing with him at odd times up to the date of the fight. He said, though I was young, I had speed and, as that was the main thing he had to overcome in Farnum, I was just the kid he needed to make him extend himself. He didn't want me to do any leading, he said—only to block his leads and counter lightly when I saw an opening.

"Look at me, Sis. I hadn't boxed with that fellow three times before I knew I could hit him when and where I pleased! More than that, I knew' I was faster, could hit harder and that he couldn't put a glove on me in a week, if I didn't want him to. And here's another thing—a couple of 'em: I knew that he knew I was at least his equal at all points of the game, and I knew that he knew that I knew it. Follow me?

"Now, make a note of this: I never did extend myself boxing with Doolan. Mother needed that five-spot the 'great heavyweight' was paying me for each set-to, and I couldn't afford to lose the job. So, while he couldn't have helped knowing I was as good at the game as he was, he didn't know what an easy mark he'd be for me if it came to a real 'go.'

"Now, I've not told any one these things. It would sound like boasting, and I've no ambition to be a fighter. Only you and I are 'wise,' for, though a good many witnessed our bouts, I carefully followed my boss's instructions, working always on the defensive and keeping the sting out of my leads, counters and swings.

"We boxed the last bout this afternoon, and, when we got through, Doolan took me into his private room and offered me $250 to second him at Friday night's fight. I told him how mother and you feel about prizefighting, but he said he could arrange it so I could serve under an assumed name. That $250 looked mighty juicy, the way things are with us, Sis, and I finally agreed to act as Doolan's second.

"Then something happened that just about knocked me clean silly. What do you suppose that alleged sport told me? That Friday night's fight was fixed! Sure— a fake! Doolan was to foul Farnum in the eighth round, and I was to admit the claim when Farnum's second made it. That's as far as he got with my instructions when a gang of newspaper men and others broke into the room and my boss shook me by the hand and said we'd go further into the details to-morrow. So you see, Sis, this brace of pug highwaymen propose on next Friday night to steal between thirty thousand and forty thousand dollars from the Califrisco Club, which is promoting the contest, and the public, which is always ready to encourage legitimate sport with its good hard money. And your fair-haired brother is supposed to be in with the robbery! What do you think of it?"

"I think it's a shame and a scand——"

"Hold! Here's where I test your gameness. You know I'd rather have my head cut off than betray the confidence of a decent man, don't you?"

"Certainly I know it."

"Well, this is the first time I've been honored with the confidence of a thieving scrub. I want you to advise me to go to Mr. Fulmer, president of the club, and explain the whole situation."

"That's easy. I advise it."

"And, after that, I want you to advise me to do what I think best for all concerned."

"But, what———"

"No 'buts.' Be game! I want you to advise it."

"Well—er—g-go ahead."

"Good. Now, you wouldn't throw a man down for doing what you advise him to do, would you?"

"Why, no—that is—certainly not."

"Then, when I get through doing what you have advised me to do, I want you to stand up, like a thoroughbred, and tell mother that I did it at your suggestion."


"Are you a quitter?"

"N-no—but I——"

"Be game, Sis! Will you stick?"


"Then come on. Mother's waiting."


PATSY McGLYNN stepped from the side door of President Fulmer's residence and hurried down the street. Three blocks away he slackened his pace and walked leisurely in the direction of the ferry. "I don't want to get over there ahead of the old man," he said, "so I'll mosey along, easy like."

It was mid-afternoon when the young athlete sauntered up to the training-quarters. A big crowd was about the place and the sports, reporters, photographers and others, who had come to see the noted heavyweight don the gloves for the last time before the great fight, were voicing their disappointment at Doolan's announcement that he would box no more until he faced Farnum in the ring, two days hence. Accidents, he had explained, were likely to happen. He might injure his hands, or strain a tendon. The event was the most important in his career and he couldn't afford to take chances. He was in perfect condition for the fight of his life. His friends and backers would have to excuse him.

The disgusted visitors growled and moved away to catch their train back to the city. Only a few remained, and of this number Patsy noticed, without surprise, President Fulmer, the treasurer and two of the club directors. They were talking to Doolan who, now appearing for the first time to notice the presence of his late sparring partner, called him up and introduced him to the distinguished visitors. Patsy was glad to meet the gentlemen, especially the famous Mr. Fulmer, of whom he had heard so much —though he had pictured him a much older man, he said.

"I got that crowd out of the way on purpose," explained the pugilist. " These gentlemen want to see me in action. Get your ring clothes on, Patsy. We'll box four rounds for 'em. It's only a——"

"I'll tell you what we want, McGlynn," broke in the pompous president, taking matters into his own hands. "We want to see some real glove-work—something fast and furious. Of course you're liable to get battered up some, but you're no doubt used to that. Here's ten dollars to buy salve for the bruises that are waiting for you, and," he rattled on, " to encourage you to do your best, we four spectators will each give you another ten dollars if you succeed in knocking this big fellow out." All hands joined in the laughter which greeted this announcement from the great sporting promoter, and Patsy thieved a knowing glance at him as he started for his dressing-room, muttering, "Four t'ms ten's forty, and one's fifty—mother'll have a fit!"

PUGILIST and pupil sat in opposite corners of the training-ring, and President Fulmer, watch in hand, squeezed through the ropes and addressed "the audience."

"Gentlemen," he said, "I am running this show, and I hope that fact will be a sufficient guarantee that it is on the square. At the first sign of faking on the part of either of these principals the contest will be declared off and there will be things doing which are not down on the bill."

Doolan laughed at this "little joke," though, to tell the truth, that laugh of his did not add materially to the sum total of the world's supply of mirth. There was a note of seriousness in Fulmer's speech and manner which was not to be mistaken. As for Patsy, he was kept busy during the president's remarks, in two directions—the sustained simulation of absorbing interest in official instructions, and the avoidance of a series of desperately winked signals from Doolan's corner.

As Fulmer proceeded, with increased emphasis, to picture the dire things in store for the first man who showed signs of faking, the bearing of the big professional, now plainly disgusted at Patsy's gaping dullness, was observed to undergo a sudden change. A new idea seemed all at once to possess him. He ceased to smile. His face became set. He glared at the man in the center of the ring, at the young athlete in the opposit corner, and jammed the thin layer of padding back from that part of the glove which covered his right knuckles. Patsy observed all this. He knew what it meant. Though making no outward sign, he smiled —smiled, as the late lamented Bill Nye would have said—elsewhere.

"Time!" called the self-appointed referee. "Shake hands!"

Doolan, jaws set, eyes a-gleam, moved w'arily to the center of tie ring. Patsy, with right hand extended, stepped lithely forward to meet him. Doolan drew close to the young fellow and, instead of grasping the proffered glove with his right hand, he threw the weight, of his left upon it and, before McGlynn could divine his purpose, his mighty right whizzed through the opening, caught Patsy flush in the face and sent him reeling against the ringpost across the enclosure, limp and dazed.

"Doolan bounded across the ring to finish nis work before the victim of his treachery could recover from the shock, but Fulmer sprang in front of him and waved him back. The three spectators were on their feet yelling, "Foul!" "Shame!" But the angry referee commanded silence and, standing between the boxers, ordered Doolan to his corner. The slight delay gave McGlynn an opportunity to collect his scattered senses and, after giving his head a shake or two, he was himself again, except for a rapidly swelling lump under the left eye. Fulmer started to make another speech, hesitated, bit his lip, glared from one to the other of the boxers, and then, stepping over ta McGlynn, asked, "Do you want this contest to proceed?"

"Certainly," answered the young fellow cheerily, "I'm good as new."

"Then we'll make that read twenty, instead of ten, from each spectator, if you knock him out," whispered Fulmer in his ear.

"Thanks." And, gazing across the ring at the scowling Doolan, he muttered, "Four t'ms twenty's eighty, and ten's ninety—mother'll have two fits!"


Patsy stepped to the center, and waited. Doolan took a couple of strides from his comer, and stopped. The youngster, moving like a cat, lessened the distance between them by a yard—another foot—another. At all but reaching distance they faced each other, standing like graven images, motionless, each waiting for the other to lead. A full minute of this tense inaction, then a quick feint caused the veteran to drop his left hand—an inch. It was enough. Across the lowered guard flashed the fist of the hard-hitting novice. It found a target at the point of the jaw and—the lights went out for Mr. Doolan!

Ten minutes later the "Pride of the Coast" came out of his trance and propounded the usual question. He was informed that he wras on the floor of the shower-bath room, having been carried there by Patsy McGlynn and three attendants; that he had met with an accident while boxing; that he was the victim of a compound fracture of the jaw;* that he was shy sundry molars, incisors and bicuspids; that President Fulmer was waiting to see him.

As soon as he could be made presentable, Mr. Doolan went into executive session with Fulmer and his directors. Patsy McGlynn was also present. It was not a long session, Mr. Doolan falling readily into the views expressed by the president of the Califrisco Club and his fellow officers. The Club, through its representatives, expressed poignant regret, yea, pangs of pain, at the mishap which would prevent Mr. Doolan's appearance at the coming fistic entertainment; and, with panting interest for his future welfare, pointed out the benefits of continuous travel beyond the limits of the State. Mr. Doolan, with Bis hand to his jaw, nodded the thanks he could not find words to express and—the session adjourned.

"I'M SURE I've tried to bear up under the strain," sighed the Widow McGlynn, "but it doesn't seem to do any good. Matters become worse every day. There is no hope anywhere. The rent——"

"What's the matter with me?" cried Patsy, bursting into the room like an elephant rampant on its hind legs. "Ain't I a tolerable imitation of the hope you're talking about? Look me over—I'm a billionaire!"

"Patsy, Patsy, how can you be so foolish? The rent-man and the coal-man and the grocer have been here again, and we're going to be put out next Monday morning!"

"Well, this is only Wednesday night."

"But how are we going to live? I paid bills with that money you gave me last night and we haven't a cent. How can we——"

"Mother, look here. Did you ever know anybody to win anything by being gloomy and looking on the dark side of things?" "Well, what is the use——"

"Did you?"

"I suppose not, but——"

"And haven't you noticed that good fortune always follows cheerfulness?"

"Not always."

"Yes, always! Drawing a hand from his pocket the incorrigible held it above his mother's head and, with the other taking her gently but firmly by the chin, he commanded, "Now smile! Smile!"

Her son's ridiculous attitude forced the good woman to smile in spite of herself, and instantly the massive hand above her head opened and she was submerged under a shower of greenbacks and coins.

"Patsy! Wh-where in the name of— where did all this money come from?"

"From that smile of yours, of course!" teased the roaring Patsy. "Let it be a lesson to you!" And while the happy mother went into retirement against the dancing heart of her big boy, Sister Annie collected the scattered fortune with a broom.


THE Thursday morning papers announced under scare-heads that, owing to an injury received while training, the famous pugilist, Mike Doolan, would be unable to meet the Australian heavyweight, Jack Farnum, on Friday night. Fortunately, however, the Califrisco Club management had been able to procure a substitute for the injured fighter— an Unknown whom Farnum had agreed to meet under conditions absolutely identical with those arranged for his fight with the Coast favorite.

These conditions called for a purse of twenty thousand dollars, winner take all, and a division of the gate-receipts on a basis of seventy-five and twenty-five per cent, to the winner and loser respectively. All bets on the interrupted event had been declared off and the first effect of the announcement had been to make the Australian a big favorite over the Unknown, the "wise ones" figuring that, barring Doolan, no heavyweight then on the Coast had a chance against the foreigner.

Mr. Fulmer owned one of the finest private gymnasiums in the city and it was there that Patsy McGlynn spent all of Thursday, perfecting himself in a few tricks of "foot-work" and trying to demonstrate to the personal friends of his patron that the Club had been fully and entirely justified in presenting him as a substitute for the injured fighter. Of course it was impossible to conceal the identity of the Unknown from the newspaper men, but when the young fellow frankly explained to them his reasons for wishing to keep his name out of the papers they patted him on the back, promised him all possible protection and wished him all kinds of success.

Next day the young athlete lounged about home until late in the afternoon, keeping his mother and sister in merry humor, and explaining, with minute attention to every horrible detail, the ghastly fate he had planned for them if he ever again caught them giving way to sad and gloomy forebodings.

"The only way to make the bugbear of bad luck hike to the woods is to grin in liis face," he said. "Laugh at him—that's the dope-! Now, I want you two to keep grinning til! I get back home. I'll be a little late, maybe, but you keep grinning. Start in right now —one—two—three—that's it! Now keep it up!" And he was gone.

"McGLYNN," said Fulmer, "I want a serious word with you. I've got a big bunch of money here, mostly my friends', to be wagered at the ringside. I don't want to lose it."

"Bet it on me, then, Mr. Fulmer, and get it all placed before the first round is over."

"But why are you so certain of success, Patsy? This man Farnum is a mighty tough proposition. I want to know the grounds for your confidence. Of course, I think you have a fair chance; but why are you so absolutely certain about it?"

"Mr. Fulmer," returned the young boxer, in a tone of unusual seriousness, "I'm going to win this fight because I think I'm going to! You can do anything, if you think you can!"

"There's lots of glory in it, if you win."

"I'm not looking for that brand of glory, Mr. Fulmer. I'm after that big purse your Club has hung up, and the long end of the gate-receipts. I'm fighting to-night for—for mother and Annie. It'll be my first and last prize-fight. And I'm going to win! So get your money up early—the odds won't be so good after the first round."

"Well, go to it, my boy. I'll take a chance on you."

BIG Jack Farnum shouldered his way along the crowded aisle, mounted the stage steps and squeezed his bulky form between the ropes of the arena. Seating himself in his corner, he sent his gaze across to where the substitute and attendants were busying themselves with the glove-lacings. A sneer curled his lip.

"They tell me that's the kid they had sparring with Doolan," he snarled in his second's ear. "They say he's fast. Fast! His speed'll do 'im a —— of a lot o' good! I s'pose the Club had to give some kind of a show and that amateur was the only thing they could get to go agin me. Tighten up that glove!"

"Maybe you'd better let the bout go a few rounds, Jack," whispered the second, "so's to give the crowd a little bit of a run fer it's money."

"Few rounds nothin'!" sneered the veteran pug. "Do you think it 'Id do my reputation any good to have that brat boastin' that he went any distance with me? Not yet! When the gong strikes I s'pose he'll just stand in his corner an' shiver. I'll walk over an' clout him a couple o' stiff ones and—we'll catch that midnight train for Chicago!"

The principals and their seconds were motioned to the center of the ring, where the former shook hands and listened to the referee's interpretation of the rules. As the two boxers stood there the backers of the Australian could already hear their winnings jingling in their pockets. Their man towered fully two inches above the substitute fighter, and his great muscular shoulders loomed formidably in comparison with those of the younger man. What most of the enthusiasts in the audience failed to note was that Patsy stood "hunched over" so that he appeared a couple of inches shorter than he really was, and that the shuffling awkwardness of his movements as he traveled to and from the center of the ring was a decidedly clever bit of acting. The appealing look which the young fellow bent upon the professional was interpreted by that amused gladiator as a bid for mercy. So he was confirmed in his original determination to make short work of it.

The gong struck and big Jack Farnum started across the ring on his mission of mercy. He had negotiated the first half of his second stride when something hit him. It came from the opposite comer and bore all the outward semblance of a human thunderbolt. The audience saw it streak like a comet across the intervening space, collide with the giant and send him staggering to his corner. Then, as the rope, tightened by his weight, hurled him back, he was met by a blinding hail of fists which pelted his rocking head and face unmercifully. Giving him no time to recover, the furious Patsy drove him with slashing uppercuts and body-smashes along the side rope to the corner-post, where he brought up, bloody and blinded by the battery of blows, limp and helpless.

The crowd went wild. The referee pushed, Patsy toward the center of the ring and stood over the gasping gladiator, counting—one—two—three—four——

" Get up! " yelled the Australian's second. Five—six—seven—eight——

"Get up!"

Farnum let go the ropes and reeled like a drunken man into the ring. His hands hung at his sides. He leered about him, foolishly.

"Finish him, McGlynn!" ordered the referee.

"Hit a man like that? Why, sir, I couldn't——"

"Finish him, I tell you! The rules demand it."

"Rules, or no rules, I can't, and I won't!"

"Put up your hands, Farnum. Put up your hands and fight!" commanded the official.

The veteran, slightly recovered, very slowly raised his fists and threw himself into a fighting attitude. Patsy measured the distance accurately, estimated the necessary force, and then—a feint, a short-arm jolt, and the pride of Kangaroo-land toppled over and took the count.

In handing Farnum the loser's end of the gate-receipts, the head of the Califrisco Club felt called upon to make a few remarks.

"It's the first dollar I have ever parted with grudgingly," he said. "I learned all about that scheme you and Doolan faked up to rob the Club and the public. I want to say to you and, through you to your partner Mike Doolan, that my regret at having to give you this money is more than counterbalanced by the delight it has given me to see an unknown boy lick the stuffing out of both of you! Good-by, Mister Farnum!"

"NOW, Sis, while I'm getting my factory ready for business and fixing up our new home, I want you and mother to go over and give the swells and belles of Europe a treat. And when you get her off in some dark corner, away from all lines of communication, 1 want you to stand up, like a thoroughbred, and confess how you advised me to become a prize-fighter!"

"Oh, Patsy, I can never do that!"

"You can do anything you think you can!" he said.