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The Fable Of The Coming Champion Who Was Delayed
by [?]

At last the Company arrived at the Secluded Spot, and a Ring was staked out.

The Coming Champion was received with Loud Cheers. He wore a new Pair of Gymnasium Shoes, spotless Trunks, and around his Waist was an American Flag, presented by his Admirers in the Athletic Club.

In a few Moments the Imported Scrapper came into the Ring, attended by the Sporty Undertaker. He wore an old Pair of Bike Shoes and faded Work Trousers, chopped off at the Knees, while his Belt was a Shawl-Strap. He was chewing Gum.

After he put on the Gloves he looked over at the Coming Champion and remarked to the Undertaker that he (the Coming Champion) seemed to be a Nice Young Fellow. After which he Yawned slightly, and wanted to know what Time they would get a Train back to Town.

The Bell rang, and there in the Center of the Ring stood the Tottering Has-Been and the Coming Champion.

The Has-Been was crouched, with his Head drawn in, turtle-fashion, his Legs spraddled, and oh, the hard, vicious Expression on that Face, as he Fiddled Short and looked intently at the Coming Champion’s Feet. This was a very confusing and unprofessional Thing to do, as the Boy had not been accustomed to boxing with People who looked at his Feet. He wondered if there was anything the matter with his Gymnasium Shoes.

In a Moment or two he saw that the Physical Wreck was afraid to Lead, so he did some nimble Foot Work, and his Gloves began to describe Parabolas–then all at once somebody turned off the Sunshine.

They threw Cold Water on him, held a Bottle of Ammonia to his Nose and stuck Pins in under his Finger-Nails.

At last his Eye-Lids fluttered, and he turned a dim and filmy Gaze on his faithful Seconds gathered about him.

“Oh, how the Birds sing!” he murmured. “And see! The Aurora Borealis is trying to climb over Pain’s Fire-Works.”

“Cheer up!” said the Manager. “He took a Mean Advantage of you and Hit you when you wasn’t Looking.”

“Ah, yes, it all comes back to me. Did I win?”

“Not quite,” replied the Manager, who feared to tell him the whole Truth.

“You say he Hit me?” asked the Coming Champion.


“With a Casting?”

“We couldn’t tell. He was in such a Hurry.”

All this Time the Victor was sitting on the Station Platform with the Undertaker. He was Remarking that it seemed to be a very Purty Country thereabouts, and he’d often wished he could close in on enough of the Gilt to buy him a nice piece of Land somewhere, inasmuch as he regarded a Farmer as the most independent Man on Earth.

Next week there was a familiar Name back on the Time-Card at the Planing Mill.

MORAL: In all the Learned Professions, Many are Called but Few are Chosen.