That check buys the best Christmas the Miskes ever have. The kids come flying downstairs in the morning to a Christmas tree, a toy train, a baby-grand piano and presents stacked higher than they can reach. They eat like Rockefellers and sing like angels and laugh all day. Do you know, the only smile bigger in Minneapolis that day than the ones on the faces of those three Miske kids is on Billy's mug.
The next morning Billy calls Reddy and whispers, "Come and get me, Jack. I'm dying." Reddy rushes Billy to St. Mary's Hospital, but the doctors can't do a thing. On New Year's Day 1924, Billy, 29, dies of kidney failure.
That's it, really. Except that if you ever pass through Omaha and run into an old-timer, ask him about the prizefight that day, the one that gave Billy Miske the finish he wanted, the one he won in four rounds, over Bill Brennan, by a knockout.