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"No fooling," Casey said, licking the envelope. "Gee, I read the Gazette every month."
He handed the bellboy the note and a half a dime. "Seven-eighteen. And wait for the lady's reply."
"Well, well," said Fox. "I've got a bit of business in a while, but would you join me for some nose paint while I'm waiting?"
Casey looked at Fox. The Police Gazette. He looked at the bellboy waiting for the elevator, and he thought of Phoebe's hair cascading over her bare shoulders. He looked back at Fox. He saw Flossie's eyes. Back to the bellboy. He was just getting on the elevator. He saw all of Flossie. He saw Flossie's love and his own shame—and in the split second it takes a horsehide to travel 50 feet to the bat, Casey dashed to the elevator and yanked the little bellboy out through the closing doors. "Keep the half a dime, but gimme the note back," he said, and then, smiling, he hustled back over to Fox.
Nobody had come up with the term sports bar in 1888, but if they had, the Third Base Saloon, Michael T. McGreevey, Prop., would surely have been recognized as the first such institution. Athletic souvenirs—especially baseball gear—cluttered the place, barely leaving room for the cranks who jammed in, particularly after Beaneater games at the South End Grounds nearby. "I call it Third Base 'cause it's the last place you stop before you steal home," McGreevey would growl. " 'Nough said?"
McGreevey was stout and tiny, a terrier among men, with a handlebar mustache, and while he had been baptized Michael Thomas, he was always called Nuf Ced. Fox explained this to Casey as they entered the Third Base Saloon and trod across the large mosaic on the floor that spelled out NUF CED. "He's here, Johnny," Nuf Ced roared from behind the bar.
"Who's here?" The great booming voice of John L. Sullivan answered from somewhere in the back. "Anybody important?"
Fox smiled facetiously, tipped his hat to Nuf Ced and bade Casey join him at a table. They ordered beers, and Fox explained they would just have to wait for Sullivan. Sure enough, it was an hour or more before Sullivan, with a big tankard of ale in one hand, appeared. He was accompanied by Smiler Pippen on the one side and by his floozy of the evening, Rosie, on the other. "All right, Fox, what is it you're wantin'?" John L. snarled, and Nuf Ced, taking his cue, came over to the table to stand between the two men.