Casey started to
approve this wisdom, but he was stopped cold, for at that moment the Great John
L. Sullivan entered the stage, a huge green robe slung loosely over his
shoulders. Casey was aghast. The Boston Strong Boy was, in fact, the Boston Fat
Boy. "He's fat," Flossie said, with shock. "Disgustingly fat,"
said Phoebe, with disgust.
champion of the world, 29 years old, looked closer to 39 and packed 243 pounds
on his 5'10�" frame. He was grotesquely flabby. His attendant, a spidery
little sort named Smiler Pippen, laced on the champ's gloves, and that motion
was enough to jiggle Sullivan's jowls and belly. John L. liked having Smiler
around, for he was a self-professed druggist, who dispensed rubdowns and a
favored potion, a so-called physic, which was made up of zinnia, salts and
licorice. That was Sullivan's only concession to training.
He sauntered out
to face one Francis Rooney, and to Casey's surprise, he had to admit that
Sullivan could be remarkably nimble when he had to be—for a second or two. But
he was too much the walrus to maintain any pace, and though his blows obviously
devastated poor Rooney, John L. was hardly a scintillating climax to the
evening. Drinkwater and his guests left a bit disappointed.
Casey had hoped
then for a stroll down the boardwalk, perhaps even a little trip along the
beach, but Flossie was exhausted from the long day, and he had to settle for a
chaste peck on her cheek. Then Phoebe conscientiously assumed her chaperon's
mantle and ushered Flossie off to her room. "A little nose paint?"
Drinkwater said to Casey, beckoning to the bar, where they took a table for
brandy and cigars.
Timothy, my boy, have you decided to accept my little proposition?"
Drinkwater asked after they'd lit up.
"I think so,
but I'm not...."
understand. You're a prudent young man," Drinkwater said, toasting him.
"So, let's run over it again. Now, you tell me you make...."
hundred dollars for the season...."
took out his billfold and laid out eight $100 bills. Casey blinked.