So instead of letting Ronald go ahead and work the thing out for himself, she tried to get rid of the girl, the way mothers sometimes do. But Ronald went into a terrible decline and stayed away from home, the way young people sometimes do. So then Mrs. Jordan began using the poor plastic duck to lure Ronald back.
Well, it worked. And when Ronald returned, Mrs. Jordan whisked him off to the city and found him two flesh-and-blood girl ducks so he would forget the summer romance. Which, of course, he did, being young.
And that should be the end of the story, except that we find this whole thing faintly disturbing. We realize there is a lot to be said for arranged marriages, not letting the young people make lifetime mistakes and all that. But this thing of Ronald's was something different. Nobody talked him into liking the plastic duck. Nobody pretended it wasn't plastic. He just liked it. And why not? She certainly wasn't going to get him into trouble (or run out on him); and she had many of the virtues—among them beauty, durability and silence—which all men look for in a wife.
GLOVES ACROSS THE SEA
Terry Downes, who won the non-NBA middleweight championship from Paul Pender in London and now owes Pender a return fight in Boston, would like to get out of the commitment. Not that Downes is afraid of Pender. It is Boston that terrifies him. "I know Boston decisions are very fair," the Britisher once remarked. "If you knock a man out in one round, you at least get a draw." It is incontrovertible that Boston has been kind to Pender: he has won 25 and lost four there, and in some of the decisions it was plain to see that the judges bore him no animosity. On the other hand, Downes has been carrying his anti-Boston campaign a little beyond the edge of reason. He charges that in his first fight with Pender in Boston, "a 6-foot-6 referee pushed me all around the shop." And the weigh-in scales were fixed to read 160 pounds no matter who stepped on them, Downes charges. This presumably was to assist Pender, who sometimes has trouble making the weight.
Downes's charges range between gross exaggeration and just plain untruth. Boston is certainly guilty of an occasional home-town decision, and so is London, but fixed scales and monster referees sound more like something out of pulp fiction. Downes would do better to quiet down and put up his dukes.
"Did you feel any pressure?" young Johnny Sellers was asked last week after riding eight consecutive winners at Atlantic City Race Course. "No," he said, "none at all. Pressure is a big word, and athletes, in my own mind, are seldom under great pressure. They are under something, sure, but real pressure? Not too often. I had ridden the last three winners on Tuesday's card and felt very happy. I got a good night's sleep and went out to the track on Wednesday to go to work.
"I won the first race on a 5-to-1 shot named Swifty Bill. I moved him at the top of the stretch and we won as we pleased. I won the second race to make it five straight winners on Our Jennifer, another fairly long-priced horse [$11]. That one was easy. When I went out to the walking ring for the third race the crowd was buzzing. I won the third race by five lengths and the track announcer told the people that I now had ridden six winners in a row. The people applauded and then, for some reason, they started to boo me. I guess a lot of people were betting against me because they figured the law of averages should have caught me and gotten me beaten.
"I won the fourth but it was hard and I didn't think I was going to get up in time. This time the crowd didn't boo. In fact, some of them might have applauded to take care of the others who booed before. When I got back to the jocks' room all the jockeys seemed to be rooting for me but I knew they'd beat the devil out of me if they could. I won the fifth easily and tied the world record for eight consecutive winners [set 10 years ago by Howard Craig at Waterford Park]. I was happy and excited but I lost with my next mount.