I had to admit it.
"Well," the mate said, "will you see to it, please, that Mr. Morgan stays off the bridge?"
Swifty always denied that he had paid off the guy in charge of the log, insisting that his "good friend" had provided information "out of the goodness of his heart."
Our training camp was a sumptuous affair, by British standards, at a holiday center called Tagg's Island on the Thames. Damon Runyon and Bugs Baer had come along with us, and soon all the homesick American entertainers in London began to flock in—people like Fanny Brice, Norma Talmadge and Ben Lyon. Every day was a picnic. My old friend the Prince of Wales showed up, too, and we played golf several times at Coomb Hill. Maurice Chevalier sparred with Mickey. I got to know the jockey visitors pretty well also, and picked up enough good tips to win about $30,000.
But I didn't like the even-money odds that were being quoted on the fight.
"Mick," I told Walker, "we'll have to do something about the price, because people are asking me how I 'fawncy' you in the matter of making a wager. I figure you can take this guy, but the price ain't right."
So Mickey, who had been in solid training, joined our parties and seldom was seen without a bottle at his elbow or a glass near his hand. He began to look slow and awkward in training, too.
What they didn't know was that old Doc Kearns was doing the drinking for both of us. And that Mickey was working out grimly in private. He wound up sharper than a landlady's tongue. The price soon went to 3 to 1 in favor of the Englishman.
Charles B. Cochran, the promoter, threw a luncheon for me. It was attended by a small group of wealthy Britons. Cochran introduced me by telling them:
"You fellows make millions. He spends millions."