Bil Ferry tapped his own head. "He gets mad."
Mr. Ourser tsked. Even to the wilderness it had penetrated that there is something vulgar about anger; it was the new obscenity. Children learned to control their anger before they could toddle. It was thought that this might, in the long run, prevent war. The entire civilized world was studded with methods and devices, rituals and reflexes designed to drain off anger, or to transmute it into something else. One did not—simply did not—make public displays of anger. "You mean he's a sore loser, something like that?" asked Mr. Ourser.
"Neg-a neg-a no," the flack said. "He take that all right-eo. But don't make him look like a damn fool, you find me? There they go."
The Spot was just leaving North—Adam's territory—and as it entered the South segment Adam began to move. Florio, watching him intently, faded slowly back. As he crossed the center line, Adam shortened his steps, every fourth or fifth one being a small feint to right or left, to which Florio responded as if he were wired to the other's central nervous system, going up on his toes to balance there, arms out, tensed, ready to go anywhere including straight up.
"Now," said Mr. Ourser, explaining it aloud to himself, "he has to get past Florio and keep himself in the Spot for five seconds to score anything."
"Poz. Or maybe keep Florio in it for five. Florio lose points. In his own ter'tory." He laughed excitedly. "But I bet Florio say no."
The teen-agers in the next box were shrieking at Florio to stop Adam, to rush him, to look out for him. But it was Adam who rushed. His great size making the speed completely deceptive, he took two long strides and left the ground in one of his exquisite leaps. It was planned to carry him over Florio's head and down just in advance of the Spot as it entered the 80� segment. He could then stay in its green area, inside the Track, for the necessary five seconds or more, while fighting Florio off.
But Florio was not deceived and had plans of his own. As the magnificently arched and balanced figure soared overhead he reached up almost casually and tipped up the trailing ankle. Florio then made an immense bound, landing a dozen feet away even before his flailing, tumbling adversary hit the ground. Catlike the big man might be, but a cat he was not; he landed on his shoulder and the side of his face, the speed of his passage then carrying his long body up and over. His head was twisted almost under his armpit, and his legs just missed the rising red threat of the Quoit's core as it passed through the 90� segment. The crowd gasped.
"Now Florio usin his think-tank!" crowed the flack. "You see him jump?"