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I asked him if I could see a poem, and he began looking for one. The first place he looked was in a silver cup he had won boxing; then he looked in or under other trophies and beneath plaster figurines of little Dutch girls and of old men sitting in a row. Don and Jimmy looked, too.
"Patty'll come across one while cleaning and throw it away," Roger said.
"Jimmy will come in drunk and eat them," Don said.
No one could find any poems. Pete Jovanovich and I went down the kitchen steps into the backyard. There was Sam, Roger's white dog, who runs with him in the morning, and the white cat with the black mustache Roger and Jimmy brought home from the Midget Bar after one of their parties. In the yard, too, were engine blocks and sunflowers; beyond these, the mountains where the little black horse ran away.
As we were getting into our car, Roger came out carrying a poem someone had finally found:
It isn't true that men don't cry—
Before he went to Las Vegas to complete his training, Rouse worked out in the Serbian Church Home in Anaconda. "It's the only way Pete can get his fighter to come to church," says Bob Boyd, the former county attorney of Anaconda. "Roger used to be quite religious," Don says. "Now he's an atheist. That is, he thinks he is."
One afternoon while Rouse was sparring, I sat on a church bench between Dolly Rouse and Jeanne Stratton, Roger's girl friend, who works in a camera store in Butte and has made 29 sky dives. We were talking about Roger.
"He's really moody," Dolly said, "but one of the most compassionate people I know. He's so warm and tender. He's always been quiet, but if you get to talking to him, he'll talk your head off. But he doesn't have a positive mental attitude."
Jeanne kept turning away from the ring. "I don't like it when he gets hit," she explained.