But George Brown
did not like what was going on at all—I think mostly because of the
unpredictable nature of my opponent, whose moods seemed to change as the fight
went on. He was evidently not quite sure how to comport himself—clowning for a
few seconds, and then the humming, and then a few punches with more authority.
In the third and last round, Brown began to feel that Moore, having run through
as much of a repertoire as he could devise, was wondering how he could finish
things off esthetically. Long after the event, I found out that Brown had
reached down and advanced the hand of the time clock, so that the round ended a
good minute before it should have. Ezra called us together to raise both our
arms and, funning it up, he called the affair a draw. I can remember the relief
of its being over, vaguely worried that it had not been more conclusive, or
artistic; and I was quite grateful for the bloody nose.
round seemed awfully short," I mentioned to Brown.
He dabbed at my
face with a towel. "I suppose you were getting set to finish him," he
Part of the crowd
moved with us into the cubicle area. In my stall, I was pushed back into a
corner. Moore stood in the doorway, the well-wishers shouting at him, "Hey,
Arch! Hey, Arch!" There was a lot of congratulating and jabbering about the
great Durelle fight.
I heard somebody
ask, "Whose blood is that on your shirt, hey, Arch?" and somebody else
said, "Well, it sure ain't his!" and I could hear the guffawing as the
exchange was passed along the corridors beyond the cubicle wall.
The character of
the crowd had begun to change. The word had gone around the area that Archie
Moore was in Stillman's and people were coming up the stairs from the fight
bars on Eighth Avenue. One of them said, "It's over? What the hell was Arch
doin' fightin' in Stillman's?"
dunno," said another. "I hear he kilt some guy."
They pushed back
into the cubicle area. The cigar smoke rose. I caught sight of Stillman. He was
frantic. He had found two women, a mother and daughter, back in the cubicle
area, which had flustered him, but the main irritation was that his place was
packed with people who had not paid to come through his turnstile. Someone told
me that he had become so astonished at the number turning up for the
exhibition, at the quantity of coats and ties signifying that they could pay,
that finally venality had overcome him; he rushed to the turnstile and the last
20 or 30 people who crowded in had to pay him $2 a head. Later, I heard that he
had tried to recoup what he had missed by charging people, at least those
wearing ties, as they left.
I sat on my
stool, feeling removed from the bustle and the shouting. While I pecked at the
laces of my gloves, a man in front of me turned—I had been staring at the back
of his overcoat—and he said, "Well, kid, what did you get out of
He was an older
black man, with a rather melancholy face distinguished by an almost Roman nose;
his ears were cauliflowered, and very small.