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People keep arguing with me:
"You made half a million dollars fighting in the ring," they keep saying. "What happened to all that dough, Beau Jack? If you ain't got it somebody stole it from you."
Maybe somebody did rob me.
Maybe nobody robbed me.
But I got nothing against anybody. This is because all my fun all my life was fighting. I never went to school. Can't say why, exactly. Don't know, rightly. Living out here in the country, three and a half miles from Augusta, maybe you didn't have to go to school. And maybe without any education a man never gets sense enough to get mad just about money.
What I've wanted most of all was to be a well-liked little feller.
If I ain't got so much today, I didn't have nothing at all when I started out. My mother and father separated when I was eight months old and it was my grandmother, Mrs. Evie Mixom, who brought me up and my sister and my brother John Henry. We lived right next to the little old house I got now.
Reason I know just how far it is to Augusta is because I used to walk there every day to shine shoes on the street. I started to do that when I was eight. I got up 5 o'clock every morning so I could get the best corner for shining shoes before anybody else. That corner was at Ninth and Broad where most of the cotton farmers came in to town. I had to fight every day to keep that corner. It was fight or run. Those other boys wanted my corner and they were bigger than me. They'd get up their gangs against me. But I fought 'em because I wasn't gonna run, and I always won.