After the seventh round Jack says, “My left’s getting heavy.”

From then he started to take a beating. It didn’t show at first. But instead of him running the fight it was Walcott was running it, instead of being safe all the time now he was in trouble. He couldn’t keep him out with the left hand now. It looked as though it was the same as ever, only now instead of Walcott’s punches just missing him they were just hitting him. He took an awful beating in the body.

“What’s the round?” Jack asked.

“The eleventh.”

“I can’t stay,” Jack says. “My legs are going bad.”

Walcott had been hitting him for a long time. It was like a baseball catcher pulls the ball and takes some of the shock off. From now on Walcott commenced to land solid. He certainly was a socking-machine. Jack was just trying to block everything now. It didn’t show what an awful beating he was taking. In between the rounds I worked on his legs. The muscles would flutter under my hands all the time I was rubbing them. He was sick as hell.

“How’s it go?” he asked John, turning around, his face all swollen.

“It’s his fight.”

“I think I can last,” Jack says. “I don’t want this bohunk to stop me.

It was going just the way he thought it would. He knew he couldn’t beat Walcott. He wasn’t strong any more. He was all right though. His money was all right and now he wanted to finish it off right to please himself. He didn’t want to be knocked out.

The gong rang and we pushed him out. He went out slow. Walcott came right out after him. Jack put the left in his face and Walcott took it, came in under it and started working on Jack’s body. Jack tried to tie him up and it was just like trying to hold on to a buzz-saw. Jack broke away from it and missed with the right. Walcott clipped him with a left-hook and Jack went down. He went down on his hands and knees and looked at us. The referee started counting. Jack was watching us and shaking his head. At eight John motioned to him. You couldn’t hear on account of the crowd. Jack got up. The referee had been holding Walcott back with one arm while he counted.

When Jack was on his feet Walcott started toward him.

“Watch yourself, Jimmy,” I heard Solly Freedman yell to him.

Walcott came up to Jack looking at him. Jack stuck the left hand at him. Walcott just shook his head. He backed Jack up against the ropes, measured him and then hooked the left very light to the side of Jack’s head and socked the right into the body as hard as he could sock, just as low as he could get it. He must have hit him five inches below the belt. I thought the eyes would come out of Jack’s head. They stuck way out. His mouth came open.

The referee grabbed Walcott. Jack stepped forward. If he went down there went fifty thousand bucks. He walked as though all his insides were going to fall out.

“It wasn’t low,” he said. “It was an accident.”

The crowd were yelling so you couldn’t hear anything.

“I’m all right,” Jack says. They were right in front of us. The referee looks at John and then he shakes his head.

“Come on, you polak son-of-a-bitch,” Jack says to Walcott.

John was hanging on to the ropes. He had the towel ready to chuck in. Jack was standing just a little way out from the ropes. He took a step forward. I saw the sweat come out on his face like somebody had squeezed it and a big drop went down his nose.

“Come on and fight,” Jack says to Walcott.

The referee looked at John and waved Walcott on.

“Go in there, you slob,” he says.

Walcott went in. He didn’t know what to do either. He never thought Jack could have stood it. Jack put the left in his face. There was such a hell of a lot of yelling going on. They were right in front of us. Walcott hit him twice. Jack’s face was the worst thing I ever saw—the look on it! He was holding himself and all his body together and it all showed on his face. All the time he was thinking and holding his body in where it was busted.

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Categories: Hemingway, Ernest