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12. CHAPTER XII. UP OR DOWN? (continued)
"I see, "said Jimmy, running his fingers through his hair. "Oh, well, it's none of my business, and if the suckers want to bet their money on a prize-fight they're about due to lose it anyway."
And so he continued permitting himself to be battered up four or five times a week at the hands of the pussy Mr. Brophy. He paid back the twenty the Lizard had loaned him, got his watch out of pawn, and was even figuring on a new suit of clothes. Never before in his life had Jimmy realized what it meant to be prosperous, since for obvious reasons Young Brophy's manager was extremely liberal in the matter of salaries with all those connected with the training-camp.
At first it had been rather humiliating to Jimmy to take the drubbings he did at the hands of Young Brophy in the presence of the audience which usually filled the small gymnasium where the fighter was training. It was nearly always about the same crowd, however, made up of dyed-in-the-wool fans, a few newspaper men, and a sprinkling of thrill-seekers from other walks of life far removed from the prize-ring. Jimmy often noticed women among the spectators--well-dressed women, with every appearance of refinement, and there were always men of the same upper class of society.
He mentioned the fact once to the same young man who had previously explained the plan under which the fight was to be faked.
"That's just part of the graft," said his informant. "These birds have got next to a bunch of would-be sports with more money than brains through the athletic director of--" he mentioned the name of one of the big athletic clubs--"and they been inviting 'em here to watch Brophy training. Every one of the simps will be tryin' to get money down on Brophy, and this bunch will take it all up as fast as they come.
"The bettin' hasn't really started yet; in fact, they are holding off themselves until the odds are better. If Brophy goes into the ring a three-to-one favorite these fellows will make a killing that will be talked of for the next twenty years." "And incidentally give boxing another black eye," interjected Jimmy.
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