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Title: Cupid vs Pollux
Author: Robert E. Howard
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0801221.txt
Language: English
Date first posted: October 2008
Date most recently updated: October 2008

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Title: Cupid vs Pollux
Author: Robert E. Howard




As I am coming up the steps of the fraternity house, I meet Tarantula
Soons, a soph with an ingrown disposition and a goggle eye.

"You're lookin' for Spike, I take it?" said he, and upon me admittin'
the fact, he gives me a curious look and remarks that Spike is in his
room.

I go up, and all the way up the stairs, I hear somebody chanting a
love song in a voice that is incitement to justifiable homicide.
Strange as it seems, this atrocity is emanating from Spike's room, and
as I enter, I see Spike himself, seated on a divan, and singing
somethin' about lovers' moons and soft, red lips. His eyes are turned
soulfully toward the ceiling and he is putting great feeling in the
outrageous bellow which he imagines is the height on melody. To say I
am surprized is putting it mildly and as Spike turns and says "Steve,
ain't love wonderful?" you could have knocked me over with a
pile-driver. Besides standing six feet and seven inches and scaling upwards
of 270 pounds, Spike has a map that makes Firpo look like and ad for
the fashionable man, and is neitherto about as sentimental as a
rhinoceros.

"Yeh? And who is he?" I ask sarcastically, but he only sighs amorously
and quotes poetry. At that I fizz over.

"So that's why you ain't to the gym training!" I yawp. "You big chunka
nothin', the tournament for the intercollegiate boxin' title comes off
tomorrow and here you are, you overgrown walrus, sentimentaliin'
around like a three year old yearlin' calf."

"G'wan," says he, tossin' a haymakin' right to my jaw in an
absentminded manner, "I can put over any them palukas without no
trainin'."

"Yes," I sneers, climbin' to my wobbling' feet, "and when you stack up
against Monk Gallranan you won't need any trainin'. That's a cinch."

"Boxin'," says the infatuated boob, "is degradin'. I bet she thinks
so. I don't know whether I'll even enter the tourneyment or not."

"Hey!" I yells. "After all the work I've done getting' you in shape.
You figurin' on throwin' the college down?"

"Aw, go take a run around the block," says Spike, drawing back his lip
in an ugly manner.

"G'wan, you boneheaded elephant!" says I, drivin' my left to the wrist
in his solar plexus and the battle was on. Anyway, at the conclusion,
I yelled up to him from the foot of the stairs "where the college will
be too small for you."

His sole answer was to slam the door so hard that he shook the house
but the next day when I was lookin' for a substitute for the
heavyweight entries, the big yam appears, with a smug and self
satisfied look on his map.

"I've decided to fight, Steve," he says grandly. "She will have a
ringside seat and women adore physical strength and power allied to
manly beauty."

"All right," says I, "get into your ring togs. Your bout is the main
event of the day and will come last."

This managing a college boxing a show is no cinch. If things go wrong,
the manager gets the blame and if things don't, the fighters get the
hand. I remember once I even substituted for a welterweight entry who
didn't show up. Just to give the fans a run for their money, I lowered
my guard the third round and invited my antagonist to hit me--he did--
they were four hours bringing me to and the fact that it was
discovered he had a horseshoe concealed inn his glove didn't increase
my regard for the game. They've got the horseshoe in the museum now,
but it isn't much to look at as a horseshoe, being bent all out of
shape where it came in contact with my jaw.

But to get back to the tournament. The college Spike and I represented
had indifferent fortune in the first bouts; our featherweight entry
won the decision on points and our flyweight tied with a fellow from
St. Janice's. As usual, heavyweights being scarce, Spike and Monk
Gallranan from Burke's University were the only entries. This gorilla
is nearly as tall and heavy as Spike, and didn't make the football
team on account of his habit of breaking the arms and legs of the team
in practice scrimmage. He is even more prehistoric looking than Spike,
so you can imagine what those two cavemen looked like when they
squared off together. Spike was jubilant, however, at the chance of
distinguishing himself in an athletic way, he having always been too
lazy to come out for football and the like. And this girl was there in
a seat on the front row. The bout didn't last long so I don't know a
better way than to give it round by round. What those two saps didn't
know about the finer points of boxin' would fill several
encyclopedias, but I'd had a second rate for giving Spike some secret
instructions on infightin', and I expected him to win by close range
work, infightin' bein' a lost art to the average amateur.

Round 1

Spike missed a left for the head and Monk sent a left to the body.
Spike put a right to the face and got three left jabs to the nose in
return. They traded rights to the body, and Monk staggered Spike with
a sizzlin' left to the wind. Monk missed with a right and they
clinched. Spike nailed Monk with a straight right to the jaw at the
break. Monk whipped a left to the head and a right to the body and
Spike rocked him back on his heels with a straight left to the face.

Round 2

Monk missed a right but slammed a left to the jaw. They clinched and
Spike roughed in close. Monk staggered Spike on the break with a right
to the jaw. Monk drove Spike across the ring with lefts and rights to
head and body. Spike covered up, then kicked through with a right
uppercut to the jaw that nearly tore Monk's head off. Monk clinched
and Spike punished him with short straight rights to the body. Just at
the gong Spike staggered Monk with a left hook to the jaw.

Round 3

Monk blocked Spike's left lead and uppercut him three times to the
jaw. Spike swung wild and Monk staggered him with a straight right to
the jaw. Another straight right started him bleeding at the lips.
Spike came out of it with a fierce rally and drove Monk to the ropes
with a series of short left hooks to the wind and head. Monk launched
an attack of his own and battered Spike to the middle of the ring
where they stood toe to toe, trading smashes to head and body. Monk
started a fierce rush and a straight left for the jaw. Spike ducked,
let the punch slide over his shoulder, and crossed his right to Monk's
jaw, and Monk hit the mat. Just as the referee reached "Nine" the gong
sounded.

Monk's seconds worked over him but he was still groggy as he came out
for the fourth round. I shouted for Spike to finish him quick, but be
careful.

Spike stepped up, warily; they sparred for a second, then Spike
stepped in and sank his left to the wrist in Monk's solar plexus,
following up with a right to the button that would have knocked down a
house. Monk hit the mat and lay still.

Then Spike, the boob, turns his back on his fallen foeman and walks
over to the ropes smilin' and bowin'. He opens his mouth to say
somethin' to his girl-and Monk, who has risen meanwhile, beating the
count, lifts his right from the floor and places it squarely beneath
Spike's sagging jaw. The referee could have counted a million.

But afterwards Spike says to me, sitting on the ring floor, still in
his ring togs, he says, "Steve, girls is a lotta hokum. I'm offa 'em,"
he says.

Says I, "Then if you've found that out, it's worth the soakin' you
got," I says.



THE END



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