Newspaper Page Text
mvfmm-immmmfWaiimimwmm$ l w 'nm
place. McTavish was an- older man,
but bigger and even more muscular.
They fought for five and forty min
utes in the center of a yelling crowd.
At last both ceased from weariness.
There was still two kings in the lum
"I'll meet you on Christmas day,"
snarled Sorenson, between his swol
len lips, and McTavish, who could not
speak.nodded. So the two kings sep
arated and went their ways.
Sorenson did not forget. He ceased
.drinking in September and devoted
himself to training. He did not even
smoke. The thought that there
might be another king In the lumber
country was intolerable to him. The
story of the impending fight went all
up and down the land.
"Jan," said Father Flynn, "you are
going to fight McTavish on Christ
mas day. You are going to try to
maim him, so as to be the strongest
man in the country. Give it up, Jan,
or you will regret it."
That time Jan Sorenson let loose a-
fiood of blasphemy on Father Flynn s
head. All his pent-up rage broke
loose, and he felt in the padre an
enemy only second to McTavish.
Father Flynn waited till he had done
"Jan," he said quietly, "God doesn't
permit a man to grow too big for bis
boots. You are trusting in your
strength and you are trusting in a
Sorenson, still cursiHg, turned into
the saloon and drank himself stupid
with whisky. Only that way could he
find relief for his overwrought feel
ings. But for that debauch he might
lave won. As it was, the two men
fought each other to a standstill once
more. And Sorenson, staring stupid
ly from the ground at McTavish, also
upon the ground and incapable of
movement, swore that he would meet
him once more and win. The fight
was fixed for April 10.
All that winter Sorenson worked
like a demon. Jlis hate of McTavish 1
had become a madness now, and
warped fifs brain. Each of the men
was resolved to win or die the next
time. They were buoyed up by the
mad desire, like that which comes
to rival leaders in a caribou herd.
"Sorenson," said Father Flynn,
"you have had two chances now.
Give up your plan."
Sorenson turned on the padre with
"If I don't best him 111 never fight
again," he said. "I'll come to you,
father, and you can mate one of your
canting, sniveling hypocrites out of
me. "I'll kneel at the sinners'eat
and say I'm 'one of them. " But I' tell
you I'll kill the dog, .padre. I'll mash
him. softer than the bogs in spring."
Such thines. and-more. Sore'hson
had dreamed at night when he' lay
sleepless in his bunk. , ,r
April 9 arrived, and Sorenson ac
companied, by his folTowersl started
oft along the trail to the "meeting
place. They were the first to arrive;
presently 'the ,6ther party came into
sight. In-'thecenter was a stripling
of eighteen or nineteen years.
"What's this? :Where's McTav
ish?" shouted Sorenson.
"Dead," answered the young man.
"What?" yelled Sorens"on wildly.
"Typhoid' explained the stripling.
"It generally gets the beefy man.
I'm the new king of Watson camp
"You are?" screamed Sorenson,
precipitating himself upon him.
That was a Homeric fight, the rec
ord of which has come down to this
day. For never once did Sorenson's
blows land home. He hit the air, and,
in return, felt sting after sting upon
his face and body The youth's blows
were light as thistledown, but they
began to tell after awhile. There are
no rounds in a lumbermen's battle.
Before ten minutes had elapsed the
big Swede was glaring at his lithe op
ponent out of a bloody haze.
"Come on unless you're beaten,"
said the other calmly.
Sorenson, with a bull's bellow,
jggrdfe' " - - JsL4