Black Ajax by George MacDonald Fraser PDF

By George MacDonald Fraser

ISBN-10: 0007325649

ISBN-13: 9780007325641

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Sample text

They bay like dogs, exhorting the Ghost to maim, to kill, to gouge the eyes, to break the bones, to castrate. Men rise, eyes wild and faces engorged, aping with their fists the blows of the victor. Women white and black, their features like the masks of snarling leopards, squeal in ecstasy as the helpless flesh is pounded and the blood flows. My Richard waves his hands and rages blaspheming at his man to stand and fight, to smite the Ghost to perdition, and sinks back on the couch, his mouth trembling as with a seizure, groaning and all but weeping, a delightful picture of despair.

It may be a far cry from the Fives Court or Wimbledon Common, from the hundred-guinea purses and the twenty thousand pound side-bets, but it usually pays enough to keep manager and man in food and drink as far as the next village or market-town. Not that he expects much today, from the ragged, noisy crowd of yokels and urchins gathered about the makeshift roped square in the farmyard. Bleeding bumpkins, in the manager's estimate, never seen a shilling in their lives, living on pepper, potatoes and water, slaves to Popish superstition, and content to sleep in sties with their animals, if they have any.

Well, I don't know about that, sir. I been in the Fancy man and boy for more'n fifty years, and they reckon I fought more mills than any boxer that ever came to scratch, and I lent a knee and held the bottle for as many more again. I was lightweight champion of All England. I stood up to the great Jem Belcher longer than any other did, giving him two stone, when he had both eyes, too! I've sparred with every champion of England since Mendoza – Humphries, Jackson, the Game Chicken, Gully, Cribb, and the rest of 'em.

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Black Ajax by George MacDonald Fraser

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