John Lardner, “Down Great Purple Valleys”

“He told a story about a palooka who sobbed in Ketchel’s arms in the clinches in a fight one night. ‘What’s the matter, kid?’ asked Ketchel. Between sobs and short jolts to the body, his opponent explained that he was being paid ten dollars a round, and feared he would not last long enough to make the sixty dollars he needed to buy a pawnshop violin for his musical child. Ketchel carried him six rounds, and they went to the pawnshop together, in tears, with the money.”


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