The Amateur Gentleman (Chapter 10, page 1 of 12)


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Chapter 10

"Sir," said his Lordship, after they had gone some way in silence,
"you are thoughtful, not to say, devilish grave!"

"And you," retorted Barnabas, "have sighed--three times."

"No, did I though?--why then, to be candid,--I detest saying
'Good-by!'--and I have been devoutly wishing for two pair of muffles,
for, sir, I have taken a prodigious liking to you--but--"

"But?" inquired Barnabas.

"Some time since you mentioned the names of two men--champions
both--ornaments of the 'Fancy'--great fighters of unblemished
reputation."

"You mean my--er--that is, Natty Bell and John Barty."

"Precisely!--you claim to have--boxed with them, sir?"

"Every day!" nodded Barnabas.

"With both of them,--I understand?"

"With both of them."

"Hum!"

"Sir," said Barnabas, growing suddenly polite, "do you doubt my word?"

"Well," answered his Lordship, with his whimsical look, "I'll admit
I could have taken it easier had you named only one, for surely, sir,
you must be aware that these were Masters of the Fist--the greatest
since the days of Jack Broughton and Mendoza."

"I know each had been champion--but it would almost seem that I have
entertained angels unawares!--and I boxed with both because they
happened to live together."

"Then, sir," said the Viscount, extending his hand in his frank,
impetuous manner, "you are blest of the gods. I congratulate you and,
incidentally, my desire for muffles grows apace,--you must
positively put 'em on with me at the first opportunity."

"Right willingly, sir," said Barnabas.

"But deuce take me!" exclaimed the Viscount, "if we are to become
friends, which I sincerely hope, we ought at least to know each
other's name. Mine, sir, is Bellasis, Horatio Bellasis; I was named
Horatio after Lord Nelson, consequently my friends generally call me
Tom, Dick, or Harry, for with all due respect to his Lordship,
Horatio is a very devil of a name, now isn't it? Pray what's yours?"

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