Stepping out of the shack, Ezra shivered at the cold. Pulling his hat down a bit more firmly on his head, Ezra stepped out into the frozen mud that passed for a street and headed for the Gem. He had just turned onto Lee street heading for Main, when he heard a shout behind him. Looking back he saw Charley running to catch up. "Goddammit Charley, ya'll be late to yer own funeral." Charley just grunted and muttered, "Ya can go to hell Ezra. This here is my first day off in 3 weeks and I aim to enjoy it the way I see fit." Ezra gave his friend a good natured punch in the arm, "Charley, ya sleep the whole damn day away an then ya gonna make us late ta the boxin matches. Ya beat all, ya know that?" Charley just lowered his head and said nothing.
Ezra and Charley walked into the Gem and found a seat to wait for the matches to start. Ezra looked around to see who he might have to face. There stood Judge Eun by the stage. He would be hard to beat. Marty, the Gems bouncer stood next to the Mayor. Sitting at a table in the back were several men Ezra had not met before. "Charley, looks like I got my work cut out fer me." Then the bell began to ring and Clays voice cut across the noise of the saloon. "Looks like we have enough to get started. Who wants to be the first to prove they are the toughest in town?" Ezra watched as two of the new comers climbed into the ring. Clay rang the bell again and the fight started.
An hour had gone by and Ezra had just won his first fight against a stranger. Sitting down to rest, he noticed Daisy, the Gems mute prostitute dancing on the stage. Ezra caught her eye and gave her a toothy grin. Daisy was a pretty little brunette, who had lost her voice due to a customer trying to cut her throat. "Ya know Charley, I'm gonna buy me an hour o' her time after I wins the fights tonight." Charley just snorted turning his attention back to the ring.
Ezra climbed into the ring again and saw one of the strangers climbing in as well. Grinning he nodded to the man. His opponent stood a good 5 inches higher then Ezra's 5'7" and likely outweighed him by a good 30 pounds. The stranger looked at Ezra and then laughed, "I'm gonna beat hell outta you little man." Ezra said nothing but the grin disappeared from his face, his lips went thin. When Clay asked if they were ready Ezra merely nodded.
The bell rang and the stranger charged Ezra, throwing a hard left towards his head. With a twist and a step back, Ezra evaded the punch. Again the man launched a wide arcing punch towards Ezra's head, Ezra back peddled and stopped in the center of the ring. The stranger came in more cautiously throwing jabs. Ezra's head snapped back as one of the jabs connected. The big man followed up with a hard right hand to the ribs. Grunting Ezra backed away, making the bigger man follow him. The stranger kept throwing punches backing Ezra toward the corner. The man threw another hard punch towards Ezra's head. Ducking down and moving forward to the left of his opponent, Ezra ended up to the left and slightly behind him. Ezra went to work on the mans kidneys, landing three blows before the stranger could get away. Both men were breathing heavily as the closed again, punches flying. For a full minute the two stood toe to toe, then the bigger man stepped back slightly. Ezra slid past a right hand only to catch a grazing left along his jaw. Staggering back he saw the stranger dip his knees in preparation to leap. As the man began the leap Ezra threw a right to the man's midsection. With a whoosh of expelled air, the stranger dropped to his knees. Ezra followed up with two quick punches to the head and the stranger dropped face first on the mat. Ezra staggered out of the ring and collapsed on the chair next to Charley, his breath coming in wheezes. Charley gave him a quizzical look, "Ya havin fun yet?" Between wheezes Ezra gave him a lopsided grin and replied, "Th...th...this..here...i..is a...right...g..gg...good...frolic."
to be contd