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Long, long trail in the world of sport / by Tommy West. West, Tommy. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-41-26782911 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Long, long trail in the world of sport / by Tommy West. West, Tommy. s.n., [S.l. : 1918] 127 p.,  leaves of plates : ill., ports. ; 20 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1992. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02103.04 KUK) Printing Master B92-41. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. West, Tommy. Boxers (Sports) United States Biography. Dedicated to My Friend HENRY B. (KING) GORIN King of Louisville's Tobacco Breaks This page in the original text is blank. ItENRY B. (aKpING) (OlRI N, lslic-ri as Ksing oif louisville's l'I:obacco Breaks for Years. This page in the original text is blank. Long, Long Trail IN THE World of Sport S By TOMMY WEST This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE This little book was compiled by me at leisure moments and its contents are more on the order of a diary. There is practically no fiction within its covers and most of these narratives are personal experiences and while many of them may border on the sensational they are all nearly true. There may be some little exaggeration in some of the details, but as to the persons connected with the stories they were and all are real, live human beings. Many of the persons connected with the stories in this pub- lication have passed, but they were all my friends and when they departed from this troubled old earth I was not the only one that missed them. Most of them were nature's noblemen and persons who had good, red blood flowing through their veins. Like myself, they could give and take a joke and had the happy faculty of looking upon the world and its hap- penings, philosophically. I was not blessed with much of the world's goods at my birth, nor had I the advantages of much of an education, therefore I have displayed what literary knowledge I possess in these stories. From my youth I have inclined to be some- what of a rover, taking most of the world for my playground. Not having a strong constitution I have managed to keep fairly good health by constant exercise. I became an adept at boxing in my early boyhood and by constant practice became fairly efficient in the art of self-defense. While I never was cut out for a professional pugilist, I attempted to pick up a living at that sport with meager success until I struck the top-notchers, then I realized that the prize ring was not in my line. Trusting these reminiscences will recall personages with whom the reader has met and may bring pleasant memories I leave to the captious literary critic any strictures he may see fit to make, knowing myself that I have done my best to put into print some experiences ranging over a decade of a typical American boy's life. TOMMY WEST. The Long, Long Trail in the World of Sport CHAPTER I. TOMmY WEST TELLS STORY OF How HE ATTEMPED TO RIDE IN Cup RACE AT THE DOWNS. Young, Parrent, Winter, Jimmy Collins. About BACK in the year B 1901 I spent the winter at Hot Springs, Ark. I was snoozing around with my friend Col. Jim Whallen, of Louisville, Ky., and the old Boston Red Sox team, which was training at that famous resort. The advance guard that year included Bill Dineen, Buck Freeman, Cy Stahl and the then famed the first of March they THE LONG, LONG TRAIL left the Spa for their training grounds down in Texas. The day they left I went over to Memphis to wait for the opening of the race meeting there, which at that time was about the best spring meeting in the West. On the opening day of the meeting I ran into Bill Douglas, then sporting editor of the "Courier- Journal," of this city. Bill was one of the best friends I ever had, for he had practically put me on the map in the boxing world. With Douglas was Bob Gray, the Louisville boxing promoter, and Col. John Hop- kins, prominent in the theatrical world. Puts Bee in My Bonnet.-Douglas said to me the night he was returning to Louisville, just after the running of the Montgomery Handicap, "Tommy, why don't you come up to Louisville for the Derby and get a leg-up in the Gentlemen's Cup Race It would be a good advertisement for you to win that race and would help you in your ramblings around Europe." I had just told Douglas that Paul Sorg, the noted tobacco manufacturer of Middletown, O., was going to take me across the big pond during the follow- ing summer. Col. Hopkins also spoke up at the time and told me if I won the cup race he would give me a fifteen weeks' engagement on his theatrical circuit. After seeing the Louisville contingent off I went to my hotel and dropped a letter to Lyman 8 B oml l \ Ad.sTr July 14. 1'318. Age 6 elS. This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Davis, who was then secretary of the New Louisville Jockey Club. I signed my correct name, knowing that that was the only name Lyman knew me by. In a few days I got a lette-r from Lyman saying my application had been accepted and for me to get a mount for the cup race. Secures Mount for Race.-I wired Douglas and he secured me a mount on Senator Beveridge, a horse belonging to Col. Hazelip. I grabbed a rattler for Louisville the night before the Derby and was met at the depot by a few of my friends who had been wisened up that I was going to have a mount in the cup race. I went out to the Downs the next day and was introduced to Col. Hazelip as well as to my mount. The Colonel wanted to see if I knew any- thing about riding horses before he would consent to let me have the mount. I showed the Colonel in short order. He remarked, "Why, this kid is a ringer and I guess has been ruled off somewhere." I had been an exercise boy with a stable of horses a few years previous. Sees Visions of "Killing."--The friends who had watched me work out Senator Beveridge were in great glee, for it looked a cinch with my mount and experience I could easily trim all the other entrants. I went into quarters at the Rufer Hotel, a great 9 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL hostlery in those days for the sporting element. At night we would play a social game of cards and I was kept pretty well under cover. Every morning I would go to the Downs and put my mount through the paces. He was in fine fettle and up to a bruising performance. The day of the Cup race came. It was an ideal Spring day and I spent about 20 wiring to my many friends over the country to have a good bet down on Senator Beveridge. I never went out to the Downs until after the first race was run. I did this in order to avoid seeing anyone who might tip me off. I I waited until all the riders in the Cup race had weighed in. The Harthill boys, who had mounts, knew me and I was afraid they would let out a squawk. Just as the last one had weighed in I bobbed into the scales' room, colors on, hurried like. Fighter, No Society Man.-Judge Will Shelly, then clerk of the scales, shouted to negro Dave, who worked in the scale room, if all the gentlemen jocks had weighed in. Dave replied, "No sah, here is Mistah West." Shelly never as much as looked up when I got on the scales, but he set the die and said to Dave, "Hand him them boxing gloves over in the corner." Shelly then said to me without cracking a 10 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT smile, "You're a fighter, not a society man. Go up to the stand, the Judges want to see you." I put on a raincoat over my colors and started in a run for the Judges' stand, passing through the betting ring. Just as I got in the center of the ring I heard some one shout, "Scratch Senator Beveridge twenty minutes for a new book." I then knew it was all off as far as my having a mount in the race was concerned. Gets No Encouragement.-I reached the Judges' stand where I saw Judge Price waving me back and Charlie Grainger looking over the railing said to me, "To what society do you belong" I replied that I was a member of some of the best clubs in Memphis. Shelly had got to the stand by this time and said to me, "Why I know you are a fighter." Then I said, "Judges, if you can show me where I ever won a fight, then I won't ask you to let me ride in this race. " I meant every word of it, for up to that time, I had never been better than second in any contest in which I had ever engaged and that was many a one. Mount Heavily Backed.-Books were on in those days and they had opened Senator Beveridge at 20 to 1. The newsboys and all my friends like to have mobbed the "bookies" trying to bet. The Senator was backed down to 8 to 5 before the scratch announce- 11 12 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL ment came. It looked like an old-fashioned hog killing was going to come off. And I am confident to-day that if I had been allowed to ride there would have been many a missing bank roll among the book- makers at the Downs when the smoke had cleared away after the cup race. The gentlemen riders went to the post without me. Four of them fell off before going a quarter of a mile; three of them were as good as left and but three finished. The race was run two seconds slower than I had worked Senator Beveridge. If they had let me ride it would have made a big difference to me and my friends in a financial way, but I have never been a squawker, and it may be as well that my career as a gentleman rider was never begun. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER II. ToMiMiY WEST TELLS How HE WON FIRST BATTLE IN ROPED ARENA AFTER MANY ATTEMPTS. AFTER my AV60 bloomer in t he mu; A;/ Gentleman's Cup race I wvent to New York, where I met Barney Furey, a knight of the squared circle of some note sev- eral years ago. He was then down at the training camp of Kid McCoy. He showed me several letters that he had re- ceived from the Gas Belt of Indiana telling him there was some soft coin there for clever boxers. 13 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL We both decided to take the rattler out for the Hoosier State. After sojourning around Muncie and Alexandria for a few weeks in company with five other ring professionals we went to East St. Louis, Ill. In the crowd were Furey, the Bezenah boys, Milt Kinney, Jack Cullen and myself, and we all locoed at the same hostelry. Go to East St. Louis.-The incentive for going to East St. Louis was, the dusky fighter known as Chappie Jones was meeting all comers at that "burg." He had a few weeks before we landed in there fought a fifteen-round draw with Bobby Dobbs, at that time about the best negro light- weight in America. Local boxers will remember Dobbs in his defeat of Dick Case in a couple of mills at the old Music Hall, on Market street, in Louisville, Ky., along in the late nineties. Chappie had a record a yard long, winning fights from dubs, but he had defeated some good second- raters. Our crowd of glove swingers had some trouble getting on a match with Chappie, as most of them were stalling, and I could tell easily that I was to be the fall guy, for we were then in what is known as the "Hotel Stakes." The whole five of us owed a long tab to the tavern proprietor, and some- thing had to be done and done quickly. The match- 14 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 15 maker said he would give 200 to any good light- weight that would take on Chappie, win, lose or draw. Like a sucker, I grabbed this opportunity and said: "Give me this bird; I can trim him sure." The rest of the gang all fell in with the bull and said: "Why certainly, West can beat that dinge." Known as Blue-Gum Negro.-They all knew he was a tough man with the gloves, and it was up to me to be a fall guy for the hotel bill and take an awful beating from a black that a charcoal mark would show almost white on his phiz. He was what is known to Southerners as a blue-gum negro, and had hands on him like canvased hams. The gang all helped to get me into condition for the contest, for they expected me to get an awful trimming, and they wanted me physically fit for the ordeal, thinking that I could go a few rounds with the negro, anyhow, and in that way earn the 200 bucks. They, however, continued to convince me that I could beat the black. There was a big bunch of glassblowers from over in the Gas Belt that came over the night of the fight, and the gang had them bet a lot of money at 2 to 1 that I would land the sleep wallop on the dinge. Fight Held on Barge.-The fight was held on a barge. A steamboat was attached to the barge THE LONG, LONG TRAIL and pulled up the river a few miles. The lights over the ring were controlled from the deck of the steamer by a drop switch. When it came time for me to leave my dressing room, which was in a cabin of the boat, I walked over to the ring and Chappie was already in his corner smiling and looked as if he was going to eat me up. The barge was crowded and all my friends except Andy Bezenah were around my corner. Jimmy Ryan, a noted railroad- er and sporting man was the referee. After getting on my gloves I called Fred Daley, who was match- maker of the club, and asked him what was the arrangement for Chappie and his end of the fight. Daley said he was giving Chappie 300 to win or draw and 200 if he lost, and also said if I beat him he would give me 300, as I would be a big drawing card for his next show. Wants Winner Take all.-Chappie and I and all the seconds on both sides went to the center of the ring to get instructions from Ryan how we were to box. Then I said to Chappie, "We will make it winner take all." That would make the winner get 500 and the loser nothing. My crowd com- menced to shout, "No! No! No! Remember we are in the Hotel Stakes," but I let it go at that. This proposition made Chappie look a bit frightened, 16 4 VICiT U VUUU This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT but his manager said, "All right, let the winner take all." I told Daley to pay over the entire 500 to the winner and in case of a draw split the money. My seconds were sore. They called me a boob and said I did not have a chance, and that the match was only made for the losing end and that they had a lot of suckers betting on me just to get a better price on Chappie's end. But it was too late to change the agreement and the gong sounded for the opening round. In for an Awful Beating.-We shook hands in the middle of the ring and sparred for a moment or two, then Chappie began with a deadly left jab. I don't think I laid a glove on him in the first round and he was cutting me to ribbons. In the second round he blacked both my eyes and my nose was bleeding profusely. He could have easily knocked me out if he had taken the chance, but he was still leary, thinking that I was one of those one-punch fighters who could put him out with a blow, so he contented himself by continuous jab- bing. I began to realize that the gang had framed-up for me, but at the same time I had hooked them and they were in just as bad as 1, only they were not getting the trimming dished out to me by Chappie. 17 18THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Frame-up on Negro.-When I got back to my corner at the end of the second round my chief second, Furey, was not there. But I saw him back in the crowd talking earnestly to Andy Bezenah. I was able to take the punishment that Chappie handed to me in the third. As the bell sounded at the end Furey jumped into the ring and brought me back to my chair and whispered in my ear, "How do you feel, old pal" I told him I was about all in and guessed we would have to walk out of town. Barney whispered to me, "Can you feint that dinge over into your corner If you can you have a chance." I said I believed so, for I can't last much longer. So when we hooked up at the beginning of the fourth round I made a feint at the negro and back-stepped toward my corner, and he followed me closely. Just then the lights went out and I heard the sound of a breaking bottle, and as the lights came right on again to my surprise Chappie lay in my corner dead to the world. What Happened to Chappie-"What happened to Chappie" said Referee Ryan to me. "Well," I said, "you see him, and I think I hit him the stiffest blow I ever delivered in the squared arena. It was right on the solar plexus and you can begin to count." Ryan looked at the negro and saw a big gash in his 18 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 19 forehead, but he tolled off the fatal ten. The referee again said to me, "What is that broken glass doing around Chappie" I said that he must have fallen in my bucket when I dropped him. I was declared the winner, but there was a lot of squawk- ing before the bets were all paid off. This was my hundredth fight and got me out of the maiden class, as it was the first victory that I had ever chalked up. It was reported that a few days after this mill Chappie ended his life by jumping off a boat down at Memphis, Tenn. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER III. WAGER OF 50 ON 50-To-I SHOT QUEERED "FIRST PAST THE POST" GAME AT WEST BADEN POOLROOM AFTER get- -A ting all the boys K 1'A)Zfoou t of the hotel stakes at East iat , St. Louis, with plenty of dough in my jeans, we all returned to the Gas Belt where I was carded as the coming light weight cham- pion. My vic- tory over Chap- pie Jones had put me up in the front ranks as a "comer." I was matched at Muncie, Ind., with a 20 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT tough-looking lightweight from Chicago who fought under the name of Fay Bryant. A big house greeted us, but I'm sorry to say, Bryant put it all over me and again I got the loser's end of the purse. It seemed as if I needed a dark house to win a victory- but the lights failed to go out. With a fair-sized bank roll left I departed with my sparring partner, Barney Furey, for West Baden, Ind., to play the horses in the pool room at that place run by one Ballard. This pool room had been hammered by every known device to beat it from "Chappie" Moran's wire-tapping gang to "single- outers" and "double-uppers," but it had stood the ordeal and Ballard had a bank roll left that would choke an elephant. When Furey and I arrived it was announced we were training for a big battle that was soon to take place in Louisville. Puts Scheme to Work.-The first day at the Springs I received a long-distance call from "Rudy" Books a telegraph operator, at Louisville. He asked me how they were handling the bets in the pool room there. "They never close until they are off," I told him, "and many bets were taken a few min- utes after post time." I told Books they were us- ing a fake call at the Ballard place and the results were received at the branch telegraph office in the 21 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL hotel and brought over to the pool room by a mes- senger boy. Then Books told me we had a chance to put over a "speedy," as he was getting the re- sults just as they were run. He said he would send his friend, Henry Hackmann, over to the Springs, and for me to meet him at the train that night. Hackmann arrived on time, and we figured out a scheme of signals, which would give us the winner two or three minutes before the pool room could get it. Buy Twenty Pennants.-I went over to French Lick the next morning and bought about twenty pen- nants of different designs and colors. Every pen- nant represented a number on the form sheet. I had explained to Hackmann how I would stand on the steps of the hotel, just out of the long-distance telephone office, and when I got the winner from Books would wave the right pennant for the horse and he could see plainly from a window in the pool room without having to leave the place. Of course we went to the woods and practiced the signals and had them all down pat before we ever attempted to turn a trick. There could be no mistake. We even tried out a winner before beginning operations. Hackmann made a few fake bets the next day after post time, and, of course, lost. 22 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT We Put a Few Over.-The next day we decided to put in the "work." I had my pennants all in shape and was posing as a pennant peddler. Few people knew me and everybody thought that was my "graft." The plan for the flash was that I was to carry the pennants under my left arm and flash the winner with one in my right hand. I had Books rigged up to call me in certain races where he thought the send-off would be quick and there would be no delays at the post. We were not going to try over one or two a day. In the afternoon when the time came for the races to begin Hackmann went over to the pool room and I laid at the long distance telephone booth like a cat at a rat hole. In the second race I got the flash that Bearcatcher had won. I walked out on the steps and saw Hackmann standing in the win- dow of the pool room. I waved the Turkish flag with a red crescent. That was number three, ac- cording to our code. Bearcatcher was third down on the form sheet. Hackmann bet the money taker 20 on the horse. It was two minutes after that I saw the messenger boy taking over the winner to the pool room from the branch telegraph office. Bear- catcher was the winner, all right, and he was four to one. We never attempted another flash that day. 23 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Put Over Two in One Day.-The next day we put over two flashes and they both came down all right. One of these winners was Clifton Forge and the other was a horse called Death. Hackmann had cleaned up about 500, and the proprietor had begun to get a little leary, as Hackmann was betting late. I will never forget how the blow-off came. Nothing was attempted the next day, but on Sat- urday, two days after our late play, Hackmann in an excited manner made it too strong. He was look- ing for the flash from me and had forgotten to look at the prices of the horses on the board. I got the flash over the phone from Books in the fourth race, and the horse was BLUE BLAZES. The code sig- nal for Blue Blazes was the Irish Pennant, with the harp in the center. How Hackmann "Bulled It."-When Hackmann got the horse he rushed excitedly to the money taker and said: "I want to bet you 50 on Blue Blazes." The bookmaker looked at the board and Blue Blazes was quoted at 50 to 1. He said: "We can't take that large a bet on a 50 to 1 shot unless Mr. Ballard says so." Ballard was called and said: "Not for me; you've got something on this game and it is a little too late," being about two minutes past post time. Ballard asked "Bub," the operator, if they 24 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT were off yet. "Bub" replied that it was a little late, but he had not received the winner. During the argument the boy rushed in with a message, and sure enough Blue Blazes had won. My Flag Tipped It Off.-Hackmann was stand- ing by the window at the time and Ballard came up to him and looking out the window still saw me wav- ing the Irish flag. He remarked to Hackmann, "I guess that boy's flag means that Blue Blazes won." Then it was all off. Hackmann, Furey and myself all made a quick get-away from West Baden. We had to stay up half the night at Orleans to get the Alonon into Louisville the next morning. When we reached Louisville Books met us and gafe Hackmann an awful roasting for pulling such a "bone" as attempting to bet 50 on a 50 to 1 shot. But we all parted in good humor over our little joke on the stony-hearted pool-roomer. I still have the Irish flag pennant at home and think of the oc- currence nearly every time I look at it. 25 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER IV. TOMMY WEST TELLS STORY How SPARRING PARTNER LOSES FIGHT AFTER HAVING BOUT TWICE WON. A FTER the AWest Ba- den pool room incident my sparring partner, Furey, and myself took a little reconnoi- tering trip up to V Cinci nnati, Fu- rey's stamping ground. Both of us had about fried all the grease out of the fighting game around that burg, but we thought that we would hang around there a few days to see if we couldn't pick up a "live one." Sure enough, it was not long before we "snaked" a fellow-I will call 26 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT him Cliff-who seemed to have plenty of dough. Furey and I gave him a taste of high life in the blight light district and Cliff suggested he take both of us under his managerial wing and go down to Hot Springs and match us for some bouts. Furey Hooks a "Sucker.'"-Furey seemed to have hooked a sucker stronger than I, so it was agreed that Cliff and Furey were to go to the Springs at once and leave me to follow later. I didn't like that proposition, but Furey gave me the rush and said he did not have time to pack his trunk as he was leaving at once, and asked me to express his Sara- toga to the Springs, adding that Cliff would leave me a sack of dough and I could come on down in a few days. I went to the train to see Cliff and Furey off, and incidentally to get my sack of dough. Just before they left Cliff handed me a sack filled with coins. It felt as if at least fifty bucks were in it. After the rattler pulled out I repaired to the favorite hang-out of the gang. I throwed my dough bag on the counter and asked all the boys up to take a drink. I opened it and counted out 267 pennies. They all gave me the laugh, the bar- keep accusing me of robbing a penny-in-the-slot machine. I was sore, but said little. I tumbled in 27 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL a minute that Cliff, our new manager, was nothing but a cheap grafter. Sent Trunk Full of Bricks.-The following night I received a telegram from Furey to send his trunk at once. I went to his room and had a couple of " hus- kies" carry his trunk to the hang-out, distributing all Furey's belongings to the hangers-on, stuffed it full of old newspapers and bricks, then sent it by express to Furey at Hot Springs, C. 0. D. I followed the trunk to the Springs in a few days. When I landed there a friend " wisened " me Furey had paid five bucks to get the bricks. I found Furey and Cliff in a pool room trying to beat the horses with the few dollars they had left. Cliff found out that to manage fighters he had to have a bank roll and as he had lost the latter he dropped the managerial role and became a " rubber " for both of us. Get Match With "Cyclone" Kelly.-Tommy Ryan, of Syracuse, was at the Springs at the time and in ill health. He had just fought a big dub called Cyclone Kelly from the Pacific coast a fifteen-round draw. Ryan told Furey that Kelly would be easy for him, so in a few days Furey was matched to meet Kelly. 28 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Andy Mulligan, who had managed Dick Case and other fighters around Louisville twenty years ago, was running the club and he told Furey if he could beat Kelly there would be many other matches he could get around the springs. I told Furev Kelly could not be such a rotten fighter if he stood Ryan, champion middleweight of the world off for fifteen rounds. Ryan, though, said to Furey if he defeated Kelly, which he thought he could, they could stage a bout at Little Rock and make some easy money. I fell in with the gang and had Furey "bulled" into believing Kelly was going to be easy picking. That was the same stuff Furey and the boys had given me at St. Louis a few months pre- vious in the Chappie Jones affair. Get Down to Training.-After the agreement was signed Cliff and myself put Furey into vigorous training. We only had ten days to get him ready and that was a pretty hard job, as Furey had been going an awful clip for some time. There was plenty doing at the Springs in those days, but Furey was strictly a " green chatter " and " bright lighter, " and it was hard to get him to train. We rounded him into pretty fair shape, however, by the night of the fight. Furey had the advantage of Tommy Ryan's advice in his training and he was also one 29 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL of Furey's seconds. Ryan told me if Furey won they would split a couple of thousand dollars in their Little Rock show. Kelly Was a Big Husky.-Kelly was ten or fifteen pounds heavier than Furey and was in the pink of condition. Furey was what is known as a "get- there-first" fighter and could go about three rounds as fast as any boxer in the country. He was also clever and could hit like a trip-hammer, but had little stamina on account of his habits. It was a great chance for Furey and as we were both broke I could see visions of having plenty of dough again. The night of the fight came. Pat Early was referee and Bat Masterson timekeeper. Early had no particular liking for Kelly and he showed it throughout the bout, but Kelly was about the toughest proposition at that time in the ring, although he had no science. In Furey's corner was Tommy Gilfeather, Tommy Ryan, Jimmy Duffy, once a famous jockey, and myself. I was to handle the sponge and give the instructions during the melee. Furey Looked Easy Winner.-When the bell called them to the center of the ring in the first round, quick as a flash Furey caught Kelly flush on the jaw and down the cyclone went. Furey lost his "nut" and kicked Kelly while he was down, but 30 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Early did not disqualify him. He sent both men back to their corners and gave them a five-minute blowout. Both men came together with a rush in the second round, but Furev beat Kelly to it and smashed him again on- the jaw, Kelly going down and Furey opened up his French attack for the second time. Again Referee Early refused to disqualify Furey. Kelly got up in a dazed condition before the count and after the gong sounded was taken to his corner. Another five minutes were given the boxers. Kelly Finishes Strong.-Kelly came back fresh in the third and Furey went right after him, but failed to connect this time. Instead Kelly caught Furey back of the neck with a "Mary Ann" and dropped him like a log. Furey rose to his feet and began battling, but not for long, as he was soon put to his knees with a stiff left jab. He gave me the distress signal to throw in the towel, but I told him I didn't have any. He came up at the count of nine, and Kelly smashed him right in the mouth and scattered his gold teeth like so many grains of corn over the ring. Furey officed me, being nearly THE LONG, LONG TRAIL out, to throw in the sponge. I made out like I did not hear him. Furey Yells For Help.-Then he came up again, and Kelly hit him flush on the jaw. He went down near his corner, and while the referee was tolling off the count, slowly, Furey yelled at me: "For God's sake, Tommy, throw something in the ring, make some kind of a noise." Then I grabbed the chair in his corner, put the bucket, towels, sponge and all the other paraphernalia in it and tossed it into the center of the ring. I hated to do it, for Furey had actually won the fight twice and had not shown the least bit of judgment. It was the tough- est loss of what looked like sure money I ever had. This also queered our chance of getting hold of some easy money with Tommy Ryan. Furey left Hot Springs the next day. I stayed at the Spa and " staffed " my millionaire friend from Ohio, whom I afterward accompanied across the big pond to Europe. 32 "S", This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER V. ToMMimy WEST TELLS EXPERIENCES As GLOBE- TROTTER---HE HOBNOBS WITH J. P. MORGAN ON SEA VOYAGE. A FTER my partner, Furey, had pulled such a A bone in the "Cyclone" Kelly fight I shook him for easier and more pleasant paths. Through the introduction of my friend, Paul A. Sorg, the millionaire tobacco manufacturer of M\Iid- dletown, O., I became acquainted with a bunch of rich men. My first commission was to stage a few private boxing affairs. This I did with some "coons" as the talent. I put on a battle royal with five of the biggest blacks and a battle regal with six smaller ones, and for the piece de resistance I staged a ten-round bout-a kind of an elimination affair-between three who had weathered the storm. I introduced the novelty of three to fight until one stood out winner, and he was to get the big purse. The negroes all fought for keeps. The affairs were a big success. They were attended by about a half dozen ultra rich men and their friends, and they enjoyed them hugely. I pulled off several of these 33 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL affairs before I left Hot Springs. On several occa- sions the veteran manager of fighters, Parson Davies, was present, and he voted these contests the most comical he had ever seen. Hobnobs With Millionaires.-I hobnobbed and rubbed elbows with many millionaires at the Springs in those days. One of the attendants at my boxing entertainments was Lacy Crawford, of St. Louis. One day I walked into the cafe at the Eastman Hotel when Crawford approached me and handed me a pool room ticket which read, "Miss Crawford, 600 to 100 to win, 200 to 100 a place and 100 even to show." He said, "Tommy, go over to the pool room, and if this ticket wins, you are in with it." I hotfooted it over to Charley Bollinger's place, and as I entered the door I heard the caller shout, "Miss Crawford wins at Ascot." I thought it was a frame- up on me, thinking Crawford had telephoned to Bol- linger to have Miss Crawford called a winner when I entered the door, but it was on the level, and when I passed the cashier the ticket, he handed me twelve of the prettiest 100 bills I ever saw. When I got back to the hotel Crawford handed me 450 for my bit. I afterward found out that Crawford had won over 5,000 on his relative's namesake in the pool rooms throughout the country. 34 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Journeys to New York.-In a few days my friend Sorg left for the East and before departing he handed me 200 and told me to meet him in New York on April 14 and he would take me with him across the big pond. Before I left Hot Springs the ponies took me for nearly all my bank roll, hut T reserved enough to get to New York, where I was to sail for England. I stopped over in Louisville and Cincin- nati to see all my old friends on my way East. I landed in New York on the morning of April 10. I went to see my friend John W. Gates known as Bet-you-a-million Gates on account of his big wagers at the race tracks in America. I called on his son Charlie, too, who was also a high roller. I had met them both at Hot Springs while giving my boxing shows. They had invited me to call on them if I ever came to New York. John W. was a busy man when I dropped into his office, but he gave me a hearty grip and told me to return at another time, which I did when he was at leisure. (I will relate my con- nection with the Gates in another article.) Hotel Clerk Gives Me Sandy.-The next day I went over to the Holland House, one of the swellest hotels I had ever seen up to that time. I stepped up to the clerk and asked for Mr. P. A. Sorg. He said, "Have you a card" I wasn't on to that stuff 35 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL then, and I said, no. The clerk said, "What name shall I give him" I said, Tommy West. The clerk did a little telephoning and in about ten minutes there were ten different eyes glued on me. Sorg was out, I was informed, and would not be back for a month. I knew better, but let that clerk get away with it. I came back to the Holland the next day, went into the cafe and there stood Mr. Sorg talking to another gentleman. "Why, hello, Tommy, I see you are on time," he said. "Have a drink" he said. I said, "No, thanks but I will take a cigar." Afterward we sat down to a table and he told me he had booked passage for me on the Cedric with him. He handed me a "rounder," good for first-class passage over and back. I could return on any of the White Star Lines' ships within a year. Sorg asked me how I was fixed financially and when I told him I was only about twenty bucks strong, he slipped me a couple of century notes and said he guessed that would last me over. Notable Persons on Board.-We sailed on the S. S. Cedric on the afternoon of April 14. The passenger list contained the name of Thomas A. West, Louis- ville, Ky., known in the pugilistic world as "Louis- ville Tommy" West. Among the other notable 36 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT passengers on the Cedric was J. P. Morgan, Miss Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Paul A. Sorg and other well-known Americans. The ship and the ocean were grand sights to me and I remained on deck until after midnight drinking in the wonders. I was up early the next morning, put on my training togs and began running the deck. When I went to breakfast there were only two persons beside myself in the place they called the dining salon. They were Mr. Morgan and his daughter. I met Mr. Morgan nearly every morning after that when I was jogging around the deck in sweater and training clothes. He seemed to eye me closely as if he wondered what my racket was. About the fourth night out an approaching storm was an- nounced and as I had heard so much talk about mal de mere on the sea I thought I would stay up and see if that disease would grab me. I kept walking until about 11 p. m., when I went into the salon. There was only one other man in there and he was the great J. P. Morgan, but I did not know it then. I sat down at a table and ordered a glass of ale. I saw the waiter go to Mr. Morgan's table, and when he returned he came to me and said, "The gentleman wants you to come over to his table and have something with him." 37 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Pierpont Introduces Himself.-"Whatis your name" he said, extending his hand. "My name is Morgan, J. P. Morgan." After the waiter had served Mr. Morgan and myself two bottles of ale and returned to his station Mr. Morgan said to me, "Son, I have been wondering what makes you run around decks just at the break of day." I certainly was swelled on myself that I could talk to a man that crown- heads had trouble getting an audience with. I asked Mr. Morgan to have a nip with me before he retired, but he wouldn't let me pay for a thing. I met him the next morning on deck during my routine run and then I told him I was a pugilist and taking my work-out as I expected to fight while I was in London. He seemed to be very much interested and inquired all about how professionals train for their fights. I told him all about the game. Arrives in London Town.-When the Cedric docked at Liverpool a special train took Morgan and his party to London. Mr. Sorg and I followed on a later train. Mr. Sorg and his party had reserved a suite at the Cecil, at the foot of the Strand near the Thames River and just off the London bridge as well as the Tower bridge. I was housed at the Hotel Provence on Leicester square. I was paying two pounds a week (10) at my hotel. It was in the 38v IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 39 heart of London, however, right off Picadilly Circus. The old saying that the world is not so big was proven shortly after I was in the hotel. I did not think I knew a soul in London beside Mr. Sorg. Imagine my surprise when I was being shown my room by the bell hop and a voice said, "Hello, Tommy, what you doing here" It was no other than Jimmy Handler, of Newark, N. J., one of America's great fighters in those days. He was carded to box before the National Sporting Club. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER VI. TOMMY WEST TELLS STORY OF His TRIP To LONDON, PARIS AND A SHORT VISIT To CAPE TOWN. W IIEN I brushed into Jimmy Handler, the V V Newark boxer, at my hotel, we at once became side-kicks, as I was lonesome. Mr. Sorg had a party of friends with him which were no company for a fighter-or at least that is what I posed in those days. Handler had a match on at the National Sporting Club with a British fighter called "Slouch" Dixon. Handler asked me to second and assist him in training for the bout. Of course I accepted. I had a letter of introduction to Mr. Bettison, manager of the club, from Tom Sharkey. Now Sharkey didn't write the letter, for every one knows Tom is a bad penman, but he signed his moniker as it was written on a typewriter. The letter was a big boost for me. It said I was the coming lightweight champion of America. I invited Handler to the grill room to have a bite to eat. To my surprise there was a big bunch of Americans there. Seated at the different tables 40 TOM TIMY \W [PST At Ioldon, UIjglan:I , Mlav 3. 19()3. This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT were Billy Murray, who is now with a big phono- graph concern; George Fuller Golden, the comedian, who was quite a hit in London at that time; George Dixon, the chocolate-colored featherweight champion of the world; "Spike" Sullivan, another boxer of note, who always carried his typewriter with him, and Danny Maher, the famous American jockey, who afterward became the premier rider in England. It was on Sunday afternoon and we all "set it in." I probably overplayed myself, but at the wind-up we all joined in a toast to the good old U. S. A. Take in Sights of London.-Handler, seeing I had plenty of dough, suggested we take a ride and see the sights. Murray joined us, and he knew old London town like a book. We grabbed one of those han- soms. There were no street cars in London. Only trams, cabs and the subway. The first corner we turned looked like Broadway and Forty-second street. "This is the Strand, Tommy," Murray said. After a short ride we started across a bridge that looked something like our own Jacob bridge, and one of the boys remarked "this is the Thames River." There were a few sail boats and scows in the river and they looked about like a scene on the Erie canal. They told me the tide was out, but with us the tide was on about then. Then we brought up at West- 41 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL minster Abbey and drove by the Houses of Parlia- ment and two blocks east to the Tower bridge and the famous tower, where I was told they beheaded people in the olden days, including kings and queens. The greatest sight I saw though, was through Petticoat Lane and the Whitechapel district. The latter place was where "Jack-the-Ripper" got his reputation. We went to the hallway where it is reputed he committed his first crime. In this district the pickpockets and all kinds of criminals were numerous. They would steal one's handker- chief on one block and attempt to sell it back to you again on the next. These places were certainly as bad as they were advertised. Visits National Sporting Club.-The following morn- ing I visited the National Sporting Club. It was down at a place called Hubert Gardens, which is nothing more than a market square. I presented my letter of introduction from Tom Sharkey and was treated royally by Mr. Bettison. I thought I was going to see one of the most pretentious fighting arenas in the world, but I was disappointed as the place was not nearly so large as old Music Hall, on Market street. Its members included the very best people in England, including the royalty. It is a private club and the members are charged according 42 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT to the attraction. Each member is allowed to bring a guest. The night of the "Slouch" Dixon-Jimmy Handler contest the crowd was small as the weather was inclement and one of those dense London fogs was on. Dixon was a big, burly fellow with about as much beef as Jeffries, while Handler was never anything but a middleweight. Handler lost the fight in the fourteenth round after taking an awful beating. He was evidently going back as "Wild Bill" Hanrahan had defeated him in Louisville the last fight he had in the States. The referee intro- duced me from Handler's corner as an American fighter who had come across the pond to meet Peddlar Palmer, Ben Jordan or "Jap" Roberts. The papers all gave me a big send-off, saying I was heralded in America as the coming champion. I visited many other places of interest in London the next day, such as Scotland Yards, Eden Park and the famous museum. Takes Short Trip to Paris.-When returning to my hotel I received a note from Mr. Sorg telling me he was going to Paris that night and he wanted me to go along. We arrived in Paris the next day about noon. I was not long in getting a ten-pound English note changed into 250 franc pieces and started out by myself to see the sights. I spent four days 43 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL among the "Frog Stickers" and succeeded in separat- ing myself from all my franc pieces. I turned out to be a "bum" Frenchman, I had to wire Sorg for money to get back to London. He had left for that place two days before. When I arrived at London, Sorg informed me he had to sail for America on the next steamer on urgent business. He left me 100 pounds, 500 in American money to complete my stay. Goes to Cape Town.-I still had my return ticket on any of the White Star Line Steamers and I felt pretty easy. Some bug, however, wisened me that Cape Town, South Africa, was a great, live place. I didn't know where it was and didn't care so I decided to sail for that burg. I landed after about nineteen days out. The sea was rough and I felt pretty rough and sick when I landed there. After righting myself, I took a turn of the principal streets and all I saw was whiskers, whiskers and some more whiskers. I "blowed" that place after a couple of days and sailed right back to Southampton. 44 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER VII. TONiMY WEST TELLS STORY BOUT WITH "JAP" ROBERTS IN LONDON WHEN KING ED WAS AT RINGSIDE. I ARRIVED at Southampton after about three weeks out from Cape Town in fairly good con- dition for so long a travel at sea. When I got back to London I found two messages for me at the Provence Hotel. One was from the club officials of a town called Chester, located a short distance from London, and the other was from Mr. Bettison, manager of the National Sporting Club. Both of these messages was an offer to box "Jap" Roberts. If I remember correctly Chester was Roberts' home town. Unfortunately Roberts had accidentally killed an American boxer called "Turkey Point Billy" Smith before the Chester Club a short time previous. I went down to the National Club the next day after I arrived and was informed that I was wanted to box Roberts before that club the following Mon- day night and that was on Wednesday. I told Mr. Bettison I would not have time to get in condition 45 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL to go fifteen rounds, the number he specified I was wanted to box. He then told that the bout was to be strictly a scientific sparring exhibition and that the club would give me pound;50. He took me in the gym and introduced me to Roberts, who was working for the bout. I had a long talk with him. He advised me to accept the match as there was to be no "rough stuff" and everything would be as he represented it. I told Roberts the club at Chester wanted me to box him there also. He said he never would box there again after the Smith accident. Accepts the Roberts Match.-I reported to the National Club official I would meet Roberts and he showed me the best attention by letting me use the gymnasium to train and many other little cour- tesies. Roberts told me in the meantime that we were to appear before a royal visitor. I explained to him again that I would be in no shape to go a grueling fifteen rounds, but he told me that would be all right as he did not care to train so hard and it would only be an exhibition bout. Every day I went to the club for my work-out. I could "hit the ball," as they call punching the bag in England, as well as any boxer then living. At shadow dancing I was very proficient. "Jap" was going through the 46 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT same stunts as myself and we would box with the club members every day. King Edward at Ringside.-The night of the bout, two preliminary affairs were staged before Roberts and myself entered the ring. We both wore full dress tights when we came into the ring. "Jap" had on red tights with a British flag for a belt and mine were green with the American flag for a belt. I was given just as much applause as Roberts when we took our corners. Two men dressed in white were in each of our corners. The referee, judge and timekeeper sat just outside the ring. On the stage not ten feet from my corner sat King Edward of England with his escort of five officers of the British army. Before we donned the gloves both of us shook hands with His Majesty. Neither of us wore bandages and was given strict instructions at no time to use any rough tactics or attempt for a knock- out, but were to box clever and nice. Both of us lived up to our instructions. We gave a good ex- hibition. At any rate it seemed to please the King and his company. Round after round we were ap- plauded by hand clapping, but there was none of the "rough house" that usually attends American bcuts noticeably. 47 THE LONG, LOING TRAIL After the bout Roberts and myself were guests of the club and we had a big feed. The next day Roberts was my guest at the Hotel Provence for dinner. He invited me to spend a few days with him at his home. He was a perfect little gentle- man. I don't believe he boxed much after our lit- tle set-to. The Smith accident seemed to grieve him much. Gets Broke in "Gay Paree."-In a few days I took another trip across the Channel to Paris. There I fell in with a bunch of genial sports that carried me so fast I was soon financially embarrassed. In the crowd was Billy Murray, Kid Lavigne, Tod Sloan and a number of others. I even went so far as to sell my passage back to America for the small amount of 150 francs. I want to say that a person looking for a good time can get rid of his "dough" faster in Paris than any place I ever struck. But if ever I get easy again when the war is over, me for Paris again. There I was in "Gay Paree" as clean as a hound's tooth as far as money is concerned. I got enough money from Tod Sloan to get to Southamp- ton, where the boys told me I could get passage back to America from the American Consul. All I got from him was the glad hand. I only had eight 48 NI y fT iend from Illy honle t1'S\'11 This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 49 francs left and I exchanged them with some shark for six shillings. All I had left was my grip and some dirty linen, so I had to do something like hard work to get back home. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER VIII. TOMiMY WEST RELATES STORY OF HARDSHIPS As COAL PASSER; J. P. MORGAN COMES To RESCUE. N my last story I was in Southamp- ton, Eng., with a ,- f e wfew shillings in my p 5pocket, trying to get d d ' passage back to the land of the free and By k X the home of the brave. I tackled the Ameri- can Consul and told him my condition, and he said he thought he could fix it for me to sail on the steamship St. Paul, which was due to clear the next morning for New York. He fixed it all right, but I soon discovered he had signed me as a coal passer, which is about the toughest job on board a modern steamship. Talk about the galley slaves of the ancients; their work had nothing on the coal passer of today. The fellow's place I IN THE WORLD OF SPORT took had died on the trip over from New York. I tackled the task. On account of a heavy fog in the channel the ship was a couple of days getting into good seas. But that was no relief for the coal passers. We had to work continuously four hours and then get an eight-hour lay-off. My compan- ions were big, husky foreigners, and few of them could speak English. Imagine me trying to hold my end up with those big bruisers, and my fighting weight then was only 118 pounds. Certainly a Man's Job.-After laboring four hours carrying a bushel basket of coal between boilers with full steam up I was all in. I believe I would rather have tackled Joe Walcott in a finish battle than go through that experience again. The coal passers' quarters are in the bow of the ship at the bottom of the boat. You are lined up like a lot of pigs when you come off watch, given a tin cup of bad coffee and leavings from the steerage passengers' table, snatch a few hours sleep and get ready for the next watch. At four bells, the change in watch, was like sounding my death knell. The third day out I was so weak I could not perform my service much longer, so I complained to a stoker fireman for information as to how I was to get relieved. He gave me a note so that I could get on deck to see the 51 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL ship's doctor. I found a long line of coal passers there on the same mission. The "Doc" glims me and says, " Back to the hole for you; there's nothing the matter with you." Back I went, but I felt like doing a "Brodie" before I went below. I got some sleep and at four bells was back on the job again. I had no chance to see any of the passengers, for my place was below decks all the time. Steerage Passengers Happy.-The steerage pas- sengers were in good spirits, as they were dancing and drinking a-, I went far down below them. I was nearly starved and "made" one of the emi- grants. To my surprise he answered me in Eng- lish and told me to wait a few moments and he would get me some "eats." He wasn't long about it. I never tasted anything so good in my life as those sandwiches. Then I "made" the steward of the steerage deck, John Barber, a clever fellow, and explained to him my predicament. He felt very sorry for me, he said, but it was against the rules of the ship to harbor me. I asked him one favor, and that was to get me a list of some of the cabin pas- sengers, thinking perhaps I might know someone that would give me a lift, for I knew I could not last the trip over as a coal passer. 52 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT My Friend Morgan on Board.-The steward the next day showed me a list of some of the prominent cabin passengers, and the first name I glued my eyes on was that of J. Pierpont Morgan. " I know Mr. Morgan," I told the steward, and told him the cir- cumstances of meeting him on the trip over, when I was his companion during the early morning hours on deck, while I was training for my London engage- ments. Barber looked at me with pity, as if to say, "What a sight you are," and that Mr. Morgan wouldn't recognize me even if T had been his own son. I told Barber if I could only get a place to wash I might make a lightning change and get back in the daylight again. He accommodated me with his own quarters, and through the cabin steward got a note through to Mr. Morgan for me. After many schemes that were against the rules the note reached my millionaire friend and brought results. I had to go back to the coal hole again, however, before I learned that Mr. Morgan got my note. After my four hours were over I ran up the ladder and went to Barber's room to take another bath. Just as I got there I met a fireman, and I knew if he saw me it meant the dungeon. I hurriedly hid under some canvas, but the fireman saw me, and he told me the chief engineer wanted to see me at 53 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL once. I thought it was all off with me, but as I started away with the fireman my friend Barber whispered to me that Mr. Morgan had received my note and that everything was 0. K. Morgan Comes to My Rescue.-When I reached the engineer's office that official asked me if I had any luggage on board. I told him I had and he sent for it. He sent one of his attendants with me to the bath in the second cabin, and when I changed my clothes I was told that my quarters for the remainder of the voyage would be first class, as a gentleman named Morgan had settled for every- thing. I was not long in seeing Mr. Morgan and thanking him, telling him I didn't believe I could have lasted the trip over in the hold. He smiled and wanted to know how I had come out in my fights in London, and was in a quandary to know how I looked so natty after passing coal for four days. I told him of the horrors of the hold on a steamship and the hardships of a coal passer; how that many a poor fellow's lights went out down in the bowels of those big vessels and they were never heard of again. He listened attentively to me in my description and asked me to call on him at his office on Wall street before I left for my Kentucky home. Mr. Morgan was truly one of nature's 54 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 55 noblemen, regardless of the hard words that were said about him while he was living. All these knocks I always thought came from persons that about owed him big money. I believe he personally had the coal passers' quarters made more com- fortable after hearing my story. Some one did, I was told by Mr. Barber, the steward. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER IX. TOMMY WEST TELLS EXPERIENCE As BETTING COMMISSIONER FOR JOHN W. GATES, THE PLUNGER. A FTER bid- )d i n g dingthe ship stew- ard, Mr. Barber, goodbye, I grabbed a coupe and went to the Martin House, Fortieth and /11! /'z z Broadway, New York City, where I had told Mr. Sorg's valet to leave my trunk as I had sent it over with him when they returned. I found my belongings all 0. K. and the clerk remembered me. When I registered I told him that I was going to stay a while with him. I looked like ready money in my English togs, but I IN THE WORLD OF SPORT was lighter than a cork when it came to change. I was up with the lark the next morning, for I knew I had to raise some coin if I was to hold up my end with the boys around New York. I lammed right down to see if I could get an audience with my old friend, John W. Gates. His office was then in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and he did the biggest brokerage business in Gotham. I could not get to see the old gentleman at once, but I met his son, Charlie. He told me the old man was busy and to wait around awhile, that his father wanted to see me. Charlie wanted to know all about my trip abroad, and he told me that he thought he could get a job for me with his father around the race track. He told me to come down to Sheepshead Bay track the next day, as he and his father had a book on at the Bay. That was right in my line, so when the book- makers cut in the next day, there I was right in front of the Gates' Store. Employed as Commissioner.-I immediately "made" the elder Gates. He at once recognized me and asked me how I was fixed and all about my fights in London. I told him I was not very deep in the pocket. He laughed and said: "Don't let that worry you, my boy. See Charlie, and maybe he can get you busy, as I need an extra man for betting com- 57 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL missioner." Charlie showed me all the sights during the afternoon, and the next day I was betting for one of the biggest operators in the ring and probably one of the greatest plungers ever on the American turf. My salary was 25 per day, win, lose or draw, and when Mr. Gates had an extra good day he would tell the cashier to hand me a century note. I worked for the Gates' book during the remainder of the Sheepshead Bay meeting and through the entire Brighton Beach meeting. Insight Into Gates' Character.-That Mr. Gates was the kindest hearted of men every one who was intimately acquainted with him will vouch. One incident that happened during my employment with Mr. Gates has always impressed me with his noble generosity. There was an elderly woman who sold lead pencils, just inside the gate at the Sheeps- head Bay track, whose son had been killed during a race in which he was riding a couple of years previous. She was given the privilege to peddle pencils by the management. On a certain day there was a race on for 3-year-olds and upward. A horse was in the race that the old woman's son had ridden and won his maiden effort on. She always bet on that horse when he started. She approached Mr. Gates' bookmaker with a small bet and asked him IN THE WORLD OF SPORT to place it on the horse for her. Gates was told of the incident and he gave orders to lay the aged woman 1,000 to 1 against the winner. The horse the woman wanted to play was not in the money, but she got the 1,000 that afternoon when the races were over. I took her the money and she was dumbfounded. I explained the circumstances to her and she was the happiest woman I ever saw in my life. Gets Trimmed at Benning.-At the close of the Brighton Beach meeting Mr. Gates quit his race track operations for the year. I left for the old Benning track at Washington, D. C. the next day with a bankroll that would choke an elephant. Before I left Mr. Gates "mitted" me and said: "Tommy, you are about one of the few betting com- missioners I have had recently that did not use the razor on me. I will say, Tommy, before you leave that you would not make a good barber." I never knew what he was kidding me about for some time. He meant that his other com- missioners had been shaving prices on him. That is, where they were getting 2 to 1 they had been giving Mr. Gates 9 to 5. The Benning meeting put me on the hummer in a short time. I had barely enough left to get back 59 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL to New York. Then when I got there Mr. Gates and Mr. Sorg were both out of the city. There I was flat broke and a thousand miles away from home. I put my wits to work and decided to go down and tackle my old friend, J. Pierpont Morgan. Calls on J. P. Morgan.-I managed to get down to Mr. Morgan's office. There seemed to be little chance to see him as there were about twenty men to pass before I could get near his sanctum. I went back to the hotel and put on my studying cap as to how I could get an audience with the great financier. I went down to his office the next morning before time for his arrival. I had a letter that I had written just to stall off the first door man. I was dressed pretty well and sat on a bench to await the arrival of Mr. Morgan. About 9 o'clock he showed up and he knew me the moment he glimmed me. He said, "Son, how is the boxing gameI" Not much, I told him, as he led me on his way to his private office. There was a big crowd waiting for him, but Mr. Morgan took me by the arm as he ushered me into his office and closed the door. When I got into his office he said: "What can I do for you, my boy" I thanked him for what he did for me on the steamer and he said he was sorry he did not know of my plight sooner. He asked me if I was staying in 60 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 61 New York. I told him yes, I was trying to, but was financially embarrassed and wanted to go to New Orleans. He immediately rang a bell and in stepped a man in full dress. He said something to him in an undertone; he left, but returned in a few moments and handed Mr. Morgan a piece of paper. Mr. Morgan handed it to me and told me to take it to the cashier in the basement, at the same time shaking hands with me and saying that it was a little present and I need not return it. When I presented it to the cashier I received five crisp 100 bills. I settled my hotel bill and took the rattler the next day for New Orleans. While in New Orleans that winter I made my headquarters at Parson Davies' pool room. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER X. TOMMY WEST TELLS STORY How GANG FRAMED UP RACE ON KID BROAD; VISITS PACIFIC COAST WITH FIGHTER. SOON after my arrival in New Orleans, being S pretty well healed from the nice little bank- roll I had received as a present from my old friend, J. Pierpont Morgan, I became the outside man for Parson Davies, who conducted one of the largest poolrooms and gambling houses in the Crescent City. In addition to the Parson's big busi- ness he had several boxers under his management, one of whom was Kid Broad, at that time about the toughest scrapper in the lightweight division in America. The Parson named me as his agent to look after Broad, both in training and out. Broad was a hard boy to handle, but he was a good-hearted fellow. That the Kid's education had been neglected was always a source of annoy- ance to both himself and friends. The kid could not read, but had been taught to sign his "John Hancock," and that was about as far as his literary talents went. 62 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT New Orleans Was Wide-Open Town.-At this time New Orleans was a wide-open town. Every- thing went, from racing to the "tiger." The Par- son's place was the headquarters for every follower of Dame Chance that lived in or came to New Orleans. In addition to Broad's meager education he was afflicted with an impediment in his speech, so that at times none but his closest intimates could understand what he was talking about. The races were on at New Orleans that winter, and after they were concluded every afternoon the racegoers would crowd the Parson's poolroom to play the ponies at Ascot Park and Oakland, Cal., which were running full tilt. There was a bunch of fighters and jockeys that always mixed with our crowd, including Broad, Roscoe Troxler, Barney Furey, Monk Sheehan, Freckles O'Brine and "Shang" Paretto. Frame-Up on Broad.-One day the crowd "framed up" on Broad and sent him a "phoney" telegram. They knew Broad could get money from the Parson, and, as they were all about broke, they set their noodles to moving moneyward. The telegram was on a horse called Raining. They had it fixed with the board-marker in the poolroom. It was 63 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL raining that day at Ascot, and here is what was on on the board when the kid got the money to wager: Handicap; three-fourths of a mile: Odds. Horse. 100 -Raining 20 -Sloppy 4- And 2- A 8- Sea Weight ---- ---- - -- --- -- 10 7 ---------------- 10 7 110 --------- 110 ----------- 110 15 -Of- 110 20 -Mud -100 10 -At -100 6- Ascot -100 The boardmaker had made the race so it looked natural, and two hours before the racing began at Ascot the gang all walked into the pool- room, and Broad asked me to bet 10 on Raining to win. I told him all right. In a few moments the describer announced they were off at Ascot. In a sonorous voice he said: "Raining at the quarter. Raining leads at the half by two lengths. Sea is second, a head in front of Mud. In the stretch Raining in front by a half length. Mud is second, a head in front of Sloppy. Sea is fourth and coming fast, and the winner very close," said the caller. Then, looking 64 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT straight at Broad, he said: "Sea wins by a nose, Raining second and Mud third." Right there Broad bawled me out unmerci- fully. He wanted to know why I did not bet on Raining for the place, as he was quoted 100 to 1 to win, 40 to 1 to place and 20 to 1 to show. The crowd in the know just yelled. Broad was so excited after losing 1000 by a nose no one could understand what he was saying. The gang took his 10 and spent it during the afternoon. Take Trip to Pacific Coast.-A few days after the racing episode Parson Davies called me into his office and told me he had arranged for the Kid to meet Eddie Hanlon in a contest in San Francisco and wanted me to get ready to start with the Kid for the coast the next day. We left over the Sun- set Route for 'Frisco, for Broad was anxious to meet Hanlon, who had just fought Young Corbett a draw. Young Corbett was then the lightweight champion, having just defeated Terry McGovern the second time in'Friscoputtinghimout in eleven rounds. Broad had knocked Young Corbett out in Denver before he became champion, and Alex Greggains, manager of the 'Frisco club, was star- ring Broad on his record as the coming champion on the strength of him having it on Young Corbett. 65 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Young Corbett also promised that if Broad de- feated Hanlon in their match he would give him the next fight. All fandom on the coast was at fever pitch over the coming Hanlon and Broad contest, and when we arrived in that city, after being mixed up in a sandstorm in the desert and two days late, there was an immense crowd of sports at the train to meet us. Broad Was Big Card.-The Kid was a big card. Many of them had heard of his comical talk and hundreds surrounded him to hear him tell of his trip and ring experiences. Broad had his own peculiar way in describing things and places he had seen. The sporting editors attempted to quote him and his lingo but made a poor out, as everyone knows there was only one Kid Broad and his re- marks were practically unquotable. The first stunt pulled on the Kid in Frisco was when we first ar- rived and adjourned to a drink emporium, some sport called for a "steamed" beer. Broad said "Gimme one of dem tings, too." The barkeeper served Broad a glass. The kid spewed it all over the place and accused the boys of trying to dope him. Steamed beer is a common drink on the coast. That afternoon we started out to our training quarters, which were located at Beach 66 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Tavern. It was a great place for training. Then the Kid wanted to see the Cliff House nearby, which he had heard so much about from Tom Sharkey in the East. Sharkey had filled the Kid up on the wonderful scenery, feeding the sea lions from the cliffs and swimming out in the ocean and playing with the seals. We took the Kid over and he was amazed, but he claimed Sharkey was stringing him and gave the Sailor a good panning. Kid Broad Orders Crabs.-When we got back to our training camp Mike Sheehan, the proprietor told us lunch was ready to be served. Then it was the Kid fell for the great sea food. I ordered chops, but Broad told the Chinese cook to fix him up about two crabs. He never knew the difference in the size of the crabs on the Coast and those in the East. One crab on the Coast is a big meal for one, but Broad insisted on ordering two. The Chinaman looked queer at the fighter, but he yelled at him to bring 'em on. He was some time preparing the crabs, but when he brought them out they were on a platter that almost covered the table. Then it was that Broad wanted to start a rough house. He cursed Sheehan and the Chinaman and asked them what they meant by serving them devil fish- that he wanted crabs. It was hard to explain to 67 68 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL the Kid the difference in crabs on the Pacific coast and those on the Atlantic. Finally he was appeased and cut into the dish, managing to get away with one of the crabs. Everyone present was filled with laughter at the Kid's ignorance as to crabs, but he proved a big drawing card for Sheehan's training quarters during his stay there. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER XI. TOMMY WEST RELATES STORY OF TRIP To THE PACIFIC COAST WHEN KID BROAD FOUGHT HANLON. W TELL, gentle reader, when I left you Kid Broad was trying to consume a couple of Pacific coast crabs. Crabs is crabs, but that particular kind of sea food is something real big. After lunch the Kid and I took a run along the beach, and when we returned to our training camp a bunch of newspaper reporters, with the camera men, were there to meet us. Broad, in his inimitable way, told them that he was in good shape for his contest with Hanlon and explained how he had trained in the baggage car on his way from New Orleans to 'Frisco. Broad's stories brought forth some of the greatest press notices and cartoons I ever saw. Broad laughed when he saw the funny antics the cartoons pictured him doing, and remarked, "Dat shows wat a house-packer and dough-getter I am, you sucker." We had but a short time to train and Broad was really not in good condition to meet a boxer like 69 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Hanlon the night of the fight, but Broad had never laid down in all his life. He was simply unapproach- able when it came to pulling to any boxer in a con- test. The night of the fight, which was held in the Mechanics' Pavilion, I had a wrangle with Greg- gains, who ran the club, over the referee. I insisted that Eddie Graney referee, as it was rumored that Greggains was a great friend of the Hanlons. Finally Harry Corbett, a brother of Jim Corbett, former champion, the man who held all the big bets on the fights on the coast, convinced me that Greggains would give Broad a square deal and I accepted Greggains. Broad Makes Stubborn Fight.-The Kid put up the stubbornest contest ever seen in 'Frisco. He carried Hanlon such a pace that the "Native Son" boxer was unable to knock Broad out. He was cutting the Kid into ribbons, however, and in the fourteenth round of the scheduled twenty-round bout, on the advice of Young Corbett and others, I threw up the sponge for the Kid. He was furious at my stopping the bout, claiming that Hanlon could not put him away in 100 rounds. The gallery was boosting for Hanlon and attempting to "josh" Broad throughout the entire contest, but the sterling Cleveland boxer gave them back as good as they sent, as he is noted 70 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT for his repartee. He announced to the gallery in his own way that if he were fit he could lick a ring full of Hanlons during the evening. The Kid took his defeat good-naturedly, and after the contest was over insisted on seeing the sights of the Pacific coast metropolis. Greggains paid me 1,235 as the Kid's share of the bout and it was all in gold. Before we departed for Chinatown the Kid insisted on my giving him some money. I had planted in the hotel safe 1,000 bucks and the other I had held out for expenses. I slipped the Kid a couple of 20 gold pieces and as- he had never seen any gold money he threw them back to me thinking they were medals of some kind, and asked for some real dough. I explained to him I had given him 40 and that was enough to go "round the Horn" if he knew how to manage it. Kid Goes Against Shrimps.-In our visit to the 'Frisco tenderloin the Kid insisted we get something to eat. We stopped at the "Poodle Dog," one of the highest-priced restaurants in the country, to feed. In all 'Frisco restaurants one is served with Cali- fornia shrimps as an appetizer. The Kid fell on to the shrimps and ravenously ate head, tails, sand and all. Broad had never been knocked out in the squared circle but once in his life and that was by 71 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Aurelia Herrara, the Mexican boxer, but he went out again after he had swallowed about half dozen of those shrimps. He bellowed that he had been doped and that he was going to shake the coast as soon as he could catch a train. He said he couldn't stand the steamed beer, the crabs and when it came to the shrimps they were man-killers. He called the shrimps "bugs" and said they were not intended to eat. I rounded the Kid to and we took in every- thing to be seen in a district about the wickedest part of the world. The next day I persuaded the Kid to take in the races at the old Oakland track. He was not stuck on the pony game much, but he came along. We took a flier at the "Sport of Kings" and when the smoke cleared away we were broke- all but a little change and our tickets back to New Orleans. Our tickets were over the Santa Fe and we stopped off at Albuquerque, N. M. The town was full of Apache Indians at the time with saloons and gambling wide open. Broad wanted to play every game he saw, but there was nothing doing as we had left all our money in 'Frisco. We also took a lay-off at Kansas City and there we met "Syracuse Tommy" Ryan, who ran a billiard hall in that city. He gave us a good time and recalled the Furey-Kelly 72 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 73 fight at Hot Springs when Furey tossed off the fight after having it won. When we landed in New Orleans and reported to Parson Davis he sent Broad back to New York to be handled by Tom O'Rourke. I stayed in New Orleans to see the Mardi Gras. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER XII. TOMMY WEST RELATES STORY OF REMARKABLE BOXING CONTEST; WAITER PARLAYS 1 INTO 1,000. A FTER the Mardi Gras at New Orleans I took A a run up to St. Louis to do the World's Fair. After two or three weeks I had enough of the big show and while there staffed my old friend, Lacy Crawford, one of the best sports St. Louis ever boasted. I also loafed with Patsy Tebeau, who had- a place in St. Louis. I knew Patsy when he was the whole show with the Cleveland Spiders. Craw- ford appeared to be a sick man and I advised him to take a trip to French Lick and let me give him a few physical lessons and round himself into shape again. He furnished me with a comfortable bank roll and sent me to the Indiana Springs, saying he would follow in a few days. When I arrived at the Springs I began train- ing as everybody there knew me and I had fought several contests with fair success there several years before. In a few days I received a message from Crawford saying he couldn't come to the Springs as 74 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT he had been called to New York on business. Tommy Williams, athletic instructor and match- maker at the Springs, matched me with a few dubs and in a short time I had really won several boxing contests. I was so successful I began to get a bit chesty. At that time there was a boxer there named Teddy Henderson. He was an Indianapolis boy and had the makings of the best ring artist I ever saw. Just when it looked as if he was going right to the top of the pugilistic ladder he had an attack of illness which affected his stomach and ever after that his career in the squared circle was ended. Hen- derson was one of the most popular boxers that ever visited the famous Indiana Spas. Matched With Tommy Mowatt.-I had licked all the dubs around the Springs, so I decided to take a job as night manager of the Ryan Hotel, in addition to picking up some extra money in sparring matches. There were a couple of professionals training at that time at West Baden. One was Tommy Mowatt, known as the Fighting Conductor, and the other was his sparring partner, a rather mediocre boxer Tommy Williams induced me to sign articles to meet Mowatt's sparring partner. I fell for it. But when I signed it was with Mowatt instead of his sparring partner. I did not know it until the print- 75 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL ing was out. I never let out a squawk, but I let the match go at that. The cards announced that I was to box Mowatt ten rounds for a decision. There was a big crowd at the Springs at that time and a big house was assured. As I was not very heavy in the pocket I decided to take a chance. After looking over Mowatt's record, I discovered he had once beaten Benny Yanger, and was there at that time training to meet Young Corbett for the world's lightweight championship. Then I knew I was up against it good and proper and about in for a good trouncing. I had taken so many beat- ings before that I figured that I would go through with this one. Big Crowd Views Contest.-The night of the bout the house was packed and there were many women in the audience. I will never forget that all the negro waiters from the French Lick Hotels were for me, while the waiters at West Baden were for Mowatt. The waiters in those days had big wallets and they would bet like a house afire. Tommy Williams, who has been at West Baden for years, was the referee and can vouch for the truth of this story. In my corner was Louey Joseph, of Louisville, and two local boys. In Mowatt's corner was his sparring partner and a couple of other Chicago boxers. 76 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT The bell rang calling us to the scratch. I figured my only chance with Mowatt was to out- box him at long range. Near the close of the first round he caught me while I was breaking ground and down I went just as the gong sounded termi- nating the round. In the second round Mowatt dropped me four times. The crowd thought it was all off with me in the third round, as Mowatt put me down with a clout to the jaw early in the ses- sion. A big negro waiter from French Lick shouted while I was down, "Dollar he gets up!" The negro was named Major and he won in a jiffy, for I was not down for hardly a second. Just then Mowatt sent me down again and the Major bet 2 I would get up. So I did. The Major kept doubling up on the proposition and I continued to gain my feet after being clouted down. Was Glutton for Punishment.-In the sixth round I was getting weak from the loss of blood, but still I kept coming up. During this round I heard the Major bet 32 I would get up after Mowatt had sent me to the floor with a vicious blow. I was determined, however, for the Major to cash, so I staggered to my feet again, as it made me get re- newed vigor to hear a spectator wagering on me. Near the end of the sixth round Mowatt put me 77 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL down again and I just could hear the Major say, "I'll bet 64 he arises!" I was blinded from blood, but I still had the heart and wanted to see the Major win, so I managed to rise at the count of eight, and just then the gong sounded for the minute's rest. At the bell in the seventh Mowatt came after me like a cyclone. He put me down in a jiffy and I felt it was all off, but I heard the Major shouting, 128 he recuperates, and they began to cover his money from all sides, but I managed to arise before the count of ten. I had hardly gotten to my feet when Mowatt hit me viciously, right on the point of the jaw and down I went, I thought for the last time. I could hear strange music in my head, but above the din I heard the Major yelling, "256 he comes back." I was trying to hear the count above the noise and did just manage to arise at the count of nine. The Major had won and the gong had called us to the corners for the end of the round. My Opponent SeemedWorried.-In the eighth round I saw that Mowatt was worried because he could not finish me. He was not long in putting me to the mat with a terrific right. As I went down the big negro waiter shouted, '500 Tommy comes back on his feet again!" Mowatt was furious, but I would have arisen that time if he had been standing over me 78 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 79 with a meat ax. I took advantage of the count and at nine, I bobbed up again and the Major collected his 1,000. At that juncture Senator Tom Taggart, owner of the hotel, had the bout stopped. Mowat got the decision, but I got the glory and half the Major's winnings, making considerable more money than Mowatt. Mowatt injured both of his hands dur- ing the bout and put me down twenty-seven times according to the count of the timekeepers. The Major had parlayed 1 into 1,000 and half of it was a good balm for my wounds after taking such a lacing. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER XIII. TOMMY WEST RELATES His EXPERIENCES As FIREMAN, HUNTER, PROMOTER AND LAST APPEARANCE IN ROPED ARENA. A FTER receiving a bundle of dough from the A game negro waiter who ran a shoestring into a tannery during my fight with Tommy Mowatt I took things easy at French Lick for a few days, nursing my bruises. Recovering rapidly, it was not long until I was matched to meet Freddie Cole, the boxer who put my little friend, Henderson, out of the running. The Sheriff stopped the bout in the fifth round when I had a shade the best of the milling. Ray Bronson, who afterward jumped into fame as one of the greatest boxers in the World, was seconding Cole in that bout, and he offered me an engagement with him in a contest to take place at Bloomington, Ind. I accepted the terms of the match with Bronson and went down to my home in Louisville to train for the "go." I worked hard for the Bronson contest, and had Ross Beatty, a well-known young newspaper man of Louisville, as my manager. Beatty and I 80 ,rommlly W\est Xwith his NVtled's Chanwlllionl Bag Punch7inlg Dog Rinlg )1,;ewN o ;!emb7er 23. Mil)I, at l'r'aiTlitg Qu)tertstS, Nfiddlietolnl (hio. This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT went up to Bloomington with the good wishes of our home-town friends, but the best I could do was to last three rounds with Bronson, who was a tartar at that time. Beatty shook me and went back to Louisville, but I didn't feel like facing the music, so I beat it for Cincinnati, where I took a position as manager of the Commodore Music Hall. I did not like the work. I fell in love and married on May 6, 1905, and came back to Louisville to settle down - and retire from sporting activities. Regular Fire Laddie-Charles F. Grainger was then Mayor and I was not long in securing a position in the fire department. I was stationed at engine house No. 12, under Captain Johnny Smith, at present assistant chief. Capt. Smith was then an old hand in the service. Things were too quiet for me at No. 12, so I switched to No. 1 hook and ladder, then on Eighth street, near Walnut. There was plenty of action there. I was under Capt. Joe Martin. One afternoon about 5 o'clock a call came from a trunk factory, which was on fire, in Bullitt street, near Main. This was one of the hottest blazes Louisville had had in years. Capt. Ben Dillon was then assistant chief and he saved my life at this fire. There were on the roof of the 81 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL building next to the fire Martin Dooley, Pat Arnold, Mike Quinn, Mike Myers, Eddie McCue, Bernie Hardin, Paddy Socks (Ferguson) and myself. We were trying to ram a hole into the wall of the trunk factory which was on fire. Capt. Dillon was on an- other building and he shouted to us to jump for our lives, as he saw the wall of the building on fire falling toward us. We got away in the nick of time, for the wall fell and took the roof of the building we were on down with it. Right there I began to weaken on my hand as a fireman. There was not another fire for a week of any consequence. Hears the Call of the Wild.-In the meantime, I received a letter from my old friend, Paul Sorg, the millionaire tobacco manufacturer, asking me to join him in a hunting trip up in the Maine woods. I rushed over to Chief Tyson's office, showed him the letter and asked for a thirty-day furlough. Assist- ant Chief Dillon was also there and they both agreed I was entitled to a leave since my narrow escape at the trunk factory fire. I made all arrange- ments and left for New York the next day to join Sorg and his party. When I arrived in the big city I met Sorg and he told me to hang around a week or two, as the weather was not right for hunting up in Maine. I wrote Chief Tyson and 82 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT asked him to extend my furlough thirty days longer. Here is the laconic reply I received from the genial Chief: "Make it thirty years if you like." I made more money out of the hunting trip than I could have laid up in the Fire Department in two years. When I returned to Louisville, through the insistence of Mr. John Hackmeister of the Douglas Park and Latonia Race tracks, I resigned from the Fire Department to do some work for him. Soon after the first meeting ever held at Douglas Park was concluded I was dis- charged. If you want to want to know the reason I was employed and why I was discharged ask Mr. Hackmeister. Tell me what he tells you and then I will give you the true story with the proof. I afterward moved to Dayton, Ohio, where with my capital I bought a half interest in the first movie picture theater ever in that Ohio city. It proved a failure, but I bought the interest of my partner, Bob Schramm, and turned the place into a bur- lesque house. Through my friend, Col. John Whalen, of Louisville, I was enabled to book shows on his circuit for three days' run. I was making oodles of money when the Chief of Police closed my house because I would not put up fire escapes after 83 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL the owner of the building had refused to expend any of his money in such improvements. There is where I did not take fortune at the ebb. I would have been in the millionaire class to-day had I put up the fire escapes myself, but I was "nigger rich" then and did not care to be imposed upon. Buys Steamer Sunshine.-From Dayton I went to Cincinnati and became interested in a steamboat excursion proposition. In partnership with Ed Branigan, Jake Pittner and Bert Lykins of Cincinnati we purchased the old steamer Sun- shine for 8,500 from Lithgow Smith, now a well- known realtor of Louisville, Ky. That old Sunshine was an unlucky boat. Someone had put the curse on her years before. We never had anything but trouble with the old tub and after losing all the dough the firm could raise we finally sold the boat to Pittsburgh parties, where she soon sank up around the Smoky City. That venture put me on the toboggan right and proper. Lighter than a cork financially and years creeping upon me I still heard the call of the prize ring. I still thought I was a fighter if no one else did. I got a match on with a lightweight named Kid Heidler, after strong protestations on the part of my better half. The contest was staged at the 84 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Ham Skin Fishing Club on the Ohio River, near Cincinnati. I was a member of the club and was desirous of making my last appearance in the squared circle a victorious one. The ring was pitched on a dancing platform and many of the high officials and politicians of the Queen City were spectators. Bobby Bowers, one of the most popu- lar sporting men around Cincinnati, was chosen the referee. Story of Last Contest.-Heidler was twenty pounds heavier than I and could hit like a trip-hammer, but I figured I could out-general him, knowing I was much the best boxer. We were fighting with two- ounce gloves and to the professional boxer they are known to be more deadly than bare knuckles. When the bell brought us to the center of the ring I missed a right hook aimed at Heidler's jaw and he caught me with a right uppercut that sent me to the floor like a log, cutting my right eye wide open. I got up, however, before the fatal ten was tolled. After that first round I kept away from Heidler, as I could outfoot him and cover myself in close quar- ters. The betting during the first three rounds was 3 to 1 against me and after the fifth round the crowd was betting 10 to 1 I would not last the scheduled ten. But I stuck it out the entire route. What an awful 85 86 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL trimming Heidler gave me! I was wishing all the time the big negro waiter from French Lick had been at the ringside. He could have duplicated the big killing he made on me in the Mowatt fight. The Major would have garnered plenty of jack for I believe I went to the floor at least twenty times during the bout. After the battle I had to eat through a straw for a week. This was my last engagement in the roped arena. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER XIV. TOmMY WEST RELATES EXPERIENCE ON ISLAND OFF FLORIDA EAST COAST; BIG DEAL THAT WAS LATER CALLED OFF. M /9 Y last contest in the roped arena convinced ,NV1 me I was all in, and like some fighters, I did not attempt to stage a come-back. My career as a professional boxer being over, I repaired to my native city, and with my wife as assistant, opened a "schmierkase garden" near the entrance of a graveyard at Louisville. The prop- osition proved a "dead one," and I was not long skirmishing for another job that would bring bet- ter financial returns. Larry Gatto, a good friend of mine, told me of a Louisville man, sportingly inclined, who was looking for an angel to finance a spot down near Palm Beach, Fla., where the merry roll of roulette wheel and other games of chance could be conducted without the minions of the law "nosing in on the business." After the Louisville sport, Chas. Hector, ex- plained the business he contemplated to me, I wired Johnny Gorman a friend of mine then stationed at the 87 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Fort Erie Race track, whom I knew was anxious to take a chance in such a venture. This friend Johnny Gorman wired me to meet him in Cincinnati the next day. Hector and myself tore right out for Cincin- nati and met my friend Gorman. After explaining to him the location of a certain island belonging to one Dr. -Munyon off the Florida east coast and the concessions that could be had there, the friend fell for the proposition at once. Sign Contract With Dr. Munyon.-In company with Gorman and Hector, I went to see Dr. Munyon at his home in Philadelphia and closed the deal for his island. We had great luck in the City of Brotherly Love, and by paying down 2,500 cash we received an option on Dr. Munyon's island for the season. Everything looked good to my friend Gorman, and I took a run over to Atlantic City with him while Hector beat it back for the Falls City. Along about October 1, I took my family down to the Florida east coast to reconnoiter. We were not to take possession of the island entirely until January 1, when the season for tourists really opened, but it was the understanding that I was to live on the place in order to get things in shape for the grand opening. When I arrived at Palm Beach I stayed a few days at one of those big re- 88 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT sort hotels before going over to Dr. Munyon's island, and, believe me, it tore quite a hole in my expense account. I looked up the Doctor's caretaker, and he informed me the owner would be in Florida in a few days to fix the island up according to an agree- ment in the contract we had signed in Philadelphia. "Doc" Munyon Arrives in Florida.-Down came the "Doc" on schedule time. With him were my friends Gorman and Hector, and "Doc" satisfied my friend Gorman that everything was all right and he paid over the balance of the money as per contract. I was not living on the Island then as it was not in condition for habitation. I took a trip in a motor- boat every day or two to see if it was still there. Every time I went over I had a battle with an in- sect known in Florida as the sand fly. Right at this point is where they grow the largest and employ their stinging qualities the strongest. Talk about a Jersey "skeeter," one of these sand flies could give the Jersey stingers cards and spades and beat 'em out. Dr. Munyon brought with him a "bug" on orange groves and other Florida vegetation and em- ployed him to take care of the island in the way of beautifying it for the coming season. This also was in accordance with the contract. This fellow's name 89 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL was Wallace and he had the showman by that name skinned when it came to doing any kind of business. It was not long until I discovered this fellow was no friend of mine. I had an aversion for the fellow when I first saw him and that continued until the end. Munyon, Gornan and Hector left for the East that night after inspecting the Island. They were to return later. Wallace Proves Unpopular.-Wallace had a run-in with all the native employes in a few days after he took the job. The boatman and caretaker of the island quit cold. There was only one gasoline boat on the island, which was eight miles from town. Eats began to get short and some one had to go to town for provisions. It fell to me, and I knew as much about the sea and running a motorboat as a hog about holiday, but I always was willing to take a chance, so I manned the boat for the trip alone. It was easy making the trip to Palm Beach. I loaded the boat with provisions and started back. It was a miracle I ever made port at the Doctor's Island. It went dark on me soon after I started on my return voyage. I knew nothing about the channel and soon after passing the railroad bridge I hit a sandbar and knocked the ice and other things I was carrying on the box off into the lake. I could 90 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT not get the boat off the bar only by getting out into the water, where I came near drowning. I finally got the vessel loose and started again. In a few moments I plumped into another bar, got her off again, and then entered the inlet where the ocean and lake converge. This was a very dan- gerous place as the tide was going out, but I didn't know it. The tide carried off my rudder here, and I had no way to steer the craft, but I luckily got the engine started with the aid of a boathook I secured after tearing up the floor of the boat. With this hook I managed to steer the boat to the landing in worse shape than ever I was after getting a good trouncing in the prize ring. I slept like a log after my exciting experience as a seaman, however, and looked none the worse for my trouble the next morning. Meets Wallace in Pitched Battle.-The next day I discovered that Wallace had thrown out all my provisions and had wrecked the kitchen. Then it was that I met that fellow in a real battle. He hooked a chair over my head at the outset, but my long experience in the ring enabled me to outbox him and in a few minutes I had him begging. I fought this fellow as I never fought before. I ju-jutsued, uppercut and elbowed him all in a jiffy and at the 91 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL end beat him until he cried for mercy. I was mas- ter of the Island from that day on. Hector.-My Louisville friend wired me he would be down a few days before the season opened and see that everything was all right. He came the next Tuesday and I met him at Palm Beach with the motorboat Pinto. I related to him the trouble I had with Wallace and experience in the shipwreck and as we got to the pier he shied a bit before he. would get into the motorboat to make the trip to the Island. Finally, he shipped and when we got to Revere bar I went headon right on the bar and stuck fast. My portly friend from Louisville was thoroughly frightened. He squawked loudly when I told him we would both have to disrobe, get into the lake and shove the craft off. I told him if we did not get the boat off the reef in a hurry we would be swept into the ocean when the tide went out and it would be all off with us. He stripped to the buff and jumped out of the boat. I told him to feel his way carefully and not to step on a "stingaree." He wanted to know what kind of a fish that was and I replied that if one should fasten on him it would be all off as their sting was as poisonous as a rattlesnake bite. Then he set up a howl for help. He bellowed manfully and blew the distress whistle 92 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 93 of the boat until some fishermen near by came to our rescue. For a couple of "'beans" they pulled us off the bar and right there the Louisville sport weakened on his hand and instead of going to the Island he had me take him back to Palm Beach. The Island was a failure as there is no chance to buck the Bradley Boys down there, as they are well thought of by all. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER XV. TOmMY WEST RELATES STORY OF How HE WAS ADVERTISED As MILLIONAIRE AND MADE THINGS HUM ON REPUTATION. A FTER leaving Dr. Munyon's Island I lammed A for Cincinnati, where I had a friend, George Brink, who staked me in a legitimate business. I opened up a concern called the Western Novelty Magazine Company, with offices in the Lincoln Inn Court building, that city. I did a fine business for a short time, but things got dull and pretty soon I was stalling off my creditors and putting the "bee" on my friends. Just as things looked as if the "blow- off" was about due my wife received a letter from a Newark, N. J., lawyer. The letter was regarding the French spoliation claims and informed my wife there were millions due her as one of the heirs of Ann Seymour, whose daughter married Capt. Benjamin Byron Hall, my wife's mother's grandfather. The lawyer disclosed in the letter that he had been employed by other heirs to collect their claims. He told her also she was the only missing heir and that there had been 94 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 7,000,000 in the U. S. Treasury since 1816 waiting for the legal claimants or heirs of Capt. Hall. The attorney said with the accumulative interest the amount now ready for Capt. Hall's descendants was something like 12,000,000. He further said that with the proof completed that my wife was one of Capt. Hall's legal heirs he would have little trouble in obtaining the claim from the Government. My wife could trace her ancestry back to William the Conqueror. Through an aunt she had copied a family tree that had more generations in black and white than a thoroughbred horse going back to the barbed Arabian. My wife's family tree was genuine and it went right back through Ann Seymour and Capt. Hall as clear as a bell. Began to Get Busy.-I took that lawyer's letter and began to get busy. As I was down and out financially, the money cells in my cerebellum began to do a jig dance. I conceived an idea where I could play my hand and perhaps win a big pot- and I did. My first scheme was to spread the glad tidings among a lot of gossipers I knew around Cincinnati that my wife had fallen heir to a couple of million. Of course I told each and every one of these "gab- bies" in confidence, knowing. it would spread like 95 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL wildfire in the course of a few days. So it did, and the result was my office was besieged by newspaper reporters in a short time asking me for a story of particulars concerning my wife's good fortune. I informed all of them there was nothing doing at present, but to drop around in a few days and I would "wisen 'em up" how the big dough was coming. Play Strong Hand for Dough.-In the meantime I put all my old ingenuity to work. I had a friend who was a telegraph operator. I had used him on many occasions in getting him to fix me up "phony tips" from race-horse owners. I had the operator "doctor" me wires from several sources concerning the big fortune coming to my wife. One telegram was from her lawyer, telling her that the case was completed and her part of the money would soon be completed. Another was from a certain United States Senator congratulating me on my good for- tune. Another was from a Government official, stating the amount of money due the heirs of Capt. Hall, and that the case had been proved and that my wife was one of the legal heirs. Of course, the telegrams were all "phonies," but they appeared genuine. When I was all readied up for the reporters I had them tipped off by a friend, and as the first one 96 This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT showed at my office I was giving away everything I had in my place to the office boy, from the inkstand to the safe. Also all the cash on hand was being lavishly doled out to the boy. This generosity on my part was ostentatiously dispensed in the presence of the reporter. He ate it up. I showed him the telegrams which indicated the money would be coming in shortly. Then when another reporter dropped in I repeated the dose. Papers Front-Paged Story.-Both of the Cincinnati afternoon papers front-paged my supposed good for- tune. The stories made me a millionaire many times over. One of the papers carried a streamer clear across the front page and told the story in big black type, reading like this: "CINCINNATI WOMAN, WIFE OF TOMMY WEST, THE FIGHTER, FALLS HEIR TO NEARLY 2,000,000." The story went on to say that my wife was one of six heirs. It had a resume of the French spolia- tion claims and of Capt. Hall, through whom the money had come down to my wife. For the morn- ing papers I framed the story much stronger. I had my operator friend send me a wire from my old friend, John W. Gates, congratulating me on my good luck and offering to advance me any amount I 97 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL needed for the present. Say, the Enquirer reporter waded into the story like writing a Beadle's half- dimer. He published a full history of my wife's family back to Revolutionary War times and told of what a brave old sea captain Benjamin Byron Hall was back in the Algerian pirate days, and wound up his story like one of the "Arabian Nights." Everybody Wanted to Sell Me.-Talk about a rush on the house, the next day I had to establish a waiting list. I employed two office boys-one to usher 'em in, another to rush 'em out. Persons representing every line of business under the globe wanted to sell me. Old bunco men waited on me with their stock-jobbing wares. I was importuned to buy everything from a threshing machine to a toy whistle within the short space of forty-eight hours. Rackets that I was familar with were presented to me in persuasive ways. Then came the auto agents. They wanted to sell me every kind of a machine manufactured in the good old U. S. A. Then there were persons from all walks of life even offering to loan me their money. Say, I actually thought I had been "hopped" and was dreaming. I bought 17,000 worth of autos and my monogram and coat of arms put on two of them. I 98 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT gave notes for all of them, payable on a certain date months ahead. I was smart enough to write in these notes I was to pay when my wife collected the money due her out of the French spoliation claims and that still goes. The auto agents accepted these notes and wanted to sell me more machines it looked so good to them. Hitting the High Spots.-I was just hitting the high places at that time. The Enquirer came out in a column story in which it had me giving away autos. I did make a friend of mine a present of one of the smaller cars. My sudden road to wealth had rather un- balanced me for a bit. Every big paper in the country from New York to 'Frisco had printed the story of my great wealth and how I had risen from an ordinary pugilist to a millionaire overnight. I had to employ a stenographer to read and answer my mail. There were thousands of cranks writing me how to use my money. Every "bunk" scheme imaginable was introduced to me either by mail or in person. I had at last gained my ambition and was a million- aire, if not in reality, by reputation. That is all one needs for immediate use. Played Big Game in Detroit.-At the height of my success in the role of a millionaire I drove in my 99 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL machine over to Detroit with a party of friends. I was wined and dined by stock brokers, auto agents and high flyers during my short stay in the Michigan City. I had a suite of rooms at the Ponchartrain Hotel that cost me twenty bucks per. I spent over 1,000 in less than a week in Detroit, but returned to Cincinnati with three times that much advanced me by persons who would have "bunked" me good if I would have ever really received the advertised millions. During all this time I never laid myself open for criminal prosecution for I took special care to float all my cash loans on the proviso I would pay when my wife received her part of the Capt. Hall estate. I never dreamed there were so many suckers in the world. It was just like taking candy from children to borrow a couple of thousands on a promise to pay "when the ship came in." This is no fairy story, but facts. I actually believe if I had kept my noodle I could have at one time during this period borrowed as much as 100,000 on that same kind of promise to pay. But high finance was not in my line. I was too convivial and could never turn down the friends of my adverse days, so I distributed money right and left among the gang. This is what finally proved my undoing. 100 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT After coming home from Detroit I continued to go a merry clip. I took in the Derby at Churchill Downs with some friends and all but bought the great 3-year-old colt Gov. Gray from Capt. Jim Williams. Our party wagered enough on the colt when he was defeated by Meridian to have purchased him had he won. That losing was the beginning of the end. When I returned to my home in Cincin- nati one evening with a party of friends while driving in the suburbs a man stepped right in front of the car and died from injuries he received. We were all dismissed from any blame; but as a result the com- panions from whom I had bought the autos got busy after they had discovered the French claims would never be paid and attached the machines I had in my possession. I was left almost penniless after the flareback. I have one consolation now though-I played the millionaire role successfully and as a spender of real money I had the play-like stage mil- lionaire lashed to the mast. 101 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER XVI. TOMMY WEST RELATES INCIDENTS OF FIRST WILSON INAUGURATION AND MANY SHIFTS OF FORTUNE IN 1913. FTER playing A the role of a millionaire for a period of three or four months and being placed again in the check rack through court attachments and _ . otherunfortunate pro- ceedings, I found my- self in the spring of 1913 a veritable tramp financially. But my spirit was not broken, so I decided to try again. I saw by the papers that President Wilson was soon to be inaugurated at Washington, so I decided to take in the big doings at the Capital City. Being somewhat of a politician all my life and having quite an acquaintance with many national legislators, I decided to get on the ground early. I knew the 102 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT Duckworth Club of Cincinnati and the Mose Green Club of Louisville had made arrangements to take in the inauguration, so I thought I would not be hard up for friends if things broke a little rough for me around Washington. When I arrived at the city where the big buildings with the bronze dome holds lawmakers that scintillate democratic ideas for the world I felt proud of my country. If I didn't have much dough, I thought it over that I had a chance and that was more than millions of persons in other countries where kings and queens rule had. Sharpening up my brain pan I decided to take a shy at the doings in the big building. I knew Mr. Taft, who was just going out of office, so through a congressman friend I obtained entree at the White House after taking in the proceedings in both halls of Congress. Greeted by Former President.-When I met Mr. Taft at the White House he remembered me well, and as I "mitted" him he said: "Hello, Tommy, what are you doing here How is everybody at home" I told the President that all the boys around Cincinnati were 0. K. and that while I never voted for him, but had come to Washington to attend Mr. Wilson's inauguration, he was my second choice, as 103 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL I couldn't stand for that "bull" Teddy was always handing around. I still have the picture that the camera man caught of Mr. Taft and myself while we were shaking hands. Well the Mose Green and the Duckworth Clubs arrived right on time a day or two before the big event. After the parade I visited the Mose Green Club's headquarters and met many old friends from my home town. In the bunch that had come to see the greatest president since George Washing- ton ushered into office from Louisville were Johny and Eddie Barry, Al Stebler, Pete Sani, Frank Hart- man, Jas. Reagan, Scott Bullitt, Meme Leone, Johny Gallo, Tom Garvey, Will Kaltenbacher, Dr. Bryant, now Captain in U. S. A., Hyman Meyers, Judge Ben Schulmann, Tom Riley, Jake Graf, Dr. Board, now Major in U. S. A., Lee Simmons, Judge Sam Greene and about fifty others. We all had a grand time. While the Mose Green Club was not the largest of the many that attended the inaugu- ration exercises that year, they were given the prize by all the other clubs for their hospitality and the good cheer they dispensed. This club brought along enough of one of Kentucky's favorite produc- tions to have "cheered" up every man that attended the big show for a week. They were not stingy, 104 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT either, for every correspondent in the country gave the Louisville boys big boosts in their papers. I was sorry to see the Mose Greeners depart, but I had other irons in the fire. Shakes Hands With President.-When the President was ensconced in the White House I had my old friend, Ollie James, take me to the mansion where I met the President and had a few remarks to make. The camera man caught me again shaking hands with the man I consider as great as either Lincoln or Washington. This is on the level and I still have the picture in my possession to prove it. When the inauguration crowd left Washington, I took a flying business trip to New York in company with Jimmy Dugan, one of the best mixologists in the country. When I arrived in New York I got word that John W. Gates, one of my very best friends, had passed the "Great Divide." There was some more bad luck for me as I had a propo- sition to put to Mr. Gates I was sure he would enter- tain. More bad luck followed Mr. Gates' death. I was in hopes I could get to see J. Pierpont Morgan whom I knew was abroad, but a cable had just been received by his son to the effect that he was seriously ill in Rome. I was stopping at the Earlington Hotel at that time and was lighter than a cork. I still had 105 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL hopes that Mr. Morgan would recover, but in a few days the dispatches announced his death in Rome. I knew the elder Mr. Morgan well, as he had been my benefactor on several occasions when I needed a friend. I felt as though I had lost a father and I made it my business to express my sympathy to his son and family. I have the letter framed at home to-day that his son, J. P., Jr., sent me in answer to my expressions. Newspaper Clipping at Time.-On April 4, 1913, the New York correspondent of the Cincinnati Enquirer sent the following story to his paper: "Louisville Tommy West is at the Hotel Earlington. He came over from Washington, where he had gone from Cincinnati to look after the inter- ests of his wife in the famous French Spoliation cases. The spouse of the great artist in the squared circle is interested to the extent of about 647,000. As he will have to await the opening of the extra session of Congress on the 7th inst. he came to Gotham to pay his respects to J. P. Morgan Jr. The dead financier and the prize fighter became acquainted on one occasion while crossing the ocean. West was a stowaway and when dragged from the coal hole, the elder Mr. Morgan became acquainted with him, helped him out financially and they became 106 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT friends. In this way Tommy West got to know young Mr. Morgan. The elder Mr. Morgan passed away in Rome on the morning of West's arrival, therefore the prize fighter, as became a man of sense, refrained from making his presence known in New York to the financier. " 'I will await until I return from Washington,' said Tommy, 'before calling upon Mr. Morgan, to express my sympathy.'" Old Friend Comes to Rescue.-My white check had vanished and was turning rather blue when I joined Wilson Mizner, a great sportsman, who had just married an heiress. I had known Mizner for a long time on the turf and in other lines of sport. He was living at the Hotel Astor. When I first called for Miz- ner the clerk at the hotel gave me that same old racket about a card. Finally Igot Mizner over the 'phoneand he invited me up to his room and he entertained me royally. We cut into a big thick steak and opened up several bottles of the "juice of the grape." The next day he staked me to get-away money. It was enough to take me back to Washington and then some. I blowed Gotham and beat it back to Wash- ington with my friend Dugan. I buzzed my old friend Ollie James a few days and I remember one of the jokes I told him was that Gen. Haldeman 107 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL always delighted to tell on me. That was that I was the greatest "place horse" in the roped arena of all times. That I had never won but one fight in the ring and that was the time some one hit the negro boxer I was engaged with, in the head with a bottle while the lights were low. Senator James had me tell a few of his friends about the time I was turned down in the Gentlemen's Cup race at Churchill Downs be- cause I did not have my name in the society columns of the Louisville papers. The genial Senator also asked me about the big fortune I failed to get for my wife out of the French Spoliation Claims. I pulled out of Washington for the Bluegrass State about the time the spring races opened at Lexington, as I had several "rods in pickle" that were going to be cut loose at that meeting. Judge Shelly Recognized Me.-When I blowed into Lexington the morning the meeting was to open I hotfooted it out to the old Association course to see Judge Will Shelly to get my "broad" for the meet- ing. The Judge had always recognized me as a pro- fessional since the day he turned me down from having a mount in the Gentlemen's Cup race at Churchill Downs when I said I figured in the prize ring, but not in society. Things were not peaches and cream at the Lexington meet. I was very un- 108 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT lucky. I couldn't pick 'em, but killed more of my clients than there were Spaniards "bit the dust" during the Spanish-American War. After Lexington I came right down to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. I had not missed but one classic since 1890. That was the one of 1903, when I saw the great English Derby at Epsom Downs. Passing of a Good Friend.-The night before the Derby I was at the bedside of one of my best friends, Bill Douglas, former sporting editor of the Courier- Journal. Douglas passed away the next day, and with him went one of the best-hearted fellows ever in the newspaper business. When the big Derby race came I had already made up my mind to bet my entire bankroll, 78, on Donerail, Tom Hayes' entry. I had seen the big bay colt perform up at Lexington, and I liked his way of going. Just as I went into the ring to scatter my 78 through the machines on Donerail, Johnny Schorr came rushing through the throng, and battling his way to the 25 machines, bet 200 straight and 300 a place on Leochares, the Schorr entry in the race. Like a sucker I followed Schorr and stood a tap on Leo- chares instead of following my own judgment, which if I had I would have cashed in three or four thousand dollars, as Donerail paid over 80 to 1. 109 110 THE LONG, LONG TRAI L Leochares, as the "Old Square Dealer" would say, finished "first in the race" had it been run the Belmont way. Many times, though, during my career I have run a shoe- string into a tannery. That Derby sent me back to Cincinnati almost penniless, but my indomitable will got me on Easy street before the races at Louisville were half over. When the "ponies" hit dear old Latonia I was again flushed with coarse notes. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER XVII. TOMMY WEST RELATES MANY FUNNY INCIDENTS OF AMERICAN RACE TRACKS; WHEN WISH- ING RING WON AT LONG ODDS. A FTER getting "cleaned" at Louisville when I A failed to follow my own opinion and played Leochares in the Derby when I thought Don- erail had a royal chance, I came back to Cincinnati and met with remarkable success for a while. I have had as many ups and downs on the turf as the elevator boy in an office building. During a ca- reer of over a quarter of a century on American race tracks I can recall many funny incidents and also many that have a pathetic side. Years ago at the old Sheepshead Bay track there was a horse called Highlander. This was a fast plater, but pretty much of a rogue. He was rather an unruly brute and had a habit of sulking. Hb was left at the post in many of his starts, so that whenever he was carded to "go" the bookies always took liberties with him with their place and show odds. He nearly always was as good for the place and "peep" end in the betting as he was to win. ill THE LONG, LONG TRAIL One day he was in a seven-eighths of a mile dash when an old Tad from the Brooklyn gashouse, who was out for a half holiday and seldom ever enjoyed the sport of Kings, bet on Highlander because he fancied the name. When the horses passed me go- ing to the post I was standing near the old Tad, and he asked me which one of the steeds was Highlander. When I pointed him out he said: "Why, that divil is a pipe to bate that bunch of dray horses." Highlander was a grand specimen of the thoroughbred. He was all "sharpened up" and his connections were betting. When they got to the post Highlander broke up several good starts for Mars Cassiday, so when he let the field off he was standing flatfooted. That old Irishman let out a squawk which could be heard all over the racetrack. He shouted to the jockey, "Bring him round the other way, you imp; bring him around the other way," meaning for the jockey to let the horse run the reverse way of the track to the finish, where he would have about an eighth of a mile to go. When the jockey did get Highlander going he was trail- ing the field a quarter of a mile behind. The old Turk broke right for the judges' stand and wanted to get Arthur Redfern, who had the mount on the old rogue, ruled off the turf for life for "pulling." 112 C ` - This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT When Round the World Won.-Out at Churchill Downs a few years ago Barney Furey, an old sparring partner of mine, came down from Cincinnati with Mat O'Brien and some other sports from the Queen City to take in the races. Now Furey, although he has traveled all over the country as a professional pugilist, knows little about the ponies. He sought for a tip, and I told him that Round the World, a filly owned by W. Yanke, was a good thing. That was when Round the World was about one of the best 2-year olds in the West, but before she had shown her true form. Furey imparted the information to O'Brien and his friends, but told them the name of the horse was Round the Track. They searched the programme for the horse, but of course could find no such name. Just as the horses were going to the post Furey came rushing up to me and said, "Tommy, I don't see that horse Round the Track on the programme. What are you try- ing to hand me" I replied, "You snuckel, I told you Round the World." At this Furey grabbed his forehead and said, "My God, Tommy! Does he have to go farther" Now, as I said, Furey is as big a sucker as was ever on a racetrack, but he got to O'Brien and the gang in time for them to get a 113 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL bet on Round the World and she came down in front at the large and munificent odds of 8 to 1. Horse players around Kentucky well remem- ber the day Wishing Ring won at Latonia and paid the large sum of 1,884.50 for 2. That was the longest price I ever saw against a horse, barring the day John W. Gates gave awoman, 1,000 to 1 against the winner. Well, the day Wishing Ring won I met a little fellow from Cincinnati by the name of Fried- man, whom I knew well. He was sent to the La- tonia track by his firm to entertain a party of cus- tomers who were in that city buying merchandise. The expenses were paid by the firm. Of course, they were not provided with money to wager on the races, but Friedman thought he would take a "flier" at the game. He bet on the losers in five races and in the sixth race he came to me and asked me to give him a winner. I told him I didn't know a thing. After the race, which Wishing Ring won, I saw Friedman in the line where the 2 straight tickets were cashed. I accosted Friedman and asked him how he came to bet on the skate, Wishing Ring. "Vell," he said, "I got vat dey call a hunch. I had lost all my money but 2 and I vas vishing I could win a bet, so I looked on the programme and I saw the name Vishing Ring, so I said to myself, 114 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT that's a hunch, I vill go to Vishing Ring." And he did, pulling down a small fortune for his "two bucks." Luck Outweighs Information.-It only goes to show that luck is better than all the wise information one can gather around a race course. You take a wise "geek" that claims to know all about the horses and you couldn't get him to bet as much as a thin dime on a horse like Wishing Ring. But the fact concerning the Wishing Ring race is the mare "run in" on her owner. This fact is well known among professionals. The mare was being prepared for a killing. The first time she won, however, was not the day intended, but she was so good the jockey couldn't restrain her unless taking a chance of getting the official displeasure of the judges. Two days later Wishing Ring started again, when she won just as easily, but the stable and its connections were all aboard this time and she paid only 9 to 1. The Wishing Ring incident brought many a sucker to playing the races. Of course, there were only a few pikers played the mare the day she won at such long odds, or she would not have paid so much in the mutuel pot. 115 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL Had System to Beat Races.-I recall that a Louis- ville druggist had 5 on Wishing Ring and took down over 4,500 for his 5. This pill dispenser had a system to beat the races under the mutuel system and it had worked rather successfully on the Louis- ville tracks. He had done so well with his system that he turned his drug store over to his clerk and decided to follow the ponies and play his system. He came on to Latonia with as much confidence he could defeat the game as if he was sitting behind a straight-flush in a poker game. His system, to ex- plain it in a few words, was like this: He would leave out the choices in a race and make a flat bet, say of 5, on each of the other en- trants to win. By that means he was bound to catch all the long shots. Of course, Wishing Ring was one of the horses he played in the race she won. He had probably bet on four or five other horses in the same race to win, but on this occasion he caught a capital prize. The druggist tried his system highly through- out the year and at the close of the season he went to work in the drug store he had owned as a clerk. The clerk had bought out his business. This only goes to show that the immutable law of percentage will defeat any scheme ever de- 116 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 117 vised to beat the game where a take-out plays a part. I wish to state, though, the pari-mutuel plan for wagering on the races is the only strictly fair one, and the chances for the punter is much better than when the bookmakers held sway. THE LONG, LONG TRAIL CHAPTER XVIII. TOMMY WEST TELLS SOME HARD-LUCK STORIES DURING HIS CAREER ON TURF; J. J. MURDOCK BREAKS UP BIG PARLAY. DURING my long career on the turf I recall LD two horses that on several occasions caused my undoing. These steeds not only were bad luck to me, but upset the calculations of several friends with whom I was associated on the turf. The name of one of these thoroughbreds was Capt. Rees, which I believe is yet racing in the colors of Cal Milam, one of Kentucky's most astute trainers. It was a few years ago at Latonia, when I had "tabbed" this Capt. Rees for a likely maiden, after watching him work around the track during the early morning hours. I knew he was about ready to race by his movements, so I scanned the entries closely to see when Milam was going to drop him in. Finally one day I discovered this well- bred maiden was in with a lot of good handicap horses. That had me guessing as I knew the horse was good, but he hardly figured to beat the kind he was in with, so after consulting my old friend at the 118 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT telegraph office we surmised the Captain was prob- ably being given a trial so that he could be put on edge for a "killing," which probably would come about his next time out with a cheaper lot of racers. Ready to Bet Chunk.-I was fixed to set in a chunk on Capt. Rees, but was steered off by several friends supposed to be in the know, and was told that was not the day. A friend of mine with a roll that would choke an elephant was with me to take part in the pie-cutting. We laid off Capt. Rees and compromised by putting a good-sized wager on Star Jasmine, Maj. McDowell's steed. While the race was being run I kept a close watch on Capt. Rees. He trailed the field for about one-half a mile and then commenced moving up. Rounding the far turn before coming into the stretch he challenged Star Jasmine and left him like he was tied, at the eighth pole, winning at the end handily, running the mile in 1:38 flat. Star Jasmine was third and I was burning up, for Capt. Rees paid a big price. J. J. Murdock Bad Luck for Me.-The other horse which I never could get right was J. J. Mur- dock. This fast sprinter has spilled the beans for me on more than one occasion. A couple of years ago at Latonia this same J. J. Murdock broke up a parlay for the "Square Dealer" and myself that 119 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL would have netted us a neat sum for an outlay of a 10 note. I shall never forget how that parlay was lost for it certainly was tough luck. We had marked the programme before the races and decided to play a seven-horse show parlay. This is a diffi- cult play to encompass, but I have participated on several occasions with big split-ups after winning one of these kinds of bets. The first horse in the parlay was Alex Getz. This old steed paid a shade better than 7 to 1 to show. In the second race the old reliable Grover Hughes was played "on the limb." He paid a little better than even money. In the third heat all our dough was riding on Peter J. to show and he was right there around 2 to 1. All the works were set in on Col. Vennie in the fourth and he rewarded us by paying around even money for third position. Then old Sleeth carried the entire bankroll in the fifth and the Baker steed delivered the goods in grand style. He was 7 to 5 to show and we pulled down 1,335. We bet all this money, but a 10 note, on J. J. Murdock in the sixth race. Here's where we fell down after one of the closest finishes ever seen on the Latonia race track. Five horses all finished noses apart. Only the judges could separate them. When the num- bers went up J. J. Murdock was not among the 120 -J - 4; i -,",-i I 4wl- 09W', s2di" " ";L - This page in the original text is blank. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT first three. Sparkler, a long shot, was given the race, having beat Bringhurst, a "whisker," in the last jump. Roscoe Goose, who rode Bringhurst, claimed a foul, but the judges failed to allow it because the patrol judge did not report any irregu- larities. Nearly every person looking at the race saw Sparkler cut across in front of the entire field shortly after the get-away. But it was not to be. All our dough was burned up. On the next race we were to have wagered our entire parlay on Irish Gentleman, who paid better than 3 to 1 to show. J. J. Murdock finishing out of the money had cost us over 5,000. Another Attempt Goes Wrong.-Another time at Latonia myself and several friends attempted to make a killing on J. J. Murdock. I knew he was to go for the dough a certain day and all the gang was "readied" for this bird. One of them had soaked his auto to wager on the brown horse. It was a horse race, too, and how we all rooted for Murdock. He came down the stretch with Chal- mers head and head and at the finish it was so close none of the spectators could tell who had won, but the judges hung out J. J. Murdock's number in the "two-hole." We let out an awful squawk, but the verdict stuck and all of the crowd was so badly 121 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL bent after that disaster it took a search warrant to find street-car fare on any of them. Horse Racing Square Sport.-I have often heard remarks on street cars, trains and auto busses going to and from the racetracks that most races are fixed affairs. This is the class of persons who do most of the talking. Right here I want to say that these persons have the same opinion about baseball, boxing contests and every other kind of sport. I do not say that there never was a race that was fixed, but I do say that fixed races are few and far between in these days. Taking it all in all, I believe that racing is the squarest sport in the world. Any- one that is a player of form will tell you nine times out of ten who is the contender in a race. Of course, during the running of a race a horse can have extra good luck, and again he can have a bad lot of it by getting into a pocket or being off badly. The boy may make a mistake with a horse by set- ting too fast a pace. He may do the same thing laying too far off the pace, and again he may make his move on a horse too late or too soon. The judging of pace and rating of a horse is an art, and to become a great race rider a boy must be taught to know just when to make his move on his different mounts, as horses, like humans, are not all alike. 122 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT These gossipers that have an idea that all races are fixed belong on the yellow car and sooner or later the squirrels will grab them. I was asked one day by several persons my opinion about a race which was run right here at Churchill Downs. The favorite in this race ran very dully and did not show in the money. Two days previous this same horse defeated practically the same field, if not a better one. I informed my friends that the horse had picked up ten more pounds and was going a sixteenth of a mile farther than he had in his previous race. Consider a horse in the same way you would a human being; one day a horse may be feeling fine and the next badly. Many times poor riders of horses are blamed for the bad races run by this and that horse, when if the truth were known the horse was off and no person was able to notice it. You can take a baseball pitcher and a race horse and compare them. One day a horse will beat a field in record time; put him in the same field in two or three days with the same weight, rider and conditions, and he will be beaten away off. Take a baseball pitcher; put him against a club to-day and he will shut them out with a few hits and no runs. Put him right back against the 123 124 THE LONG, LONG TRAIL same team two or three days later and they may drive him to cover in two or three innings. There is your answer. Always remember that this is not always the case and don't forget that distance and weight cut a very wide margin in the running of races. Good luck and bad luck also play their parts, just the same as the bad and good breaks in a ball game. IN THE WORLD OF SPORT CHAPTER XIX. ON MY return to Louisville at the close of the 0 Spring meeting at Latonia I was appointed Manager of the Service Bureau of the Retail Merchants Association of Louisville on October 1, 1917. I left their employ on April 1, 1918 with the good will of them all I believe. During my short stay with them I had the pleasure of making many calls on Captain Jack Carney, chief of the detective force whom, I believe, is the greatest detective that Louisville ever had or ever will have. Captain Carney gave me many valuable tips regarding my business and I must say every tip that he gave me turned out just as he said they would. I also had the pleasure of meeting personally some real loyal true blue fellows as well as being good businessmen. Among them was Mr. Eugene Straus and Mr. Walter Kahn of the Herman Straus Sons Co., Mr. C. A. Wellendorf of the Hubbuch Bros. and Wellendorf Co., Mr. Ledman of S. E. Ledman Sons, Mr. Matt Irion and his two sons, Mr. Detchen of the Husch Bros. Co., Mr. A. H. Morris and Mr. Souer of the J. Bacon Sons Co., Colonel Fred 125 TE2E LONG, LONG TRAIL Levy, Mr. Blum, Mr. Arnold Levy and Mr. Green- baum of the Levy Bros. Store, Mr. H. V. Bomar of the Bomar Summers Co., Mr. M. H. Moise, Mr. Mudwiler and Mr. Burton of the Crutcher Starks Co., Mr. Harry Schutz of the Walk Over Shoe Store, Mr. J. Greenstein of the Bon-Ton Co., Mr. George Beuchel of the Sutcliffe Co., Mr. L. S. Byck and Mr. Preston of the Byck Bros. Shoe Store, Mr. H. H. Newmark of the Gem Jewelry Store, Mr. Bombard of the Grant Store, Mr. Lee Lewis and Mr. Balust of the John C. Lewis Co. store, Mr. Kaufman, Mr. Ben Straus, Mr. Judah, Mr. Sol. Ettson and Mr. Dreyfus of the Kaufman- Straus Co., Mr. J. W. Klein of Klein and Son, Mr. W. W. Wilhoit and Mr. Stewart of the Stewart Dry Goods Co. Store, Mr. Dolfinger of the J. Dolfinger Co. China Store, Mr. Henry Heick of the Henry Heick Co. whom I am sorry to say has passed to the Great Beyond, last but not least Mr. Thristram Shook the manager of the R. M. A., a very fine little fellow. When the bugle called them out for the Spring meeting at Lexington I was on the job and went through the four Ken- tucky meetings without any thing interesting to relate to you. Today July 14th, 1918, I am 36 years old having been born in this city July 14th, 1882. 126 IN THE WORLD OF SPORT 127 Many of my friends think that I am much older, but that is because I have been before the public so long. Being a Kentuckian I have one ambition that I would give my life to accomplish and that is to own or train a horse to win the Kentucky Derby. The odds are great against me as that is a thing that few men can boast about, but I have hopes and you can take it from me I will always be trying. If I should ever be lucky enough to land I will write another story and tell you all about how it happened. The End.