Travis' left jabs were small charges of dynamite exploding in Perry Walsh's face and he worked in close. But Travis locked his elbows and butted him sharply with his head, starting blood flowing from a small cut under the eye. The referee didn't see the foul. Perry ignored it and clipped Travis alongside the chin, drawing from his deep reservoir of hard-earned experience to shake one hand free, but he didn't hurt Travis. The kid went on his bicycle again, circling to the left and pecking open that cut beneath Perry's eye. Slowly the cut grew and blood flowed more freely. Suddenly a left hook swished into Perry's groin, low. It didn't hurt him or slow him, and the referee warned Travis, but Perry knew that wouldn't stop these tactics.
A film as red as the blood smeared across his cheek slowly rose in Perry. He was getting the business. The old crimson tide of ungovernable anger welled within him. His eyes narrowed to twin slits. Then he suddenly stopped his forward rush as he remembered Florence.
He halted for a moment, shaken, then moved into Travis more confidently. He had beaten the thing and could have hit Travis out of sheer joy after the bell if the youngster hadn't suddenly sat down. Perry realized Travis had cleverly worked him into his own corner just as the bell rang, but he didn't care. He was inwardly glowing proudly as he strode across the ring to his corner.