The Land Beyond the Blow, by Ambrose Bierce


A crowd of men were assisting at a dog-fight. The scene was one of indescribable confusion. In the center of the tumult the dogs, obscure in a cloud of dust, rolled over and over, howling, yarring, tearing each other with sickening ferocity. About them the hardly less ferocious men shouted, cursed and struck, encouraged the animals with sibilant utterances and threatened with awful forms of death and perdition all who tried to put an end to the combat. Caught in the thick of this pitiless mob I endeavored to make my way to a place of peace, when a burly blackguard, needlessly obstructing me, said derisively:

“I guess you are working pockets.”

“You are a liar!” I retorted hotly.

That is all the provocation that I remember to have given.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:51