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A bar stands on a corner. Inside, it is full of fake furnishings. Mirrors line the walls and glasses are neatly stacked along the sideboard. "An odor of grasping, begrimed hands and munching mouths pervaded." Pete is the bartender. He serves a customer a drink and then wipes the bar. Suddenly, Jimmie and a companion come in the door and start making fun of Pete. They order drinks and continue to mock Pete.
Pete tries to get them to stop, but they continue. Finally, he comes around the bar and gets into a fighting stance. The men circle each other for what seems like a long time and finally Pete throws a punch that Jimmie ducks. They fight viciously for a long time and then suddenly someone picks up a bottle and throws it. They all start throwing glass at each other.
Outside in the street, people gather when they hear the breaking glass. Police officers arrive and enter the bar. Jimmie runs for the side door and escapes just as the police officer has subdued his companion and thrown Pete against the wall. Out at the entrance of the alley, Jimmie sees the police officer leading Pete and his companion away. He thinks for a moment about running to the rescue of his companion, but then decides "Ah, what deh hell?"
Jimmy takes revenge. The result will probably be Pete’s dismissal from his job. If Pete loses his job, what will happen to Maggie? No one during the entire time of the fight mentions the cause of the fight. Maggie becomes invisible as the men engage with each other to prove who is more manly.
In describing the fight, Crane continues in the use of mock heroic language, describing the men as valiant and epic warriors. For example, "Jimmy began to swell with valor." The contrast between this Homeric language of the narrator’s description and the almost inarticulate words the characters actually say makes the scene take on the tone of a poorly done melodrama. Jimmie and his un-named companion make taunts like "Oh, deh hell." Pete tries to ward them off with similarly inarticulate sentences "Oh, hell. Go fall on yerself."