Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 25
‘Yes, me!’ a voice spoke from among the volunteers. ‘Then show yourself, soldier’ said Conor, ‘Don’t be shy, I won’t hurt you.’ The crowd parted and a tall, stocky soldier swaggered through, he was not as tall as Michael, but much taller than Conor.
It was obvious by his demeanour that he was a bully and a drinker. Conor thought his overconfidence would be his downfall. Black Michael suggested, ‘Do you want me to deal with this one?’ Conor replied, ‘No, I’m fine,’ and to the bully,’What’s your name, soldier?’
‘I’m Paddy O’Rourke, boy!’ he answered in a surly fashion. ‘Well, Paddy, I take it you like to fight with your hands, that’s just fine with me.’ said Conor. Who immediately punched O’Rourke in the stomach winding him, O’Rourke though winded came back hard and fast, gripping Conor around his waist.
Conor retaliated with a headbutt which although it would have floored lesser men, seemed to have had hardly any effect on Paddy. Conor was beginning to realise that maybe he had been a little overconfident in challenging the bigger man. Maybe he should have left him to the ministrations of Black Michael, a man more his match.
But he had no choice, if he were to lose face in front of these men, he would never get them to follow him into battle. The fight must continue, to the bitter end. O’Rourke tightened his grip on Conor’s waist making breathing difficult.
Conor managed to free a hand and following Shamus’s teachings, with the heel of his hand he punched O’Rourke under the nose, not hard enough to kill, but certainly hard enough to make the man release his grip.
(C) Damian Grange 2018