Barney, fat as butter, humorous-looking, was led into the square of cloth-covered steel cables and cloth-covered steel uprights.
Collins stopped into the ring and caressed Barney, who responded in the best of tempers and tried affectionately to nudge and shove past on the way out of the ropes to escape what he knew was coming.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he addressed the sawdust emptiness before him as if it were a packed audience, "this is Barney Barnato, the biggest joker of a mule ever born.
"There was Peg Barney sittin' on the groun' in his shirt - wan shoe off an' wan shoe on - whackin' a tent-peg over the head wid his boot, an' singin' fit to wake the dead.
The Divil's Mass is ten times worse, an' Peg Barney was singin' ut, whackin' the tent-peg on the head wid his boot for each man that he cursed.
"Good mornin', Peg,' I sez, whin he dhrew breath afther dursin' the Adj'tint-Gen'ral; 'I've put on my best coat to see you, Peg Barney,' sez I.
'Nobody?' inquired Fagin, in a tone of surprise: which perhaps might mean that Barney was at liberty to tell the truth.
'She's bid havid a plate of boiled beef id the bar,' replied Barney.
Barney looked timidly at Fagin, as if for permission; the Jew reamining silent, and not lifting his eyes from the ground, he retired; and presently returned, ushering in Nancy; who was decorated with the bonnet, apron, basket, and street-door key, complete.
It seemed almost probable that the tragic end of our talk over the telephone had been caused by the sudden arrival and as sudden violence of Barney Maguire.
I can neither forget nor report the terms in which Barney Maguire asked me who I was and what I was doing there.
But the celebrated Barney stood upon a Persian hearth-rug, beaming upon us all.