“Hot, towzled, and flabbergasted” (1901)

An amusing account of a Bartitsu challenge contest from the Sporting Times of 7 September, 1901:

Amongst those who went on the stage the Tivoli the other evening to try a fall with the ’Jitsu Japs was certain well-dressed but notoriously impecunious actor. His turn-out was, truly, within a few curves of the immaculate; but—heigho! By the time Uyenishi of Osaka and Tani of Tokio had had their arms round his neck and their knees in his waistcoat, he was Rumpled Robin at 5st 7lb.

Hot, towzled, and flabbergasted, and with his upper garments in a bunch about his shoulders, he stood by the footlights and felt for his eyeglass.

“Will you try again, sir?” asked Barton-Wright, bringing Uyenishi forward.

“For Gawd’s sake don’t, Jack,” cried a seemingly friendly voice from the unreserved fatoils; “if Mo Angel could see those clothes now he’d cancel yet hire-agreement for ever!”

Then Jack retired discreetly; for, be it added, the fine old backsliding potentates of Scripture History are not the only ones who “rent” their garments. There are others.

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