“The Battler” by Ernest Hemingway tells the story of Nick Adams. He is beaten and thrown off a train when a brakeman discovers him as a stowaway. After he recovers from the fall, Nick notices that his eye is hurt and swears revenge against the brakeman.

Nick follows the train rails, planning to walk to the next town. He notices a fire in the nearby woods, and when he approaches it, he meets a man. The man asks about Nick’s black eye, and after Nick explains that he was punched by a brakeman, the man tells him that he saw the brakeman passing by a while ago and suggests Nick should hit him with a rock.

Nick notices that the man’s face is disfigured, and the man also shows that he is missing an ear. The man introduces himself as Ad Francis, and Nick recognises him as a former boxing champion. Ad tells Nick that he is crazy and that he used to defeat his opponents because...

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