Village Aghast as New Cockpit is set in Midst
The fact that a chicken fighting tournament de luxe, surrounded by genteel, refining influences, such a beautiful acetylene gas lamps, soda pops and fancy stoves has been arranged for Saturday night in a house built for the purpose at Constance, Ky., across the river from Anderson's Ferry, was disclosed Saturday.
Constance is in the neighborhood made famous by John Uri Lloyd's "Stringtown on the Pike."
Roosters known far and wide for their chivalry, and valor, are to battle frequently before crowds of men who will go there under cover of night and enjoy security from legal interference in an ax-proof house, whose only two windows are next to the roof.
With an apparent feeling that their money will not be wasted, the promoters, who are keeping in the background, have spent more than $1000 building and fitting up a modern cock pit with all the appurtenances necessary for the legal peace and the personal comfort of the sports who are expected.
Constance, as humble and confiding as the name suggests, does not know what to make of this thing which has come within its midst. Constance had nothing at all to say about it. The chicken fighters merely invaded the village, bought an acre and squatted down on the pike. Constance looks to the county authorities for help, but the Boone-co officials have so far exhibited considerable nonchalance concerning the goings-on.
It is thought at Constance that perhaps they are waiting for something definite to happen and that the chicken fighters, being such excellent gamblers, are going ahead on a long chance that they will not be interfered with.
Constance looks askance on the preparations going on behind the impervious walls of the big new frame structure up the main road. Building operations are not carried on in great volume in Constance, so that now, while wildly interested, Constance is also somewhat frightened.
Forty-five minutes from Fountain Sq, Constance is nevertheless as rural as it is possible to be truly rural. The ferry-boat carries its inhabitants across the Ohio to Cincinnati in five minutes and 35 minutes more brings man from Constance into the heart of a metropolis. Constance awaits with awe the full invasion of the city sports.
Constance isn't careful about locking its doors at night, being so trustful. It wonders if it will have to inaugurate a change in this custom, for Constance never saw a sport, and is puzzled as to what the species looks like, whether it is tame or whether it wears diamonds and loud clothes, as often depicted, or whether it is a brawling fighting type.
A dozen carpenters worked feverishly Saturday morning to finish the pit for the night's combats. The cocking pit is at the bottom of a good size amphitheater. In ruder days, chicken fights were held informally in barns. This is a regular chicken fight coliseum out of wood.
The seats, banked up eight rows high, surround the pit. Over the pit hand four acetylene lamps with powerful and fancy reflectors. They will act as part of the spot-light in the chanticleer drama. None of the old-time tin coal oil lamps would do for this up-do-date roosters' battle ground.
The building has a personally conducted gas plant. It will be heated by two large stoves. The thirsty will be refreshed with soft drinks. They will be well shielded from the prying eyes of investigators.
As said before, the only windows in the house are near the roof. Their purpose is merely to supply air. A hole has been left in the roof to act as a vent for the clouds of tobacco smoke that are expected to ascend to the ceiling. The building stands on stilts over an embankment on the road.
As the regular ferry does not run after dark, a large, cabined motor boat will convey sports across the river from Cincinnati and will carry them back.
"We don't want these chicken fights around here, but what can we do about it?" asked Mrs. John Dressner, opposite whose home the cocking main has been built.
Kentucky Post, Saturday, December 17, 1910