The Bars of Iron Prologue Cight? Ill fight you with pleasure, but I shall I probably kill you if I do. Do you want to be killed? Brief and contemptuous the question fell. The speaker was a mere lad. He could not have been more than nine teen. But he held himself with the superb British assurance that has its root in the British public school and which, once planted, in certain soils is wholly ineradicable. The man he faced was considerably his superior in height and build. He also was British, but he had none of the others careless ease of bearing. He stood like an angry bull, with glaring, bloodshot eyes. He swore a terrific oath in answer to the scornful enquiry. Ill break every bone in your body! he vowed. You little, sneering bantam, Ill smash your face in! Ill thrash you to a pulp! The other threw up his head and laughed. He was sublimely unafraid. But his dark eyes shone red as he flung back the challenge. All right, you drunken bully! Try.