2024. If you have ever had the misfortune to live about a mile or two from a racetrack than you would recognize the sound at once. First there was a silence, but it was a silence of intense anticipation. Then a sudden roar of a crowd, as a bell rings, or a gun shot rings out. After that the sound becomes subdued and muted because it is early in the contest and the climax is far off.
2025. Then, little by little the roar becomes more and
more acute, and if perhaps two challengers compete neck and neck for the
prize in the final stretch, then the roar of the crowd becomes frantic,
and even at a great distance it is hypnotic, and mesmerizing. It is a
sound like the water crashing over the huge cataract of a waterfall.
2026. Then suddenly it ceases, or drops to a distant
murmur, only to repeat itself as the next event is introduced to the
audience. This is a sound that has its origin in a most ancient period
of antiquity and reached its zenith in the amphitheaters of ancient
Rome. It brought the Byzantine Empire to its knees as the blue and
green factions of the chariot races brought their passions into the
streets of Constantinople.
2027. So both Otis and the Rooster knew the source of the sounds they were listening to. But it was not a horse race, nor a boxing match, it was a series of dog fights, conducted not at that great a distance away, but only a hundred yards into the woods, and attended not by thousands of spectators, but only by about forty men, and a few woman also.