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accosted a cadaverous friend, who happened to be passing through the locker


"Oh, Smithson! Made up yet for the afternoon?" Smithson paused.

"I've got to go home, Val. Where's the crowd you had this morning?"

"They had to go home, too," said Mr. Mott, implying unutterable weakness on the part of the henpecked miscreants.

"How in thunder do you do it?" asked the cadaverous one in frank envy and injured righteousness. "If I ever managed to get in thirty-six holes just once-"

Mr. Mott waved the hand which had recently done duty as a silencer.


"Easiest thing in the world. Mott would n't any more think of spoiling my Saturdays than-well, she just would n't think of it. She knows I'm working like a dog all the week; a man 's got to have some recreation.”

"That's so; but I can't ever seem to get it over. Well, how were you shooting?"

"Pretty fair- for me." Mr. Mott nodded, moved off in the direction of the grill, and halted on the outskirts of a group which was actively engaged in filing demurrers and replications. "Everybody made up?" he inquired genially.

"I am. How's your game?"

"Not bad-that is, for me," said Mr. Mott. "Anybody looking for an extra man?"

"My foursome's complete. Say, there's a special competition on for the afternoon; heard about it?"

"No," said Mr. Mott, alert. "I thought it was only morning. What is it?"

"Straight medal-play."

"Is that so? I'll have to see about it. Well, how 're you hitting 'em?"

There was a choral response from the group:


"Never shot worse in my life!" "Don't speak of it!"

Mr. Mott shook his head in profound sympathy, and went on to the bulletin board, where he delayed for a moment to inspect the current handicap-list. As he

stood there, sniffing contemptuously at his own modest rating, a trio of late arrivals burst through the side door, and bore down upon him, laughing and talking and forecasting the future with that incorrigible golfing optimism which is Phoenixborn every day out of the black ashes of yesterday's sodden facts. Mr. Mott knew all three, and he hailed them cheerfully.

"Hello! Looking for a fourth man?" "No; somebody 's waiting for us. What's the event?"

"Two of 'em, morning and afternoon, both straight medal-play," said Mr. Mott. "Don't you fellows ever read the announcements?"

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"Oh, pretty fair-for me, of course."

The trio hurried away, and Mr. Mott, lingering only to make sure that the tabular results of the competition for the treasurer's cup still remained on the board, he had n't been put out until the semi-finals, and liked to see his name in the bracket, strolled into the grill, and cast about him for companionship.

The low-studded room, as Mr. Mott entered it, echoed the mad confusion of a political convention crossed with a dairy restaurant. Crockery clattered against wooden surfaces, plated silver clattered against crockery, tumblers clinked to tumblers, and hobnails grated on the redtiled floor. Men in knickerbockers and men in flannels huddled close to the round tables and bawled statistics at one another; men in street clothes dragged rattling caddy-bags through from the office; men flushed and perspiring stamped in from the eighteenth green, and clamored loudly at the bar. Disheveled waiters dodged aimlessly about in answer to the insistence of a dozen members simultaneously. Half a hundred voices swelled in extenuation, alibi, defense; half a hundred voices rang clear in joyous prophecy. Drifting clouds of light-gray smoke clung like a canopy to the ceiling. The atmosphere was surcharged with excitement, and Mr. Mott's nostrils dilated as he scented it. The air quivered to the un


"The atmosphere was surcharged with excitement, and Mr. Mott's nostrils dilated as he scented it"

godly tumult, and Mr. Mott's ear-drums vibrated as he heard it.

"Waiter! Hang that waiter! Here, you! I-"

"I had a putt for a forty-seven coming in; without that nine on the tenth I 'd have had a putt for a forty-one-"

"Come on; make it a ball Nassau-"

"Why should I give you a stroke? Here's my suggestion-"

"All right! All right! Count it up yourself! 5, 7, 4, 9, 6, 6, 8-"

"Hey, Jim! I had a par five-" "Waiter! Waiter! I did n't order souD!"

"That 's ground under repair. It says so on the card-"

"Oh, I could n't hit a balloon."

"Well, if I'd been playing my game"Honest, I have n't touched a club since June-"

"Oh, I was awful! How about you?" "Waiter!"

Mr. Mott smiled happily, and buttonholed the chairman of the handicap committee.

"Made up yet?"

"Yes. How 'd you come out this

"If you start us one up on each nine morning?" and-"

"Confound it! I did n't make the rules! It costs you two strokes!"

"Telephone! Telephone for Mr. Smithson! Mrs. Smithson calling-"

"Well, my handicap 's too low. He's been under ninety twice this year, and still I've got to give him three strokes-" "Waiter! Hurry along that club sandwich, will you?"

"If you 'd just keep that left shoulder down, Bill, and remember to follow through-"

"I'll bet you I break 110-"

"Oh, if I could putt, I 'd be all right." "Chick Evans did a seventy-three-" "Here, give me that check! Oh, come now, that's not right-"


"Then I went all to pieces-"

Who do I draw? This one?'"

"Rotten!" said Mr. Mott, promptly. "Tore up my card; I was fierce. Know anybody that 's looking for a match?"

"Yes, there's a man out by the caddyhouse. Don't know who he is, but he 's alone."

"Thanks." Mr. Mott edged his way to the outer door, bellowed over his shoulder to one who had bellowed a question at him the answer, "Pretty fair-for me," and emerged to the gravel walk. At this hour the first tee was deserted, but before the professional's tiny house Mr. Mott saw a lanky stranger in an attitude of longing; Mr. Mott drew near and grinned. The stranger grinned in return. "Waiting for somebody?" asked Mr. Mott.

"No," said the stranger. "Just taking my chances; I'm a new member."

"Indeed! My name's Mott." "Chapman's mine."

They shook hands.

"I'm alone, too. Suppose


we try it?"

"I'd be glad to. Your name up?"

"Not yet."

"I'll put it up," volunteered Mr. Mott. In the top space on the ruled sheet tacked to the score-board he scrawled his own patronymic, and added his stroke allowance. "What's your handicap?"

"They have n't given me one yet."

"Well," said Mr. Mott, uncertainly, "then you can't very well compete -"

"Oh, I'm not going to. I'm not strong for tournaments, anyway. I'll just attest your round."

"All right." Mr. Mott dusted his hands, and stepped over to the caddy-master. "A couple of boys ready? Who do I draw? This one? My bag there? Now, son, your job is to watch the ball. You remember that, will you? Let's have the driver." He strode within the fatal inclosure, and swung the club experimentally at a trespassing cigarette stub. The stub leaped forward a yard, accurately on the line. "What do you play around in?"

"Oh, I'm erratic," said Chapman, watching intently.


"Stand still, will you? Stop rattling those clubs!""

"Suppose you go ahead-take the honor." "Well, if you say so." He teed an almost new ball, and took his stance; waggled, hesitated, stooped, glanced at his caddy, and glared at him. "Another ball," he said shortly. "Red-line Silver King out of the pocket." The caddy, overwhelmed with guilt, furnished it. It was of the same brand, the same marking, the same weight, and showed the same degree of wear and tear as the original choice; but Mr. Mott, for reasons comprehended only by golfers, regarded it with far greater satisfaction. It was the ball with which he had made the last hole in a par five on the morning round. It was, so to speak, already broken in, trained, biddable. Mr. Mott teed it, and after swinging once or twice in exaggeratedly correct form, lunged downward savagely.

"Good ball!" approved Chapman. "Too high," said Mr. Mott, with meretricious disgust. It was the longest drive he had made from the first tee in six months.

The stranger hit a prodigious slice out of bounds. On his second attempt the slice was less pronounced; he was in the rough. The two players set out fraternally on their journey.

"Been playing much lately?" inquired Mr. Mott.

"Not a great deal."

"You 've got a fine follow through, though."

"It did n't seem to help that last shot," deprecated Chapman. He selected a spoon, and was hole-high to the left of the


"Beautiful! Just a trifle off," commented Mr. Mott. With the sole of his club he patted down a worm-cast; with his heel he deleted a tuft of grass from the complications of his lie. He made his effort, and after it he held himself rooted to the spot until he had verified, by three swings at vacancy, his unexpressed opinion that, given another opportunity, he would have split the flag. "I can't keep my head down," he lamented. "Oh, well—” He turned suddenly to his caddy, and sent a bolt of lightning at him. "Watch this one!" he ordered. And the caddy obediently watched it hobble sixty feet, and disappear in the leaves of a dry trench.

As Mr. Mott, looking aggrievedly at a pair which had come up behind him and were yelling "Fore!" at the top of their lungs, stood on the first green and noted his score, he was impelled to quote history.

"I had a six here this morning," he sighed. "It's a tricky green, is n't it?"

"Very," agreed his partner. "You keep the honor all the way, will you? You 're in the tournament, and I 'm not."

"Just as you say. On this one you want to aim pretty well to the left of the mound." Mr. Mott drove thirty yards. to the right of it. "Doggone it!" he exclaimed, with his hands on his hips, "that club's no earthly good; I can't hit the broad side of a barn with it! It is n't balanced, or something. Further to the left, Mr. Chapman." Here Chapman sent forth a towering drive which at least was out of trouble. "That's safe! You 're lucky."

"I'm not kicking," said Chapman. "But I'm afraid you 're in the pit."

"I see," said Mr. Mott, getting into his stride, "that that fourteen-year-old boy at Merion finally got beaten. Well, I'm glad he did. He's too young to have all that success; it might have spoiled him. Besides, the national 's no place for a boy like that."

"He made a seventy-four," said Chapman, "and a seventy-six and a seventyseven-"

"Oh, that's not so very remarkable. You take these caddies; they watch good players, and get hold of a good swing, and they 're not bothered with nerves

"Pardon me, but I think you 're back there about ten yards, Mr. Mott."

"So I am! Much obliged! Fore!" Within a quarter of a mile there was no one who might conceivably have been. endangered by Mr. Mott's recovery from the sand-pits, but his warning cry was both mechanical and peremptory. He eyed the flag, three hundred yards in advance, and with his eye still on it he played the mashy-niblick in the stroke. which made Edward Ray internationally famous. It made Mr. Mott apoplectic. Thenceforward he progressed by slow and circuitous stages to the terraced green, and upon his arrival he was too perturbed to sympathize with Chapman, whose iron shot had found a trap, and whose approach was beyond the hole. To be sure,

the sinking of a long putt did much to salve the irritation in Mr. Mott's bosom, and although Chapman also holed a twenty-footer, Mr. Mott secretly felt, and generously withheld the statement, that Chapman had been excessively fortunate in the roll of the green.

The third hole was short; that is, it was short for scratch-players. Mr. Mott had seen Carrigan, the club professional, play it with a mashy; he had seen Anderton, the club champion, over-play it with a mid-iron. Therefore Mr. Mott, who, if he could have reached the pin with a full brassy once out of three trials, would have owed sacrifices to the gods and blessings to a beam wind, chose a mid-iron.

"I'm not generally as bad as this," he explained when the ball had found cover in a growth of underbrush. "I'm not getting my wrists into it, that's all. I don't know what 's the matter with me to-day. It makes a difference of ten strokes a round."

"Easily," said Chapman. He, too, was off the line, but he was near enough to use a putter while Mr. Mott was still flailing at the underbrush, and he was down in four to Mr. Mott's six.

"Now for a long one," complained Mr. Mott, climbing the eminence to the fourth tee. "Well, I suppose I'll have to take that driver of Carrigan's again. If I had any sense I'd drive with an iron. Well, never mind. I believe in playing the right club. Watch it, boy!" He hit a screaming liner down the alley for more than two hundred precious yards, and posed diligently and motionlessly, as in the photographs of Vardon, until the ball had not only come to rest, but had also lain quiescent for several seconds. He regarded the club-head in gentle perplexity. He tested the spring of the shaft. He breathed deeply, and made way for Chapman; but even after Chapman had failed by a full rod to equal that tremendous drive, he relentlessly fought down the smile which struggled for its outlet. Indeed, he was rather astonishingly severe and unemotional for a man who had just accomplished a praiseworthy feat.

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