Page images





"I had a six here this morning," he the sinking of a long putt did much to sighed. "It's a tricky green, is n't it?" salve the irritation in Mr. Mott's bosom, “Very,” agreed his partner.

"You and although Chapman also holed a keep the honor all the way, will you? twenty-footer, Mr. Mott secretly felt, and You 're in the tournament, and I 'm not.” generously withheld the statement, that “Just as you say. On this one you

Chapman had been excessively fortunate want to aim pretty well to the left of the

in the roll of the green. mound." Mr. Mott drove thirty yards The third hole was short; that is, it to the right of it. "Doggone it!" he ex- was short for scratch-players. Mr. Mott claimed, with his hands on his hips, "that had seen Carrigan, the club professional, club 's no earthly good; I can't hit the play it with a mashy; he had seen Anderbroad side of a barn with it! It is n't ton, the club champion, over-play it with balanced, or something. Further to the a mid-iron. Therefore Mr. Mott, who, if left, Mr. Chapman." Here Chapman he could have reached the pin with a full sent forth a towering drive which at least brassy once out of three trials, would have

out of trouble. That's safe! owed sacrifices to the gods and blessings You 're lucky."

beam wind, chose a mid-iron. “I'm not kicking,” said Chapman. "I 'm not generally as bad as this,” he “But I'm afraid you 're in the pit.” explained when the ball had found cover “I see,” said Mr. Mott, getting into in a growth of underbrush."I'm not

“ his stride, “that that fourteen-year-old getting my wrists into it, that 's all. I

s I boy at Merion finally got beaten. Well, don't know what 's the matter with me I'm glad he did. He's too young to have to-day. It makes a difference of ten all that success; it might have spoiled him. strokes a round.” Besides, the national 's no place for a boy "Easily,” said Chapman. He, too, was like that.”

off the line, but he was near enough to use "He made a seventy-four," said Chap- a putter while IIr. Mott was still failing man, “and a 'seventy-six and a seventy- at the underbrush, and he was down in

four to Mr. Mott's six. “Oh, that 's not so very remarkable. “Now for a long one,” complained Mr. You take these caddies; they watch good Mott, climbing the eminence to the fourth players, and get hold of a good swing, and tee. "Well, I suppose I 'll have to take they 're not bothered with nerves

that driver of Carrigan's again. If I had "Pardon me, but I think you 're back any sense I'd drive with an iron. Well, there about ten yards, Mr. Mott.” never mind. I believe in playing the right

"So I am! Much obliged! Fore!" club. Watch it, boy!” He hit a scream

Within a quarter of a mile there was ing liner down the alley for more than no one who might conceivably have been two hundred precious yards, and posed endangered by Mr. Mott's recovery from diligently and motionlessly, as in the phothe sand-pits, but his warning cry was tographs of Vardon, until the ball had not both mechanical and peremptory. He only come to rest, but had also lain quieyed the flag, three hundred yards in ad- escent for several seconds. He regarded vance, and with his eye still on it he the club-head in gentle perplexity. He played the mashy-niblick in the stroke tested the spring of the shaft. He which made Edward Ray internationally breathed deeply, and made way for Chapfamous. It made Mr. Mott apoplectic. man; but even after Chapman had failed Thenceforward he progressed by slow and by a full rod to equal that tremendous circuitous stages to the terraced green,

and drive, he relentlessly fought down the upon his arrival he was too perturbed to smile which struggled for its outlet. Insympathize with Chapman, whose iron deed, he was rather astonishingly severe shot had found a trap, and whose ap- and unemotional for a man who had just proach was beyond the hole. To be sure, accomplished a praiseworthy feat.



you — "

"You've just joined the club, Mr. “Good Lord!” he snapped. “What d' Chapman?"

you think you 're being paid for? D' you "Only a week ago, Mr. Mott."

think I hire you to lose balls? Anybody "Pretty nice course, don't you think? can carry the clubs; your job is to watch It 's very hard. It 's harder by three the ball! Why did n't you mark it? strokes than any other course in the met- That 'll make three I 've lost to-day, and ropolitan district, and the fairway 's a bit ragged, and the greens are pretty nearly "It 's on," stated the caddy, chewing hopeless; but you wait five years! I tell rapidly. you, a man 's got to keep out of the rough On! Where?" on this course or he 's dished. I like a "Over by the sprinkler." stiff course; it 's the only kind to have. Mr. Mott coughed daintily, and looked Where did you play formerly ?"

at Chapman under his lashes. Chapman Over in Boston- Kenilworth.” was n't on; Chapman was n't on by a "Oh! Do you know George Horton ?" good ten yards, but Mr. Mott was on in

"Massachusetts' amateur champion? I three, and the hole was a par five. should say I do! Do you know George “I 've got a chance for a birdie," he Horton ?"

whispered to himself, "a chance for a four. "Well, not exactly," said Mr. Mott, It 's five hundred and ten yards, and I 've with some haste; “I 've heard about him. got a chance for a four. Good shot!" If he ever learned to putt, he'd be a Chapman had clipped up neatly. wizard, would n't he? Fore!"

Mr. Mott took his putter, and made an "You're in the pit!” shrilled Mr. awkward jab at the ball. It fled at a disMott's caddy.

concerting angle. Mr. Mott Alushed, and "Well, don't tell me about it now!" jabbed again. He lifted himself erect, and

, roared Mr. Mott. "Excuse me, I thought poured out into the world the offscourings you 'd played. Well, of all the-" He of his innermost soul. He reviled himself, saw Chapman's stinging brassy, which had the Silver King golf-ball, the Vaile putthreatened to sail into a grove of pines to ter, the greenskeeper, the turf, the contour westward, suddenly veer to the east, and of the land, the Scotch who had invented drop lazily abaft the green.

the game, and the promoters who had or"Pretty lucky," said Chapman.

ganized the club. As an afterthought, he Lucky! I wish I had half your luck! hurled the putter into a convenient hazI'd be playing Chick Evans in the finals. ard, and, seizing the first weapon which See my ball anywhere, caddy?"

came to hand,-a niblick, -struck so fair “It bounced over."

and true that the ball went down for a "Humph!” said Mr. Mott. "Well, six, one over par. why don't you watch it, boy? Tell me "Too bad!” said Chapman. "I missed it 's in the pit, and then - Stand still, an easy one, myself.” will you? Stop rattling those clubs! Say, “I had a chance for a four,” declared I did n't see it at all.”

Mr. Mott, loudly. “Of all the rotten "Neither did I,” said Chapman. “It putting I ever saw in my life that was the was against the sun. It sounded like a worst. On the green in three, and three clean hit, too."

putts! These greens are rotten! Where Mr. Mott shifted the responsibility to 's my driver? Hurry up, there!" his faithful retainer, who was noncha- While his mood was of grim resolution, lantly chewing gum.

and he concentrated rigidly upon the act, "Did you mark it, caddy?"

he drove off in excellent form and with "No, sir; could n't see it drop. Sun 's highly creditable results. in my eyes."

"There!" he ejaculated. "Now I 'm Mr. Mott snorted, and tossed his cleik getting back on my game. That old warto the ground.

club certainly does poke 'em out when I

hit 'em right. But three putts, and only one over par at that! If our greens were as good as they 've got at Sleepy Hollow-"

He observed that his companion had again sliced, and by virtue of his own superiority of direction he was vastly exhilarated. The second shots, too, filled him with passionate glory, for he was safely over the brook, while Chapman had sliced into tall grass. Mr. Mott sidled toward his partner, and made diplomatic overtures of assistance.

"If you don't mind my telling you," he said, "you stand too far in front of the ball. You can't help slicing when you do that. You pull the face of the club right across the ball. You 're getting good distance, but you slice all the time. Stand farther ahead, and you 'll be all right."

"I certainly am slicing 'em," acknowledged the lanky man.

"Throw that back here!" he ordered. The second endeavor was flawless. Legally, Mr. Mott had taken two putts; morally, he had taken one. It was this consciousness of innate ability, this realization that if he had aimed a hair's-breadth farther to the left he would have sunk the first attempt that cheered and inspired him. And Chapman missed a two-footer!

"If you don't mind my telling you," said Mr. Mott, with admirable restraint, "you can putt a whole lot better if you turn the face of your putter over toward "Well, if you don't mind my telling the hole. It puts a drag on it. It makes you-"


the ball run close to the ground. I had
a six; no, seven. That first one should
have gone down.
"Twelve," said his caddy, fearfully.
"Twelve! What in thunder are you
talking about?
Five on the green-"
"No, sir, ten-"

"Listen! Three in the brook," Mr.
Mott's mouth opened slowly, and his jaw
fell,-"three in the brook," he repeated in
horror, "and"

"Not a bit!"

"More like this," said Mr. Mott, illustrating. "Go back slower, and let go with your right hand at the top of the swing. And follow through more. Now, you take that last shot of mine; I hit three inches behind the ball, and the follow through saved it. It went as straight as a die. Say, are those people going to stay on that green all night? Fore!"

"Oh, they have n't holed out yet."

"Yes, they have; they 're counting their scores. Some people don't realize there's such a thing as etiquette in this game. Fore!"

green and panted violently. "Four-and
I'm on in five," said Mr. Mott, utterly
innocent. "Where 'd you go?"

He topped into the brook.

"Fore!" said Mr. Mott, waving his niblick.

He hammered the ball into a bank of yielding clay.

"Fore!" rasped Mr. Mott, setting his teeth.

He essayed a pitching stroke, a lofting stroke, an extricating stroke, and two shoveling strokes, and the last of these brought him to solid earth.

"Fore!" shouted Mr. Mott, wild-eyed. He ran an approach to the edge of the

"Just off-over by the water-pipe."
"That is n't bad. One of you boys
take the flag. Good work!"

"Sink it now," urged Chapman.

Mr. Mott tried to sink it, and missed. by an inch.

"And nine out, sir. You yelled 'Fore!' and counted five-"

"Give me the mid-iron," said Mr. Mott, abruptly. "Get down there and mark this shot!" He wheeled to gaze at the scene of his recent dredging operations. "Three in the brook, four, five, six, seven- Hey! Stop swinging those clubs! Well, I said it was seven! Three in the brook


"Your honor, Mr. Mott."

"Thank you." He teed for the short sixth across a threatening ravine. "Caddy, wake up there!" He turned to his partner with a gesture of Christian resignation. "Don't you wish," he asked, "that just once in a while you'd find a caddy that showed some interest in the game?"

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

by Donald Ross. As Mr. Mott wavered ance; but for several minutes he had n't on the tee, he saw a deep gully, weed- been on good terms with his instinct. He infested and spotted with frowning rocks; struggled to revive the warnings of those he saw pits bounding and guarding the who have written text-books, to remember green; he saw trees and excavations and a what Haultain or Braid or Vaile has prestone wall. Upon its mound of sand he scribed as antidotes for hooking tee-shots. saw the Silver King waiting resignedly for “Stop talking!” he growled at the caddies. its certain punishment. He saw his mid- “How d'


think I can drive when you iron, broad bladed and heavy, a club capa- 're talking!" Out of the obscurity of ble of propelling thirty pennyweight of printed words a phrase flashed to his rubber and silk an eighth of a mile if brain, and he was aware that he was about properly handled. Yet Mr. Mott dis- to pivot on the head of the left thigh-bone, counted the inherent qualities of that iron, working in the cotyloidal cavity of the os just as he discounted the elasticity of the innominatum. He placed the mid-iron in golf-ball and the power of his wrists and position, and told himself that upon his forearms. He recalled that on the last life he was n't to move his right gastroc






nemius or sartorius except torsionally. bent the grasses so that he had a fighting He rehearsed, in one mad instant, plati- chance to smash through with his deeptudes affecting the right elbow, the eyes, faced mashy. Down on the green Chapthe left knee, the interlocking grip, and man was watching earnestly. On the the distribution of weight. He lifted the

sixth tee

a fast-moving foursome was club stiffly, and brought it down again. emitting comments which blew across the Too cramped! He settled himself more ravine, and caused the muscles of Mr. comfortably, and peered at the stone wall. Mott's jaw to tighten significantly. DufThe green,

half bathed in golden sun- fer, was he! He'd show 'em whether he shine, half purplish in dense shadow, was a duffer or not! He focused on the seemed to reach out yearning arms flag, and swung the mashy in a wide draw the Silver King to its broad bosom. ellipse. A hundred and fifty yards, par three. Mr. Mr. Mott, by operation of that mysteriMott caught his breath in a quick intake, ous and extraordinary sense with which and hooked viciously into the stone wall.

are sometimes gifted, had "Oh, tough !” said Chapman.

known with utter privity of knowledge But the features of Mr. Mott ex- that he was sure to recover from the pressed no rage. On the contrary, he was rough. What he had n't known, or resmiling placidly, as a parent smiles at a motely suspected, was that he would cover wayward child. The crisis had come sixty yards with that vicious swipe, and and gone; the most difficult obstacle of the lose his ball in the wilderness of the adjaentire round was now a matter of indif- cent jungle. And even in that moment ference to him; he had known positively when he most concerned himself with the that he was destined to hook into the stone faultiness of the club and the defects of wall, and he had done it. Even so, he the ball he was n't nearly so much tordid n't begrudge his partner that arching tured by the necessity of playing three, shot which spanned the ravine, and lacked still from among the stones, as he was by not more than a yard or two of carrying the necessity of allowing that cynical fourthe green; on the contrary, he was glad some to go through. His gorge rose at that Chapman had done so well.

the mere conception of being passed; in "I always dub this hole," he said cheer- match-play he would have conceded the fully. "I got a two on it last July, but hole instanter rather than suffer the igordinarily I 'm satisfied if I get a four. nominy of signaling a foursome to take You 're well up there; still a tiny bit of a precedence; but in medal-play he must finslice, though.”


hole and hole every putt; so that "I'm working hard enough “

to he fretted impatiently for five long minstraighten 'em out,” deprecated Chapman. utes, spoke to his caddy in curt monosyl"Well, if you take a nice, easy swing lables, and majestically expelled from the

, and don't pull your body round, you 'll course, as a thief and a pirate, a soiled and get good results. I hope you don't mind tattered renegade who leaned over the my telling you."

wall and offered to sell him two second"Far from it," said Chapman, humbly. hand floaters for a quarter. In days gone Mr. Mott's caddy pointed to the ball,

by Mr. Mott had bought perhaps a gross which was virtually unplayable among the of balls from that same urchin, that boy stones. Mr. Mott, now that he had who wearily spent the long summer evecrossed his Rubicon, was suddenly dogged nings in beating thicket and brush for and determined. It was all well enough abandoned gutties; but to-day he looked to Aub the drive, but this approach was mercilessly upon the scoundrel, and saw serious business. He broke off a reed or him for what he was, a trafficker in illicit two that interfered with his stance; he wares, a golf-hound outlawed and thrice commandeered both caddies to assist him condemned. Besides, only yesterday Mr. in the removal of sundry large rocks; he Mott had purchased four balls from him,

« PreviousContinue »