On the Green

A hilarious tale of a golfer who lived a lie for love’s sake and a rival who laughed too soon

A. DEFORD PITNEY April 1 1931

On the Green

A hilarious tale of a golfer who lived a lie for love’s sake and a rival who laughed too soon

A. DEFORD PITNEY April 1 1931

On the Green

A. DEFORD PITNEY

A hilarious tale of a golfer who lived a lie for love’s sake and a rival who laughed too soon

WHEN Uncle Waldo mentioned at the dinner table that a young man named T. J. Hunter was coming down to be tried out for the job of assistant to the manager, I thought that if this young man happened to be good old Johnnie Hunter he would be in a soft spot.

My uncle, Waldo B. Grange, was the whole thing in Grange Implements, Inc., and he was a golf maniac, one of those golf maniacs who shoot around a hundred and twenty. Johnnie Hunter had been a schoolboy phenomenon at golf, college crack, a junior champion, and now was considered almost ripe for the national title. What a wonderful thing it would be for Uncle Waldo to have Johnnie Hunter in his organization— not to mention what a wonderful thing it would be for Johnnie. His future would be assured.

But I did not mention the possibility because it might not be Johnnie, so why get Uncle Waldo excited with false hopes? There was no use stirring him up. Uncle Waldo was a very dominant character. He compelled the family to live in Porterville for no better reason than that he had his main factory there. Largely due to his generosity Porterville had a country club with a first-class, eighteen-hole links, so Uncle Waldo was perfectly satisfied there.

Needless to say, golf was the extreme detestation of both Aunt Etta and Cousin Peggy. My cousin’s abhorrence of golf was inexpressible.

Having been brought up near Peggy as a brother, I saw her faults. Her figure is slim and quite alluring and she carries herself like a racing colt. Her eyes are deep violet. She has full lips, a strong chin and warm blonde hair with a natural curl. But, as I intimated, she is not everybody’s girl. She has an intense, determined character, a lot too strong a character for a young kid. However, we always got along. I don’t mean that she is a bad sort at all. I just wouldn’t have anybody think I was spending the summer there on her

account. I was at the Grange for the benefit of the quiet in working on my book on Chinese music.

The next afternoon after Uncle Waldo had spoken of a young man named Hunter coming down, I was resting in my room. Chinese music is a profound subject. I had closed my eyes and laid aside a work of lighter literature with which I had been endeavoring to distract my thoughts after over-concentration, when I became aware that someone was beside me. There, with his hand on my shoulder, was no other than Johnnie Hunter.

“Johnnie, you old horned toad,” I shouted, sitting up. Instantly he clapped his hand over my mouth.

“S-sh, s-sh,” he hissed. “Not that. Not that. Call me Theobald.”

“What?”

“That’s my first name. I’m using it now.” “Theobald?”

“That’s it.”

“Why Theobald?”

“Nobody around here must know I am a golfer,” whispered Johnnie in my ear, first looking around to see that the door was closed.

“But, why not, you sap. It’s your best bet here, I assure you.”

Johnnie looked around again and then breathed: “She hates it.”

“Who?”

“She loathes golf and golfers.”

“Who?”

“That stunning, marvellous, wonderful girl.”

“Who? Where?” My hand involuntarily went to my necktie.

“Your cousin.”

“Peggy?” I sank back on the couch again.

“Peggy.” Johnnie’s eyes were rapt.

“You are sure you mean Peggy?”

“Peggy. The most marvellous girl I have ever seen.”

“Well, if you want to throw your job away for her—” I gave it up.

“Throw nothing away,” declared Johnnie. “There’s nobody else being considered for the job. So why should I make that dream girl despise and hate me? In addition to the fact that I should have to waste every afternoon on the links playing business golf with her father, while now I can have the time with her. Listen, now that I have managed to get you awake—”

“Had I really lost consciousness?” I asked eagerly.

“You were snoring like a motor truck. I had to shake you five minutes.”

“Thanks.” I put my hand to my head. “You don’t know what that means to me. It is so hard to quiet my nerves after hours of study.”

“I don’t see any signs of work.” He looked around.

“I put it away before I try to rest,” I explained.

“Well, anyway, now that you are awake I want you to sneak my golf clubs away from the railway station and pretend they are yours. I don’t play, understand! I despise golf. And never even whisper ‘Johnnie.’ That name has been in the papers too often. And now I’ve got to get into my flannels. Peggy”—his tone became

choral—“Peggy, is waiting for me.”

DURING the following days Johnnie reaped the reward of his duplicity. I must say Peggy didn’t make it too hard for him. While the new factory was unfinished Johnnie was free to be with her at least half the time. I saw them playing tennis or in the swimming pool, Johnnie gazing at her in worship and Peggy smiling back at him as if she liked it.

“You seem to get along pretty well with this Hunter person,” I suggested to her one day.

“I began to admire him when I found out he didn’t play golf,” she acknowledged frankly.

“I lose myself in the depths of her violet eyes,” Johnnie rhapsodized to me. “How lovely she is, and what an intense, proud, truthful character she has. I never knew before what a girl could be.”

Uncle Waldo was as usual; either a black pall of gloom or hectically jovial, according to how his golf went. As a non-golfer, Johnnie was hardly noticed by my uncle, although Johnnie was eating nearly all his meals at the Grange.

And then upon the scene appeared the menace of Elmer B. Shepherd. In one of my absent-minded rambles, after overstudy, I chanced to drive to the country club and was absorbing a cooling drink on the piazza when I saw Uncle Waldo coming from the eighteenth green arm in arm with a tall fellow, who, when they got closer, I was astonished to recognize as Shepherd. Uncle Waldo had been in uncommonly high spirits the evening before. For him to be that way two successive days was a phenomenon worth looking into. I went down to the locker room to investigate.

Shepherd, I should mention, was a year ahead of Johnnie and me in college. He was known as “Guide to Manliness,” or “What Every Young Man Should Know.” Moral leadership was his specialty. He was an athlete, football player, runner, pole vaulter and honor student. No prize involving Good Conduct, Personality or Character could be kept from him. He had a ringing, hearty voice, heard in speeches and informal talks full of Earnestness. He always had a Serious Message, and he was so big and overpowering and full of Purpose that he nearly always got what he went after.

Here he was in full operation. Incidentally he was a high-grade golfer, playing around eighty.

In the locker room I found Uncle Waldo pounding Shepherd on the back. “You’re a wonder, young man,” he was shouting. “You’ve shown me things about my iron shots that I never dreamed of.” I went up fifty per cent in Uncle Waldo’s estimation when he found I knew Shepherd.

“I hear Hunter is down here,” grinned Shepherd.

I found Shepherd was after the job that Johnnie thought he had on ice. Shepherd had been playing with

Uncle Waldo the day before, and tonight was coming to dinner. Uncle Waldo had just come from the showers with his bath towel, like the god Bacchus in his later years. I had never seen my uncle so genial and softened and grateful.

“This young man is like daylight after darkness to me,” he said feelingly. “His being here is going to mean everything to my game.”

I hurried out and drove to the Grange to warn Johnnie. I found him happily sunning himself beside the swimming pool in an interlude of teaching his loved one the back dive.

“Grab your clothes from the dressing tent and take to the shrubbery,” I advised, drawing him aside. “There is a cornfield at the end of the estate. You can dress there and make your way after dark to the railway station, thus avoiding open exposure and being kicked off the place.”

“What’s the matter? Talk sense,” he said. When I told him Shepherd was due any minute with Uncle Waldo, Johnnie nearly fainted. “Has he spilled it about me?” he gasped.

“I think not,” I told him. I reminded Johnnie that my own position was none of the best. We would probably take the same train, a serious interruption to my work.

“He’s saving the disclosure to make it publicly,” groaned Johnnie. “It’s bad enough for your uncle to find out that, to avoid whiffing around the links with him, I swore I didn’t play golf, but it’s Peggy I’m thinkipg about. Her crystal honesty, her wonderful, intense, proud character—”

At that moment Uncle Waldo’s car swung in the outer gate. It was too late for Johnnie to fiee. They saw us. A moment later Uncle Waldo and Shepherd were walking over to the pool.

“This is Mr. Shepherd, my little girl,” Unde Waldo introduced him. “I want to tell you he is the finest young man that has been in this town in a long time. His wooden game—but you don’t know enough to appreciate it.”

Shepherd bowed over Peggy’s hand, grinning, as well he might. She didn’t look too bad in a bathing suit. Then Shepherd saw Johnnie standing doggedly at one side, like an ox in a slaughter house, waiting for it.

“Hunter!” exclaimed Shepherd. “It’s actually Hunter of the splendid old class of twenty-six.” He grasped Johnnie’s hand and fixed him with a glassy, genial smile. “Hunter, dear chap.”

“How are you, Shepherd,” replied Johnnie hollowly.

“Take Mr. Shepherd down to the dressing tent and give him a suit, Hunter,” said Uncle Waldo.

In silence Johnnie led the way to the tent house, opened the door and stepped in. As soon as we were inside, Shepherd’s wide jaws opened in a big laugh.

“Oh, ho! You don’t play golf! I was absolutely mystified until I saw Miss Peggy.”

“Have you told Mr. Grange?” asked Johnnie through his teeth.

“What, tell on an old schoolfellow! Dear boy, I don’t ask for things to be any better for me than just the way

they are.”

“I thought maybe your wonderful principles—” sneered Johnnie.

“Oh, I don’t say but Miss Peggy and I may have a laugh over it after you have gone,” grinned Shepherd. He was nobody’s fool at all.

T’VE killed myself,” said Johnnie tragically, as he and I

left the tent. “I’ve committed suicide.”

“My advice is an early train,” I agreed. “I won’t be long after you.”

But Johnnie was so infatuated with Peggy that he stuck. He wouldn’t go until he was thrown out. During the ensuing days I observed Shepherd’s progress as much as possible in the intervals of my laborious studies. Johnnie was rapidly fading out of the picture. Uncle Waldo didn’t know Johnnie was there. Poor Johnnie clung to his hours with Peggy like a condemned criminal with a one-day reprieve. Meanwhile Uncle Waldo was fascinated with Shepherd. ,

And then came the upset.

The trouble with Shepherd, as even a recluse student could observe, was the same that had marked him out among the frequently boisterous youths in college. He was too much the moral leader. He was the kind of a fellow who, if he had to tell a man to haul a ton of ashes out of a backyard, would begin by pointing to the cherry trees in bloom and the tulips and the birds around the bird houses, and would finally get around to say, “And doesn’t it all make you think how lovely Nature has created everything if those ashes weren’t there?” Meant

to fill the man with the joy ^1 service in taking away the ashes but really causing him to want to kill Shepherd, if I make myself clear.

In the first burst of his joy in Shepherd, Uncle Waldo had told Aunt Etta to OK er a ten-thousand-dollar sable coat she had been dreami ig of. Naturally she also was in love with Shepherd, i gave Johnnie the nudge one day.

“How long do you think Uncle Waldo is going to remain in this state of subservience and dazzled gratitude to Shepherd?” I asked.

“I’m watching it,” replied Johnnie. He was, in fact, meditating more dirty work. That is a slight drawback to beginning a career of double dealing—you have to keep on.

The moment arrived that very day after dinner. Uncle Waldo came in scowling and grouchy, his old natural self.

“Did you have a good round today?” asked Aunt Etta cheerily.

“Gdf,” replied Shepherd, “is a splendid character builder. The game is valuable in developing tenacity, steadiness and the ability to rise above temporary setbacks.”

Uncle Waldo shot a sour, sidewise glance at Shepherd. I gave Johnnie a nudge in the ribs and he kicked my ankle.

“I made my reservation to go to New York tomorrow to pick out the skins for my coat,” bubbled Aunt Etta.

“Cancel the reservation,” growled Uncle Waldo. “Cancel the coat. Can’t have any such extravagance as that the way 1 js'ness is.”

Dinner proceeded in t isc silence. After dinner Uncle Waldo stamped off alone to the library.

“I’ve got him,” said Johnnie. “He’s fed up with praising Shepherd and being humble to him as his golf teacher. Humility and your Uncle Waldo are antipathetic elements. Now I’m going to try my method on him. If it works we shall see Mr. Grange his natural self and happy again.”

It was necessary in connection with my research for me to consult a work of reference in the library. I was buried in the tome when Johnnie came in and walked to the far end of the room.

“Mr. Grange,” he began. Uncle Waldo raised his heavy head and glowered at him. “I’ve been thinking that while I’m here for a few days longer I’d ask you to do me a favor. You are a golf player of long experience,” continued Johnnie. “I’m such a beginner I’ve hated to speak of it, but I thought I’d have the nerve to ask you to take me for a round or two.”

“Eh, what?” Uncle Waldo’s eyes brightened a little.

“With your knowledge of form you’d get me started right,” urged Johnnie.

“We-ell,” grunted Uncle Waldo. “I don’t know but I might. I don’t mind doing you the favor. Yes. it will be a good change for me. I’ll take you around tomorrow and see what your game is like.”

They left the room together, Johnnie meekly allowing that he had a few sticks and some knickers with him. Uncle Waldo was swelled up like himself again with someone he could lord it over. He turned down flat Shepherd’s objections to his wasting the time. Shep’s mouth, of course, was completely sewn up. He couldn’t say a word about the preposterousness of Uncle Waldo trying to show Johnnie Hunter anything about golf. Johnnie grinned in Shepherd’s face. It was his turn.

But when I saw Johnnie alone again his face was haggard.

“I’m in it up to the neck this time,” he muttered. “If Waldo B. Grange finds out what we are doing to him he’ll kick me from here to Halifax. That’s the smallest part of it. When I realize what Peggy will think of me—” Johnnie sat down and almost wept. “There’s only one consolation,” he finally roused himself to declare. “Shepherd is in it as deep as we are. He’ll sink with the rest of us.”

At any rate, it worked the first day. Before dinner Uncle Waldo came striding across the lawn, followed by Johnnie.

“Had a good round; had a good round,” yelled Uncle Waldo. "I showed this young fellow a few points. He'll make a golfer some day.”

“I learned a lot. It was a revelation to me,” said Johnnie meekly. “It was wonderful to see Mr. Grange hit those shots.”

“We’ll have another tomorrow, boy,” shouted Uncle Waldo. “There are a few little points yet I want to give you.”

It appeared, when I got a chance to consult Johnnie, that Shepherd had Uncle Waldo all tied up trying to teach him to straighten his left arm and keep his feet closer together. In the freedom of shooting his own way

again and with the confidence of showing off before a tyro, Uncle Waldo would get one away once in a while, and, with the help of the caddie3 in kicking his ball out of the rough, easing it into good lies for him, and having all three-foot putts conceded—attentions to which Uncle Waldo was accustomed—he got 106, which was ten better than his usual score.

“But it can’t last,” Johnnie worried. “He’ll blow up.” The next round, however, was even better. Uncle Waldo got 102. He had given the caddies five dollars apiece the day before and they had been committing murder. Uncle Waldo told Aunt Etta to order her sable coat and look about for an jr.nine cap-5 if she could find what she wanted.

“He’s shooting a mile over his head,” Johnnie warned me. “This is reaction. It can’t go on.”

It did though. Friday evening we heard Uncle Waldo yelling, before his car turned into the grounds. He’d broken a hundred for the first time in years.

“Back on my game,” he bawled. “Shooting my game now. Got the old eye back. Etta, you better go to Paris to get that coat. There’s nothing in North America good enough for you. Why-y-y-y!”

Behind Uncle Waldo slunk John-.le, his face a stricken mask. Too soon I learned whm

Before dinner we had time to observe that Uncle Waldo had celebrated his triumph traditionally in the locker room. At table we learned what had happened. Johnnie had been too crushed to say a word. Still up among the angels, Uncle Waldo roared the news. He

had challenged his brother-in-law, George Benson, to a match for a thousand dollars a side. Under adroit handling by Benson the match was made a foursome— Uncle Waldo and his favorite pupil, young Mr. Hunter, against Benson and another. Benson insultingly declared he didn’t care who his partner was; he’d take the first man who came through the door. At that moment Shepherd, who had been put up at the club, walked into the locker room.

I glanced at Shepherd. He looked almost as sick as Johnnie.

When a man becomes thoroughly aware that he has made an ass of himself it is a symptom that the effects of the celebration are dying down in him. Uncle Waldo’s light began to burn low in the socket long before dinner was over. The meal which began so noisily ended in whispers and few' of them. After we left the table Peggy was the only one who could go near her father. I heard him snarling to her.

“All these years I’ve wanted to take George Benson, and every time he’s out-smarted me. But this will be the pinnacle. Sweet, suffering cats!”

She murmured something comforting.

“No, no,” he ripped back at her. “All the improvement in my shooting must have come from the instruction I got from Shepherd. And now I’m going to try to play against him, with that—that—” Uncle Waldo couldn’t find the right word. “All he knows is what I’ve taught him. Anyway he’ll be gone from here before dark tomorrow, the—” The rest was choking.

Peggy came to Johnnie, who was leaning his head against a pillar on the screened porch.

“I want you to know that at least I think it w'as brave and manly of you to play with father when you know nothing of the game,” she said. “I know you will do your best tomorrow—and that is all anybody can do. I promise you that I will come to see you play.”

“I did it for you,” answered Johnnie. “Whatever the future brings out I want you to know that I did it all for you.”

r"PHE conscientious devotion of a student to a work into which he is putting the research of years is something that only a fellow scientist really can understand. It can be imagined with what reluctance I tore myself away from my analysis of Chinese music, but I had decided to waste a forenoon at the golf links to see Johnnie’s finish. Peggy drove us there. Johnnie was ghastly. He couldn’t speak.

Shepherd was already there. He also had had a bad night. His nose was sharp and anxious and his wide, shark mouth was grim. He came over to us.

“You can imagine how I feel, playing against you,” he said to Uncle Waldo.

“Go ahead and do your best,” ordered my uncle curtly. “You are the factor in this match, and the better you play the better I’ll like it.” “Ha, ha. Alibi-ing already,” cackled George Benson. He was a scrawny, little, old man with pipe-stem shanks sticking out under baggy plusfours. Uncle Waldo’s face was red with rage but he did not answer. They were playing four balls, total score on each side to count for the hole, Benson teed up first. He waggled solemnly, reached around with his club, and the ball wobbled halfway to the direction post. Mr. Benson stood back, satisfied.

Uncle Waldo took his stance. He gritted his teeth and tried to knock the trademark off the ball, hooking it fifty yards into the rough. Shepherd then went up. He whipped the air with a practice swing and looked like the trained athlete and good golfer that he was. Johnnie watched sourly as Shepherd sent his ball like a rifle bullet above the post.

“Nice shot, Shepherd,” complimented Uncle Waldo crisply.

Johnnie sneaked up to drive, not daring to look our way. He hit six inches behind the tee, and a chunk of sod flopped thirty yards, accompanied by the ball.

“Oh, isn’t that too bad, but it was straight anyhow,” cried Peggy.

Johnnie gave her a look of the dying. Shepherd caught Johnnie’s eye and showed him all his teeth. The wheel of fortune had rolled around and it was Shepherd’s turn again.

On the next hole Uncle Waldo got into a bunker, and Johnnie rolled into a sand pit on the other side. Their combined score was twentythree. The third was a pitch over a marshy brook. Shepherd put his ball on the green. Benson played safe halfway. Uncle Waldo slammed one into the slough. Johnnie gripped his club short, caught the ball with the edge, and sent it soaring over the tree-tops. He gave up looking for it when Shepherd and Benson holed out with less than Uncle Waldo’s score.

Poor Johnnie stumbled blindly along, never looking up, slashing at the ball with his eye3 shut. On the sixth hole Belson, who had been playing a tight, pawnbroker’s game, babying them down the fairway, on the green in five or six, and letting Shepherd win for the side, now got overconfident and shot into a ravine. Uncle Waldo by a miracle got past. Shepherd was straight but short. Johnnie, maddened by suffering and rage, took his spoon and laced one out. The ball swooped down ten feet from the flag. Johnnie then took four awkward putts, saving the hole with the last one.

Benson now began to try. He and Uncle Waldo battled desperately, their shots zigzagging from bunker to trap and from tree to ditch. Shep was the deciding factor. Uncle Waldo and Johnnie came to the turn eight down. At least, it was about over.

“It’s just too bad.” Peggy tried to console Johnnie.

“ Of course I know you despise the game and have never

Continued on page 32

LlEUT.-COL. GEORGE A. DREW

Will tell

The Truth About War Debts”

MacLean s, April Fifteenth

Continued from page 18

tried to play it. But it seems to me I could have made some of those shots better myself.”

Johnnie sent me a tragic glance. Sh could never understand what he had don to keep her respect.

“When I am far away from here,” he began, but couldn’t go on.

“As one who plays golf rather casually, in an endeavor to recruit my forces after long hours at my desk,” I started to say, but Peggy interrupted me.

“Nonsense,” she exclaimed. “As if anyone believed that stuff about Chinese music. You pretend that as an excuse for sleeping half the day.”

Uncle Waldo had been too devoured by rage to pay any attention to our talk as we walked over the bridge to the tenth tee. But Benson observed us -lamenting among ourselves. I turned haughtily away from Peggy at her last remark, which was beneath my notice.

“Ha, ha,” old George Benson cackled. “One more hole. I guess this will be the best lesson you ever got, Waldo B.”

“What are you laughing about, you poor fish,” Uncle Waldo rasped back at him. “You are not doing anything. You j couldn’t even beat Hunter. It’s my man j Shepherd who is winning the match. My ; man’s doing it. Go ahead, Shepherd,

I and take this next hole and get it over j with. Next week we’ll be out together j again.”

At that Shepherd’s face lighted up with triumph.

“I’ll have to get you interested in the game, Peggy,” he cried joyfully. “Golf is a great character builder. It makes for i concentration, perseverance and honesty.”

TT WAS all over. The hole was a pitch

over a pond to an island green. Shep¡ herd played carefully. His ball almost held the green but rolled over into a ; shallow sand trap, an easy chip out for a possible three.

Benson and Uncle Waldo each plunked into the pond.

“Well, I guess that gives it to us,” said Benson.

“One of the great character-building lessons of golf is not to pay off until the match is finished,” remarked a voice that made everybody turn around. It was Johnnie. He set up his ball. Before hitting it he stood and took a long survey of Shepherd. Then Johnnie swung and a white speck dropped on the island green a yard from the cup.

Uncle Waldo and Benson went down to the pond’s edge as usual in their game and dropped balls. The break had shaken Benson, so Uncle Waldo was first on, at the fourth try.

Johnnie had the honor at the eleventh. He swung now like a smooth-working machine. The ball flew until it came i down and rolled on between the traps i that guarded the green. Shepherd pressed j and sliced into the woods. Benson dubbed to the rough, and Uncle Waldo, holding j his breath, tapped one seventy-five yards j straight.

I “Don’t try for distance. Just keep it in the fairway, partner,” advised Johnnie. Uncle Waldo was too amazed to reply, but he obeyed.

During the next seven holes Johnnie didn’t look at anybody but his caddie. He j didn’t speak or turn his head. His golf : was the perfection that is as recognizable ! as a flawless diamond. Peggy gazed at him, her underlip between her teeth.

“Tell me what^this is,” she whispered,

pulling me back out of earshot after Johnnie had holed an eagle on the fourteenth.

“He is one of the ten best golfers in North America,” I confessed. “I don’t think any of the other nine could beat him today.” I went on to explain, as it might as well all be told then. She listened in silence.

On the seventeenth green the match was square. Benson at one side was excitedly jabbering at Shepherd. The eighteenth was a dog leg, a hundred and fifty yards through tall woods and a hundred yards at an angle to the green. Johnnie, playing a sliced ball, sent it a fraction too low. As it swerved it hit a high branch and bounced back out of sight. Peggy tore her handkerchief in two.

Shepherd, grimly fighting, hit safely into the open. The two rivals fought their way up to him, shot for shot, each playing four when they got past the angle. Meanwhile Johnnie’s caddy had found his ball between two roots at the foot of an oak.

Uncle Waldo came over to look at the lie. He hadn’t said a word since the tenth hole.

“Better throw out,” he grunted.

“Can’t win that way,” replied Johnnie. He took his number six iron, braced his back against the tree bole, addressed carefully and brought the club down. The head of the iron cut into a root and the shaft snapped. Peggy was standing away where she could see through the trees.

“There it is,” she screamed. “It’s on the green. On the green!” She rushed to Johnnie and threw her arms around his neck.

They walked through the woods together. Shepherd pitched up accurately and took two putts. Uncle Waldo and Benson were down in ten each, but Johnnie had holed his three. The last ball had no sooner dropped in for the match than Benson rushed squawking at Uncle Waldo.

“Fraud! Ringer! I protest the game! Look at that last nine holes,” he gibbered. “Compare ’em with the first nine. The last nine that fellow played in twentynine shots. I protest!”

“Go on. Squeak!” jeered Uncle Waldo. “This is rich. You never worried about my partner as long as you were winning. It wants a smarter man than you, George Benson, to take me when I mean business. And, by the way, your partner knew all the time who my partner was.” Peggy had whispered a few sentences to her father.

Everybody whirled around to Shepherd. We saw his back, disappearing around the corner of the club toward the locker room entrance. He was dressed and gone when Uncle Waldo came down from the grill.

Peggy regarded me a little maliciously when Uncle Waldo turned his eye fishily on me. I smiled at the child.

“It seems to me,” I said vaguely, “I seem to have heard somewhere that Johnnie Hunter played golf, but in my absorption in my studies I am in a different world from golf, a different world.”

I met them that evening on the lawn.

“Bless you, my children,” I said benevolently.

“He’s offered really to give up golf if I wish it,” said Peggy. “But I tell him that when anyone does anything so wonderfully it would be wicked to stop. So he’s going to teach me.” I left them looking at each other in that way, you know.