BY OCTAVUS ROY COHEN
WHEN George Fawcett organized a corporation and constructed a two-hundred-thousand-dollar hotel immediately across the road from the Sunrise Valley Country Club, the conservative business men of the town lay back and haw-hawed. The club is nine miles from the city, and the street-car service for part of the distance is atrocious. True, the setting is beautiful, but it takes more than beautiful backgrounds to make a resort hotel financially successful.
Two years later Fawcett's crowd had the laugh on the astute business men who had so raucously derided the proposition. The sixty-four-hundred-yard links of the Sunrise Valley Club were considered the best south of the Mason and Dixon line, and the hotel became a Mecca for golfing enthusiasts who played on Northern courses in the summer and in Florida during the winter. The Sunrise Valley scheme banged across to success for the simple reason that golfers seek golf twelve months in the year, and the new hotel was the first one in the East to give them first-rate spring and autumn accommodations.
By spring of the third year it was no longer a question whether the hotel could pay its way, but rather a problem of capacity. The tag-end of the Florida season found north-bound golfers stopping over to await the greening of the Northern links, and in the fall Sunrise Valley made a good resting-place between the first snow-flurries of the North and the end of the sweltering Florida summer.
It was at the height of the autumn season that Carter Chapman and Enid Rosslyn reached the Sunrise View Hotel. They didn't know each other when they arrived, and probably would never have met except for a fortuitous combination of circumstances which had to do mainly with golf—or the absence of it.
Sunrise View, being a golf hotel inhabited exclusively by golf nuts, was no place for a person not addicted to the pastime. Of course, the evenings were devoted to much bridge and a little dancing. For the most part the golfers were too tired for the dancing, and the foursomes of the day settled their links arguments over the bridge-tables. Outsiders didn't have a chance.
Chapman, being a well-built and attractive young man, promptly received invitations to fill out foursomes. To each invitation he returned a polite refusal. Pressed for a reason, he declared that he was afflicted with rheumatism. They looked him over and became skeptical.
"He doesn't play golf," accused one.
"Then why did he come here? This is a golf resort."
"Ask me something easy; but I'm twice as sure that he doesn't play. No golfer with rheumatism could stand the strain of being near good links, and within sound of tournaments, without pitching in."
Carter Chapman said little about that or anything else. He admitted that he had played the game "a trifle," but no amount of inducement sufficed to get him to cross the road to the first tee.
And because he was not playing golf, he was as much alone in the big hotel as Crusoe on his tropic isle—which was the principal reason why he noticed Enid Rosslyn.
Enid, too, seemed glued to the verandas. For three days after her arrival she didn't go near the links. Chapman, conscious of the comment aroused by his failure to play, became curious about the girl. And, truth to tell, she was the sort of girl a red-blooded single man becomes curious about.
To put it mildly, Enid Rosslyn was not hard on the eyes. She was of medium height and superlative figure; her skin was a rich pinky-white toned by a coat of healthy tan. Her hazel eyes had a habit of looking straight at one—and then, of course, she didn't play golf.
So it was that curiosity attracted them to each other, and gradually that curiosity developed into a genuine personal interest. Chapman found himself wondering what sort girl she was. Enid discovered that the image of the straight, good-looking young man remained with her long after she had retired for the night.
Chapman effected the introduction. If, indeed, the girl was not a golfer she afforded him potential companionship; and he was excruciatingly lonely in the golf-mad hotel. They told each other that they were delighted, and found a secluded corner of the veranda.
"They're golf crazy here!"
"Most golfers are," she said.
"They've been pestering the life out of me since I arrived."
"Why haven't you played?"
He flushed slightly.
"Oh!" The word was uttered with a significant inflection. "You have played, then?"
Enid took stock. She frankly didn't believe the young man, any more than the golfing element in the hotel believed him. However, she forgave him the white lie, knowing that no non-golfer who is wise cares to express a lack of interest in the game when surrounded by a horde of rabid enthusiasts. Finally he turned to her.
"Do you play?"
She paused a second, then shook her head.
"Don't play golf? Then why did you come here?"
The suggestion of a mile flashed roguishly about her lips.
"I want to learn something about the game."
"I see! But why haven't you commenced your lessons?"
She lowered her voice.
"I'll tell you. 1 discovered that the practise—what do you call it?"
"Yes—that the practise tee is right by the place where all the games start. There's always a crowd around there, and I'm frankly embarrassed. It seems to me that the folks under instruction are the butts of morbid curiosity, and I don't relish the prospect."
"But if you're going to learn, you've got to take lessons from the pro."
She shook her head determinedly.
"Not if he teaches in that public place. I couldn't stand it. And"—her voice became wistful—"I did so want to learn!"
"It is a shame," he agreed. "Isn't there some way out?"
"No-o—not unless I happened to find some golfer who would be willing to teach me—to take me to some secluded spot on the links—some place where no one could see how stupid I shall be."
He glanced at her out of the corners of his eyes. Pretty girl, secluded spot—say, some chap was going to be dog-goned lucky! The very thought of taking this particular young lady out daily where prying eyes could not pry, and under conditions where she would have to follow orders! The vision of the lissom figure swaying rhythmically to the stroke!
Suddenly he clapped his hand on the arm of his chair.
"I've got it!"
She looked at him squarely, and he had the grace to flush.
"Of course," he hastened to add, "I'm no professional, or anything like that; but there's a certain technique—"
"Are you serious, Mr. Chapman?"
"And you'll teach me all about the game?"
Yes, certainly." Then he amended hastily: "That is, all I know myself."
"Good!" Her hand came out and grasped his firmly. "It's a bargain. When do we 'start?"
"Mmm! How about to-morrow morning at nine o'clock?"
"Nine o'clock it is!" Her eyes were flashing with delight, and she rose to her feet. "And now let's go across the road to that funny little shop where they sell the sticks."
"The golf-sticks. You can show me just what to buy, and—"
"No-o. I'll go with you, of course—delighted; but I fancy you'd better let the pro select your clubs."
They entered the golf-shop together and introduced themselves to the professional.
"Goalff clubs is it, miss? Certainly I'll fix ye up, and with a verra fine set of my ain making. How many clubs will ye be wanting?"
Enid shook her head.
"I don't know, Mr. McTavish. I'm new to the game, and I'll leave that to you."
A gleam of keen interest was born in the eyes of the Scot.
"H-m! Ye'll be wanting nice clubs, of course, and plenty of them. 'Tis a verra gude idea for the new beginner to have an assortment. Soomtimes they don't worrk as they should."
An hour later Carter Chapman staggered out of the golf-shop weighed down by Enid's equipment. Regarded solely as an equipment, it was a wonder. There were clubs for every possible lie and for several impossible ones: a plain driver and a bulging one; a brassy, one spoon, one niblick, one mashie-niblick, one heavy mashie, one light mashie, and one backspin mashie; a jigger, a mid-iron, iron and aluminum putters, a driving-iron, and a cleek.
Mr. McTavish had cannily unloaded on Enid Rosslyn the prize white elephant of his bag collection—an enormous, unwieldy, sole-leather affair with bronze trimmings; price forty dollars. She had purchased two dozen balls, six rubber tees, a pair of golf shoes, a glove for the left hand, a patent sponge device for cleaning balls, and a morocco-bound book for tabulating the scores of her first four hundred games. The day had been a profitable one for Mr. McTavish, and he chuckled as he watched the couple disappear around the clubhouse and across the road to the hotel. While the professional was standing there, Gerald Hardwick and his wife came in from the eighteenth green and followed the direction of McTavish's gaze. Then they, too, chuckled.
"Beginner, eh, Dougal?"
"Aye! Worrse than that, sir, Mr. Hardwick. Ye can tell their knowledge of the royal game from the clubs they have bought. 'Tis funny, isn't it, Mr. Hardwick, that the poorer the player the shinier and more numerous the clubs?"
"Right you are, Dougal! The more we play, the more we learn to distrust all clubs."
But Gerald Hardwick, one-time club champion, was right. Such an assortment of clubs stamped its carrier as the rankest sort of a novice. And as they rounded the corner of the hotel, and then crossed the veranda and passed through the lobby, they and their baggage were target for a battery of overt grins and ill-concealed chuckles.
Carter Chapman delivered his freight to a bell-hop. Then he sauntered back across the veranda and around the corner of the hotel, accelerated his pace, and within five minutes hove to in the golf-shop, where Dougal McTavish greeted him with suspicious warmth.
"Mr. McTavish," started Chapman, "if I tell you something in confidence, will you let it remain a confidence?"
At that particular moment Mr. McTavish would almost have laid down his life for the friend of the young lady who had bought his impossibly expensive clubs. He promised.
"Very well!" Chapman lowered his voice. "I'm going to teach that young lady how to play golf!"
Mr. McTavish was not given to permitting a play of expression, but this was too much. That the man who had stood back and allowed Enid to buy those clubs was going to teach golf—
"Excuse that smile, sir; but something must have tickled me."
"Mmm! I fancy so. Now the first thing I want to know, McTavish, is this—just what is the verbal formula you employ in giving a lady her first golf lesson?"
Dougal McTavish pulled his visitor into a corner and accepted one of his cigars.
Their voices dropped confidentially.
Fifty minutes later Carter Chapman again emerged from the lair of Dougal McTavish. Again he carried a mammoth leather bag; and again those who saw grinned broadly and derisively at sight of the new, shiny, gleamy clubs which are the sign-manual of the raw recruit.
Carter Chapman had also become victim to a set of new clubs. The afternoon had been epochal for Dougal McTavish!
The following morning, at nine o'clock, a husky caddy staggered valiantly down the course with a nice-looking young couple trailing slowly in his wake. Chapman had taken the boy into his confidence, and, under promise of a sizable tip, the lad had revealed a disused tee and fairway beyond the giant bunker which makes the fourteenth hole at Sunrise Valley a delight for the expert and a devil's trap for the poor duffer with an inclination to hook his brassy shots.
Time was when the fifteenth tee had nestled on the far side of the bunker, and the old fairway stretched out toward what was now the sixteenth green. The mammoth mound of earth concealed the old tee from every one on the course save those players actually on the sixteenth green or at the seventeenth tee. Both instructor and pupil were delighted with the privacy of the spot.
Chapman selected a club from Enid's bag, handed it to her, and explained meticulously that it was a driver, and why. Then he selected a similar implement from his own collection, and placed himself opposite the girl.
"The first rule in golf," he rattled unctuously, "is to keep your eye on the ball. No matter what you do, keep your eye on the ball."
She looked around.
"But there isn't any ball."
"We won't use any for the next few minutes. In practising the swing, I want you to keep your eye on the spot where the ball would be if there were a ball."
"But how do I know where the ball would be?"
"H-m!" Chapman hesitated a moment, then tore a bit of paper from an envelope in his pocket. This he placed on the ground. "Right there!" he announced triumphantly.
"Oh!" She smiled. "Now I understand. That's what you call a tee?"
"Yes—no, that's not a tee. That represents where the ball would be if there were a tee and the ball was on it. Is that perfectly clear?"
"Now that we have learned to keep our eye on the ball, the next thing is the grip. It is vitally important that the club should be gripped correctly. Take the club in your left hand." She did so. "That's right," he commended; then his face clouded. "No-o, it's not exactly right. You're holding the head of the club upside down."
"Oh! And that's wrong?"
"Usually—yes. It's easier to hit the ball when the club isn't upside down."
She reversed the club and let its heel rest solidly on the turf.
"What next, Mr. Chapman?"
"Now put your right hand on the club—no, not that way; bring it up closer to the left hand. Now let the little finger of the right hand be interlocked between the first and second fingers of the left hand— Here, let me show you."
Carter Chapman discovered that in order to show Enid the interlocking grip it was necessary to hold her hands. This phase of the lesson therefore consumed a good deal of time, during which the caddy watched with covert amusement. But even the best of things must end, and eventually Chapman admitted that her grip was correct.
He next instructed her as to stance, and finally delved into the mystery of the swing. Somehow, she didn't seem very receptive to his instructions. Either he didn't have the knack of clarity, or else she was particularly dense in understanding. And then, when she mastered one idea, she promptly forgot another.
If she swung prettily, she lifted her head; if she kept her head down, she chopped at the place where the ball would have been if it had been there. If she chanced upon a pretty back-swing, and managed also to keep her eye on the ball, she invariably dropped her right shoulder and sent a large, pained divot flying through the air.
Finally he broke.the seal on a box of new balls, secured a pinch of sand from the tee-box, and placed the first of his dozen white spheres comfortably atop it.
"Now here's where you hit your first golf-ball," he proclaimed.
He was wrong. She didn't hit the ball. She didn't even come close to it; and there was more than the suggestion of a smile on her lips as she stepped back and shook her head hopelessly.
"You show me how," she suggested.
He vetoed that proposition promptly.
"I guess I'd better not, Miss Enid. My rheumatism—"
"But you've been swinging the clubs, all right!"
"Yes—but hitting a ball is different from swinging the club."
"Yes," she agreed, "I'm beginning to suspect that."
Several more times she suggested that he should show her the actual hitting of the ball, and each time he refused with a positiveness which brooked no argument. But, reluctant as he was to exhibit his own golf prowess, he worked hard with her.
The results were nothing to boast of. Once in a while she sent a ball skidding crazily into the rough on the right, or bounding into the shallow creek which guarded the left of the fairway. When she happened to connect with the ball so that her direction was good, she either topped it and saw it hop weakly twenty yards in front of the tee; or else hit under and sent it high in the air but sans distance.
And then, two hours and ten minutes after arriving at the tee, circumstances conspired in her favor. Through some miracle her back-swing was perfect, her downstroke started slowly and then picked up with a snap, she kept her eye on the ball, and she followed through. There was a faint click as club-head and ball connected, and the little sphere shot a hundred and fifty yards straight down the fairway.
Carter Chapman was wise enough to stop the lesson right there. He realized that for the next twenty-four hours she would forget her thousand impossible attempts and remember the one straight, lucky drive. That is golf. They sent the caddy on ahead, and walked slowly back to the clubhouse, bubbling with enthusiasm.
"It's a marvelous game, isn't it?" she raved.
"Wonderful!" he returned with a hidden meaning quite lost on her.
"That last hit of mine—wasn't it a beauty?"
"Finest drive I've ever seen a woman make," he lied cheerfully.
"do you really think so?"
"I don't think—I know!"
"And do you think I'll be a good player?"
"I'm quite sure of it," he returned seriously. "You'll be winning tournaments in three or four months."
"Wouldn't that be wonderful?" she said enthusiastically.
"Yes," he agreed fervently, "it certainly would!"
Whatever might have been truly said about their lack of progress in mastering the intricacies of the royal and ancient game during the three weeks that followed, the same was not true of their friendship. They speedily reached a stage where friendship was vaguely unsatisfactory to both. It was entirely too impersonal.
The mornings on the links in the lee of the giant bunker, the long, sweet rest periods under the huge oaks that sheltered the old teeing-ground, the intimate talks which had nothing whatever to do with golf—and then the longer and sweeter and more personal chats at night, as they strolled together through the woods or sent the wide, white road spinning from beneath the wheels of Chapman's big roadster.
But while it was by no means uppermost in their minds, golf was the chief topic of conversation between them. She was making progress—there wasn't a doubt of that. For one thing, she was developing into an uncannily clever putter. She declared that there were fewer rules to remember on the putting-greens; it was simply a case of tapping the little ball into a ridiculously small cup. And, she boasted, she had once been a crack croquet-player.
As to Carter Chapman, he was steadfast in his refusal to hit even a single ball. His form during instruction was pretty enough, but the minute she teed a ball and suggested that he should actually drive it, he declined.
That was the single phase of his character which troubled her. He stubbornly maintained that he played golf "fairly well," and that his rheumatism had forced him to swear off for a while. She frankly disbelieved him, and found it hard to understand why he hesitated to confess that he was not a golfer.
Of course, there was a simple explanation—being a woman, her sixth sense conveyed the message that he cared for her, and that the golf-lessons were therefore very dear to him. Perhaps, if he confessed that he was not a golfer, she would tolerate no further lessons from him. And yet she could not entirely pardon his continued deception, however much she thrilled to see his motive.
Enid confessed to herself that she was in love with Carter Chapman, and she needed no verbal declaration on his part to know that her affection was returned. And because she loved him, and was determined that the deception must be brought to an end, she planned a situation in which the truth must out.
For eleven years the two-ball foursome championship of the State had been played over the links of the Sunrise Valley Country Club. It was a popular event—the only one of the year in which the feminine element figured importantly and on a parity with the golfing men. For the past six years the affair had been by invitation, and since the opening of the Sunrise View Hotel, all guests of the hotel stood automatically upon the invitation list.
And now, two days before the qualifying round, Enid came to him with a direct question.
"Carter, are you really a golfer?"
He met her eyes squarely. She wasn't pleased that he should lie so blithely.
"A fairly good golfer?"
"Yes—sort of medium."
"Good!" She was merciless now. "Then I'll confess what I've done."
"Exactly. You know they've been laughing at me over at the hotel, because I've been ashamed to take lessons from the pro where every one could see me. Well, I've made up my mind to fool them all: I've entered our names in the two-ball foursome tournament which starts day after to-morrow!"
She watched him closely. His jaw dropped slightly, and a peculiar look flashed in his eyes.
"I've entered our names—yours and mine—as a team in the two-ball foursome championship."
Red dyed her cheeks.
"You're ashamed to play with me?"
"No—no~it isn't that. It's—it's—"
"I—I can't explain."
"Well, whatever you do, don't lay the blame on your rheumatism. As for my playing, you've told me yourself that I'm going to make a wonderful golfer."
"Going to make—yes; but that doesn't mean—"
"Very well, Mr. Carter Chapman, I'll withdraw; but my idea of sportsmanship is to play in tournaments for the fun of the thing. If we're beaten, we're beaten, and that's all there is to it."
"But, Enid, we haven't a chance!"
"Of course we haven't; but we can have a lot of fun."
"Yes," he groaned miserably, "and so can the spectators!"
"Shall I withdraw our names?"
He passed his hand weakly across his forehead.
"No—I suppose I can stand it if you can. But—oh, gee!"
Enid Rosslyn did a good deal of thinking in her room that night. She wasn't exactly pleased with Carter Chapman, and more than half feared that he would take French leave of the hotel rather than exhibit to a gallery the fact that he had been sailing under false colors.
After all, she was testing his manhood. She knew well enough that he could not play golf of tournament quality, and she was perfectly willing to share with him the silent ridicule of the spectators; but she had given him a thousand chances to tell her the truth, and he had stubbornly insisted that he could play. Very well, let him lie in the bed which he had made for himself. She wanted to see whether he would take his medicine like a man.
They saw little of each other the day before the tournament. News of their entry became bruited about the hotel, and they became objects of more than their due share of attention. During the day Enid fancied that Chapman was avoiding her. By night she was convinced of the fact.
The following morning she awoke to find the sun streaming brilliantly through her window. She immediately telephoned the office and asked to be connected with Carter Chapman's room. She was fearful that he might have stolen away during the night; but his voice, answering promptly, if sleepily, from the other end of the line, reassured her on that point.
She made idle conversation, and lolled back on the bed. At least he was game! He was willing to face the music. There was a good deal of satisfaction to be derived from that.
She dressed becomingly in a new golf costume—a white middy suit with yellow embroidery, the whole set off by a pert white and yellow hat which perched bewitchingly on the side of her head. Then she squared her little jaw and sallied forth.
She was anticipating no very pleasant day. Sooner or later she knew that Carter Chapman had to be tested under fire, and there is no fire so scorching as the flame of public ridicule.
They met at the clubhouse and chatted in an awkward manner for a few moments.
"Think you'll play your best game?" she inquired, eying him closely.
"Such as it is—yes," he answered in a peculiar tone.
"It ought to be pretty good," she said in a voice which contained the nuance of a taunt.
"I'd hardly say that, Enid. Let's go!"
An enormous crowd of spectators and players were grouped round the elevated first tee. The fairway dropped away prettily and trickily—an innocent thing of smooth grass and easy going, to the inexperienced eye, but filled with the direst sort of trouble to golfers.
It was a three-hundred-and-ninety-six-yard hole—par four. Sixty yards in front of the tee was a wilderness of wire grass, pretty enough to look at, but an inspiration to terrible profanity from those unfortunate enough to top the initial drive. Two hundred yards up the fairway a crescent bunker thrust its maw half-way across the proper line of flight, penalizing a slice, and leeringly inviting a hook into the rough at the left.
Just guarding the green, and constructed to receive a nice second shot, was a deep, wide ditch. Surrounding the velvety green a few innocent-looking bunkers concealed vicious sand-traps. No. 1 at Sunrise Valley is a diabolical hole.
Chapman and Enid found themselves playing with Donald Ramsay and Miss Olive Robertson in the qualifying round. There was scarcely a doubt that the club officials had conspired to intensify the ignominy they were due to suffer. Ramsay usually shot the course comfortably under eighty, and had been seven times the club champion. Miss Robertson was considered one of the three best women players in the club. Her consistent ninety-eights and ninety-nines had caused trouble in more than one ladies' championship.
A coin was duly tossed, and the honor fell to Ramsay. He teed up his ball and prepared to drive. Silence fell upon the spectators.
A two-ball foursome is a test of every hazard in golf. First one partner shoots, and then the other plays the same ball from wherever it lies. The partners alternate from the tees.
Ramsay's drive screamed down the fairway, then curved violently to the left and landed in the edge of the rough, two hundred and ten yards from the tee. Olive Robertson frowned slightly. Her weakness was playing from the rough, and she knew that she was facing a difficult task.
Carter Chapman picked out his driver, waggled it once or twice, and teed his ball. The spectators watched interestedly. Here was the man who had claimed to be a golfer, and yet who never played. As for Enid Rosslyn, she remained in the background, her heart thumping violently. She was sorry for Chapman, yet delighted that he was facing the ordeal so bravely.
He deliberately took his stance, sighted down the fairway, timed his back-swing with mechanical precision, and the club-head swished through the air. There was a sharp click, and the little sphere shot straight down the course.
An involuntary salvo of applause burst from the spectators. The drive was a splendid one, straight and long—two hundred and forty yards!
Enid saw Chapman's face flush. Then, quietly, he started down the path through the rough. She was momentarily thrilled, then a bit downcast by the thought that this magnificent accident was destined to make his downfall the harder.
Olive Robertson obtained fifty yards on her mashie out; and then Enid Rosslyn selected her brassy for a second shot.
Chapman scarcely dared look at her. He realized that she was a hopelessly impossible golfer, and he knew that she was certain to forget the thousand and one rules he had taught her.
Then something caught his eye and held it. She gripped the club perfectly, but with a grip he had not taught her. She set herself firmly, waggled the club once over the ball, swung back easily and gracefully, and sent the ball soaring high and true, to land on the far side of the ditch, where it bounded upon the green and stopped ten feet from the hole.
Chapman gasped. That had been no fluke shot. It had been the steady, masterful stroke of a masterful golfer. He looked closely at his pupil, but she was walking straight down the fairway, oblivious to the plaudits of the spectators.
Ramsay's long mid-iron shot landed him on the edge of the green. His partner missed a putt, but stopped on the edge of the hole for a certain five.
Then Carter Chapman picked out his putter, stepped confidently up to the ball, sighted once along the ground, and made his stroke. The ball rolled straight as a die toward the caddy who was holding the flag, and tinkled into the cup for a birdie three!
As they made their way to the second tee. Chapman and Enid refused to meet each other's eyes. Each felt vaguely that there was something radically wrong. Enid's long brassy shot had been superb, and her manner was that of a woman not unaccustomed to such things. Chapman could not understand it. As for her, she was troubled and ill at ease. His two-hundred-and-forty-yard drive had been too well placed for mere luck, and his putt—
Chapman watched her closely as she took an easy, confident, free-limbed practise swing, and then sent her drive one hundred and eighty yards toward the hole, which lay three hundred and five yards away. Miss Robertson also drove prettily, and Ramsay's second landed on the green.
As Chapman picked out a jigger for his second shot, he felt Enid's eyes boring into him. He turned briefly and nodded to her.
He was amused by the bewildered expression on her face.
His shot got off cleanly. It flew high and it flew true. It landed on the green twelve feet from the cup. Miss Robertson made a pretty approach putt, and Enid duplicated. Ramsay sank his putt for a par four, and Chapman quietly followed suit. Enid Rosslyn and Carter Chapman, the supposed novices, had made the first two holes in one under fours.
The third hole is a one-hundred-and-forty-yard affair—one hundred and fifteen yards of ditches, rough, traps, and bunkers. With bland, confident unconcern Chapman played his ball to the green. Ramsay's landed in a bunker on the far side. Miss Robertson chipped out prettily, and then Enid Rosslyn calmly sank an eighteen-foot putt!
They found themselves eying each other suspiciously as they made their way to the fourth tee. Enid drove perfectly for a hundred and seventy yards, stopping comfortably in the fairway. Chapman's second shot, after their opponents had played, was a beautiful chip shot dead to the pin; and again Enid holed her putt.
Four holes in three under par! It was phenomenal golf, and there wasn't a person there who didn't know that it was not accidental golf.
The astonished and admiring gallery spread down the sides of the long fifth fairway. The four players started for the fifth tee, where Chapman, holding the honor, sent a two-hundred-and-ten-yard screamer straight down the course.
After Ramsay had driven and walked ahead with his partner, Carter Chapman and Enid Rosslyn fell into step beside each other.
"How long have you played golf?"
"About eight years."
"H-m!" He looked at her. "I don't wonder you blush!"
"Neither do I."
"How many cups have you won, Enid?"
"I've been woman champion of my home State twice."
"H-m! I believe you. And yet you allowed me to teach you the rudiments of he game. You made me think you were a poor golfer. Why?"
She flushed more deeply.
"Never mind why. I ask you why you've fooled me?"
"I haven't fooled you," he maintained seriously.
"You made me believe you couldn't play."
"No—you did worse than that. Now I ask you—how many cups have you ever won?"
"A couple of dozen, I suppose; but my story about rheumatism was true. I haven't deceived you. The question that particularly interests me now, Enid, is why you allowed me to make a fool of myself by teaching you."
"Do you feel that you've been wasting your time?'
They were walking very slowly, oblivious of the gallery.
"Good Lord, no! But you haven't told me why."
She flashed a shy but roguish glance at Carter.
"Don't you think it was fun to be together that way—just the two of us?"
"Enid! You mean—"
"You say it first!"
"I fell in love with you when I first saw you!"
"I suppose I'm qualified to do anything you can do!"
He touched her arm.
"After this round is over, dear, I'm going to kiss you once for each stroke you make!"
She laughed into his eyes.
"Come on, Carter! Let me play my second. I'm anxious to finish the game with a high score!"
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.
The longest-living author of this work died in 1959, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 63 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.