“Who; Mr. LaHume?” I returned, not averse to rubbing it into the descendant of the roadhouse keeper.
“Of course not,” she replied, her eyes sparkling with mischief. “I mean that lovely hired man.”
“He’s a rustic Apollo,” I said, “and it may interest our friend to know that he also combines the qualities of Hercules and Mars.”
And while LaHume fumed and Miss Lawrence clapped her hands I told the story of the downfall of “Big Dave” at the hands of the quiet and cleanly Wallace, making sure that the defeat of the village bully lost nothing in its telling.
All the way back to the club house—we did not play out the remaining holes—Miss Lawrence plied me with questions concerning Wallace. Of course I know that her object was to punish LaHume, and she did it most effectively.
She pretended to believe that there is some great romance back of Wallace’s present status. She pictured him as a Scotch nobleman, or the son of one, I have forgotten which, forced by most interesting circumstances to remain for a while in foreign lands. She conjured from her fancy the castle in which he was born, and over which he will some time rule, and I helped her as best I could.
I can see that it will be a long time before LaHume will ask me to make up a threesome with Miss Lawrence. I wonder what “the hired man” would think if he knew that his lucky stroke with a hickory club had created so great a furor? I have a suspicion that this was not a lucky day in LaHume’s campaign for the Lawrence hand and fortune.
ENTRY NO. V
THE EAGLE’S NEST
Miss Grace Harding is here again, and I am to play a game of golf with her to-morrow. Carter does not know it yet, but that is because I have not had a chance to tell him.
Carter is a rattling good fellow and a fine golfer—he has made Woodvale in seventy-seven; two strokes better than my low score—but he is a bit conceited; he imagines he is a lady’s man, and I propose to take him down a peg.
I am certain he schemed to play with Miss Harding before I did, and he went about it in what he doubtless thought was a diplomatic way. He opened his campaign this morning by playing a round with her father. Carter furnished clubs and balls for Mr. Harding, who broke two of the clubs and lost six new balls, to say nothing of those he mutilated.
Diplomacy is not my long suit. I prefer to carry things by assault. When I saw what Carter was up to I formed a plan and put it into operation without delay. It was very simple. I walked right up to Miss Harding and asked her if she would like to play a round with me. That was this morning.
“When?” she asked, with a charming smile which told me victory was in sight.
“Right now!” I said, bold as could be.
“You are brave to ask me to play with you, after what I have told you of my game,” she said, pressing down a worm cast with the toe of her dainty shoe. We were standing on the edge of the practise putting green. I am no hand to describe a woman’s gowns, and in fact know nothing of them, but I recall distinctly that she was dressed in blue, with some white stuff here and there, and it was very becoming.