Marshall, for instance, is the slowest player I ever saw, and one of the best. It is tiresome to watch him prepare to make a shot. He averages four practise strokes. He has become so addicted to the practise-stroke habit that he makes a series of preliminary manoeuvres before carving a steak, and he raises his glass and sets it down several times before taking a drink. His game is the sublimation of caution. It is the brilliancy of care.
Later in the afternoon I wandered down the old lane which bisects the links and climbed “The Eagle’s Nest,” a jagged pile of rocks which rise on the southeastern part of the course. When a boy I discovered a way to reach the crest of the higher ledge, fully two hundred feet above the brook which takes its rambling course to the west. At this altitude there is a natural seat, so formed by the rocks that those below cannot see the one who uses this as a sentinel box.
It suited my mood to climb there this afternoon. Lazily smoking a cigar I drank in the pastoral panorama spread out before me. The old Sumner road wound as a dusty-gray ribbon amid fields of grain and corn. Below were the pigmy figures of golfers, grotesque in their insignificance, striding along like abbreviated compasses.
What dwarfs they were compared with their huge playground; what insects they were contrasted to the splendid area within the sweep of the horizon; what microbes they were when the eye wandered from them to the superb vault of the skies!
I heard the lowing of cattle, and saw the Bishop herd coming over a hill from the meadows. The notes of a Scotch air, sung in a clear, mellow baritone came to my ears, and a moment later I saw Bishop’s “hired man,” Wallace, driving the kine before him. His cap was in his hand, and his jet-black hair fell back from his forehead.
I have no idea what impelled me to do so, but I leaned over the cliff and looked below.
Half-way up the gentler slope of “The Eagle’s Nest” I saw the figure of a girl, or a woman. I keep my eyes on her, and as near as I can determine she never once took hers from Bishop’s hired man. Not until he vanished in the woods which surrounds the farmhouse, did she move. Then she turned and slowly picked her way down the rather dangerous path.
It was Miss Olive Lawrence.
I PLAY WITH MISS HARDING
I regret that lack of intimacy with the muses prevents me from recording this entry in verse. I have been playing golf with Miss Harding!
Not until this afternoon did I realise that constant association with Marshall, Carter, Chilvers, and other hardened golfers has dulled my finer sensibilities and deadened my appreciation of the wonderful scenic beauties of the Woodvale golf course.
Like the fool bicycle scorcher who tears past beautiful bits of landscape, his eyes fixed on the dusty path spurned by his whirring wheel, or like the goggled maniac who steers an automobile, I now find that I have played hundreds of times over this course without once having seen it.