And then we met Wallace and Miss Lawrence, her arm drawn through his, her face lifted toward his, and her tongue going when she was not laughing. They were “walking out” a dance, and evidently enjoying it.
Mr. Harding had the time of his life. He danced with stout farm wives, slender village maidens, and executed a clog dance which made the barn shudder on its foundations. He led the singing, told stories to groups of farmers who shouted with laughter, and refused to go home until Mrs. Harding took him by the arm and fairly dragged him away.
I walked home with Miss Harding.
[Illustration: “Mr. Harding ... executed a clog dance”]
ENTRY NO. XII
THE ST. ANDREWS SWING
A week has passed since I made the last entry in this diary, and a number of peculiar things have happened.
My brokers have brought an additional 10,000 shares of N.O. & G., which brings my speculative holdings to a total of 25,000 shares. They acquired the last block at an average price of 65, and the market closed to-night at 63. If I were to settle at this figure I would be loser to the amount of $150,000, not including the $23,000 lost on the first two thousand shares purchased, on which I have taken my losses. Counting commissions and interest I am about $175,000 to the bad, but am not in the least worried.
My brokers are now placing their orders through houses in other cities, and I am certain the extent of my operations is a secret beyond the slightest question.
The qualifying round for the “Harding Trophy” brought out the largest field of players in the history of our club competitions. Of course most of those who started declared that they had no expectation of winning, or even of qualifying in the first sixteen. For instance, there was Peabody, whose best medal score is 112.
“Are you going to play for that bronze gent?” demanded Chilvers, as Peabody came to the first tee.
“Thought I might just as well enter,” said Peabody. “Of course I know I haven’t a chance in the world to win.”
“You never can tell,” said Chilvers, his face solemn as an owl. Chilvers is a merciless “kidder.”
“That’s right,” admitted Peabody.
“If you play the way I saw you doing the other day, there’s not a man in the club has anything on you,” asserted Chilvers, winking at me.
“Stranger things have happened,” declared Peabody, his face illuminated by a hopeful grin. “I made the last hole yesterday in five, and that is as good as Carter or Smith have done it in this year.”
Now, as a matter of fact, there was not one chance in five hundred that Peabody would qualify, and he didn’t, but that did not prevent his starting out with a hope and a sort of a faith that by some bewildering combination of circumstances he would qualify, and later on bowl over all of his competitors and carry off the prize with the sweeter honours of victory.