I will describe that game and some other happenings in my next entry.
OUR NEW PROFESSIONAL
LaHume was furious when Carter and I told him Wallace was a candidate for Kirkaldy’s place.
“What do you mean by taking this step without consulting me?” he blustered.
“We have not employed this chap yet,” Carter calmly responded. “Don’t get excited, Percy, Wallace may not make good.”
“But who knows who he is?” demanded LaHume. “He may be the rankest kind of an impostor.”
“A golf impostor?” smiled Carter. “I never heard of one. We can get a line on him before he has played five holes.”
“I don’t mean that,” growled LaHume. “What I mean is that we don’t know anything about this fellow. He comes with no recommendations, and all that sort of thing.”
“If he can play within five strokes of Kirkaldy, and teach Smith how to keep from slicing, that’s recommendation enough,” remarked Carter. “What have you against him, Percy?”
“I’ll vote against him in the committee,” hotly declared LaHume, “and if I’m over-ruled I will appeal the matter to the club.”
“Go as far as you like, my boy,” drawled Carter, slowly adjusting his monocle and turning on his heel.
The news Kirkaldy had resigned and that “Bishop’s hired man, Wallace,” was to have a try out for his place spread rapidly, and created no end of comment and excitement. When it was rumoured that the Misses Harding, Ross, and Lawrence—the three acknowledged beauties of the club—were his sponsors the interest was vastly increased.
Wallace appeared half an hour ahead of the appointed time, and I introduced him to Kirkaldy. The latter studied him intently as they chatted, but asked no questions concerning his identity with their native Scotland. Wallace looked over an array of clubs, selected some which suited him, but retained my cleek and mashie. It was agreed I should act as caddy for Wallace, Chilvers for Kirkaldy, and that Carter should referee. LaHume declined to act in any capacity.
All games were postponed to watch this strange contest, and the “gallery” clustered at the first tee numbered fully one hundred. It was agreed that the contest should be at medal play, the match score also to be taken into consideration.
Mr. Harding called me aside before the match started.
“What do you think about this game, Smith?” he asked. “You’ve seen both of them play, and I hav’n’t. This young fellow, LaHume, is bluffing around offering to bet any part of five hundred dollars Kirkaldy will beat this Wallace seven strokes. I don’t mind losing the money, but I hate to make a foolish bet and be laughed at.”
“Take LaHume up, and I’ll stand half the bet,” I said, after considering the matter for a moment. “Wallace is a stranger to the course, but I doubt if Kirkaldy or anyone living can beat him seven strokes.”