MISS HARDING OWNS UP
“I Demand part of my payment this afternoon,” I said to Miss Harding as we neared the Oak Cliff club house.
“You are impatient, Jacques Henri,” she laughed. “Is it possible my credit is not good?”
“Not in this instance,” I returned. “I am demanding that you refuse all invitations to play in foursomes, and that after luncheon you and I make the round of Oak Cliff.”
“That is so modest a request that I grant it,” she said, and ten minutes later I had the satisfaction of hearing her decline Carter’s invitation to join in a foursome in which I was to take no part. This proves not only that all is fair in love, but that victory favours the one who strikes the first blow.
It was about ten o’clock when we reached Oak Cliff, and found Mr. Wilson waiting for us. Harding was impatient to test his skill against Wilson, and the two were ready to play when the rest of us were still chatting with Mrs. Wilson and others of their party.
“We are entitled to a gallery,” declared Harding. “Come on, everybody, and watch me show Wilson how this game should be played.”
Most of us accepted this invitation. Mr. Wilson fits the description Harding had given of him. He is wonderfully tall and slim, and I doubted if he had much skill as a golfer. His smooth-shaven features and dreamy eyes were those of the poet, but he is one of the best bankers and business men in the country.
Harding drove a fairly straight ball but Wilson promptly sliced into the tall grass. Miss Harding and I helped him search for his ball, and Chilvers joined in the hunt.
“Ah, this is very lucky!” exclaimed Mr. Wilson, bending his long frame over some object.
“Found your ball?” asked Chilvers.
“The ball? No, no,” he said, coming to his feet with something in his hand which looked to me like a weed. “But I’ve found a rare specimen of the Articum Lappa. It is a beauty!”
“Looks sort of familiar,” said the puzzled Chilvers. “What did you say it was?”
“The Articum Lappa, more commonly called the burdock,” explained Mr. Wilson.
“If you can’t find your ball drop another one and play!” shouted Harding from the other side of course. Just then I discovered the ball, and after two strokes Wilson got it out of trouble, and then by a lucky approach and putt won the hole. Harding looked at him suspiciously.
[Illustration: “What are you looking for?”]
On the next hole their drives landed the balls not far apart and neither was in trouble.
“I’m afraid this man Wilson can beat me,” Harding said to us in an undertone as we neared the balls.
“Don’t lose your nerve, papa,” cautioned his daughter.
Wilson was away, but when he was within a few yards of his ball he looked intently at the turf and then dropped to his knees and crawled slowly around.