The game ended, we rested in the shade of an arbour where we could watch the players on many greens.
“Come now; make your confession,” I insisted, looking into her face through the blue haze of a cigar.
“Confess what?” she innocently asked.
“Confess why it is that you deliberately deceived me regarding your game,” I demanded. “Don’t you suppose I know that you were not trying to play that day when you first favoured me with a game at Woodvale?”
“You know nothing about it,” she laughed. “I have been taking lessons since then.”
“Tell that to someone who does not understand the difficulty of learning this game,” I responded. “Your father for instance. Unless you confess the truth, I shall tell him that you deliberately lured him into a trap by which you won that touring car.”
“Tell him; I dare you!” she challenged me. “If he believes it he will think it a huge joke.”
“And you told me that you once made a nine-hole course in Paris in ninety-one,” I accused her.
“I did,” she laughed. “It was in a competition with one club—a putter.”
“Was that when you won the gold cup?”
She shook her head.
“What score did you make when you won that gold cup in Paris?” I asked.
“The witness declines to answer,” she defiantly replied.
“You are guilty of contempt of court. Tell me, Miss Harding, why you played so atrociously that day?”
“Atrociously?” she exclaimed with mock indignation. “You told me that I was doing splendidly, and you said that with a little practice I would make a fine player. And now that I have verified your predictions you seem vastly surprised.”
“I was—I was trying to encourage you,” I faltered.
“In other words you were deceiving me, Jacques Henri. Confess that you were!”
“I do confess,” I laughed. “You were the worst player I ever saw. Now you confess why you did it.”
“I shall confess nothing,” she declared, her eyes dropping as I gazed into them. “I shall confess nothing, Jacques Henri! Since when has it been decreed that a lady must confess to her chauffeur? Do not forget your place, Jacques Henri. Let’s start for the club house; I see papa and others on the lawn.”
I have a theory of the truth, but it is too foolish to put in writing. We made a speedy run to Woodvale after a most delightful afternoon.
THE PASSING OF PERCY
During the forenoon of the day following our visit to Oak Cliff Mr. Harding, Carter and I were sitting under the big elm tree near the first tee. We had our clubs with us, but the railroad magnate wished to finish his cigar before starting to play.
A farm wagon drove up the circular roadway which surrounds the club house, and the owner after glancing doubtfully about approached us. He was tall, angular, and whiskered.