In order to play a perfect game of golf one’s mind must reflect no outside matter, and I shall sell that miserable stock the moment I can get out without serious loss. This should be a lesson to me.
I saw Carter a few minutes ago and he tells me he understands that the famous Grace Harding does play golf. My worst fears are confirmed.
I shall now clean my clubs and go to bed.
MAINLY ABOUT SMITH
It has rained all day and nothing of interest has happened. The ladies are clustered on the sheltered side of the veranda. Some are reading, others are engaged in fancy work. The leading topic of discussion is the coming of the Hardings—or rather a fruitless inquiry as to what gowns and how many Miss Grace Harding will wear.
They are due to-morrow. I wonder if old Harding knows anything about N.O. & G. stock? He probably does—and will keep it to himself.
There being nothing else to write about I shall write of myself.
As Chilvers said yesterday, I was born on the farm which now constitutes the Woodvale golf links. When my father died he willed this land and other property to me. I take it that a man has a right to do as he pleases with his own.
The old farm makes a sporty golf course, and I cannot say that I have ever regretted my action in signing the lease which transfers its use to the Woodvale Golf and Country Club for a long term of years.
I doubt if the two hundred odd acres ever yielded so large an income as I now receive semi-annually from the treasurer of the club, but this does not appeal to my Uncle Henry.
“It is an outrage,” he once said to me, with unnecessary adjectives, “to use the fine old farmhouse, sacred to long generations of Smiths, as an ell to a club house.”
He said other things which I will not repeat. He is a banker, and I sincerely hope Chilvers does not hit him with a golf ball. That infernal slice of Chilvers’ has already cost me one legacy.
I have traced my ancestry as far back as I dare, and have a certain amount of reverence for hallowed traditions and all that sort of thing. I must admit there have been times when I have almost imagined that the shades of three generations of more or less distinguished Smiths were holding an indignation meeting to protest against this golf invasion of their mundane haunts.
Where my great-grandmother once sang over her spinning wheel there has been installed a modern shower bath. The huge old-fashioned dining-room, with its cavernous fireplace, is now lined on three sides with lockers. The place above it which was once filled with the blackened oil portrait of our original Smith is now adorned with an engraving of Harry Varden at the finish of his drive.
This picture of Varden’s is said to be the best likeness yet produced of this truly remarkable man. I have studied it for hours, but cannot understand how he can grip a club as he does without hooking his ball.