“Certainly, sir,” he replied, walking to the clothes-closet. “Pardon me, but—ah—what is your profession when at home?”
“Why do you ask?” I queried. “Not that I am unwilling to tell you, but—”
“I merely wished to guide my selection of your garments. If you are a naval officer, I will put out your admiral’s uniform. If you are a professional golfer, I’ll get out your red coat.”
“I am a literary man,” I said.
“Ah!” he observed, lifting his eyebrows. “Then, of course, you won’t mind wearing these.”
And he hauled forth a pair of black-and-white trousers with checks as large as the squares of a chessboard, a blue cloth vest with white polka dots, and a long, gray Prince Albert coat, with mauve satin lapels. The shirt was pink and blue, stripes of each alternating, running cross-ways, a white collar, and a flaring red four-in-hand tie!
“Great Scott, Adonis!” I cried. “Must I wear those?”
“You’re under no compulsion to do so,” said he. “But I thought you said you were a literary man.”
“Well—literary men never care what they wear so long as they attract attention, do they?”
I laughed. “We are not all built that way, Adonis,” said I. “Some of us are modest and have a little taste.”
“Well, it’s news to me,” said he. “I guess it must be among the minor lights.”
“It is—generally,” said I. “And if you don’t mind, I’d rather wear the golf clothes.”
And I did.
The Olympian Links
“There,” said Adonis, as he put the finishing touch to my costume. “You look like a champion. Do you play golf, sir?”
“There’s a difference of opinion about that, Adonis,” I replied, my mind reverting to the number of handicap matches I hadn’t won. “Some people who have observed my game say I don’t. Have you links here?”
“Have we links?” he cried. “Well, rather. They’re said to be the best in the universe.”
“And are they handy?”
“Very—in the season.”
“I don’t quite catch the idea,” I said.
“Oh, sometimes the course is nearer than it is at others. Come here a minute,” he said, “and I’ll point it out to you.”
He drew me to the wonderful window of which I have already spoken, and through the powerful glass pointed in the direction of Mars.
“See that?” he said.
“Yes,” I replied. “That is Mars.”
“Exactly,” said Adonis. “Mars is the Olympian links. His distance from here varies, as you are probably aware. When Mars is near aphelion he is 61,800,000 miles away, but in his perihelion he gets it down to 33,800,000. That’s why we have our golf season while Mars is in his perihelion. It saves us 28,000,000 miles in getting there.”
I laughed. “You call that handy, do you?” I said.
“Why not?” he asked. “It’s a matter of five minutes on a bike, ten minutes in the automobile, and twenty minutes if you walk.”