“Perfectly great!” I said, with enthusiasm, for it did seem marvellous. “But I don’t think I can do it. You win, of course.”
“Not at all,” said Jupiter. “If you hit the bull’s-eye, as I did, you win.”
“And you lose in spite of that splendid—er—stroke?” I asked.
“Oh no—not at all,” said Jupiter. “We both win.”
Again the bell rang, and the winds blew, and the cannon shot, but my ball, under the excitement of the moment of aiming, was directed not towards the bull’s-eye—or the hole—but at the skitomobile. It hit it fairly and hard, and it smashed the engine by which the machine was propelled, much to the consternation of Jason and Phaeton.
“Unfortunate,” said Jupiter. “Very. But never mind. We don’t have to walk home.”
“I’m awfully sorry,” said I. “I—er—”
“Never mind,” said Jupiter. “It is easily repaired, but we cannot go on with the game. The next hole is eight thousand miles long. Twice around the planet, and we couldn’t possibly walk it, so we’ll have to quit. We’ve got all we can manage trudging back to the club-house. Here, caddies, take our clubs back to the club-house, and tell ’em to have two nectar high-balls ready at six-thirty. Phaeton, you and Jason will have to get back the best way you can. I’ve told you a half-dozen times to bring two machines with you, but you never seem to understand. Come along, Higgins, we’ll go back. Shut your eyes.”
I closed my optics, as ordered, although my name is not Higgins, and I didn’t like to have even Jupiter so dub me.
“Now open them again,” was the sharp order.
I did so, and lo and behold! by some supernatural power we had been transported back to the club-house.
“I am sorry, Jupiter,” said I “to have spoiled your game,” as we sat, later, sipping that delicious concoction, the nectar high-ball, which we supplemented with a “Pegasus’s neck.”
“Nonsense,” said he, grandly. “You haven’t spoiled my game. You have merely, without meaning to do so, spoiled your own afternoon. My game is all right and will remain so. It would have been a great pleasure to me to show you the other sixteen holes, but circumstances were against us. Take your nectar and let us trot along. You dine with Juno and myself to-night. Let’s see, I was two up, wasn’t I?”
“Two up, and sixteen to play.”
“Then I win,” said he. It was an extraordinary score, but then it was an extraordinary occasion.
And we entered his chariot, and were whirled back to Olympus. The ride home was not as exciting as the ride out, but it was interesting. It lasted about a half of a millionth of a second, and for the first time in my life I knew how a telegram feels when it travels from New York to San Francisco, and gets there apparently three hours before it is sent by the clock.