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Uncle Edward
by [?]

Celia has more relations than would seem possible. I am gradually getting to know some them by sight and a few more by name, but I still make mistakes. The other day, for instance, she happened to say she was going to a concert with Uncle Godfrey.

“Godfrey,” I said, “Godfrey. No, don’t tell me–I shall get it in a moment. Godfrey … Yes, that’s it; he’s the architect. He lives at Liverpool, has five children, and sent us the asparagus-cooler as a wedding present.”

“No marks,” said Celia.

“Then he’s the unmarried one in Scotland who breeds terriers. I knew I should get it.”

“As a matter of fact he lives in London and breeds oratorios.”

“It’s the same idea. That was the one I meant. The great point is that I placed him. Now give me another one.” I leant forward eagerly.

“Well, I was just going to ask you–have you arranged anything about Monday?”

“Monday,” I said, “Monday. No, don’t tell me–I shall get it in a moment. Monday … He’s the one who—- Oh, you mean the day of the week?”

“Who’s a funny?” asked Celia of the teapot.

“Sorry; I really thought you meant another relation. What am I doing? I’m playing golf if I can find somebody to play with.”

“Well, ask Edward.”

I could place Edward at once. Edward, I need hardly say, is Celia’s uncle; one of the ones I have not yet met. He married a very young aunt of hers, not much older than Celia.

“But I don’t know him,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter. Write and ask him to meet you at the golf club. I’m sure he’d love to.”

“Wouldn’t he think it rather cool, this sudden attack from a perfectly unknown nephew? I fancy the first step ought to come from uncle.”

“But you’re older than he is.”

“True. It’s rather a tricky point in etiquette. Well, I’ll risk it.”

This was the letter I sent to him:–

“MY DEAR UNCLE EDWARD,–Why haven’t you written to me this term? I have spent the five shillings you gave me when I came back; it was awfully ripping of you to give it to me, but I have spent it now. Are you coming down to see me this term? If you aren’t you might write to me; there is a post-office here where you can change postal orders.

“What I really meant to say was, can you play golf with me on Monday at Mudbury Hill? I am your new and favourite nephew, and it is quite time we met. Be at the club-house at 2.30, if you can. I don’t quite know how we shall recognize each other, but the well-dressed man in the nut-brown suit will probably be me. My features are plain but good, except where I fell against the bath-taps yesterday. If you have fallen against anything which would give me a clue to your face you might let me know. Also you might let me know if you are a professor at golf; if you are, I will read some more books on the subject between now and Monday. Just at the moment my game is putrid.

“Your niece and my wife sends her love. Good-bye. I was top of my class in Latin last week. I must now stop, as it is my bath-night.

“I am,
“Your loving
“NEPHEW.”

The next day I had a letter from my uncle:–

“MY DEAR NEPHEW,–I was so glad to get your nice little letter and to hear that you were working hard. Let me know when it is your bath-night again; these things always interest me. I shall be delighted to play golf with you on Monday. You will have no difficulty in recognizing me. I should describe myself roughly as something like Apollo and something like Little Tich, if you know what I mean. It depends how you come up to me. I am an excellent golfer and never take more than two putts in a bunker.