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One Of Our Sufferers
by [?]

I did. The corner was turned at the fifth, where I took four putts.

“You aren’t going to win all the holes,” he said grudgingly, as he ran down his putt.

Convalescence set in at the sixth, when I got into an impossible place and picked up.

“Oh, well, I shall give you a game yet,” he said. “Two down.”

The need for further bulletins ceased at the seventh hole, which he played really well and won easily.

“A-ha, you won’t beat me by much,” he said, “in spite of my liver.”

“By the way, how is the liver?” I asked.

“Your fresh-air cure is doing it good. Of course, it may come on again, but—-” He drove a screamer. “I think I shall be all right,” he announced.

“All square,” he said cheerily at the ninth. “I fancy I’m going to beat you now. Not bad, you know, considering you were four up. Practically speaking, I gave you a start of four holes.”

I decided that it was time to make an effort again, seeing that Thomson’s health was now thoroughly re-established. Of the next seven holes I managed to win three and halve two. It is only fair to say, though (as Thomson did several times), that I had an extraordinary amount of good luck, and that he was dogged by ill-fortune throughout. But this, after all, is as nothing so long as one’s health is above suspicion. The great thing was that Thomson’s liver suffered no relapse; even though, at the seventeenth tee, he was one down and two to play.

And it was on the seventeenth tee that I had to think seriously how I wanted the match to end. Thomson at lunch when he has won is a very different man from Thomson at lunch when he has lost. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was in rather a happy position. If I won, I won–which was jolly; if I lost, Thomson won–and we should have a pleasant lunch.

However, as it happened, the match was halved.

“Yes, I was afraid so,” said Thomson; “I let you get too long a start. It’s absurd to suppose that I can give you four holes up and beat you. It practically amounts to giving you four bisques. Four bisques is about six strokes–I’m not really six strokes better than you.”

“What about lunch?” I suggested.

“Good; and you can have your revenge afterwards.” He led the way into the pavilion. “Now I wonder,” he said, “what I can safely eat. I want to be able to give you some sort of a game this afternoon.”

Well, if there is ever a Royal Commission upon the national physique I shall insist on giving evidence. For it seems to me that golf, far from improving the health of the country, is actually undermining it. Thomson, at any rate, since he has taken to the game, has never been quite fit.