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Ten And Eight
by [?]

“I’m in this cave,” I said when we had found Henry’s ball; and with a lighted match in one hand and a niblick in the other I went in and tried to persuade the “Ostrich” to come out. My eighth argument was too much for it, and we re-appeared in the daylight together.

“How many?” I asked Henry.

“Six,” he said, as he hit the top of the cliff once more, and shot back on to the beach.

I left him and chivied my ball round to where the cliffs are lowest; then I got it gradually on to a little mound of sand (very delicate work this), took a terrific swing and fairly heaved it on to the grass. Two more strokes put me on to the green in twenty. I lit a pipe and waited for Henry to finish his game of rackets.

“I’ve played twenty-five,” he shouted.

“Then you’ll want some of my bisques,” I said. “I can lend you three till Monday.”

Henry had one more rally and then picked his ball up. I had won seven holes and I had three bisques with which to win the match. I was a little doubtful if I could do this, but Henry settled the question by misjudging yet again the breadth of the stream. What is experience if it teaches us nothing? Henry must really try to enlarge his mind about rivers.

“Dormy nine,” I said at the tenth tee, “and no bisques left.”

“Thank Heaven for that,” sighed Henry.

“But I have only to halve one hole out of nine,” I pointed out. “Technically I am on what is known as velvet.”

“Oh, shut up and drive.”

I am a bad golfer, but even bad golfers do holes in bogey now and then. In the ordinary way I was pretty certain to halve one of the nine holes with Henry, and so win the match. Both the eleventh and the seventeenth, for instance, are favourites of mine. Had I halved one of those, he would have admitted cheerfully that I had played good golf and beaten him fairly. But as things happened–

What happened, put quite briefly, was this. Bogey for the tenth is four. I hooked my drive off the tee and down a little gully to the left, put a good iron shot into a bunker on the right, and than ran down a hundred-yard putt with a niblick for a three. One of those difficult down-hill putts.

“Luck!” said Henry, as soon as he could speak.

“I’ve been missing those lately,” I said.

“Your match,” said Henry; “I can’t play against luck like that.”

It was true that he had given me ten bisques, but, on the other hand, I could have given him a dozen at the seventh and still have beaten him.

However, I was too magnanimous to point that out. All I said was, “Ten and eight.”

And then I added thoughtfully, “I don’t think I’ve ever won by more than that.”