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Uncle Edward
by [?]

“Till 2.30 then. I enclose a postal-order for sixpence, to see you through the rest of the term.

“Your favourite uncle,

I showed it to Celia.

“Perhaps you could describe him more minutely,” I said. “I hate wandering about vaguely and asking everybody I see if he’s my uncle. It seems so odd.”

“You’re sure to meet all right,” said Celia confidently. “He’s–well, he’s nice-looking and–and clean-shaven–and, oh, you’ll recognize him.”

At 2.30 on Monday I arrived at the club-house and waited for my uncle. Various people appeared, but none seemed in want of a nephew. When 2.45 came there was still no available uncle. True, there was one unattached man reading in a corner of the smoke-room, but he had a moustache–the sort of heavy moustache one associates with a major.

At three o’clock I became desperate. After all, Celia had not seen Edward for some time. Perhaps he had grown a moustache lately; perhaps he had grown one specially for to-day. At any rate there would be no harm in asking this major man if he was my uncle. Even if he wasn’t he might give me a game of golf.

“Excuse me,” I said politely, “but are you by any chance my Uncle Edward?”

“Your what?

“I was almost certain you weren’t, but I thought I’d just ask. I’m sorry.”

“Not at all. Naturally one wants to find one’s uncle. Have you–er–lost him long?”

“Years,” I said sadly. “Er–I wonder if you would care to adopt me–I mean, give me a game this afternoon. My man hasn’t turned up.”

“By all means. I’m not very great.”

“Neither am I. Shall we start now? Good.”

I was sorry to miss Edward, but I wasn’t going to miss a game of golf on such a lovely day. My spirits rose. Not even the fact that there were no caddies left and I had to carry my own clubs could depress me.

The Major drove. I am not going to describe the whole game; though my cleek shot at the fifth hole, from a hanging lie to within two feet of the—- However, I mustn’t go into that now. But it surprised the Major a good deal. And when at the next hole I laid my brassie absolutely dead, he—- But I can tell you about that some other time. It is sufficient to say now that, when we reached the seventeenth tee, I was one up.

We both played the seventeenth well. He was a foot from the hole in four. I played my third from the edge of the green, and was ridiculously short, giving myself a twenty-foot putt for the hole. Leaving my clubs I went forward with the putter, and by the absurdest luck pushed the ball in.

“Good,” said the Major. “Your game.”

I went back for my clubs. When I turned round the Major was walking carelessly off to the next tee, leaving the flag lying on the green and my ball still in the tin.

“Slacker,” I said to myself, and walked up to the hole.

And then I had a terrible shock. I saw in the tin, not my ball, but a moustache!

“Am I going mad?” I said. “I could have sworn that I drove off with a ‘Colonel,’ and yet I seem to have holed out with a Major’s moustache!” I picked it up and hurried after him.

“Major,” I said, “excuse me, you’ve dropped your moustache. It fell off at the critical stage of the match; the shock of losing was too much for you; the strain of—-“

He turned his clean-shaven face round and grinned at me.

“On second thoughts,” he said, “I am your long-lost uncle.”