home | authors | books | about

Home -> P.G. Wodehouse -> The Clicking of Cuthbert -> The Clicking of Cuthbert

The Clicking of Cuthbert - The Clicking of Cuthbert

1. Dedication and Contents

2. The Clicking of Cuthbert

3. A Woman is only a Woman

4. A Mixed Threesome

5. Sundered Hearts

6. The Salvation of George Mackintosh

7. Ordeal By Golf

8. The Long Hole

9. The Heel of Achilles

10. The Rough Stuff

11. The Coming of Gowf

The Clicking of Cuthbert

The young man came into the smoking-room of the clubhouse, and flung
his bag with a clatter on the floor. He sank moodily into an arm-chair
and pressed the bell.



The young man pointed at the bag with every evidence of distaste.

"You may have these clubs," he said. "Take them away. If you don't want
them yourself, give them to one of the caddies."

Across the room the Oldest Member gazed at him with a grave sadness
through the smoke of his pipe. His eye was deep and dreamy--the eye of
a man who, as the poet says, has seen Golf steadily and seen it whole.

"You are giving up golf?" he said.

He was not altogether unprepared for such an attitude on the young
man's part: for from his eyrie on the terrace above the ninth green he
had observed him start out on the afternoon's round and had seen him
lose a couple of balls in the lake at the second hole after taking
seven strokes at the first.

"Yes!" cried the young man fiercely. "For ever, dammit! Footling game!
Blanked infernal fat-headed silly ass of a game! Nothing but a waste of

The Sage winced.

"Don't say that, my boy."

"But I do say it. What earthly good is golf? Life is stern and life is
earnest. We live in a practical age. All round us we see foreign
competition making itself unpleasant. And we spend our time playing
golf! What do we get out of it? Is golf any _use_? That's what I'm
asking you. Can you name me a single case where devotion to this
pestilential pastime has done a man any practical good?"

The Sage smiled gently.

"I could name a thousand."

"One will do."

"I will select," said the Sage, "from the innumerable memories that
rush to my mind, the story of Cuthbert Banks."

"Never heard of him."

"Be of good cheer," said the Oldest Member. "You are going to hear of
him now."

* * * * *

It was in the picturesque little settlement of Wood Hills (said the
Oldest Member) that the incidents occurred which I am about to relate.
Even if you have never been in Wood Hills, that suburban paradise is
probably familiar to you by name. Situated at a convenient distance
from the city, it combines in a notable manner the advantages of town
life with the pleasant surroundings and healthful air of the country.
Its inhabitants live in commodious houses, standing in their own
grounds, and enjoy so many luxuries--such as gravel soil, main
drainage, electric light, telephone, baths (h. and c.), and company's
own water, that you might be pardoned for imagining life to be so ideal
for them that no possible improvement could be added to their lot. Mrs.
Willoughby Smethurst was under no such delusion. What Wood Hills needed
to make it perfect, she realized, was Culture. Material comforts are
all very well, but, if the _summum bonum_ is to be achieved, the
Soul also demands a look in, and it was Mrs. Smethurst's unfaltering
resolve that never while she had her strength should the Soul be handed
the loser's end. It was her intention to make Wood Hills a centre of
all that was most cultivated and refined, and, golly! how she had
succeeded. Under her presidency the Wood Hills Literary and Debating
Society had tripled its membership.

But there is always a fly in the ointment, a caterpillar in the salad.
The local golf club, an institution to which Mrs. Smethurst strongly
objected, had also tripled its membership; and the division of the
community into two rival camps, the Golfers and the Cultured, had
become more marked than ever. This division, always acute, had attained
now to the dimensions of a Schism. The rival sects treated one another
with a cold hostility.

Unfortunate episodes came to widen the breach. Mrs. Smethurst's house
adjoined the links, standing to the right of the fourth tee: and, as
the Literary Society was in the habit of entertaining visiting
lecturers, many a golfer had foozled his drive owing to sudden loud
outbursts of applause coinciding with his down-swing. And not long
before this story opens a sliced ball, whizzing in at the open window,
had come within an ace of incapacitating Raymond Parsloe Devine, the
rising young novelist (who rose at that moment a clear foot and a half)
from any further exercise of his art. Two inches, indeed, to the right
and Raymond must inevitably have handed in his dinner-pail.

To make matters worse, a ring at the front-door bell followed almost
immediately, and the maid ushered in a young man of pleasing appearance
in a sweater and baggy knickerbockers who apologetically but firmly
insisted on playing his ball where it lay, and, what with the shock of
the lecturer's narrow escape and the spectacle of the intruder standing
on the table and working away with a niblick, the afternoon's session
had to be classed as a complete frost. Mr. Devine's determination, from
which no argument could swerve him, to deliver the rest of his lecture
in the coal-cellar gave the meeting a jolt from which it never

I have dwelt upon this incident, because it was the means of
introducing Cuthbert Banks to Mrs. Smethurst's niece, Adeline. As
Cuthbert, for it was he who had so nearly reduced the muster-roll of
rising novelists by one, hopped down from the table after his stroke,
he was suddenly aware that a beautiful girl was looking at him
intently. As a matter of fact, everyone in the room was looking at him
intently, none more so than Raymond Parsloe Devine, but none of the
others were beautiful girls. Long as the members of Wood Hills Literary
Society were on brain, they were short on looks, and, to Cuthbert's
excited eye, Adeline Smethurst stood out like a jewel in a pile of

He had never seen her before, for she had only arrived at her aunt's
house on the previous day, but he was perfectly certain that life, even
when lived in the midst of gravel soil, main drainage, and company's
own water, was going to be a pretty poor affair if he did not see her
again. Yes, Cuthbert was in love: and it is interesting to record, as
showing the effect of the tender emotion on a man's game, that twenty
minutes after he had met Adeline he did the short eleventh in one, and
as near as a toucher got a three on the four-hundred-yard twelfth.

I will skip lightly over the intermediate stages of Cuthbert's
courtship and come to the moment when--at the annual ball in aid of the
local Cottage Hospital, the only occasion during the year on which the
lion, so to speak, lay down with the lamb, and the Golfers and the
Cultured met on terms of easy comradeship, their differences
temporarily laid aside--he proposed to Adeline and was badly stymied.

That fair, soulful girl could not see him with a spy-glass.

"Mr. Banks," she said, "I will speak frankly."

"Charge right ahead," assented Cuthbert.

"Deeply sensible as I am of----"

"I know. Of the honour and the compliment and all that. But, passing
lightly over all that guff, what seems to be the trouble? I love you to

"Love is not everything."

"You're wrong," said Cuthbert, earnestly. "You're right off it.
Love----" And he was about to dilate on the theme when she interrupted

"I am a girl of ambition."

"And very nice, too," said Cuthbert.

"I am a girl of ambition," repeated Adeline, "and I realize that the
fulfilment of my ambitions must come through my husband. I am very
ordinary myself----"

"What!" cried Cuthbert. "You ordinary? Why, you are a pearl among
women, the queen of your sex. You can't have been looking in a glass
lately. You stand alone. Simply alone. You make the rest look like
battered repaints."

"Well," said Adeline, softening a trifle, "I believe I am fairly

"Anybody who was content to call you fairly good-looking would describe
the Taj Mahal as a pretty nifty tomb."

"But that is not the point. What I mean is, if I marry a nonentity I
shall be a nonentity myself for ever. And I would sooner die than be a

"And, if I follow your reasoning, you think that that lets _me_

"Well, really, Mr. Banks, _have_ you done anything, or are you
likely ever to do anything worth while?"

Cuthbert hesitated.

"It's true," he said, "I didn't finish in the first ten in the Open,
and I was knocked out in the semi-final of the Amateur, but I won the
French Open last year."


"The French Open Championship. Golf, you know."

"Golf! You waste all your time playing golf. I admire a man who is more
spiritual, more intellectual."

A pang of jealousy rent Cuthbert's bosom.

"Like What's-his-name Devine?" he said, sullenly.

"Mr. Devine," replied Adeline, blushing faintly, "is going to be a
great man. Already he has achieved much. The critics say that he is
more Russian than any other young English writer."

"And is that good?"

"Of course it's good."

"I should have thought the wheeze would be to be more English than any
other young English writer."

"Nonsense! Who wants an English writer to be English? You've got to be
Russian or Spanish or something to be a real success. The mantle of the
great Russians has descended on Mr. Devine."

"From what I've heard of Russians, I should hate to have that happen to

"There is no danger of that," said Adeline scornfully.

"Oh! Well, let me tell you that there is a lot more in me than you

"That might easily be so."

"You think I'm not spiritual and intellectual," said Cuthbert, deeply
moved. "Very well. Tomorrow I join the Literary Society."

Even as he spoke the words his leg was itching to kick himself for
being such a chump, but the sudden expression of pleasure on Adeline's
face soothed him; and he went home that night with the feeling that he
had taken on something rather attractive. It was only in the cold, grey
light of the morning that he realized what he had let himself in for.

I do not know if you have had any experience of suburban literary
societies, but the one that flourished under the eye of Mrs. Willoughby
Smethurst at Wood Hills was rather more so than the average. With my
feeble powers of narrative, I cannot hope to make clear to you all that
Cuthbert Banks endured in the next few weeks. And, even if I could, I
doubt if I should do so. It is all very well to excite pity and terror,
as Aristotle recommends, but there are limits. In the ancient Greek
tragedies it was an ironclad rule that all the real rough stuff should
take place off-stage, and I shall follow this admirable principle. It
will suffice if I say merely that J. Cuthbert Banks had a thin time.
After attending eleven debates and fourteen lectures on _vers libre_
Poetry, the Seventeenth-Century Essayists, the Neo-Scandinavian
Movement in Portuguese Literature, and other subjects of a similar
nature, he grew so enfeebled that, on the rare occasions when he had
time for a visit to the links, he had to take a full iron for his mashie

It was not simply the oppressive nature of the debates and lectures
that sapped his vitality. What really got right in amongst him was the
torture of seeing Adeline's adoration of Raymond Parsloe Devine. The
man seemed to have made the deepest possible impression upon her
plastic emotions. When he spoke, she leaned forward with parted lips
and looked at him. When he was not speaking--which was seldom--she
leaned back and looked at him. And when he happened to take the next
seat to her, she leaned sideways and looked at him. One glance at Mr.
Devine would have been more than enough for Cuthbert; but Adeline found
him a spectacle that never palled. She could not have gazed at him with
a more rapturous intensity if she had been a small child and he a
saucer of ice-cream. All this Cuthbert had to witness while still
endeavouring to retain the possession of his faculties sufficiently to
enable him to duck and back away if somebody suddenly asked him what he
thought of the sombre realism of Vladimir Brusiloff. It is little
wonder that he tossed in bed, picking at the coverlet, through
sleepless nights, and had to have all his waistcoats taken in three
inches to keep them from sagging.

This Vladimir Brusiloff to whom I have referred was the famous Russian
novelist, and, owing to the fact of his being in the country on a
lecturing tour at the moment, there had been something of a boom in his
works. The Wood Hills Literary Society had been studying them for
weeks, and never since his first entrance into intellectual circles had
Cuthbert Banks come nearer to throwing in the towel. Vladimir
specialized in grey studies of hopeless misery, where nothing happened
till page three hundred and eighty, when the moujik decided to commit
suicide. It was tough going for a man whose deepest reading hitherto
had been Vardon on the Push-Shot, and there can be no greater proof of
the magic of love than the fact that Cuthbert stuck it without a cry.
But the strain was terrible and I am inclined to think that he must
have cracked, had it not been for the daily reports in the papers of
the internecine strife which was proceeding so briskly in Russia.
Cuthbert was an optimist at heart, and it seemed to him that, at the
rate at which the inhabitants of that interesting country were
murdering one another, the supply of Russian novelists must eventually
give out.

One morning, as he tottered down the road for the short walk which was
now almost the only exercise to which he was equal, Cuthbert met
Adeline. A spasm of anguish flitted through all his nerve-centres as he
saw that she was accompanied by Raymond Parsloe Devine.

"Good morning, Mr. Banks," said Adeline.

"Good morning," said Cuthbert hollowly.

"Such good news about Vladimir Brusiloff."

"Dead?" said Cuthbert, with a touch of hope.

"Dead? Of course not. Why should he be? No, Aunt Emily met his manager
after his lecture at Queen's Hall yesterday, and he has promised that
Mr. Brusiloff shall come to her next Wednesday reception."

"Oh, ah!" said Cuthbert, dully.

"I don't know how she managed it. I think she must have told him that
Mr. Devine would be there to meet him."

"But you said he was coming," argued Cuthbert.

"I shall be very glad," said Raymond Devine, "of the opportunity of
meeting Brusiloff."

"I'm sure," said Adeline, "he will be very glad of the opportunity of
meeting you."

"Possibly," said Mr. Devine. "Possibly. Competent critics have said
that my work closely resembles that of the great Russian Masters."

"Your psychology is so deep."

"Yes, yes."

"And your atmosphere."


Cuthbert in a perfect agony of spirit prepared to withdraw from this
love-feast. The sun was shining brightly, but the world was black to
him. Birds sang in the tree-tops, but he did not hear them. He might
have been a moujik for all the pleasure he found in life.

"You will be there, Mr. Banks?" said Adeline, as he turned away.

"Oh, all right," said Cuthbert.

When Cuthbert had entered the drawing-room on the following Wednesday
and had taken his usual place in a distant corner where, while able to
feast his gaze on Adeline, he had a sporting chance of being overlooked
or mistaken for a piece of furniture, he perceived the great Russian
thinker seated in the midst of a circle of admiring females. Raymond
Parsloe Devine had not yet arrived.

His first glance at the novelist surprised Cuthbert. Doubtless with the
best motives, Vladimir Brusiloff had permitted his face to become
almost entirely concealed behind a dense zareba of hair, but his eyes
were visible through the undergrowth, and it seemed to Cuthbert that
there was an expression in them not unlike that of a cat in a strange
backyard surrounded by small boys. The man looked forlorn and hopeless,
and Cuthbert wondered whether he had had bad news from home.

This was not the case. The latest news which Vladimir Brusiloff had had
from Russia had been particularly cheering. Three of his principal
creditors had perished in the last massacre of the _bourgeoisie_,
and a man whom he owed for five years for a samovar and a pair of
overshoes had fled the country, and had not been heard of since. It was
not bad news from home that was depressing Vladimir. What was wrong
with him was the fact that this was the eighty-second suburban literary
reception he had been compelled to attend since he had landed in the
country on his lecturing tour, and he was sick to death of it. When his
agent had first suggested the trip, he had signed on the dotted line
without an instant's hesitation. Worked out in roubles, the fees
offered had seemed just about right. But now, as he peered through
the brushwood at the faces round him, and realized that eight out of
ten of those present had manuscripts of some sort concealed on their
persons, and were only waiting for an opportunity to whip them out
and start reading, he wished that he had stayed at his quiet home in
Nijni-Novgorod, where the worst thing that could happen to a fellow
was a brace of bombs coming in through the window and mixing
themselves up with his breakfast egg.

At this point in his meditations he was aware that his hostess was
looming up before him with a pale young man in horn-rimmed spectacles
at her side. There was in Mrs. Smethurst's demeanour something of the
unction of the master-of-ceremonies at the big fight who introduces the
earnest gentleman who wishes to challenge the winner.

"Oh, Mr. Brusiloff," said Mrs. Smethurst, "I do so want you to meet Mr.
Raymond Parsloe Devine, whose work I expect you know. He is one of our
younger novelists."

The distinguished visitor peered in a wary and defensive manner through
the shrubbery, but did not speak. Inwardly he was thinking how exactly
like Mr. Devine was to the eighty-one other younger novelists to whom
he had been introduced at various hamlets throughout the country.
Raymond Parsloe Devine bowed courteously, while Cuthbert, wedged into
his corner, glowered at him.

"The critics," said Mr. Devine, "have been kind enough to say that my
poor efforts contain a good deal of the Russian spirit. I owe much to
the great Russians. I have been greatly influenced by Sovietski."

Down in the forest something stirred. It was Vladimir Brusiloff's mouth
opening, as he prepared to speak. He was not a man who prattled
readily, especially in a foreign tongue. He gave the impression that
each word was excavated from his interior by some up-to-date process of
mining. He glared bleakly at Mr. Devine, and allowed three words to
drop out of him.

"Sovietski no good!"

He paused for a moment, set the machinery working again, and delivered
five more at the pithead.

"I spit me of Sovietski!"

There was a painful sensation. The lot of a popular idol is in many
ways an enviable one, but it has the drawback of uncertainty. Here
today and gone tomorrow. Until this moment Raymond Parsloe Devine's
stock had stood at something considerably over par in Wood Hills
intellectual circles, but now there was a rapid slump. Hitherto he had
been greatly admired for being influenced by Sovietski, but it appeared
now that this was not a good thing to be. It was evidently a rotten
thing to be. The law could not touch you for being influenced by
Sovietski, but there is an ethical as well as a legal code, and this it
was obvious that Raymond Parsloe Devine had transgressed. Women drew
away from him slightly, holding their skirts. Men looked at him
censoriously. Adeline Smethurst started violently, and dropped a
tea-cup. And Cuthbert Banks, doing his popular imitation of a sardine
in his corner, felt for the first time that life held something of

Raymond Parsloe Devine was plainly shaken, but he made an adroit
attempt to recover his lost prestige.

"When I say I have been influenced by Sovietski, I mean, of course,
that I was once under his spell. A young writer commits many follies. I
have long since passed through that phase. The false glamour of
Sovietski has ceased to dazzle me. I now belong whole-heartedly to the
school of Nastikoff."

There was a reaction. People nodded at one another sympathetically.
After all, we cannot expect old heads on young shoulders, and a lapse
at the outset of one's career should not be held against one who has
eventually seen the light.

"Nastikoff no good," said Vladimir Brusiloff, coldly. He paused,
listening to the machinery.

"Nastikoff worse than Sovietski."

He paused again.

"I spit me of Nastikoff!" he said.

This time there was no doubt about it. The bottom had dropped out of
the market, and Raymond Parsloe Devine Preferred were down in the
cellar with no takers. It was clear to the entire assembled company
that they had been all wrong about Raymond Parsloe Devine. They had
allowed him to play on their innocence and sell them a pup. They had
taken him at his own valuation, and had been cheated into admiring him
as a man who amounted to something, and all the while he had belonged
to the school of Nastikoff. You never can tell. Mrs. Smethurst's guests
were well-bred, and there was consequently no violent demonstration,
but you could see by their faces what they felt. Those nearest Raymond
Parsloe jostled to get further away. Mrs. Smethurst eyed him stonily
through a raised lorgnette. One or two low hisses were heard, and over
at the other end of the room somebody opened the window in a marked

Raymond Parsloe Devine hesitated for a moment, then, realizing his
situation, turned and slunk to the door. There was an audible sigh of
relief as it closed behind him.

Vladimir Brusiloff proceeded to sum up.

"No novelists any good except me. Sovietski--yah! Nastikoff--bah! I spit
me of zem all. No novelists anywhere any good except me. P. G.
Wodehouse and Tolstoi not bad. Not good, but not bad. No novelists any
good except me."

And, having uttered this dictum, he removed a slab of cake from a
near-by plate, steered it through the jungle, and began to champ.

It is too much to say that there was a dead silence. There could never
be that in any room in which Vladimir Brusiloff was eating cake. But
certainly what you might call the general chit-chat was pretty well
down and out. Nobody liked to be the first to speak. The members of the
Wood Hills Literary Society looked at one another timidly. Cuthbert,
for his part, gazed at Adeline; and Adeline gazed into space. It was
plain that the girl was deeply stirred. Her eyes were opened wide, a
faint flush crimsoned her cheeks, and her breath was coming quickly.

Adeline's mind was in a whirl. She felt as if she had been walking
gaily along a pleasant path and had stopped suddenly on the very brink
of a precipice. It would be idle to deny that Raymond Parsloe Devine
had attracted her extraordinarily. She had taken him at his own
valuation as an extremely hot potato, and her hero-worship had
gradually been turning into love. And now her hero had been shown to
have feet of clay. It was hard, I consider, on Raymond Parsloe Devine,
but that is how it goes in this world. You get a following as a
celebrity, and then you run up against another bigger celebrity and
your admirers desert you. One could moralize on this at considerable
length, but better not, perhaps. Enough to say that the glamour of
Raymond Devine ceased abruptly in that moment for Adeline, and her most
coherent thought at this juncture was the resolve, as soon as she got
up to her room, to burn the three signed photographs he had sent her
and to give the autographed presentation set of his books to the
grocer's boy.

Mrs. Smethurst, meanwhile, having rallied somewhat, was endeavouring to
set the feast of reason and flow of soul going again.

"And how do you like England, Mr. Brusiloff?" she asked.

The celebrity paused in the act of lowering another segment of cake.

"Dam good," he replied, cordially.

"I suppose you have travelled all over the country by this time?"

"You said it," agreed the Thinker.

"Have you met many of our great public men?"

"Yais--Yais--Quite a few of the nibs--Lloyid Gorge, I meet him. But----"
Beneath the matting a discontented expression came into his face, and
his voice took on a peevish note. "But I not meet your real great
men--your Arbmishel, your Arreevadon--I not meet them. That's what
gives me the pipovitch. Have _you_ ever met Arbmishel and

A strained, anguished look came into Mrs. Smethurst's face and was
reflected in the faces of the other members of the circle. The eminent
Russian had sprung two entirely new ones on them, and they felt that
their ignorance was about to be exposed. What would Vladimir Brusiloff
think of the Wood Hills Literary Society? The reputation of the Wood
Hills Literary Society was at stake, trembling in the balance, and
coming up for the third time. In dumb agony Mrs. Smethurst rolled her
eyes about the room searching for someone capable of coming to the
rescue. She drew blank.

And then, from a distant corner, there sounded a deprecating, cough,
and those nearest Cuthbert Banks saw that he had stopped twisting his
right foot round his left ankle and his left foot round his right ankle
and was sitting up with a light of almost human intelligence in his

"Er----" said Cuthbert, blushing as every eye in the room seemed to fix
itself on him, "I think he means Abe Mitchell and Harry Vardon."

"Abe Mitchell and Harry Vardon?" repeated Mrs. Smethurst, blankly. "I
never heard of----"

"Yais! Yais! Most! Very!" shouted Vladimir Brusiloff, enthusiastically.
"Arbmishel and Arreevadon. You know them, yes, what, no, perhaps?"

"I've played with Abe Mitchell often, and I was partnered with Harry
Vardon in last year's Open."

The great Russian uttered a cry that shook the chandelier.

"You play in ze Open? Why," he demanded reproachfully of Mrs.
Smethurst, "was I not been introducted to this young man who play in

"Well, really," faltered Mrs. Smethurst. "Well, the fact is, Mr.

She broke off. She was unequal to the task of explaining, without
hurting anyone's feelings, that she had always regarded Cuthbert as a
piece of cheese and a blot on the landscape.

"Introduct me!" thundered the Celebrity.

"Why, certainly, certainly, of course. This is Mr.----."

She looked appealingly at Cuthbert.

"Banks," prompted Cuthbert.

"Banks!" cried Vladimir Brusiloff. "Not Cootaboot Banks?"

"_Is_ your name Cootaboot?" asked Mrs. Smethurst, faintly.

"Well, it's Cuthbert."

"Yais! Yais! Cootaboot!" There was a rush and swirl, as the
effervescent Muscovite burst his way through the throng and rushed to
where Cuthbert sat. He stood for a moment eyeing him excitedly, then,
stooping swiftly, kissed him on both cheeks before Cuthbert could get
his guard up. "My dear young man, I saw you win ze French Open. Great!
Great! Grand! Superb! Hot stuff, and you can say I said so! Will you
permit one who is but eighteen at Nijni-Novgorod to salute you once

And he kissed Cuthbert again. Then, brushing aside one or two
intellectuals who were in the way, he dragged up a chair and sat down.

"You are a great man!" he said.

"Oh, no," said Cuthbert modestly.

"Yais! Great. Most! Very! The way you lay your approach-putts dead from

"Oh, I don't know."

Mr. Brusiloff drew his chair closer.

"Let me tell you one vairy funny story about putting. It was one day I
play at Nijni-Novgorod with the pro. against Lenin and Trotsky, and
Trotsky had a two-inch putt for the hole. But, just as he addresses the
ball, someone in the crowd he tries to assassinate Lenin with a
rewolwer--you know that is our great national sport, trying to
assassinate Lenin with rewolwers--and the bang puts Trotsky off his
stroke and he goes five yards past the hole, and then Lenin, who is
rather shaken, you understand, he misses again himself, and we win the
hole and match and I clean up three hundred and ninety-six thousand
roubles, or fifteen shillings in your money. Some gameovitch! And now
let me tell you one other vairy funny story----"

Desultory conversation had begun in murmurs over the rest of the room,
as the Wood Hills intellectuals politely endeavoured to conceal the
fact that they realized that they were about as much out of it at this
re-union of twin souls as cats at a dog-show. From time to time they
started as Vladimir Brusiloff's laugh boomed out. Perhaps it was a
consolation to them to know that he was enjoying himself.

As for Adeline, how shall I describe her emotions? She was stunned.
Before her very eyes the stone which the builders had rejected had
become the main thing, the hundred-to-one shot had walked away with the
race. A rush of tender admiration for Cuthbert Banks flooded her heart.
She saw that she had been all wrong. Cuthbert, whom she had always
treated with a patronizing superiority, was really a man to be looked
up to and worshipped. A deep, dreamy sigh shook Adeline's fragile form.

Half an hour later Vladimir and Cuthbert Banks rose.

"Goot-a-bye, Mrs. Smet-thirst," said the Celebrity. "Zank you for a
most charming visit. My friend Cootaboot and me we go now to shoot a
few holes. You will lend me clobs, friend Cootaboot?"

"Any you want."

"The niblicksky is what I use most. Goot-a-bye, Mrs. Smet-thirst."

They were moving to the door, when Cuthbert felt a light touch on his
arm. Adeline was looking up at him tenderly.

"May I come, too, and walk round with you?"

Cuthbert's bosom heaved.

"Oh," he said, with a tremor in his voice, "that you would walk round
with me for life!"

Her eyes met his.

"Perhaps," she whispered, softly, "it could be arranged."

* * * * *

"And so," (concluded the Oldest Member), "you see that golf can be of
the greatest practical assistance to a man in Life's struggle. Raymond
Parsloe Devine, who was no player, had to move out of the neighbourhood
immediately, and is now, I believe, writing scenarios out in California
for the Flicker Film Company. Adeline is married to Cuthbert, and it
was only his earnest pleading which prevented her from having their
eldest son christened Abe Mitchell Ribbed-Faced Mashie Banks, for she
is now as keen a devotee of the great game as her husband. Those who
know them say that theirs is a union so devoted, so----"

* * * * *

The Sage broke off abruptly, for the young man had rushed to the door
and out into the passage. Through the open door he could hear him
crying passionately to the waiter to bring back his clubs.

© Art Branch Inc. | English Dictionary