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A Golfing Idyll by Bannerman and Flint

Transcriber's Note

The punctuation and spelling from the original text have been faithfully preserved.

A GOLFING IDYLL

[Illustration]

A Golfing Idyll

OR

The Skipper's Round with the Deil

On the Links of St Andrews

Third Edition

W.C. HENDERSON & SON, ST ANDREWS GEO. STEWART & CO., EDINBURGH AND LONDON SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, KENT & CO. LD., LONDON

MDCCCXCVII.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE BY A. ISLAY BANNERMAN (BANNERMAN & STEEL, EDINBURGH)

PREFACE

As some prefatory explanation may reasonably be expected as to how I became acquainted with the subject of the following narrative,--'A Golfing Idyll,' I have had the presumption to call it,--I may inform the reader that circumstances induced me, a lady medical student, at present studying in London, to take my Autumn holiday in St Andrews. I know the old place well, and have many acquaintances there. As to Golf I can, I think, hold my own with most of the Golfing sisterhood, and am well up in the jargon of the Links and game. One day found me, sketch-book in hand, sitting on the brae side by the butts, behind the Club. As I sat, listlessly toying with my pencil, and quietly enjoying the scene before me, I remarked a man, whom I had not previously observed, also sitting, a few yards off, on the slope towards the sea. On closer inspection I recognised him to be an old Caddie, well known to most frequenters of the Links, but not very creditably, I am sorry to say, as he was one of the sad victims of the vice that has cut off so many poor fellows of his class. I noticed at the same time that he now looked very decent and respectable, was neatly dressed in blue serge, a bit of blue ribbon apparent on the lapel of his coat, and that altogether he had the appearance of a person well cared for. He seemed to be engaged in an agreeable conversation with himself. As he sat, smiling and muttering, he was shortly joined by another man, a stranger to me, a ruddy-faced jolly-looking personage, with a free and easy manner, who proved also to be a Caddie. As to how the latter accosted his old friend, and what followed, is all described in the 'Idyll.'

As I was only a few yards distant from them, I could hear distinctly every word they uttered. The old man did not seem to mind my presence in the least. Before commencing his tale he looked round, saw me, and, with a back toss of his head which seemed to say to his friend, 'Oh, it is only a lassie,' proceeded with his story. Throughout the narrative he was exceedingly animated--rising, sitting down, and gesticulating, as if under the influence of considerable excitement and emotion, evidently earnestly intent on impressing on the listener the truth of what he was relating. The latter listened open-eyed and open-mouthed, uttering occasional ejaculations, such as, Oh Lord! Gude sake! Ay man! etc.

The Skipper delivered himself of what he had to say in pure Scotch Doric, more or less, but occasionally broke out into good English, showing himself to be a man of better education than I believed him to be. This idea was strengthened by his reference to Bunyan; and the extravagant vision at the 'end hole,' with all its bathos and absurdity, suggested some acquaintance with Milton.


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