In Japan spelen ze een wedstrijd tegen een Britse kolonel en zijn gezelschap.
They drove to the golf course and parked, unloaded their clubs and walked into the pro shop. Although most of the golfers were members of the American and British armed forces, the pro was Japanese and he greeted the appearance of two Korean Papa-Sans with evident hostility.
“How do we qualify for the Open?” asked Hawkeye.
“There twenty-five dollar entry fee,” the pro informed him, eyeing him coldly.
“But I’m the pro from Dover, and this here is my assistant,” announced Hawkeye, handing the Japanese his Maine State Golf Association handicap card.
“Ah, so,” the Japanese hissed.
“We’re just in from visiting relatives in Korea,” Trapper informed him. “Our clothes got burned up. We can’t get any new ones until we win some dough in your tournament.”
“Ah, so,” hissed the pro, much relieved, and he promptly supplied them with golf shoes and two female caddies. With the wide-eyed girls carrying the clubs, they trekked to the first tee. There, waiting to tee off, they were taking a few practice swings, to the amusement of all in their vicinity, when they observed four British officers, one of them a colonel, approaching. In a matter of minutes two things became evident.
Judged by his own practice swings the British colonel was not on leave from his country’s Curtis Cup team, and judged by the disdain evident on his face when he eyed the Swampmen he was not in favor of any Papa-Sans sharing the golf course with him.
“Damn this get-up,” Hawkeye was saying to Trapper. “It doesn’t do much for my backswing.”
“Good,” Trapper said, increasing the awkwardness of his own efforts.
“What do you mean, good?” Hawkeye said.
“Keep your voice down,” Trapper said, “because I think we’re about to hook a live one.”
“See here, you two!” the British colonel bleated, walking up to them at that moment. “I don’t know who you think you are, but I think…”
“Think again,” Trapper said.
“I want you to know I’m Colonel Cornwall…”
“Cornwallis?” Hawkeye said. “I thought we fixed your wagon at Yorktown.”
“I said Cornwall.”
“Lovely there in the spring,” Trapper said. “Rhododendrons and all that.”
“Now see here!” the colonel said, red in the face now. “I don’t know what you’re doing here, but rather than make an issue of it, if you’ll just step aside and allow us to tee off…”
“Look, Corny,” Hawkeye said. “You just calm down, or we’ll tee off on you.”
“I’ll tell you what we’ll do, Colonel,” Trapper said. “You look like a sporting chap, so to settle this little difficulty in a sporting way, we’ll both play you a ten pound Nassau.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You heard him,” Hawkeye said.
“Excuse me a moment,” the colonel said, and he turned and rejoined his companions to get their opinion of the proposition.
“What do you think?” Hawkeye said.
“We got him,” Trapper said, manufacturing as awkward a swing as he could without making it too obvious.
“Here he comes now,” Hawkeye said.
“All right,” the colonel said. “You’re on, and we’ll be watching every shot you hit.”
The Swampmen hit drives designed to get the ball in play, with no attempt at distance, and they were down the middle about 225 yards. Trapper reached the green in two and got his par four. Hawkeye hit a nice five-iron but misjudged the distance and was long, hit a wedge back but missed a five-footer and took a bogey. The second hole was a short par three that gave them no trouble. Both bogied three and four, however, as it became clear that driving range experience at the Double Natural had sharpened their hitting ability but done little for their judgment of distance or their putting. Nevertheless, the girl caddies were quite impressed, particularly by Trapper John, whose every move they watched with rapt fascination.
Approaching the seventh, a par five, they were both three over par, and as the day was getting warmer, Trapper took off the long, flowing top of his Papa-San suit and his hat. This left him with long hair, a beard, a bare torso, and long, flowing trousers, and seemed to move him up another notch in the eyes of the girls.
On the seventh, he was down the middle a good 260, with Hawkeye not far behind him. Hawkeye’s second shot wasn’t much, however, and he had a full five-iron left. Then Trapper cranked out an awesome two-wood with a slight tail-end hook which hit the hard fairway, bounced over a trap, and came to rest within two feet of the pin.
“Jesus!” exclaimed Hawkeye. The caddies, hearing this, looked knowingly at each other, and it dawned on the Swampmen what their mounting excitement was all about. Happily, Hawkeye had several of the autographed pictures in his wallet and, with a grand gesture, he bestowed complimentary copies upon the girls who, their suspicions confirmed, were overcome. Hawkeye had to lead them aside to calm them down, explaining as best he could that the Master’s game was a little rusty and that He wanted to get in at least eighteen holes before making His comeback generally known.
“These bimboes,” he explained to Trapper, approaching the eighth tee, “are on a real Christian kick, so don’t disappoint them.”
Trapper grabbed his driver, winced and looked at his hands.
“Goddam nail holes,” he complained.
The rest of the way around, Trapper played even par on thenot too difficult and not too long course to finish with a seventy-three. Hawkeye couldn’t figure the greens and found himself needing a ten-footer on the eighteenth for a seventyeight. Trapper blessed the ball and the cup before Hawkeye essayed the putt, which went in like it had eyes. The caddies, bowing their way out, departed to spread the word.
“Now,” Trapper said, “let’s prepare to lighten Corny’s load a little. If that hacker breaks eighty I’ll take it to the World Court.”
The Swampmen, with Trapper back in full uniform, found the bar. They were on their second Scotch when they noticed the Japanese faces peeking through the window and then Colonel Cornwall and his three colleagues pushing their way through the crowd at the door.
“I say now,” the colonel was saying, brushing himself off.
“Does anyone know what this is all about?”
“Ah, yes,” Hawkeye said, motioning toward Trapper, who was bowing toward the faces at the window and door. “Mighty High Religious Personage is greeting followers.”
“Of course, of course,” the colonel was saying now, starting to rock with laughter. “I say! That’s rather droll, isn’t it?”
“What’s that, sir?” one of his colleagues asked.
“Chap here,” he said, nodding toward Trapper. “Why, the chap here’s portraying John the Baptist!”
“Colonel,” Hawkeye said, handing him one of the autographed pictures, “you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.”
“Oh, I say!” the colonel was roaring now. “That is good, isn’t it? I do get it now. Say, you chaps, do have a drink on me. Oh, I say!”
The Swampmen had several drinks on him and, when they got around to comparing cards, the colonel, who had shot an eighty-two, paid up willingly.
“Corny,” Hawkeye heard himself saying, “how about youand these other gentlemen joining us for dinner at Dr.Yamamoto’s Finest Kind Pediatric Hospital and Whorehouse?”
“Oh, I say!” the colonel said. “That sounds like sport!”