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In 1917 it did not occur to me that golf would one
day be regarded as a predominant national occupa-
tion rather than a pastime. Nevertheless I did not
like the game to be treated with levity; in fact I
played it somewhat seriously. (My friend Cromlech
had once insisted on trying to defeat me in a game
in which he used nothing but a niblick; and to my
great annoyance he performed such astonishing feats
with it as to cause me some disquietude, though I won
quite comfortably in the end.)

When played seriously, even golf can, I suppose,
claim to be "an epitome of human life55. Anyhow, in
that fourth October of the War I was a better golfer
than Fd ever been before—and, I may add, a better
one than I've ever been since.

I must admit, though, that I wasn't worrying much
about the War when I'd just hit a perfect tee-shot up
the charming vista which was the fairway to the first
green at Mortonhall. How easy it felt! I scarcely
seemed to be gripping the club at all. Afternoon sun-
shine was slanting through the golden-brown beeches
and at last I knew what it was like to hit the ball
properly. "I suppose I'm getting too keen on the
game," I thought, as I bicycled home to the hydro at
the end of some such afternoon, when I'd been samp-
ling one of the delightfully unfrequented links which
the War had converted into Arcadian solitudes. It was
all very well, but this sort of thing couldn't go on for
ever. Sooner or later I must let Rivers know my in-
tentions. Had I been an ordinary patient I should
have been due for a medical board long before now,
and even Rivers couldn't postpone it indefinitely.
And if I were to refuse to go before a board the situa-
tion would become awkward again. He had allowed
me to drift on for twelve weeks, and so far he hadn't