The hazards of talking too much…… a parable V

And continuing the parable…. while I said that there were many points between me and George, they do not extend to someone like Celia – well at least at the beginning of this account. In later accounts, well…. I’ll let you know when. But another thing is common – the friends she refers too, just below….

~~“I love him!” she replied simply. “In spite of everything, I love him dearly. But what to do? What to do? I have an awful fear that when we are getting married instead of answering ‘I will,’ he will go into the pulpit and deliver an address on Marriage Ceremonies of All Ages. The world to him is a vast lecture-platform. He looks on life as one long after-dinner, with himself as the principal speaker of the evening. It is breaking my heart. I see him shunned by his former friends. Shunned! They run a mile when they see him coming. The mere sound of his voice outside the club-house is enough to send brave men diving for safety beneath the sofas. Can you wonder that I am in despair? What have I to live for?”

“There is always golf.”

“Yes, there is always golf,” she whispered bravely.

“Come and have a round this afternoon.”

“I had promised to go for a walk …” She shuddered, then pulled herself together. “… for a walk with George.”

I hesitated for a moment.

“Bring him along,” I said, and patted her hand. “It may be that together we shall find an opportunity of reasoning with him.”

She shook her head.

“You can’t reason with George. He never stops talking long enough to give you time.”

“Nevertheless, there is no harm in trying. I have an idea that this malady of his is not permanent and incurable. The very violence with which the germ of loquacity has attacked him gives me hope. You must remember that before this seizure he was rather a noticeably silent man. Sometimes I think that it is just Nature’s way of restoring the average, and that soon the fever may burn itself out. Or it may be that a sudden shock … At any rate, have courage.”

“I will try to be brave.”

“Capital! At half-past two on the first tee, then.”

“You will have to give me a stroke on the third, ninth, twelfth, fifteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth,” she said, with a quaver in her voice. “My golf has fallen off rather lately.”

I patted her hand again.

“I understand,” I said gently. “I understand.”

* * * * * (and this is a point where I totally identify with George, as anyone who has seen at my best will verify)

The steady drone of a baritone voice as I alighted from my car and approached the first tee told me that George had not forgotten the tryst. He was sitting on the stone seat under the chestnut-tree, speaking a few well-chosen words on the Labour Movement.

“To what conclusion, then, do we come?” he was saying. “We come to the foregone and inevitable conclusion that….”

“Good afternoon, George,” I said.

He nodded briefly, but without verbal salutation. He seemed to regard my remark as he would have regarded the unmannerly heckling of some one at the back of the hall. He proceeded evenly with his speech, and was still talking when Celia addressed her ball and drove off. Her drive, coinciding with a sharp rhetorical question from George, wavered in mid-air, and the ball trickled off into the rough half-way down the hill. I can see the poor girl’s tortured face even now. But she breathed no word of reproach. Such is the miracle of women’s love.

“Where you went wrong there,” said George, breaking off his remarks on Labour, “was that you have not studied the dynamics of golf sufficiently. You did not pivot properly. You allowed your left heel to point down the course when you were at the top of your swing. This makes for instability and loss of distance. The fundamental law of the dynamics of golf is that the left foot shall be solidly on the ground at the moment of impact. If you allow your heel to point down the course, it is almost impossible to bring it back in time to make the foot a solid fulcrum.”

To be continued…..


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