Just like Bob Cousy at the foul line. He did this for half an hour, until after they turned off the sprinklers and he heard the tractors out on the course cutting the grass, and until he'd dropped nine in a row through the fruit hoop. That was his lucky number, nine. Born on the ninth day of the ninth month in the year 1935.
The ninth ball in a row dropped through the hoop, and a few seconds later he heard Sweet's Cadillac coming into the parking lot at 50 miles an hour, throwing up pebbles and dust, and took that for a good sign.
And then he saw there was another Cadillac in the lot too, gleaming in the sun. He couldn't tell what color it was, blue or black, but it was parked close to the driveway, overlooking the caddy shed, somebody in it, relaxing against the seat, maybe watching.
Train felt himself trying to hide the club. He was always thinking that today was the day somebody might come around about his missing nine-iron.
All morning long, Sweet sent caddies to the first tee. By 11 o'clock, there was nobody left in the shed but Train and Sweet. An hour later, the first caddies out came back in, and some of them waited around to see if they would get another tote. Train stayed where he was.
He waited to see if Sweet would let him work. He found himself thinking about dogs, how they come back humble after they been beat. The reason didn't matter, if the man was drunk and mean or he just come home in a mood to beat the dog, the dog was still sorry. It never crossed heir mind it wasn't their fault.
Arthur had gone out early, and now he came back in and sat down to eat lunch. He opened his thermos and peeled the wax paper off his sandwich, mayonnaise leaking out the sides and through the bottom, looked like it weighed five pounds. Every fly in Los Angeles County was there in two minutes. Train felt his insides getting ready to heave up, moving right to the edge.
Sweet had a glance at the picture he was drawing, and then the phone rung again and he picked it up. He listened a minute and then hung up and sent Henry Disharoon and three other caddies back out to the first tee. A few minutes later Henry Disharoon came back in. Sweet looked up from his desk, staring out through the wire, annoyed to see this nigger back in front of him when he just sent him out. "You sick, man?" he said.
Henry Disharoon shook his head. "Cat says he wants somebody else."