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TRAIN
Pete Dexter
September 15, 2003
In the world of a 1950s California country club, the only black men on the golf course are toting bags, but the stakes for a young caddy with a gift for the game could not be higher
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September 15, 2003

Train

In the world of a 1950s California country club, the only black men on the golf course are toting bags, but the stakes for a young caddy with a gift for the game could not be higher

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Henry shrugged. Sweet picked up his telephone and dialed a number. He said, "Is they a problem up there, Mr. Dugan?"

He listened a minute and then shook his head. "No sir, he ain't available. No sir.... All I could do was to sent up somebody else for him in his place." He listened a moment longer, then hung up the phone.

"Arthur," he said, "go on up to the first and see if you can't make these people satisfied."

Arthur paused a minute, then set what was left of his sandwich on the bench and got up, wiped his mouth and hands on his shirt and headed out. About half the flies went with him; the other half stayed with the sandwich. Five minutes later he came back in, never said a word, just went back to the sandwich and resumed where he left off. There was a wet spot on the bench where he'd laid it.

Sweet's phone rung again. "I told you, sir," he said, "he ain't available today. Yessir, I'm sure. I'm settin' right here...."

Over on the bench, Arthur had finished eating and taken a knife out of his pocket and closed his eyes and was running his finger along the length of the blade. Train thought he heard him humming.

Sweet put the phone back in the cradle and looked over at Plural. He said, "Plural, go on up and scare these f———white people off the tee." But before Plural could get up off the floor, the starter, who was supposed to keep the pace of play going, was standing in the doorway. Another man waited just outside. The starter was from Scotland, a people that was always angry anyway, and he stepped inside and turned to the man behind him and motioned him in. Train saw who it was.

"Is he here, then?" the starter said.

The Mile Away Man nodded at Train. "Over there," he said.

"He's right bloody there," the starter said to Sweet, pointing. "What the devil's got into you, man? He's right there...."

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