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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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Train looked at the green.

"You played this course, ain't you?" the fat man said. "Monday mornings, the caddies all come out here and have a big time...."

Train nodded, and then was sorry he gave him even that.

"And you supposed to be a caddy, ain't you, sport?" When Train didn't answer, the fat man slipped into his Negro dialect and said, "You-all is a caddy, right?"

Train nodded again, wishing he hadn't, wishing that he could take off his shoes and walk away. Just like that, drop the clubs, kiss my ass, and walk up the fairway barefoot, while the grass was still cool. Instead, he stood still, and the fat man reached into the bag and came out with the thermos. Looking at him the whole time. He filled the lid and drank it down, and this time he didn't shiver afterwards.

"So it's Monday morning, Leroy. What is you-all gone hit?"

It was quiet again while they waited. He heard Florida say "Lawdy" under his breath.

"Nine-iron," he said.

The fat man screwed the lid on the thermos, looking surprised. "A nine-iron?" He put his fingers around Train's arm and squeezed. "You must be stronger than you looks."

Train held still.

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