With the joy of a captive set free, or the rapture of one who has returned from a living tomb to bustling life, I inhaled the precious air. But my thoughts were chaos. My brain refused to work. I had but one desire, and that was to sleep. Carrying the cumbersome, hockey-sticklike golf clubs that the ghost of the Cardinal had given me, I reached the doors of the hotel. The astounded night porter eyed me, and more particularly the clubs, with questioning surprise. I made him bring me a stiff glass of hot whisky and water.
This revived me somewhat, and telling him to warn my servant not to call me before 10 a.m., I staggered to my room, flung the weird clubs with abhorrence into a wardrobe, got out of my dripping clothes into pajamas, and was soon at rest in a dreamless sleep.
I woke to find sunshine streaming in at the windows, a cloudless sky without, and my servant Wetherby busily occupied over his customary matutinal duties. With a sudden flash of memory I recalled the weird scene of the night that was gone, only, however, to dismiss it as an unusually vivid dream. For a time I felt quite sure it was nothing more. But presently, as my eye fell on the empty glass that had held the hot whisky and water, I began to experience an uneasy doubt.
Ah! Now I remembered!
If it were a dream, there would be no clubs in the wardrobe.
I lit a cigarette, and asked Wetherby the time.
"Ten o'clock, sir," was the reply. "And you've no time to lose, sir. The match is at eleven."
I sprang from the bed, and opened the wardrobe.
Heavens! It was no dream! There they were! Seven of the queerest golf clubs that antiquarian imagination could conceive.
So it had actually happened! I had been a guest of Cardinal Smeaton's ghost, and had entered into a compact with him to use his ridiculous clubs in order that he might revel in revenge on the house of Lindsay.