The car turned left off 77 at Forest Lane, and after a few hundred yards it swung into a driveway that led to an old, small farmhouse.
I stay out here most of the time," said Dr. Williams. "It's not much of a house, but I like it. Yonder are the stables and the corrals and the polo field I'm so proud of. Actually, there are a couple of other fields on the property, but this is the one where all the big games are played. We play the Intra-Circuit and intercity games here, and there's usually some kind of action two or three times a week. Porfirio Rubirosa will be playing here later this month. He ought to be a big attraction—to the womenfolks, anyway. Seriously, he's a fine player."
He touched his shoulder. "This shoulder condition of mine has improved considerably of recent months. Some of the boys were remarking the other day that I'm hitting the ball very well right now, very well indeed."
He gazed out over his field. "You'll notice the creeks running around the field make it an island. You see those three ponies looking at us over the fence? They've been to the polo wars, all right. On the right there is Blue Bug, my favorite, and next is Billy the Skid. I named him for Billy Skidmore who sold him to me—Billy's a six-goal player. The third pony there is Shorty. I never know exactly how many horses are here, what with the foals and the colts and the fillies and the mares and my stud. Generally in the neighborhood of 30, I would say. I always have several ponies in training as working cow ponies at various ranches near by."
We turned back to the farmhouse. The doctor unlocked the front door and led the way into the living room and a scene of monumental clutter. There were polo trophies everywhere: cups, plates, trays, bowls, boxes, lighters, automobile radiator emblems. There were stacks upon stacks of horse journals, dominated by a pile of back issues of The Chronicle, published in the citadel of the horse, Middleburg, Va., lately become an international dateline because of the Kennedys sometimes being in residence there. In the corners there were polo mallets by the score, polo balls were here, there and everywhere. A great bookcase was filled with trophies and books about horses. Through one door there was a glimpse of the kitchen, with trophies atop the deepfreeze, polo balls spilling out of sacks and filling paper cartons to the brim. And more mallets leaning against the walls.
Dr. Williams walked over to a closet and opened it. It was filled with mallets. He reached in and picked one mallet from a coat hook. "This is one I'm proud to own. I'm like a kid with a Roger Maris bat. This mallet was given to me by Bob Skene, the 10-goaler who played with us in the Open."
"You live here alone, doctor?"
"I spend all the time I can here. I like to ride in the evenings and in the mornings. A couple of nights a week I stay downtown at the Athletic Club. I have a woman come in to clean. I'm after her all the time to keep those trophies polished, but I guess I ask too much. The place is cleaned well, even if it is in some disarray."
The doctor looked around and then turned to answer an unasked question.
"I've been married," he said. "We had no children. I come from a family of 11 children and I'm the only one who didn't have any." He paused and picked up a trophy tray. "Why," he said, "it's difficult to read this inscription. This simply has to be polished." He sat down in a big chair near the fireplace. He was silent a moment.