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THE STUFF OF DREAMS
George Plimpton
November 04, 1968
Golf, because it is the loneliest of games, is conducive to reflection and imaginings. Usually the subject is oneself—perhaps sinking 60-foot putts under heroic circumstances—but on occasion the mind may wander far, triggered by one small fact into a fantasy that can lead even to the rough of hillbilly country, where....
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November 04, 1968

The Stuff Of Dreams

Golf, because it is the loneliest of games, is conducive to reflection and imaginings. Usually the subject is oneself—perhaps sinking 60-foot putts under heroic circumstances—but on occasion the mind may wander far, triggered by one small fact into a fantasy that can lead even to the rough of hillbilly country, where....

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"Someone's made a perfectly natural mistake. I am a professional," the golfer said. "But a professional golfer, not a killer. I mean, I'm not even a killer in my own profession." He laughed hollowly. "I choke. I get these big apples. I'm a rabbit. You want a killer, fetch in someone like Hogan or Snead. I finished 10th in the Cajun Classic. Best I ever did. Absolutely the best. They call me Four Putts."

"Look at them 'ere duds he's wearin'," one of the hillbillies was wailing in a high voice. "He's sure 'nuff blue." He looked at the golfer in awe.

"That's enuff for us Reillys," the leader of the group said. "Stranger, you're a loco, low-slung animul, and you ain't deservin' to draw another bref of good Mullins air."

He leveled his pistol carefully and pulled the trigger. The concussion nearly popped the golfer's ears. A wall of white smoke rolled toward him. The wall behind seemed to buck and a fine spray of peach scent enveloped him.

Went right over my shoulder and plugged a can of Pappy's Peach Preserves, the golfer noted as he sagged to the floor once again. He thought, Lord, I'm in for it. The smoke will clear and they'll get in a couple of more shots from those cannon....

He heard a voice bellowing through the smoke.

"Hold on thar. It's me—Hoss Reilly." A heavyset man stood in the door. "What's gwan on 'round heah?"

"We wung the varmint, Hoss," one of the hillbillies was shouting. "Two or three mo' shots and we gonna have brother Dan Reilly what was beaten down up in the nawth fawty all nice and avenged."

"Dan's done been avenged," Hoss said. "Mark Tanner's lyin' up thar 'n Bull Creek pasture daider than a skinned mule. This kid from Memphis done his job right smart." He looked admiringly at the golfer who was picking himself off the floor.

"He done it?"

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