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The dream came only partly to reality. Last spring the McFarlands played 27 games in Europe, took in $200,000 (easily enough to have paid all the various debts and expenses the hockey team and its manager had piled up) and did in fact win the world amateur championship at Prague. The team came back to Belleville serenaded by brass bands, with Denyes hailed as a conquering hero. But the hero's heart was heavy. For the European tour was taken out of his hands and run by the International Ice Hockey Association, which allowed the McFarlands only a thrifty $1,000 per game expense money, or a total of $27,000. When a preliminary audit called Denyes to account he was already a beaten man. "Show it the way it is," he said forlornly.
The report of the judicial inquiry indicates that "the way it is" was far worse than anyone had imagined. A man already disgraced in athletics, Denyes now faces the possibility of prosecution. Players are being sued for unreported income taxes. The town is being sued because neighboring suburbs were annexed and these say they want no part of a $142,000 hockey binge. The town's debt has soared, and the Belleville McFarlands have plummeted to the bottom of the hockey league.
Magnum est vectigal parsimonia, or, as any ignoramus knows, Probitas optima via per vitam est.
England's Philip John Noel-Baker, whose lifetime quest for Peace with a capital P last week won him the Nobel Prize, once followed another capital P with less success.
An outstanding athlete who was later to captain two British Olympic track teams, Noel-Baker was running for Pennsylvania's Haverford College in a 1907 U.S. intercollegiate track meet.
The outstanding opponent in the 43-man field was a Penn runner, and Noel-Baker's coach told him to follow "that man with the big P on his back" to the final turn, then sprint to victory.
An obedient athlete, the future Nobel man singled out a man with a P and latched on tight. He remembers now that he felt somewhat uneasy when the rest of the field pulled rapidly away, but it didn't, at the time, occur to him that capital P's are likely to be fairly common when Pennsylvania athletes are present. It wasn't until the race was almost over that Noel-Baker saw far ahead the back of the man who won the race. There was a big letter on it: also a P.
The Solid Gold Golf Club
For one thousand four hundred and seventy-five dollars, Tiffany's (a New York jewelry store that always spells out its four-figure prices) advertised for sale in The Wall Street Journal last week a 14-karat-gold golf putter. Tiffany's assured interested buyers that it guaranteed the putter's accuracy on the golf course and even suggested (with an archness seldom encountered in such expensive surroundings) that it could be melted down in a financial crisis. A few days later the firm modified its pitch. The putter, it turned out, was useful only as a trophy or souvenir.