Chapter 12 – Newcastleton and Allendale (the old course)
The last is a downhill par 4, with the road to Carrshield and out-of-bounds to the right. It is reachable in one by those of a certain skill level and physical disposition. So, allow me this final luxury. A long drive, straight down the middle, leaving a short pitch to the green. In the dim light I lose sight of the ball, but you always know when you have struck one sweet and true. I cannot spin the ball by design, so my pitch lands short and runs on a few yards to within feet of the pin. Standing over the birdie-putt, the twilight is enhanced by the yellow light shining through the clubhouse windows. I am distracted by the shadowy outline of three figures gathered in the centre of the room and miss the simple putt. A man in his late twenties, wearing a heavy tweed suit, an elbow on the table, a cigarette raised to his face. Smoke obscures their features.
The woman, in a utility dress, is deep in conversation, forever breaking the silence, while a small girl with a serious expression looks on earnestly. I should cross over and join them, but not just yet. I am going home. I have no idea what happens next.