'Shades please, Goldfinger.' Bond's voice was furiously controlled.
Goldfinger stopped and looked slowly at Bond. The eyebrows were raised a fraction in inquiry. He moved back and stood still, saying nothing.
Bond went back to his ball. Now then, relax! To hell with Goldfinger. Slam that ball on to the green. Just stand still and hit it. There was a moment when the world stood still, then... then somehow Bond did hit it - on a low trajectory that mounted gracefully to carry the distant surf of the bunkers. The ball hit the bank below the green, bounced high with the impact and rolled out of sight into the saucer round the pin.
Hawker came up and took the driver out of Bond's hand. They walked on together. Hawker said seriously, 'That's one of the finest shots I've seen in thirty years.' He lowered his voice. 'I thought he'd fixed you then, sir.'
'He damned nearly did, Hawker. It was Alfred Blacking that hit that ball, not me." Bond took out his cigarettes, gave one to Hawker and lit his own. He said quietly, 'All square and three to play. We've got to watch those next three holes. Know what I mean?'
'Don't you worry, sir. I'll keep my eye on him.'
They came up with the green. Goldfinger had pitched on and had a long putt for a four, but Bond's ball was only two inches away from the hole. Goldfinger picked up his ball and walked off the green. They halved the short sixteenth in good threes. Now there were the two long holes home. Fours would win them. Bond hit a fine drive down the centre. Goldfinger pushed his far out to the right into deep rough. Bond walked along trying not to be too jubilant, trying not to count his chickens. A win for him at this hole and he would only need a half at the eighteenth for the match. He prayed that Goldfinger's ball would be unplayable or, better still, lost
Hawker had gone on ahead. He had already laid down his bag and was busily - far tod busily to Bond's way of thinking - searching for Goldfinger's ball when they came up.
It was bad stuff - jungle country, deep thick luxuriant grass whose roots still held last night's dew. Unless they were very lucky, they couldn't hope to find the ball. After a few minutes' search Goldfinger and his caddie drifted away still wider to where the rough thinned out into isolated tufts. That's good, thought Bond. That wasn't anything like the line. Suddenly he trod on something. Hell and damnation. Should he stamp it in? He shrugged his shoulders, bent down and gently uncovered the ball so as not to improve the lie. Yes it was a Dunlop 65. 'Here you are,' he called grudgingly. 'Oh no, sorry. You play with a Number One, don't you?'
'Yes,' came back Goldfinger's voice impatiently.
'Well, this is a Number Seven.' Bond picked h up and walked over to Goldfinger.
Goldfinger gave the ball a cursory glance. He said, 'Not mine,' and went on poking among the tufts with the head of his driver.
It was a good ball, unmarked and almost new. Bond put it in his pocket and went back to his search. He glanced at his watch. The statutory five minutes was almost up. Another half-minute and by God he was going to claim the hole. Strict rules of golf, Goldfinger had stipulated. All right my friend, you shall have them!
Goldfinger was casting back towards Bond, diligently prodding and shuffling through the grass.
Bond said, 'Nearly time, I'm afraid.'
Goldfinger grunted. He started to say something when there came a cry from his caddie, 'Here you are, sir. Number One Dunlop.'
Bond followed Goldfinger over to where the caddie stood on a small plateau of higher ground. He was pointing down. Bond bent and inspected the ball. Yes, an almost new Dun-lop One and in an astonishingly good lie. It was miraculous -more than miraculous. Bond stared hard from Goldfinger to his caddie. 'Must have had the hell of a lucky kick,' he said mildly.
The caddie shrugged his shoulders. Goldfinger's eyes were calm, untroubled. 'So it would seem.' He turned to his caddie. 'I think we can get a spoon to that one, Foulks.'
Bond walked thoughtfully away and then turned to watch the shot. It was one of Goldfinger's best. It soared over a far shoulder of rough towards the green. Might just have caught the bunker on the right.
Bond walked on to where Hawker, a long blade of grass dangling from his wry lips, was standing on the fairway watching the shot finish. Bond smiled bitterly at him. He said in a controlled voice, 'Is my good friend in the bunker, or is the bastard on the green?'
'Green, sir,' said Hawker unemotionally.
Bond went up to his ball. Now things had got tough again. Once more he was fighting for a half after having a certain win in his pocket. He glanced towards the pin, gauging the distance. This was a tricky one. He said. 'Five or six?'
'The six should do it, sir. Nice firm shot.' Hawker handed him the club.
Now then, clear your mind. Keep it slow and deliberate. It's an easy shot. Just punch it so that it's got plenty of zip to get up the bank and on to the green. Stand still and head down. Click! The ball, hit with a slightly closed face, went off on just the medium trajectory Bond had wanted. It pitched below the bank. It was perfect! No, damn it. It had hit the bank with its second bounce, stopped dead, hesitated and then rolled back and down again. Hell's bells! Was it Hagen who had said, 'You drive for show, but you putt for dough'? Getting dead from below that bank was one of the most difficult putts on the course. Bond reached for his cigarettes and lit one, already preparing his mind for the next crucial shot to save the hole - so long as that bastard Gold-finger didn't hole his from thirty feet!
Hawker walked along by his side. Bond said, 'Miracle finding that ball.'
'It wasn't his ball, sir.' Hawker was stating a fact.
'What do you mean?' Bond's voice was tense.
'Money passed, sir. White, probably a fiver. Foulks must have dropped that ball down his trouser leg.'
'Hawker!' Bond stopped in his tracks. He looked round. Goldfinger and his caddie were fifty yards away, walking slowly towards the green. Bond said fiercely, 'Do you swear to that? How can you be sure?'
Hawker gave a half-ashamed, lop-sided grin. But there was a crafty belligerence in his eye. 'Because his ball was lying under my bag of clubs, sir.' When he saw Bond's open-mouthed expression he added apologetically, 'Sorry, sir. Had to do it after what he's been doing to you. Wouldn't have mentioned it, but I had to let you know he's fixed you again.'
Bond had to laugh. He said admiringly, "Well, you are a card, Hawker. So you were going to win the match for me all on your own!' He added bitterly, 'But, by God, that man's the flaming limit. I've got to get him. I've simply got to. Now let's think!' They walked slowly on.
Bond's left hand was in his trousers pocket, absent-mindedly fingering the ball he had picked up in the rough. Suddenly the message went to his brain. Got it! He came close to Hawker. He glanced across at the others. Goldfinger had stopped. His back was to Bond and he was taking the putter out of his bag. Bond nudged Hawker. 'Here, take this.' He slipped the ball into the gnarled hand. Bond said softly, urgently, 'Be certain you take the flag. When you pick up the balls from the green, whichever way the hole has gone, give Goldfinger this one. Right?'
Hawker walked stolidly forward. His face was expressionless. 'Got it, sir,' he said in his normal voice. 'Will you take the putter for this one?'
'Yes.' Bond walked up to his ball. 'Give me a line, would you?'
Hawker walked up on to the green. He stood sideways to the line of the putt and then stalked round to behind the flag and crouched. He got up. 'Inch outside the right lip, sir. Firm putt. Flag, sir?'
'No. Leave it in, would you.'
Hawker stood away. Goldfinger was standing by his ball on the right of the green. His caddie had stopped at the bottom of the slope. Bond bent to the putt. Come on, Calamity Jane! This one has got to go dead or I'll put you across my knee. Stand still. Club head straight back on the line and follow through towards the hole. Give it a chance. Now! The ball, hit firmly in the middle of the club, had run up the bank and was on its way to the hole. But too hard, damn it! Hit the stick! Obediently the ball curved in, rapped the stick hard and bounced back three inches - dead as a doornail!
Bond let out a deep sigh and picked up his discarded cigarette. He looked over at Goldfinger. Now then, you bastard. Sweat that one out. And by God if you hole it! But Goldfinger couldn't afford to try. He stopped two feet short. 'All right, all right,' said Bond generously. 'All square and one to go.' It was vital that Hawker should pick up the balls. If he had made Goldfinger hole the short putt it would have been Goldfinger who would have picked the ball out of the hole. Anyway, Bond didn't want Goldfinger to miss that putt. That wasn't part of the plan.
Hawker bent down and picked up the balls. He rolled one towards Bond and handed the other to Goldfinger. They walked off the green, Goldfinger leading as usual. Bond noticed Hawker's hand go to his pocket. Now, so long as Goldfinger didn't notice anything on the tee!
But, with all square and one to go, you don't scrutinize your ball. Your motions are more or less automatic. You are thinking of how to place your drive, of whether to go for the green with the second or play to the apron, of the strength of the wind - of the vital figure four that must somehow be achieved to win or at least to halve.
Considering that Bond could hardly wait for Goldfinger to follow him and hit, just once, that treacherous Dunlop Number Seven that looked so very like a Number One,
Bond's own drive down the four hundred and fifty yard eighteenth was praiseworthy. If he wanted to, he could now reach the green - if he wanted to!
Now Goldfinger was on the tee. Now he had bent down. The ball was on the peg, its lying face turned up at him. But Goldfinger had straightened, had stood back, was taking his two deliberate practice swings. He stepped up to the ball, cautiously, deliberately. Stood over it, waggled, focusing the ball minutely. Surely he would see! Surely he would stop and bend down at the last minute to inspect the ball! Would the waggle never end? But now the club head was going back, coming down, the left knee bent correctly in towards the ball, the left arm straight as a ramrod. Crack! The ball sailed off, a beautiful drive, as good as Goldfinger had hit, straight down the fairway.
Bond's heart sang. Got you, you bastard! Got you! Blithely Bond stepped down from the tee and strolled off down the fairway planning the next steps which could now be as eccentric, as fiendish as he wished. Goldfinger was beaten already - hoist with his own petard! Now to roast him, slowly, exquisitely.
Bond had no compunction. Goldfinger had cheated him twice and got away with it. But for his cheats at the Virgin and the seventeenth, not to mention his improved lie at the third and the various times he had tried to put Bond off, Goldfinger would have been beaten by now. If it needed one cheat by Bond to rectify the score-sheet that was only poetic justice. And besides, there was more to this than a game of golf. It was Bond's duty to win. By his reading of Goldfinger he had to win. If he was beaten, the score between the two men would have been equalized. If he won the match, as he now had, he would be two up on Goldfinger - an intolerable state of affairs, Bond guessed, to a man who saw himself as all powerful. This man Bond, Goldfinger would say to himself, has something. He has qualities I can use. He is a tough adventurer with plenty of tricks up his sleeve. This is the sort of man I need for - for what? Bond didn't know. Perhaps there would be nothing for him. Perhaps his reading of Gold-finger was wrong, but there was certainly no other way of creeping up on the man.
Goldfinger cautiously took out his spoon for the longish second over cross-bunkers to the narrow entrance to the green. He made one more practice swing than usual and then hit exactly the right, controlled shot up to the apron. A certain five, probably a four. Much good would it do him!
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