Murder on the Golf Course Part 8

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Murder on the Golf Course Part 8

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Despite his best efforts all of Henry Higgins’ attempts to murder his wife on the golf course have failed. Henry has given up both golf and his homicidal plans. He is a broken man.

Now read on.

Soon it was autumn again. “Come on, Henry, it’s a lovely day,” said Mrs Higgins brightly. “What about one last round before the winter comes?”

Henry Higgins couldn’t be bothered. Alice had to literally drag him down to the golf club. Half-heartedly he played the opening holes. Disinterestedly he watched his wife’s drives sailing off into the distance. Apathetically he swung his irons. On the fairway of the sixth he gazed without interest at his ball as it lay nestling prettily in the short grass 130 yards from the green.

“Which club Henry?” smiled Alice Higgins cheerfully.

She held out an iron. Henry Higgins stared moodily at it. He saw his wife’s smiling, happy face; heard the birds chirping contentedly in the trees as the warm autumn sun shone benignly down upon him. A mere ripple of gentle warm breeze ruffled the smooth green grass of the fairway and sighed softly through the tall trees. Away in the distance contented cows chewed succulent English grass, as happy boat owners took advantage of the lovely weather to drift placidly along the limpid waters of the river.

Henry Higgins could not remember when he had last seen such an idyllic country scene. He couldn’t stand it. He took the club from his smiling wife’s outstretched hand and brained her with it.

Higgins stood over his wife’s crumpled form and laughed like a lunatic. “That’s the last time you’ll hit the fairway,” he giggled.

Then a mood of elated sanity enveloped him. What was he going to say? It was a practice swing! He had been taking a practice swing when for some incredible reason his wife had walked up beside him just as he was following through. Accidentally he had belted her with the club! It was an accident. It was a tragedy. It was a masterstroke!

Off he ran towards the clubhouse. “Fore, fore,” he yelled, frantically. He stopped, perplexed. What was it that he was supposed to shout? Oh yes. “Help, help,” he screamed.

James ‘Thumper’ Thwaites was the police golf champion. His nickname had been earned both by the awesome power of his tee shots and by his interrogation technique with suspected criminals. The Deputy Chief Constable looked at the accident report on his desk and frowned. He was suspicious. He called his assistant. “Get me Thumper Thwaites,” he said.

Thumper lumbered into the room.

“Thumper,” said the DCC, whose name was O’Brien, “if you were going to beat your wife to death with a golf club, which club would you use?”

Thumper Thwaites looked puzzled. He and Mrs Thwaites had been married for 16 years and although they had had their disagreements he thought that beaning her with a golf club was going a bit far. “I’m not sure I quite follow your drift, sir.”

“Put it this way Thumper. If you and the missus had a little argument and you decided to get her undivided attention by smacking her with a golf club, would you use a six iron?”

Thumper’s brow furrowed. He thought deeply. “No,” he said finally, “I play long chip and runs with my six iron. You could ruin the edge.”

O’Brien threw the file to him. “Have a look at this one Thumper. Chap called Higgins – Henry Higgins. Chaps at the golf club reckon he’d been acting a bit odd of late, skulking around in the rough with a maniac grin on his face and so on, and then suddenly his wife ends up as a movable obstruction on the sixth. See what you can dig up.”

It was the following morning that Thumper Thwaites looked reflectively at the patch of fairway, now tastefully surrounded by G.U.R. markers where Alice Higgins had fallen. He inspected the ground, dry and dusty after the long hot summer, and looked towards the pin. In his hand, he held the pathologist’s report. Returning to the clubhouse he inspected Higgins’ last few scorecards and noted that Higgins’ handicap was now fifteen. He had a quiet word with a couple of the regulars as they limbered up on the first. It was, he thought time he had a chat with Henry Higgins.

“What, deliberately murder my wife with a golf club?” expostulated Henry Higgins. “Why, that’s ridiculous!” They were standing on the spot on the sixth where the dreadful deed had been done.

“Tell me,” asked Thwaites, “with your medium irons do you favour a closed or an open stance?”

“Why, er, slightly closed actually,” replied Higgins, mystified. And why medium irons? he wondered.

“I’ve had a good look at the spike marks in the fairway here,” said Thwaites, pointing to the patch of ground where Alice Higgins had breathed her last. “The way you were pointing you’d have missed the green on the left by about thirty feet.”

“But it was a short iron, of course, I take an open stance with a short iron, and in any case, it was a practice swing,” babbled Higgins. “I, er, line up afterwards.” He was sweating profusely.

“A short iron eh?” said Thwaites. “That’s the next thing that bothers me,” he continued stolidly. “Why would a golfer of your ability, after all, you play off 15, take a six iron for a 130 yard approach to a dry green, slightly downhill with a bunker behind it?”

Higgins paled. ‘A six iron!’ he gasped. ‘It can’t have been. Oh hell, the stupid bitch must have given me the wrong club! It should have been a nine iron.”

“The stupid bitch in question being I presume the dear departed missus is it?” said Thwaites, heavily. “I find it hard to believe a golfer of your low handicap wouldn’t know the difference between a six and a nine iron – unless of course you were concentrating on something other than your next shot.”

Higgins clenched and unclenched his fists. He wished devoutly that he hadn’t killed his wife just so that he could have the pleasure of murdering her all over again.

 “Well if you’re so smart, then prove it,” he snapped.

“Oh I intend to,” said Thumper Thwaites.

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