Murder on the Golf Course Part 9

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Murder on the Golf Course Part 9

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After years of golfing frustration, watching his wife play better golf than him, Henry Higgins has finally succeeded in his evil plot. He’s killed her by hitting her on the head with a golf club. Henry insists it was an accident but Thumper Thwaites, the police golf champion is suspicious.

Now read on.

James, ‘Thumper’ Thwaites, was on his guard as he looked at the contorted features of Henry Higgins. He knew perfectly well that Henry Higgins had deliberately consigned his wife to the celestial fairways and he also knew that murderers, once they got the taste for it, tended to go on and obliterate a few more. Basically, understood Thumper, when they had done it once, they liked to go on and do it a few more times until they got it right. For your average murderer, it was a bit like nipping down to the practice range.

In the distance, they heard angry shouts. A fourball stood behind them waiting to play.

“I think it would be advisable to move away, Mr Higgins,” said Thumper Thwaites. “Don’t want anyone hit by a golf ball do we?”

The two men walked away into the trees. Thumper Thwaites was a superb amateur golfer and in a darkened cell with a suspect and a length of rubber hosepipe he had very few equals. He also had an honourable mention (grade three) at the police unarmed combat unit’s annual trials. Now he looked at Henry Higgins’ furious posture and took guard.    

“Come come now, Mr Higgins,” he said. “We all know that you did it deliberately.”

Staying out of range of the angry Higgins he took out a file. It was the pathologist’s report. He licked his finger, turned the page and said,“Contusional…occiputal…haemorrhage…ah hah! Here it is!” He jabbed his finger in triumph. “The edge of the club appears to have struck the deceased at an angle of 27 degrees!”

Higgins was mystified. “Don’t quite follow your drift,” he said.

“It’s perfectly obvious Higgins,” cried Thumper Thwaites. “The report is saying that the angle at which the clubhead struck poor Mrs Higgins was 27 degrees. Come on now Higgins, what’s your handicap?”

“Fifteen,” replied Higgins.

“Exactly! You see the angle of the clubhead is totally inconsistent with a proper golf swing – practice or otherwise. No serious golfer would ever follow through like that. It’s far too flat.”

Higgins thought of spending the next 15 years in a jail cell and suddenly the thought began to appeal to him. Fifteen years reading golf magazines, practicing his swing, imagining those perfect drives, those birdies, those eagles even, without ever having to actually hit the ball. No more slices or duffs: no more lost balls; never again a triple bogey. An end to bunker shots!

He turned gratefully to Thumper Thwaites. “You’re right, I confess. I did it. Take me to jail. I’m all yours.” Together they turned and strolled up the fairway.

“Tell me,” said Higgins, “what finally convinced you that I did it?”

“As I said, “ replied Thwaites, “it was the angle of the clubhead. High handicappers might have hit like that but never a real golfer.” They walked on in silence.

“I suppose it’s 20 years for me now,” ventured Higgins.

“Yes, I would imagine so. Better golfer than you was she?”

Higgins nodded.

“Well, you should mention that to the judge. He plays a bit of golf. Probably give you a couple of years off for extenuating circumstances.”

Suddenly Thwaites grasped Higgins by the shoulders. “Look, can I give you a bit of advice?”

“Yes, of course.”

“If they ever let you out, and let’s say you get married again and want to pop off Mrs Higgins number two,” said Thwaites, “you have to remember to keep your left arm straight and roll your wrists at impact keeping your clubface pointing left of the target in the follow through. If you’d done that I’d never have known.”

Higgins took an experimental practice swing. No matter how long you play golf, he thought, there’s always something to learn. They could see the clubhouse in the distance and they wandered on happily up the fairway for all the world like two men about to enjoy a pleasant round of golf.

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