Par for the course, p.1
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       Par For The Course, p.1
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           Peter Morris
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Par For The Course


  PAR FOR THE COURSE

  BY

  PETER MORRIS

  Copyright 2012 Peter Morris

  Par For The Course

  “Rupert!” snapped Bunnie, who by now had opened every window possible along the balcony and was returning to the table where she had left her coat, handbag and dearest friend, Nellie, or Fenella if you hadn’t been to prep school together.

  Rupert, standing with his feet so close together that he could have been a Royal Naval Button boy, melted back into the real world. He walked himself over towards Bunnie, who spoke at him.

  “Rupert I want you to shoot down to that little flower shop in the village and get something to freshen up the air in here.”

  Rupert smiled, but it was one of those blank smiles. He needed a little more.

  “I’ll go,” offered Fenella, knowing there was a good chance that Rupert might return with an aerosol.

  “Yes,” agreed Bunnie, “Take some money from the till.”

  “How much?”

  “Fifty should see to it.”

  “Fine!”

  Rupert adopted the position; the Royal Navy didn’t know what it was missing. But Rupert did. He turned as Harper O Neill strode through the door. One arm pushed and held the door open while the other, firmly wrapped around a girl, hoisted her into the clubhouse. They exchanged words, smiled, laughed, then parted; she behind the shuttered bar while Harper straightened himself, then strolled across the room.

  “Hello Spud,” he beamed, while stretching himself and pushing his arms out either side, clawing at the air, like a bear in a tee shirt. He was claiming his patch, without rubbing himself against all the corners and pissing on the tree stumps. The alpha male of the East Middlesex golf club, or so he liked to think.

  “Hello Harper,” answered Rupert.

  “Why do you call him Spud?” asked Bunnie. “Why don’t you use his proper name?”

  “Spud is his proper name, isn’t it? Spud!”

  “Yes, but why?” Bunnie hated having to ask a question twice.

  “Because I caught him doing something disgusting with a potato when we were at Marlborough.”

  Bunnie blushed, so did Rupert. Fenella saved the day.

  “Bunnie,” she gasped, as she crept across the floor as if trying to set a land speed record for running while crouched.

  “Whatever’s the matter?”

  “There’s no money in the till, well there is, but there’s only coins. All the notes have gone.”

  “What do you mean gone?”

  “I mean there’s none there. You know. Even that little pink purse is missing. Someone’s taken it all and…”

  One of the steel roller shutters, that protected the bar, rammed upward, then another and finally the third.

  “Hunter and Rupert will you please make sure that the tables and chairs are laid out correctly.”

  “I’ll get the flowers,” offered Fenella. “I’ll use my own money.”

  “No,” said Bunnie. “You stay with me. I’ll sort this money situation out.”

  “Why don’t the both of you go for the flowers?” suggested Harper.

  Had he not sighed while talking, his suggestion may have been seen as being more diplomatic. “Let’s wait for the club sec to arrive and he can sort out the old finances?”

  “Strike while the iron’s hot Mister O Neill!”

  “Yes, that’s all very well, but it’s the club sec who’s supposed to deal with matter’s like this.”

  “Indeed Mister O Neill, but my husband, The Major, had the honour to be club captain here the first day these links opened and I’ve served this establishment ever since. I do know something about procedure and people and how to deal with them. Especially these sort.”

  “But…”

  Bunnie held up her right hand. “I’ll have no more said on the matter. Mister O Neill will you go and ask the four members of staff to report to me please.”

  Bunnie shuffled herself well back into the seat; it was like the old cinematic gunfighter finding his spot in a corner, but less sawdust.

  “Nellie I want you to take notes, just in case we have to hand this over to the police.”

  “The police?”

  “Well yes. These people cannot be allowed to think they can steal their way through life.”

  “Be a dear and start on the tables please,” said Bunnie. Rupert launched himself into action, and then stopped, but Bunnie was already five steps ahead of him. “In a circle dear, in a circle.” Bunnie emphasised her words by drawing an imaginary circle in the air with the forefinger of her right hand. Rupert got the message and smiled.

  “I must tell you,” hissed Fenella. “I saw one of the girls putting money in her pocket.”

  “Which one?”

  “Her back pocket.”

  “No Nellie. Which girl?”

  “Oh! I’m not really sure. I only saw her from behind, she was bending over, but she was wearing blue jeans and put the money in her back pocket.”

  With that three of the girls came out from behind the bar and walked over towards Bunnie. Each of the girls had changed and was now wearing a white blouse and a black skirt, regulation staff uniform. Bunnie would have to wait and see if the fourth girl wore jeans. Bunnie sighed as the forth girl rolled through the bar door, because she wasn’t wearing jeans, she was wearing Harper. They were wrapped around each other, giggling and kissing and tickling.

  “Mister O Neill! Is your wife attending the function this evening?” asked Bunnie, in the same way that an archer loosed off an arrow at their target.

  “Who knows,” answered Harper, with a shrug of his shoulders. He released the girl, as if she were a bowling ball, before strutting his way over to Rupert.

  “I’ll get straight to the point,” began Bunnie, but someone moving about outside took her attention. She kept her sight fixed on the tiny gap between the grounds man’s garage and the ladies changing rooms. She was sure she had seen someone, and if she had, that is where he or she would pop out. ”Right,” began Bunnie. “Some money is missing from the bar till.” Bunnie didn’t bother looking at the four members of staff, which she normally would have done to gauge their reactions, she was convinced that suspect number one was lurking somewhere outside. “Did any of you take the money?”

  Bunnie kept her gaze fixed on the spot outside which worried Fenella. The four staff whispered and nattered among themselves.

  “It’s quite simple really,” announced Bunnie. “One of you has stolen some money and I am going to unearth the culprit.” Bunnie glanced at Fenella to make sure she was taking notes.

  “Stop thief!!!” roared Bunnie, as she stood and pointed at the man who had emerged by the ladies changing room. “Harper! “ she shrieked, while jabbing her finger towards the man, as if she was willing the hounds to a fox.

  Harper raced out the door and made his way to the front of the club while the staff and Fenella got as close to the windows as possible to see him corner his quarry.

  ”Well done Bunnie,” shrieked Fenella, while clapping her hands together like a seal at the circus.

  “You girls get back to work,” barked Bunnie, triumphantly.

  “Oh Bunnie that was marvellous. How did you know he would be there, and Harper, oh, it’s all just too exciting!”

  Bunnie sat herself down again and smoothed out her skirt.

  “We do have certain rules Nellie, here at the East Middlesex. No sports shoes, no jeans and no tee shirts with slogans on.”

  “Well spotted Bunnie,” hailed Fenella. “I wouldn’t have thought to look for those.”

  “And of course there’s the other obvious difference my dear.”

  “What’s that?” asked Fenella, who found that sh
e couldn’t stop staring at the entrance door because she had seen figures pass by the frosted glass windows and knew that Harper would be entering any second now with his quarry.

  “He’s black!” stated Bunnie.

  “Is he?” asked Fenella, who was actually staring at the man, who seemed to be laughing and joking with Harper. “Oh yes. I see what you mean.”

  “Call the police Nellie!” sighed Bunnie, as Harper and the man drew near. “Nine, nine, nine.”

  They stopped.

  “Eh...” began Harper, but Bunnie held up her hand as if she were on traffic duty at a busy crossroads.

  “Tell them we have apprehended a dangerous thief and would appreciate some assistance. If you mention my name we should get a favourable response.”

  “But...” insisted Harper, who again found himself cut short by Bunnie, but this time with a stare that superman would have been proud of.

  “Thank you Mister O Neill. Please leave this to me. Now, my man. Some money has gone missing from the bar till and I want you to return it to me now.”

  “Misses Warren, this is Felix Forrest,” explained Harper, horribly out of turn.

  “I don’t care who he is Mister O
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