The Kingdom of the Blind
It was a very cheerful little party dining that night at the Dormy House Club. There was
Granet; Geoffrey Anselman, his cousin, who played for Cambridge and rowed two;
Major Harrison, whose leave had been extended another three weeks; and the secretary of
the club, who made up the quartette.
"By-the-bye, where were you this afternoon, Captain Granet?" the latter asked. "You left
Anselman to play our best ball. Jolly good hiding he gave us, too."
"Went out for a spin," Granet explained, "and afterwards fell fast asleep in my room.
Wonderful air, yours, you know," he went on.
"I slept like a top last night," Major Harrison declared. "The first three nights I was home
I never closed my eyes."
Granet leaned across the table to the secretary.
"Dickens," he remarked, "that's a queer-looking fellow at the further end of the room.
Who is he?"
The secretary glanced around and smiled.
"You mean that little fellow with the glasses and the stoop? He arrived last night and
asked for a match this morning. You see what a miserable wizened-up looking creature
he is? I found him a twelve man and he wiped the floor with me. Guess what his
"No idea," Granet replied. "Forty, I should think."
"Scratch at St. Andrews," Dickens told them. "His name's Collins. I don't' know anything
else about him. He's paid for a week and we're jolly glad to get visitors at all these times."
"Bridge or billiards?" young Anselman asked, rising.
"Let's play billiards," Granet suggested. "The stretching across the table does me good."
"We'll have a snooker, then," Major Harrison decided.
They played for some time. The wizened-looking little man came and watched them
benevolently, peering every now and then through his spectacles, and applauding mildly
any particularly good stroke. At eleven o'clock they turned out the lights and made their
way to their rooms. Shortly before midnight, Granet, in his dressing-gown, stole softly
across the passage and opened, without knocking, the door of a room opposite to him.