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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Golf balls were disappearing from one course, and a cuddly thief eventually emerged as the suspect

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

Golfers at the Manito Golf Course were scratching their heads for days over The Mystery of the Disappearing Golf Balls.

They would walk up to where their balls should be, and find nothing but green grass.

Then they noticed that a certain dog – a setter – seemed to always be lurking in the area where the balls were last seen.

The setter always seemed to be either going to or coming from a group of small boys gathered in the trees off the fairway.

The golfers chased the dog, who easily eluded them while emitting derisive barks. When the golfers confronted the boys, they denied that the dog had touched any of the golf balls.

Finally, one golfer witnessed the dog grab a ball and run toward one of the boys in the woods. The boy petted the dog and “appeared to take something” from the dog’s mouth.

The golfer arrived and demanded his ball back, but the “boy’s eyes were round with innocence.” The boy emptied his pockets and failed to reveal a ball.

“He (the dog) must have plumb swallowed it,” the boy said.

Some people at the golf club were so mad that they telephoned the police and asked for permission to kill the dog.

“Can’t give it,” said the captain, with a laugh. “The dog’s got a license and has committed no crime warranting death.”

But a little bit of sleuthing later revealed the owner of the dog. When the father was told what was going on, understanding dawned on his countenance.

“So that’s how that small son of mine got all those golf balls,” said the father, who promptly put an end to the Mystery of the Disappearing Golf Balls.

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