One afternoon when Banjo Eyes was playing against Al for big money he spotted me fishing for a ball in my pocket. "The boy's cheating!" he screamed. Al pretended not to believe it. They started arguing and Banjo Eyes called Al a liar. "Nobody can get away with that!" Al yelled, turning red in the face and swelling up like a bullfrog. "On your knees and start praying!" When Banjo Eyes hesitated, Al reached into his golf bag where he stowed his gun during a game. Banjo Eyes dropped to his knees, shaking, and I thought Al would blow his head off. I started crying from fear. I admitted I'd cheated and begged Al not to hurt Banjo Eyes. He calmed down right away, dropped his gun back into his golf bag, slapped Banjo Eyes on the back and said, as if nothing had happened: "Come on, let's finish the game."
Al once shot himself accidentally on the course. I saw him do it.
He was lifting his golf bag when the revolver inside went off,
shooting him in the foot. Probably one of the clubs jarred the
trigger. Hopping around on the other foot, bellowing like a bull, he
was a terrible sight. They drove him to the Hammond hospital, but the
head doctor wouldn't let him stay more than a day. He was afraid some
rival gangster out to-kill Al would shoot up the place. I tried to
find out where they'd taken him so I could visit him, but they
wouldn't tell anybody. He was back in a week, limping a little, but
able to play nine holes. After that the boys double-checked to make
sure the safety catch was on before they deposited any gun in a golf
One afternoon Jake Guzik and Banjo Eyes turned up without Al. Jake
waddled up to the caddie line and asked: "Where's the kid who
caddies for Al?" I was at the end of the line, with about 20
boys ahead of me, but he jerked his thumb at me and told me to follow
him. I said I couldn't, it wasn't my turn. His fat jowls shook.
"You're caddying for me today, see," he said. "Let's
get going." What could I do? I walked past the line, with 20
pairs of eyes burning holes in my back.
< That Guzik, he was a lousy loser with a vicious temper. When he
took his first swing at the ball and it moved about 10 feet, he
kicked a tree. By the 5th hole he'd lost maybe a thousand bucks to
Banjo Eyes. He'd been cheating, too. When he had a bad lie and
thought nobody would notice, he'd shove the ball with his foot. On
the 6th hole he landed in a sand trap. "How do I get out of
here?" he asked me. I didn't know much about the game. I told
him so, but he figured I was holding out on him for some reason. I
had to say something, so I said to try blasting it out with a driver.
He got the ball to the top of the trap and it rolled back. He tried
three times and every time it rolled back. Then he blew up. He
grabbed the driver like a bat and went for me, yelling every dirty
name you could think of. I ran zigzagging across the fairway.
Luckily, he was too fat and slow to catch me or I think he would have
killed me. He stopped finally, out of breath, broke the club across
his knees and threw the pieces at me. I stayed close to the clubhouse
while he played the last holes with another caddie. When he finished,
I got up enough nerve to ask for the money he owed me. He just