Following on from last week:
“Captain Molesworth had a bright idea – he would play another round. He did this seventh round in 104 strokes and argued that he had now done six rounds in 646 strokes, if you didn’t count the first round. It was now 5.30p.m. He walked home, arrived at 6.40, and spent part of the evening playing billiards. The dispute was about whether he was entitled to play the extra round. Some spectators had gone home after the sixth round convinced that the bet had already been decided. The confusion was summarised in The Field: ‘Captain Molesworth’s backers say that the match was to play six rounds in one day, between the hours of daylight and dark: and, therefore, it did not matter how many rounds he played, if six rounds were played in under 660 strokes, and that he was entitled to leave out the first or any other round, so long as six whole rounds were done in under the number. The other side contended that, as six rounds were played, and the number of strokes taken was over 660, the match was lost. A case will be drawn, and the matter referred.’ A referee had been agreed when the match was originally made. He now read and assessed the case before him: ‘You will observe the first six rounds are 662 strokes, the best six 644, the last consecutive 646. Say whether Captain Molesworth has won or lost the match you made, and give your opinion.’ The referee gave his reply: ‘I think Captain Molesworth has won; if, as I understood the match, Captain Molesworth was to do six rounds in the day in 660 strokes, he was entitled to play a dozen rounds (if he could) till he did six within the number.’ So Captain Molesworth won his bet.