All of Kintaro’s senses tingled when he heard Maurice of Nassau, leader of the rebellious Low Countries, mention the word golf.

“Let’s make this deal interesting,” Maurice continued, “we shall play a golf tournament, and if you win, I will send your Shogun the biggest canon the world has ever seen. If I win, Netherlands will build a church in your country as big as any in Europe.”

Kintaro considered carefully. Amsterdam’s largest cathedral,¬†Oude Kerk, in disrepair after being looted by Calvinists, was no where near as impressive as Kyoto’s temples, and would crumble in the first quake. At any rate, Kintaro had a master swing with clubs and balls to match.

“Agreed!” Kintaro replied confidently.

Maurice clapped his hands, “Excellent! The tournament will be held on the Royal Course one month hence.”

Charlotte who was standing next to the throne whispered, “but Lord, we don’t have the biggest canon in the world. The English do.”

“My dear,” Maurice replied, “I never lose!”

–> Chapter 12