The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XLI: Lucky Archie and the Queen of Hearts
By Ray Adams
Local bridge buffs have long known that their club is a regular hotbed for rumors. Thus it came as no one’s surprise when the local grapevine had it that Lucky Archie and the Queen of Hearts were an item. It all started because of the following board:
Lucky Archie and his partner took advantage of the favorable vulnerability to push Poor Frank and his partner to the five level. North tried 6♦ based on his spade ace and great diamond support.
Lucky Archie led the four of spades, taken by declarer’s king. Poor Frank cashed the ace of hearts and the ace of clubs, entering dummy with the diamond king. He sluffed his last club on the ace of spades and ruffed a club. He recrossed to the diamond ten and ruffed dummy’s last club. When he led a heart, Lucky Archie won his queen but now found he had to lead either a club or a spade. Either one gave declarer a ruff and a sluff and allowed him to claim this bold slam. This excellent result meant that Poor Frank won that evening’s laurels.
It did not take East long to berate his partner. “Archie, you dolt!” he said. “You had two chances to get rid of the queen. You could have tossed her on the ace of hearts or you might have jettisoned her when he led a trump to the ten. Couldn’t you see she was just in the way? Are you in love with her or something?”
This is how the rumor about Lucky Archie and the Queen of Hearts got started. At first Lucky Archie was embarrassed, but later he realized that this was the first time anyone had even implied that he might be involved with a good-looking lady who frequented bridge circles. He became quite flattered by this suggestion and took to carrying the pasteboard likeness of the Queen of Hearts in his wallet and showing it to friends and strangers alike as “his special girl.”
Lucky Archie and Poor Frank would like to thank Ralph Jungwirth of Modesto, California, for finding this special hand for them to play.