The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part XLII:
Poor Frank Finds a Queen as Two Jacks Drop to Fell a Knave
By Ray Adams
This year’s Valentine’s Day just happened to fall on a Saturday evening and Poor Frank asked Janet, who had recently moved to the area, to play with him. Poor Frank’s heart jumped when she said yes. She was quite attractive and was just coming out of a bereavement period for her husband, who had been tragically killed in a traffic accident. If everything went well, perhaps Frank might impress her with his fine bridge play, but the last board found them pitted against Lucky Archie and fighting for first place. This was the crucial hand:
In the auction, 5♣ showed one or four aces, the king of trumps being counted as one ace. Poor Frank knew he was taking a chance, but it was important for him to show his skill to Janet and so he bid the slim slam, although he must have regretted his decision when the dummy came down.
Lucky Archie led the king of spades, immediately putting declarer on the spot. Poor Frank gulped as he won his ace. He saw he needed to find a very lucky lay of the cards to bring this contract home and he crossed to the ace of clubs at trick two with the queen of clubs. He led the queen of hearts, covered by the king and ace. Poor Frank’s heart slowed down a beat when Lucky Archie’s jack dropped on this trick.
Declarer cashed the king of clubs and threw the four of spades on the table. Lucky Archie won his queen and returned the spade ten. Poor Frank played low in dummy, ruffing in hand with the ten of hearts. He then led the three of trumps to dummy’s eight, picking up East’s penultimate trump. He ruffed the nine of clubs with the heart nine and smiled broadly when Archie’s jack fell. He picked up East’s last trump, the five, by leading the four to dummy’s six. This allowed him to cash dummy’s jack of spades and ten of clubs, as he tossed his two diamond losers and claimed. This was a top board and led to him and Janet winning that evening’s laurels.
“I had to drop two jacks to fell a knave,” he explained to Janet later.
“Well, you certainly are my hero,” she said, embracing him and kissing him on the cheek.
It slowly began to sink into Poor Frank’s psyche that not only had he felled a knave, but he had also found a queen for his heart.