The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part LXXXI: The Curse of the Crocodile I
By Ray Adams
A week or so back, Poor Frank and Janet viewed a movie called “The Curse of the Crocodile.” This was a scary B movie in which the main character has to overcome a curse put on him by a crocodile that had once been a human wizard. Poor Frank enjoyed holding Janet tight in the frightening parts, but suffered an unfortunate side effect: he had bad dreams for several days after. Even so, Poor Frank never expected the Curse of the Crocodile to affect him in real life. Then the following hand came up:
Lucky Archie cashed the ace and king of spades to start the defense against Poor Frank’s 4♥ contract. Poor Frank ruffed the third round. Declarer saw that he would most likely go down as he had two unavoidable diamond losers. On the other hand, there was a chance for an endplay if he handled the cards carefully.
At trick four, he casually led a diamond to dummy’s ace, hoping that his opponents would fail to unblock. He was greatly relieved to see Lucky Archie follow with the five and East with the three.
Poor Frank then drew trumps in two rounds and cashed the top three clubs, sluffing a diamond from dummy. Now came the key play of the hand. He led a low diamond towards dummy’s nine. Lucky Archie was set to play the jack. This was what Poor Frank was hoping for, because if East had the doubleton queen, then this player would be endplayed and forced to give Poor Frank a ruff and a sluff, allowing him to waltz home with the contract.
Unfortunately for our hero, the king of diamonds fell out of Lucky Archie’s hand, swallowing his partner’s queen in crocodile fashion. Lucky Archie now cashed the jack of diamonds to set Poor Frank.
“Nice play, Archie,” Frank said to his rival. “I thought I had it made.”
“Stop making fun of me, Frank,” Archie replied. “You saw that king drop out of my hand.”
It was then that Poor Frank realized that somehow the Curse of the Crocodile had followed him out of the movie theater into the bridge club.