The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXVIII: The Archie Who Had Too Much
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank and Lucky Archie were in a virtual tie for first when the last hand of the evening came up. Poor Frank became declarer in a doubled game after a very contentious auction.
North’s 3H bid was definitely on the aggressive side and it led Poor Frank to compete to 4H, an action which caused Lucky Archie to slam his double card on the table.
“You are going down, Frankie baby,” he said as he led the ace of diamonds, “and I am going to win tonight.”
The Lucky One grimaced when he saw the queen of diamonds in the dummy. East played the eight on this trick, suggesting an original holding of four diamonds. Now he cashed the ace of clubs and, since it looked as though South had started with only one diamond, exited with a small trump. Poor Frank won the king and returned the queen. Lucky Archie won his ace and got out with his last small trump. He looked at Poor Frank and grinned, certain that he was going to get a spade or a diamond and set his rival.
Poor Frank looked thoughtful and turned to Archie. “You know, sometimes a person can have too much in the way of riches,” he said. “And then he has to spend all his time guarding what he has. There are times when he just can’t do it.”
“You should knock off the fairy tales and play better bridge,” Archie replied.
Poor Frank nodded his head. He led a club to the jack, cashed dummy’s queen, and returned to his hand with the ace of spades. Lucky Archie was humming to himself, happy with what he perceived to be the ultimate outcome of this hand.
Poor Frank now cashed the king of clubs and led his penultimate trump. Lucky Archie threw a small spade on this. He was now down to the king of diamonds and the queen and jack of spades. His smile suddenly disappeared when Poor Frank led his last trump. He had to save the king of diamonds, so he tossed his jack of spades, hoping that East had the ten.
East did have this card, but it fell on the ace along with Lucky Archie’s queen when Poor Frank led a spade. Dummy’s nine now took the game going trick and Poor Frank easily won that evening’s laurels with this top board.
“Sometimes it’s better to be poor and humble than rich and arrogant and lose what you value most,” Poor Frank said to his rival. And for once, Lucky Archie was speechless.