The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CXIX: Walk a Mile
By Ray Adams
Lucky Archie had a nice lead on Poor Frank going into the last board of the evening. But Frank still had a chance if somehow he managed to come out with a top result:
In the auction, North’s 2NT showed the two lower suits, spades not being a possible lower suit. In this case, that meant North had to hold hearts and clubs. Poor Frank’s four heart call was certainly aggressive, as was North’s six heart bid, and who could blame Lucky Archie for doubling with his heart holding and the possibility of two outside tricks in his hand?
Unfortunately for the Lucky One, he did not get off to the best start on this hand, leading the ace of clubs. Poor Frank ruffed this and advanced the three of hearts, playing dummy’s eight when Archie followed with the seven. This took the trick and Poor Frank came to hand with the ace of spades. He played his last trump, inserting the ten when Lucky Archie followed with the nine. Once again, this held, as East showed out.
Next came a diamond to the ace, and Poor Frank now advanced the queen of spades to the king and a ruff in dummy. He returned to his hand with the king of diamonds to run spades through his rival. Lucky Archie was helpless. If he ruffed with his queen, Poor Frank would overruff and run clubs, losing only to the ace of trumps. And if Lucky Archie ruffed with the ace, Poor Frank would throw a club, ruff any exit by Archie, draw the queen of trumps, and claim. Six hearts doubled, bid, and made! This was a total top for Poor Frank and allowed him to win that evening’s laurels.
Later, when Poor Frank was discussing that evening’s hands with Janet, she told him how the crowd at the studio had reacted to this result.
“I love it, darling,” she said breathlessly. “Everyone’s calling Archie ‘Poor Archie’ now. And of course, they’ve named you ‘Lucky Frank.’”
“Well,” Poor Frank said, “it’s about time Lucky Archie found out what it’s like to walk a bridge mile in my shoes.”