The Adventures of Poor Frank, Part CLXXIII: Poor Frank Sheds a Tear
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank found himself in an unusual situation just the other night at the local duplicate club.
Poor Frank was very unhappy with his and partner’s bidding when the dummy hit the table. What was North’s 5♠ bid all about? That had forced him to pick a slam and probably he had picked the wrong one. 6♦ looked to be a much better contract. But here he was in 6♥ and West led the queen of clubs. Poor Frank won his king and hoped for a miracle in the trump suit.
A minor miracle did occur, for when he banged down his ace and king of trumps, West’s queen and jack fell. That was good, but it also meant Lucky Archie had an almost sure trick in the nine and seven of trumps. And declarer still had possible losers in spades and diamonds.
At trick four, Poor Frank led his jack of diamonds for a finesse, losing to his rival’s king. Back came a club, but Poor Frank ruffed, saving dummy’s ace. Now came a diamond to dummy’s queen. Declarer then cashed the ace of clubs, tossing a spade. He then cashed the ace and king of spades, and ruffed a spade, Lucky Archie helplessly following.
A diamond to dummy’s ace now put Poor Frank in dummy. Once again Lucky Archie had to follow. Then at trick twelve, the lead of a diamond couped Lucky Archie who had to play from his nine and seven of trumps in front of Poor Frank’s ten and eight. Yes, six hearts had been bid and made and Poor Frank was the evening’s winner.
Later that evening, as he discussed the hands with Janet, Poor Frank said, “It was bittersweet for me, sweetheart. I love to beat that creep, but it disturbs me when I have to do it his way. And by that I mean bid poorly and get lucky.” As he sat there, Poor Frank shed a tear.
“I know, darling,” Janet said, “but wait, I think there’s something in my eye.” And a second later, a lonely tear ran down Janet’s lovely face.