7.0 An Everyday Experience
He came across to me in the semi-silence room of the club.
“I had a rather queer hand at bridge last night,” he said.
“Had you?” I answered, and picked up a newspaper.
“Yes. It would have interested you, I think,” he went on.
“Would it?” I said, and moved to another chair.
“It was like this,” he continued, following me: “I held the king of hearts——”
“Half a minute,” I said; “I want to go and see what time it is.” I went out and looked at the clock in the hall. I came back.
“And the queen and the ten——” he was saying.
“Excuse me just a second; I want to ring for a messenger.”
I did so. The waiter came and went.
“And the nine and two small ones,” he went on.
“Two small what?” I asked.
“Two small hearts,” he said. “I don’t remember which. Anyway, I remember very well indeed that I had the king and the queen and the jack, the nine, and two little ones.”
“Half a second,” I said, “I want to mail a letter.”
When I came back to him, he was still murmuring:
“My partner held the ace of clubs and the queen. The jack was out, but I didn’t know where the king was——”
“You didn’t?” I said in contempt.
“No,” he repeated in surprise, and went on murmuring:
“Diamonds had gone round once, and spades twice, and so I suspected that my partner was leading from weakness——”
“I can well believe it,” I said—“sheer weakness.”
“Well,” he said, “on the sixth round the lead came to me. Now, what should I have done? Finessed for the ace, or led straight into my opponent——”
“You want my advice,” I said, “and you shall have it, openly and fairly. In such a case as you describe, where a man has led out at me repeatedly and with provocation, as I gather from what you say, though I myself do not play bridge, I should lead my whole hand at him. I repeat, I do not play bridge. But in the circumstances, I should think it the only thing to do.”