Double Trouble

Written by Peter Rowlett

Played at Market Harborough Bridge Club

Board: 3

Vulnerable: East-West

Dealer: South

QJ
J4
J1053
J7542
986543
K852
KQ7
107
AQ97
A9842
A8
AK2
1063
6
KQ10963
North
East
South
West
1
1
2
2
3
Pass
Pass
3
4
Pass
Pass
Double
Pass
Pass
Pass
Double Trouble
I promised her I wouldn't shout,
I promised her I'd cut it out
And there were no discords.
We jogged along amicably
And had no cause to disagree
Until those last three boards.
Board twenty and board twenty-one
Were not for us a lot of fun
And I myself upbraid,
For twice they called and twice, untroubled,
Their rocky contract I soon doubled
And both were duly made.

"Be steady now..." but I ignored her.
Board nineteen now (played out of order:
When will the memory fade?)
"One Club" growled South, with wolfish grin.
My partner, West (was it the gin?)
Now overcalled One Spade.

Her spade suit, chaps, was one of those
Which, had it been a suit of clothes
From Oxfam might be bought.
Then North, whose awful heap of rubbish
Was yet indubitably Clubbish
With Two Clubs lent support.

Mine was the best hand of the four.
I bid Two Diamonds - nothing more.
If calling weak, then West
Could rebid Spades and with a smile
Like navvies from the Emerald Isle
On Two Spades we could rest.

Emboldened by his partner's call
South did not hesitate at all
"Three Clubs" - He licked his lips.
West passed. She thought she'd better can it.
Her Spades were like a pomegranate:
Unappetizing pips.

North passed. Thus did I cogitate:
My partner's count? At least an eight,
Unless her reason's fled.
Five or six spades at least there'll be,
So Three Spades seems the bid for me..:
"Three Spades" is what I said.
South thought a bit. I could foresee
A whacking great big penalty,
Five hundred like as not.
"Four Clubs..." He wants to sacrifice!
Well, I'll oblige him, slice by slice.
I doubled like a shot.
West made the lead of diamond King.
I chuckled then like anything
Their call, I thought, is bluffed.
Three Aces and a King is four,
The Ace and King of Spades, Two more....
The diamond Queen South ruffed.

A trump to dummy then he played.
West signalled strongly with a spade
"Well, here's a funny thing"
I thought, "She isn't very smart!
Why does she signal for a heart
With spades, the Ace and King?"

I took my trump. With cat-like grace
I played my spade Ten to West's Ace...
And North's Queen held the trick.
He took my last trump out, and back
To dummy then he played Spade Jack.
I started to feel sick.

He overtook in hand. Too bad!
He'd got the cards my partner had!
Defence now fell apart.
Yes, one can lose a lot of tricks
When caught up in an idee fixe.
Declarer threw a heart.

Said partner (who must be obeyed)
"Three contracts doubled, all three made!
You must be getting old!
Only a man bereft of sense
Would settle for a duff defence
When we have Four Hearts cold!"