Bridge Fiction by David Bird
Madame Baguette’s Return
‘AH, MATRON!’ exclaimed Grace The ace of hearts was led and the only chance was to allow the jack of clubs
Doulton. ‘You’ll never guess who is paying Matron laid down her dummy. ‘I couldn’t to win. With a bit of luck, the defenders
us a visit this evening.’ believe it when you weren’t doubled!’ she might then end up with two diamond
‘Go on, surprise me,’ replied the Matron. exclaimed. ‘My hand is so weak.’ tricks.
‘I’ll give you a small clue,’ Grace Madame Baguette’s eyes lit up when she Madame Baguette nodded her head
Doulton continued. ‘It’s a female and — saw the king of diamonds nestling in the resignedly when West’s eight of clubs ap-
this will make it easy — a former bridge dummy, not to mention three trumps. peared on the table. She would now need
partner of yours.’ Goodness me, the Matron really had no to score three diamond tricks. How did
‘Goodness me, Madame Baguette!’ ex- idea about the game. Did she not realise the suit lie? East had started with seven
claimed the Matron. ‘I hope she doesn’t that her partner must have a fabulous hearts, one spade and one club. So, she
still smoke those disgusting French hand to leap to the six-level? Why on earth held four diamonds!
cigarettes.’ should she fear a double? Madame Baguette led the two of
‘They’re no worse than my husband’s ‘Mind you, we are vulnerable,’ con- diamonds from her hand and was
pipe,’ Grace Doulton replied. ‘You can tinued the Matron. ‘It could be quite delighted to see the eight appear on her
smell that from twenty yards away. Still, expensive, even without a double.’ left. If this card was accompanied by the
no-one seems to complain about it.’ Madame Baguette ruffed the heart lead queen, jack or ten, the slam would now be
No, thought the Matron, they wouldn’t in her hand and proceeded to draw trumps made. She covered with dummy’s nine,
dare. in three rounds. She then played the ace won by East’s ten, and ruffed the heart
‘Anyway, come over to School House and king of clubs, wincing when East return. A diamond to dummy’s king
around seven o’clock and I’ve arranged a showed out on the second round. If clubs dropped West’s jack and a finesse of the
bit of supper, followed by a nice ladies had broken 3-2, she could have set up the seven of diamonds then landed the slam.
bridge four. I’ll be playing with Dolly suit and crossed to dummy with the king The Matron smiled expansively as she
Benson. You can renew your old of diamonds. It would then have been a added up the score. ‘A very successful first
partnership with Madame Baguette.’ simple matter to discard two diamond rubber for us, partner!’ she exclaimed. ‘My
The game had not been long underway losers on the long clubs. Ah well, perhaps game has improved so much since I
when this deal arrived: Grace would misdefend when a third started playing with Stefan, the young
round of clubs was played. German master.’
Madame Baguette led the jack of clubs Madame Baguette made no comment as
Game All. Dealer East. and pushed the card slightly to her left, she replaced the top of her scoring pen.
´ 854 hoping that this would encourage Grace Had the Matron played any hands so far?
™ 83 Doulton to win the trick. The Headmaster’s Her bidding was no better than when they
t K95 wife paused to assess the situation. If she used to play together and she had already
® 10 9 7 5 3 won with the queen of clubs, dummy’s last misdefended once.
´ 10 7 3 ´ 2 two clubs would be good. Declarer would ‘I cut out Madge Warner’s bridge column
™ A 10 7 2 N ™ KQJ9654 make six trump tricks, the ace-king of every week,’ continued the Matron. ‘I’ve
t J8 S t Q 10 6 4 diamonds and four club tricks — enough nearly filled two scrapbooks already. It’s
® Q862 ® 4 for the contract. Strange as it seemed, her the only way to improve your game!’ r
t A732 ADVERTISEMENTS
® AKJ Although staff of English Bridge and the staff of Danby Advertising (Advertising Agent for English
Bridge) take all reasonable precautions to protect the interests of readers by ensuring as far as prac-
ticable that advertisements in the pages of English Bridge are bona fide, the magazine and its pub-
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Grace The Dolly Madame these advertisements are printed as part of the magazine, or are in the form of inserts. Legal reme-
dies are available if redress is sought, and readers who have complaints should address them to the
Doulton Matron Benson Baguette
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4™ Pass Pass 6´ exchange rate fluctuations, or tax changes.
www.ebu.co.uk April 2013 English Bridge 7