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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 11 (February 1, 1936)

The Bridge Wrecker

The Bridge Wrecker.

But perhaps the adviser is at his best at Bridge. The Bridge adviser is perhaps the most deadly of the species. Although the rules of Bridge make it impossible for him to turn on the gas until the rounds are finished,
“Take It From Me!”

“Take It From Me!”

he is able to register all kinds of silent emotion during the debacle. When his partner trumps his trick he draws in his breath sharply and swivels his gaze to the ceiling like one who has been foully struck between the eyes with a slipper. If his partner is unfortunate enough also to be his wife he adds that expression seen in the illustrations to “The Book Of Martyrs” which seems to say, “How long, oh Lord? How long?”

No, gentlemen! An adviser never kicks his wife's shins under the table. His revenge is more subtle than that; he simply goes on living.

But he is at his best when the hand has been played and the agony of post-bridge arithmetic is over. The problem of how five claims to four aces can be substantiated is still rankling when he gets in his first punch.

“Now, look here!” he says, grabbing a fist-full of cards and squirting them in all directions. “If you'd led the two to dummy and taken it with your queen and thrown away your four and not trumped your own trick and led to strength through weakness and not reniegged and kept your ace until you'd played your king you would have gone down by only five instead of six. If—–”

“The agony of Post-Bridge Arithmetic.”

“The agony of Post-Bridge Arithmetic.”

“Good heavens!” says somebody. “Who would have dreamt that it's half past twelve?”

And then, while the ladies retire to put on their hats and coats until 1.15 a.m., the host wrestles with his conscience as to whether a host would, under certain circumstances, be justified in slipping rat-exterminator into a guest's whisky.

And so, take my advice—–. But, no! You never will.