The last match of the Delta Swiss, pitting Poppa Jake’s Boys against the Pharaoh’s heavily-favored foursome, was about to begin when the Vizier rose to make an announcement. A hush fell over the assembled throng: The Vizier spoke for Pharaoh, so every word was heeded.

“Unfortunately, one of our players is indisposed,” the Vizier said, his voice ringing across the hall. “Little Joe will be replaced by Fatma.”

The buzz that raced through the assembly was a mixture of puzzlement and anticipation.

“Fatma, who is she?” one Royal Hanger-On asked.

“All I know is that she came as a kibitzer, not a player,” replied another. “Rumor has it that she is the big winner in the harem’s daily game of Go Fish, and Little Joe is trying to teach her bridge. Wonder what happened to him.  I just hope he hasn’t made some really fatal error that would earn him a date with those Nile crocodiles.”

It wasn’t long before the newcomer, clothed all in black like a Bedouin woman with only the eyes and the bridge of the nose visible behind a veil, got a chance to display good dummy play.  She was in an ambitious contract of 6♣ reached after Big Rube, in the East seat, had bid hearts at the 5-level.  Click Hereto continue reading