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As might be expected in a land where the Divine Right of Kings superseded even the Law of Total Tricks, Pharaoh’s team was one of the leaders as the Delta Swiss moved towards its final rounds — particularly since, as the top seeds, they had been given a bye till the semifinal. As the opponents for the penultimate match took their seats, a puzzled look passed over the royal countenance.

Pharaoh leaned towards the Vizier and whispered in his adviser’s ear. “Who are these guys in the funny skirts and what’s the strange tongue they’re speaking? I can’t understand a word.”

The Vizier had anticipated his master’s question and done some research. “They say they’re from a place called Rome and the language is Latin, sir,” he said. “They arrived the other day in Alexandria port, checked out some bridge scrolls from the city’s library, and asked about the nearest game. And they must be pretty good; so far they’ve won every match.”

Pharaoh was skeptical. “They seem like barbarians to me, and not only because of the minis. Did you see how the two young ones who look like twins behaved at the buffet table during lunch break? They gulped down as though they’d been raised by a she-wolf.”

The teams were seated:  to continue reading… Click here