Join Bridge Winners
MAD BRIDGE 5: The Sixth Week

Don Draper was pleased with the progress being made by his young protege, Peggy Olson. On the one hand, she'd successfully made the tough transition from the secretarial pool to the creative staff, where she had become the most productive of the junior copywriters. On the other, he card-play technique had sharpened considerably, particularly since she'd started reading Alfred Sheinwold's “Five Weeks to Winning Bridge”.

She was certainly gaining confidence at the table, and was able to push back when Roger Sterling, who believed that women's rights ended at the entrance to the powder room, tried to push her around. Don was only afraid that she was becoming too self-assured too fast, and that she'd soon start asking for equal pay with her male colleagues, who certainly didn't work longer, or harder or more effectively that she. That might let the genie out of the bottle – or in this case the Jeannie, Suzie, Margie, Maggie and the rest. Sterling Cooper certainly wasn't ready to let all of the girls out of the pool now or anytime sooner. 

“I've gotta do something to keep her in her place, but not too firmly,” he'd confided in Roger the other day without letting on she was mumbling things no Brooklyn girl like her had the right to suggest, about female equality all the time now, particularly since she'd started dating that long-haired kid from the East Village.The opportunity came on Friday, when the usual after-lunch game was a little rushed so that he and Rog could skip out to the neighborhood saloon for a couple of quickies with the guys from the other agencies.

Joan
10984
8
Q10865
K103
Peggy
QJ73
Q109
A73
976
Roger
K2
KJ643
J42
J54
Don
A65
A752
K9
AQ82
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

The bidding was short and simple – a 16-18 point no-trump from Don in South, 2NT invitation from Peg with 8 HCP, game from Don, who never ever turned down an invite, particularly if it was from a woman.

Joan Holloway, West, led the 6 which ran to Don's hand. Puffing on a Pall Mall (he had sworn off Luckies, if only because they are Roger's account), he considered ducking, then thought better since a club shift might be inconvenient. Next came a small heart, finessing dummy's T.

Winning the jack, Roger Sterling continued with the 4, the highest of two. He wasn't sure exactly why he'd done that, though it might be because Olson had mentioned something she'd learned from her book about present count. Don let the second diamond, which had been overtaken by Joan, hold the trick, but won the third in dummy. Now the Q, not covered, and the T. Roger still saw no point in covering in this position:

Joan
10984
Q8
K10
Peggy
QJ73
10
976
Roger
K2
K63
J54
Don
A65
A7
AQ8
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Joan Holloway could already feel the pressure. A club discard did not seem appealing, and she was loathe to get rid of one of her diamond winners. The process of elimination dictated that she pitch a spade, though that didn't seem too appealing with four of them in dummy. With a sigh, she finally placed the 8 on the table. Next came the Q, covered by the king and ace.

Don Draper continued by cashing the A, ratcheting up the pressure on Joan. Now reduced to T98 q KT, she was at an utter loss. After considerable cogitation, she decided on a small club, in the vain hope that Roger, whose affection for anything in skirts was well known around the office, was clutching the Q among his remaining cards.

Don smiled. “I really do hate to see a lady in trouble,” he said. “But as I keep telling our copywriters and artists, you have to read the situation correctly. With that he placed A on the table, dropping Joan's king for the game-going ninth trick.

As Joan was registering the score (she was always in charge of the bookkeeping), Roger seemed puzzled. “What if I had covered the T?” he asked. “You would not have been able to take the spade finesse.”“

It wouldn't make much difference,” Draper replied. “I'd just cash the two high hearts and play A and another spade to dummy's queen-jack. You'd have the K and a heart winner to take, but Joan, poor dear, would still be squeezed from her final four cards, T9 and KT. Discard a club and I drop the now singleton K, discard a spade and dummy get's two spade tricks."

Peggy Olson seemed stunned by her partner's display of card-reading prowess. “That's amazing,” she said. “I've never seen anything like that in all my reading. It's not in 'Five Weeks to Winning Bridge'.”

Roger Sterling snickered. “Of course it isn't, sweetie. That play doesn't come till the sixth week, at the very least.”

 

3 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top