2018-04-04 16:45:05 UTC
I am beginning to re-read the Hornblower books, taking them in the order
of Hornblower's age, and so beginning with Mr Midshipman Hornblower. I
am prepared to be totally baffled by the naval jargon.
In the very first story (H. and the Even Chance) there is an item which
causes me bafflement about whist. H is playing whist in a pub and one of
the others is the senior midshipman on his ship who is described as a
mediocre player of whist. He is so designated because when he has an ace
he leads it and if he holds a singleton and four trumps will lead out
Well now . . . I was always taught (by my mother-in-law, who was an
excellent Bridge player) that it was a sin not to lead an ace. "If you
don't lead the ace your partner will assume one of the opposition holds
it" And as for leading the singleton, how else are you to get the best
out of your trumps?
Any whist players among us who can put me right about this?