The Tailor-Made Girl/A Whist Party
A WHIST PARTY.
Mr. Galant (who is an authority at his club).—Are you fond of whist, Mrs. Bland?
Mrs. Bland (his hostess and partner).—Oh, immensely! I fear, though, I am a little out of practice.
Mr. Galant (who has his misgivings about ladies' whist).—Perhaps you would prefer a game of euchre?
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, no, indeed! I know how devoted you are to whist. Mr. Bland often speaks of your prowess.
Miss Fichu (one antagonist).—Oh, we must play whist. I shall be too proud if we win; and if we lose, it is only what we ought to expect.
Young Dabby (another antagonist).—Why, you know, Mr. Galant, it is really awfully plucky our standing up against you at all!
Mr. Galant (who does not see much sport ahead for himself).—Well, then, we'll get to work. Will you ladies cut for the deal?
Mrs. Bland (cutting an ace).—Oh, dear, low deals, and I've the very highest card in the pack!
Mr. Galant.—The deal is yours; ace is low in the deal cut.
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, yes, I remember now. How stupid of me!
Mr. Galant (involuntarily).—Don't mention it!
Mrs. Bland (looking at her cards).—Fancy my dealing such a hand to myself! Mr. Galant, I hope I have treated you better.
Mr. Galant (dryly).—Thanks.
Miss Fichu.—Have I got to lead? I do so hate to do that.
Young Dabby (encouragingly).—If you'll lead any one of three suits I'll agree to take it.
Mrs. Bland.—But beware how you lead the fourth, for that I shall win.
Mr. Galant (muses to himself).—Three aces on my left and one in my partner's hand. This is whist.
Mrs. Bland (later in the same hand).—Well, there's the queen, too. I like to use a suit up while it's fresh.
Miss Fichu. —So do I; it is so easy to remember about it then.
Young Dabby (trumping the trick).—Your queen is doomed, though, Mrs. Bland.
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, Mr. Darby, that isn't polite at all. Now, that I think of it, you played the knave on my king, didn't you?
Mr. Galant (faintly).—Yes, ma'am.
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, how stupid of me! I might have known.
Mr. Galant (at the end of the hand).—You had good trump cards, Mrs. Bland. I presume you did not notice my trump signal?
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, I had forgotten all about that. I must watch next time!
Miss Fichu.—Oh, is it my lead again? Let me see—"when in doubt lead trumps."
Young Dabby (approvingly).—A very good play, Miss Fichu.
Mrs. Bland.—But the trick is ours with my ace. Now, (fingering a card,) you led me something, Mr. Galant. What in the world was it?
Mr. Galant (whose misgivings have become certainties).—I can hardly tell you that, you know.
Mrs. Bland.—Of course not. How unfortunate that I do not recall it, though; it was a heart or a diamond.
Miss Fichu (facetiously).—Lead both.
Mrs. Bland.—I wish I might. I'll follow your example, and solve my doubt in trumps.
Young Dabby.—How charming of you, Mrs. Bland; I was so hoping you might.
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, Mr. Darby, did you want it?
Mrs. Dabby.—Above all things. Didn't you hear me applaud Miss Fichu's trump lead.
Mrs. Bland.—Of course you did. How very stupid!
Mrs. Dabby (complacently leading his cards with a jerk).—I believe the trumps are all out. And my spades are good. Can you take this—or this—or this—oh, I miscounted. Mr. Galant has the last spade.
Mrs. Bland (eagerly).—Oh, what does that do?
Mr. Galant (dryly).—It gives them four instead of five.
Mrs. Bland (quite relieved).—Oh, you have saved the day, Mr. Galant!
Miss Fichu.—And we have won the game, with two to spare.
Mrs. Bland.—Oh, is that really so?
Miss Fichu (on Young Dabby's arm later, promenading the rooms).—We have been playing whist with Mr. Galant. Do ask us who won four games out of five; we're too modest to proffer the information.
(At a summer resort the following season.)
Miss Parachute (to waiting friends).—Oh, dear; I felt sure Mr. Galant could make a fourth hand at our game of whist, and I just begged him to do so; but he says he doesn't know one card from another!