By Tom Sloper

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Column #59

American (2003 NMJL card). "As they're coming around into the final stretch, Esther is in the lead, with Nora in second. Wesley and Sophia lagging far behind. Wait, what's this? Nora's picking up speed, coming up fast, she's gaining on Esther... here comes the finish line... and it's Nora by a nose!"

Esther looked to be the clear leader, just two away from mah-jongg.

Nora, although showing possibilities, had quite a lot of catching up to do.

Then Nora hit a lucky series of picks. First 7D (throwing 6D) then a joker (throwing G). Esther discarded 9B. "Call."

Turning into the last long wall, 51 tiles to go, it was time to try joker bait. "Eight Bam." Nobody bit.

Wesley threw 7C. "Call."

Nora threw 9C.

Finally, a sign of life from Esther. She konged 1D from Sophia. She just needed 4C now. Still out front.

Nora picked and threw 3C. Esther didn't need it. Esther picked and threw in her turn, then Nora picked another joker. Nora threw her last 8B.

And now she was waiting for 5C or 7D. It was neck-and-neck, and you could see it in their movements, the way they watched as the others discarded. Esther picked and threw.

Nora picked 7C. As she redeemed her own joker, she claimed victory. "Maj! Fifty all!"

Nora trotted triumphantly to the victory circle

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.