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The two Texans offered congratulatory handshakes. "I can see the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED now," Jacoby cracked. "A great big picture of you two, and a line: 'The Greatest Bridge Players in the World.' "
I said, "Jim, I don't say we're the greatest. Among the greatest, yes. But not the greatest."
"Jack's right," the beaming Cave said modestly. "We don't want to say we're the greatest. If others want to say it, that's their business."
Boy, were we having fun now!
And thus it was that the legendary team of Ray Charles Cave and John Edward Olsen entered the third phase of its short career in big-time bridge. We had started as wide-eyed innocents, hothouse flowers ready to wilt at the first dirty look from the opponents. And then we had discovered a secret weapon—aces and kings—and this had turned us into tigers. But now we were in the knockout finals, with a real crack at $20,000. We had almost beaten Erdos and Stone; we had given Ogust and Russell a run for their money; and we had eliminated the classy team of Jacoby and Baer. That night as we strolled around the hallowed halls of the Sands, we realized that we had entered the ultimate stage: we had become familiars, regulars, peers of some of the great names of bridge. Several international stars invited us to dinner. Sheinwold started calling us by our first names. Cave bumped into Oswald Jacoby and blurted out, "Hi, Ozzie!" and Jacoby didn't hit him. I came across Tobias Stone explaining a hand that had been played at another table, and he was saying, "As Jack said, the minute Lou made the slam bid, the match was over, mathematically over."
"Jack who?" I asked.
"Jack who?" Stone said, and slapped me on the shoulder. "Why, Jack you, you idiot!" Imagine! Tobias Stone had been quoting me to some of the bridge players.
Back in my room, I said to my wife, "You should have heard what Stony was just saying."