Quitting Time

While playing bridge in London one day, Ely Culbertson began to suspect the other team of cheating by signaling to one another.

After watching in vain for scratches, tics, taps, and other telltale gestures, he finally realized that they were playing to a regular rhythm: information was being conveyed by the elapsed time between a bid was made or a card was laid, the length of the silence indicating the strength of a particular suit.

Once he was sure, Culbertson timed the next silent count, before continuing out loud: "Seven, eight, nine... that knocks me out, gentlemen," he remarked. "You play too high for me."

[He then promptly rose and left the table.]

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