Tug O' War

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Tug O' War

Season's greetings Sir R-----! Come take a glass of mulled wine to warm your spirits on this chill winter's night!

Will you also accept a wager to warm your blood?

It gladdens to heart to hear so sir!

I propose a game that oft puts me in mind of the banquet held in the great hall upon Mount Olympus to which I was invited as the guest of honour by Zeus himself! To say that the feast was lavish is a gross understatement indeed, but the mood at table was soured by his fellow gods' dissatisfied murmurings that a mere mortal be so elevated above them. To assert his authority and quiet their grumbling, Zeus challenged them to a contest of tug o' war; he against them one and all!
The sudden silence was palpable, with none of the assembled host daring to meet his gaze. To break the impasse I accepted the challenge upon their behalf, taking up one end of a fine gold chain whilst he took up the other.
He generously gave me a few feet upon my side and, whilst the contest lasted some several hours, I am not ashamed to confess that I eventually succumbed to his supernatural strength!

But I digress!

I shall place a draught on the fifth rank of this twelve by one chequerboard and toss a coin. If it lands on heads then I shall advance the draught by one square and if it lands on tails I shall retreat it by one. We shall continue in this fashion until compelled to remove the draught from the board, either by a toss of tails when it is upon the first rank or of heads when it is at the twelfth. In the former eventuality you shall have a prize of two of my coins and in the latter I shall have three of yours.

When I told the rules of this game to that appallingly gauche student who incessantly pesters me, presumably to promote his social standing by means of association, he behaved entirely to form and commenced upon wittering about how irritated he was about his peers playing upon his sympathies to engender support for their simply erroneous conclusions.

But enough of that parasite! Come, take another glass and mull over your chances!

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