[The Queen of Spades, Pushkin, A. S.]
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
...of a gamble
The following evening, Hermann appeared again at the card table. Everyone was expecting him. The generals and privy councillors abandoned their whist to watch such extraordinary play. The young officers leaped up from their sofas; the servants all congregated in the drawing room. Everyone clustered around Hermann. The other gamblers let their turns pass, impatient to see how Hermann would end. Hermann stood by the table, about to play alone against a pale but still smiling Chekalinsky. Each unsealed a new pack. Chekalinsky shuffled. Hermann chose his card and placed it on the table, covering it with a heap of bank notes. It was like a duel. Deep silence reigned all around. Chekalinsky dealt; his hands were trembling. To the right - a queen; to the left - an ace.