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Chapter 13

  • For two days after that Rostov did not see Dolokhov at his own or a_olokhov's home: on the third day he received a note from him:
  • As I do not intend to be at your house again for reasons you know of, and a_oing to rejoin my regiment, I am giving a farewell supper tonight to m_riends—come to the English Hotel.
  • About ten o'clock Rostov went to the English Hotel straight from the theater,
  • where he had been with his family and Denisov. He was at once shown to th_est room, which Dolokhov had taken for that evening. Some twenty men wer_athered round a table at which Dolokhov sat between two candles. On the tabl_as a pile of gold and paper money, and he was keeping the bank. Rostov ha_ot seen him since his proposal and Sonya's refusal and felt uncomfortable a_he thought of how they would meet.
  • Dolokhov's clear, cold glance met Rostov as soon as he entered the door, a_hough he had long expected him.
  • "It's a long time since we met," he said. "Thanks for coming. I'll just finis_ealing, and then Ilyushka will come with his chorus."
  • "I called once or twice at your house," said Rostov, reddening.
  • Dolokhov made no reply.
  • "You may punt," he said.
  • Rostov recalled at that moment a strange conversation he had once had wit_olokhov. "None but fools trust to luck in play," Dolokhov had then said.
  • "Or are you afraid to play with me?" Dolokhov now asked as if guessin_ostov's thought.
  • Beneath his smile Rostov saw in him the mood he had shown at the Club dinne_nd at other times, when as if tired of everyday life he had felt a need t_scape from it by some strange, and usually cruel, action.
  • Rostov felt ill at ease. He tried, but failed, to find some joke with which t_eply to Dolokhov's words. But before he had thought of anything, Dolokhov,
  • looking straight in his face, said slowly and deliberately so that everyon_ould hear:
  • "Do you remember we had a talk about cards… 'He's a fool who trusts to luck,
  • one should make certain,' and I want to try."
  • "To try his luck or the certainty?" Rostov asked himself.
  • "Well, you'd better not play," Dolokhov added, and springing a new pack o_ards said: "Bank, gentlemen!"
  • Moving the money forward he prepared to deal. Rostov sat down by his side an_t first did not play. Dolokhov kept glancing at him.
  • "Why don't you play?" he asked.
  • And strange to say Nicholas felt that he could not help taking up a card,
  • putting a small stake on it, and beginning to play.
  • "I have no money with me," he said.
  • "I'll trust you."
  • Rostov staked five rubles on a card and lost, staked again, and again lost.
  • Dolokhov "killed," that is, beat, ten cards of Rostov's running.
  • "Gentlemen," said Dolokhov after he had dealt for some time. "Please plac_our money on the cards or I may get muddled in the reckoning."
  • One of the players said he hoped he might be trusted.
  • "Yes, you might, but I am afraid of getting the accounts mixed. So I ask yo_o put the money on your cards," replied Dolokhov. "Don't stint yourself,
  • we'll settle afterwards," he added, turning to Rostov.
  • The game continued; a waiter kept handing round champagne.
  • All Rostov's cards were beaten and he had eight hundred rubles scored u_gainst him. He wrote "800 rubles" on a card, but while the waiter filled hi_lass he changed his mind and altered it to his usual stake of twenty rubles.
  • "Leave it," said Dolokhov, though he did not seem to be even looking a_ostov, "you'll win it back all the sooner. I lose to the others but win fro_ou. Or are you afraid of me?" he asked again.
  • Rostov submitted. He let the eight hundred remain and laid down a seven o_earts with a torn corner, which he had picked up from the floor. He wel_emembered that seven afterwards. He laid down the seven of hearts, on whic_ith a broken bit of chalk he had written "800 rubles" in clear uprigh_igures; he emptied the glass of warm champagne that was handed him, smiled a_olokhov's words, and with a sinking heart, waiting for a seven to turn up,
  • gazed at Dolokhov's hands which held the pack. Much depended on Rostov'_inning or losing on that seven of hearts. On the previous Sunday the ol_ount had given his son two thousand rubles, and though he always dislike_peaking of money difficulties had told Nicholas that this was all he coul_et him have till May, and asked him to be more economical this time. Nichola_ad replied that it would be more than enough for him and that he gave hi_ord of honor not to take anything more till the spring. Now only twelv_undred rubles was left of that money, so that this seven of hearts meant fo_im not only the loss of sixteen hundred rubles, but the necessity of goin_ack on his word. With a sinking heart he watched Dolokhov's hands an_hought, "Now then, make haste and let me have this card and I'll take my ca_nd drive home to supper with Denisov, Natasha, and Sonya, and will certainl_ever touch a card again." At that moment his home life, jokes with Petya,
  • talks with Sonya, duets with Natasha, piquet with his father, and even hi_omfortable bed in the house on the
  • Povarskaya rose before him with such vividness, clearness, and charm that i_eemed as if it were all a lost and unappreciated bliss, long past. He coul_ot conceive that a stupid chance, letting the seven be dealt to the righ_ather than to the left, might deprive him of all this happiness, newl_ppreciated and newly illumined, and plunge him into the depths of unknown an_ndefined misery. That could not be, yet he awaited with a sinking heart th_ovement of Dolokhov's hands. Those broad, reddish hands, with hairy wrist_isible from under the shirt cuffs, laid down the pack and took up a glass an_ pipe that were handed him.
  • "So you are not afraid to play with me?" repeated Dolokhov, and as if about t_ell a good story he put down the cards, leaned back in his chair, and bega_eliberately with a smile:
  • "Yes, gentlemen, I've been told there's a rumor going about Moscow that I'm _harper, so I advise you to be careful."
  • "Come now, deal!" exclaimed Rostov.
  • "Oh, those Moscow gossips!" said Dolokhov, and he took up the cards with _mile.
  • "Aah!" Rostov almost screamed lifting both hands to his head. The seven h_eeded was lying uppermost, the first card in the pack. He had lost more tha_e could pay.
  • "Still, don't ruin yourself!" said Dolokhov with a side glance at Rostov as h_ontinued to deal.