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Chapter 14

  • An hour and a half later most of the players were but little interested i_heir own play.
  • The whole interest was concentrated on Rostov. Instead of sixteen hundre_ubles he had a long column of figures scored against him, which he ha_eckoned up to ten thousand, but that now, as he vaguely supposed, must hav_isen to fifteen thousand. In reality it already exceeded twenty thousan_ubles. Dolokhov was no longer listening to stories or telling them, bu_ollowed every movement of Rostov's hands and occasionally ran his eyes ove_he score against him. He had decided to play until that score reached forty-
  • three thousand. He had fixed on that number because forty-three was the sum o_is and Sonya's joint ages. Rostov, leaning his head on both hands, sat at th_able which was scrawled over with figures, wet with spilled wine, an_ittered with cards. One tormenting impression did not leave him: that thos_road-boned reddish hands with hairy wrists visible from under the shir_leeves, those hands which he loved and hated, held him in their power.
  • "Six hundred rubles, ace, a corner, a nine… winning it back's impossible… Oh,
  • how pleasant it was at home!… The knave, double or quits… it can't be!… An_hy is he doing this to me?" Rostov pondered. Sometimes he staked a large sum,
  • but Dolokhov refused to accept it and fixed the stake himself. Nichola_ubmitted to him, and at one moment prayed to God as he had done on th_attlefield at the bridge over the Enns, and then guessed that the card tha_ame first to hand from the crumpled heap under the table would save him, no_ounted the cords on his coat and took a card with that number and trie_taking the total of his losses on it, then he looked round for aid from th_ther players, or peered at the now cold face of Dolokhov and tried to rea_hat was passing in his mind.
  • "He knows of course what this loss means to me. He can't want my ruin. Wasn'_e my friend? Wasn't I fond of him? But it's not his fault. What's he to do i_e has such luck?… And it's not my fault either," he thought to himself, "_ave done nothing wrong. Have I killed anyone, or insulted or wished harm t_nyone? Why such a terrible misfortune? And when did it begin? Such a littl_hile ago I came to this table with the thought of winning a hundred rubles t_uy that casket for Mamma's name day and then going home. I was so happy, s_ree, so lighthearted! And I did not realize how happy I was! When did tha_nd and when did this new, terrible state of things begin? What marked th_hange? I sat all the time in this same place at this table, chose and place_ards, and watched those broad-boned agile hands in the same way. When did i_appen and what has happened? I am well and strong and still the same and i_he same place. No, it can't be! Surely it will all end in nothing!"
  • He was flushed and bathed in perspiration, though the room was not hot. Hi_ace was terrible and piteous to see, especially from its helpless efforts t_eem calm.
  • The score against him reached the fateful sum of forty-three thousand. Rosto_ad just prepared a card, by bending the corner of which he meant to doubl_he three thousand just put down to his score, when Dolokhov, slamming dow_he pack of cards, put it aside and began rapidly adding up the total o_ostov's debt, breaking the chalk as he marked the figures in his clear, bol_and.
  • "Supper, it's time for supper! And here are the gypsies!"
  • Some swarthy men and women were really entering from the cold outside an_aying something in their gypsy accents. Nicholas understood that it was al_ver; but he said in an indifferent tone:
  • "Well, won't you go on? I had a splendid card all ready," as if it were th_un of the game which interested him most.
  • "It's all up! I'm lost!" thought he. "Now a bullet through my brain- that'_ll that's left me!" And at the same time he said in a cheerful voice:
  • "Come now, just this one more little card!"
  • "All right!" said Dolokhov, having finished the addition. "All right! Twenty-
  • one rubles," he said, pointing to the figure twenty-one by which the tota_xceeded the round sum of forty-three thousand; and taking up a pack h_repared to deal. Rostov submissively unbent the corner of his card and,
  • instead of the six thousand he had intended, carefully wrote twenty-one.
  • "It's all the same to me," he said. "I only want to see whether you will le_e win this ten, or beat it."
  • Dolokhov began to deal seriously. Oh, how Rostov detested at that moment thos_ands with their short reddish fingers and hairy wrists, which held him i_heir power… . The ten fell to him.
  • "You owe forty-three thousand, Count," said Dolokhov, and stretching himsel_e rose from the table. "One does get tired sitting so long," he added.
  • "Yes, I'm tired too," said Rostov.
  • Dolokhov cut him short, as if to remind him that it was not for him to jest.
  • "When am I to receive the money, Count?"
  • Rostov, flushing, drew Dolokhov into the next room.
  • "I cannot pay it all immediately. Will you take an I.O.U.?" he said.
  • "I say, Rostov," said Dolokhov clearly, smiling and looking Nicholas straigh_n the eyes, "you know the saying, 'Lucky in love, unlucky at cards.' You_ousin is in love with you, I know."
  • "Oh, it's terrible to feel oneself so in this man's power," thought Rostov. H_new what a shock he would inflict on his father and mother by the news o_his loss, he knew what a relief it would be to escape it all, and felt tha_olokhov knew that he could save him from all this shame and sorrow, bu_anted now to play with him as a cat does with a mouse.
  • "Your cousin… " Dolokhov started to say, but Nicholas interrupted him.
  • "My cousin has nothing to do with this and it's not necessary to mention her!"
  • he exclaimed fiercely.
  • "Then when am I to have it?"
  • "Tomorrow," replied Rostov and left the room.