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!"