Poker
Gold Casino

Big Poker Site the gambler 65



  Big Poker Site



  Online Poker

  Poker Rooms
  Poker Rules
  Poker Hands
  Poker Odds
  Poker Glossary



  Poker Extras

  Poker Hints
  Poker History
  Poker Chips
  Poker Links



Poker Room


  Books

  The Gambler




seen her in this mood of humility and affection. True, the mood was the outcome of hysteria; but--! All of a sudden she noticed my ardent gaze, and smiled slightly. The next moment, for no apparent reason, she began to talk of Astley. She continued talking and talking about him, but I could not make out all she said--more particularly when she was endeavouring to tell me of something or other which had happened recently. On the whole, she appeared to be laughing at Astley, for she kept repeating that he was waiting for her, and did I know whether, even at that moment, he was not standing beneath the window? "Yes, yes, he is there," she said. "Open the window, and see if he is not." She pushed me in that direction; yet, no sooner did I make a movement to obey her behest than she burst into laughter, and I remained beside her, and she embraced me. "Shall we go away tomorrow?" presently she asked, as though some disturbing thought had recurred to her recollection. "How would it be if we were to try and overtake Grandmamma? I think we should do so at Berlin. And what think you she would have to say to us when we caught her up, and her eyes first lit upon us? What, too, about Mr. Astley? HE would not leap from the Shlangenberg for my sake! No! Of that I am very sure!"--and she laughed. "Do you know where he is going next year? He says he intends to go to the North Pole for scientific investigations, and has invited me to go with him! Ha, ha, ha! He also says that we Russians know nothing, can do nothing, without European help. But he is a good fellow all the same. For instance, he does not blame the General in the matter, but declares that Mlle. Blanche--that love--But no; I do not know, I do not know." She stopped suddenly, as though she had said her say, and was feeling bewildered. "What poor creatures these people are. How sorry I am for them, and for Grandmamma! But when are you going to kill De Griers? Surely you do not intend actually to murder him? You fool! Do you suppose that I should ALLOW you to fight De Griers? Nor shall you kill the Baron." Here she burst out laughing. "How absurd you looked when you were talking to the Burmergelms! I was watching you all the time--watching you from where I was sitting. And how unwilling you were to go when I sent you! Oh, how I laughed and laughed!" Then she kissed and embraced me again; again she pressed her face to mine with tender passion. Yet I neither saw nor heard her, for my head was in a whirl. . . . It must have been about seven oclock in the morning when I awoke. Daylight had come, and Polina was sitting by my side--a strange expression on her face, as though she had seen a vision and was unable to collect her thoughts. She too had just awoken, and was now staring at the money on the table. My head ached; it felt heavy. I attempted to take Polinas hand, but she pushed me from her, and leapt from the sofa. The dawn was full of mist, for rain had fallen, yet she moved to the window, opened it, and, leaning her elbows upon the window-sill, thrust out her head and shoulders to take the air. In this position did she remain for several minutes, without ever looking round at me, or listening to what I was saying. Into my head there came the uneasy thought: What is to happen now? How is it all to end? Suddenly Polina rose from the window, approached the table, and, looking at me with an expression of infinite aversion, said with lips which quivered with anger: "Well? Are you going to hand me over my fifty thousand francs?" "Polina, you say that AGAIN, AGAIN?" I exclaimed. "You have changed your mind, then? Ha, ha, ha! You are sorry you ever promised them?" On the table where, the previous night, I had counted the money there still was lying the packet of twenty five thousand florins. I handed it to her. "The francs are mine, then, are they? They are mine?" she inquired viciously as she balanced the money in her hands. "Yes; they have ALWAYS been yours," I said. "Then TAKE your fifty thousand francs!" and she hurled them full in my face. The packet burst as she did so, and

The Gambler page 64        The Gambler page 66


---