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The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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THE GAMBLER
by FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY

Translated by CJ Hogarth




I

At length I returned from two weeks leave of absence to find
that my patrons had arrived three days ago in Roulettenberg. I
received from them a welcome quite different to that which I had
expected. The General eyed me coldly, greeted me in rather
haughty fashion, and dismissed me to pay my respects to his
sister. It was clear that from SOMEWHERE money had been
acquired. I thought I could even detect a certain shamefacedness
in the General's glance. Maria Philipovna, too, seemed
distraught, and conversed with me with an air of detachment.
Nevertheless, she took the money which I handed to her, counted
it, and listened to what I had to tell. To luncheon there were
expected that day a Monsieur Mezentsov, a French lady, and an
Englishman; for, whenever money was in hand, a banquet in
Muscovite style was always given. Polina Alexandrovna, on seeing
me, inquired why I had been so long away. Then, without waiting
for an answer, she departed. Evidently this was not mere
accident, and I felt that I must throw some light upon matters.
It was high time that I did so.

I was assigned a small room on the fourth floor of the hotel