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Queen of Spades is a secret malevolence. *
Latest fortune-telling book.

I
And in rainy days
they were going
Often;
Bent - God forgive them! –
by fifty
on the table,
and win,
and unsubscribe
Mel.
So, in rainy days,
they were engaged in
deed.

Once the playing cards at the Horse Narumova. The long winter night passed imperceptibly; We sat down to dinner at five o'clock in the morning. they, who had won, ate with great appetite; other, absently, We are sitting in front of their empty plates. But champagne appeared, conversation livened, and all took part in it.
- What did you do, Suria? - I asked the owner.
- Lost, as per usual. I must confess, I'm not happy: I play mirandole *, never hot, anything I do not confuse sobesh, and all the losing!
- And you've never been tempted? not razu not make scarves *?.. Your firmness astonishes me.
- And what Hermann! - said one of the guests, pointing to a young engineer, - he has never had a card in hand, he has never turned down any passwords, and sits with us till five o'clock, and looking at our game!
- Play interests me very much, - said Hermann, - but I'm not in a position to sacrifice the necessary in the hope of winning the superfluous.
- Hermann the German: it is prudent, that's all! - noted Tomsk. - And if someone I can not understand, it is my grandmother, Countess Anna Fedotovna.
- How? what? - shouted guests.
- Do not be reached, - continued Tomsky, - how my grandmother does not punt!
- But what's so surprising, - said Narumov, - that the old woman did not punt osmidesyatiletnyaya?
- Then you do not know it?
- Not! right, nothing!
- ABOUT, so listen:
You must know, that my grandmother, sixty years ago, I went to Paris, where she created a great fashion. People ran after her, To see la Vénus moscovite #; Richelieu * her volochylsya, and grandmother assures, he was nearly shot by her brutality.
At that time ladies used to play faro. Once at the court, she lost to the Duke of Orleans something very much. Once home, grandmother, removed the patches from her face and untying hoops, I informed my grandfather of her loss and ordered to pay.
My late grandfather, As far as I can remember, I was born grandmother's butler. He was afraid of her, like fire; but, I heard about this terrible loss, he lost his, brought scores, proved it, that in six months they had spent half a million, that there is no outside Paris have no near Moscow, nor Saratov estates, and flatly refused payment. My grandmother gave him a slap in the face and went to bed one, a sign of his displeasure.
The next day she sent for her husband, hoping, that the domestic punishment over it acted, yet she found him inflexible. For the first time in my life she came with him to the arguments and explanations; thought to shame him, condescendingly arguing, that debts and debts, and that there is a difference between a prince and a coachmaker. - Where! grandfather rebelled. Not, and only! The grandmother did not know, what to do.
She had shortly sign a very remarkable man. You have heard of Count St. Germain *, which tell so many marvelous. You know, he disguised himself as the Wandering Jew, the discoverer of the elixir of life and the philosopher's stone, and other. Mocked, some of the charlatan, and Casanova in his memoirs speaks, that he was a spy; however, Saint-Germain, despite its mystery, I had a very respectable appearance, and was a very kind man society. Grandma still likes him unconscious and angry, if you talk about it with disrespect. My grandmother knew, that Saint-Germain had placed a lot of money. She decided to pursue it. I wrote him a note and asked her to come immediately to the.
The queer old man immediately and found her overwhelmed with grief. She described him in the blackest colors the barbarity of her husband, and said at last, that her whole hope depended upon his friendship and kindness.
Saint-Germain thought.
"I can get you the sum you want, - he said, - but I know, you will not worry, not yet paid me, and I would not like to bring fresh troubles. There are other means: you can recoup ". - "But, my dear Count, - replied grandmother, - I tell you, that we have not any money left ". - "Money is not necessary, - replied St Germain: - if you please listen to me ". Then he revealed to her a secret, for which each of us would give ...
Young players have doubled attention. Tomsky lit his pipe, I inhaled and continued.
The same evening my grandmother went to Versailles, to play the Queen #. The Duke of Orleans kept; my grandmother excused, not paid her debt, to justify wove a little story and began to play against him. She chose three cards, s put one after another: All three have won her Sonic, and grandmother recouped completely.
- Case! - said one of the guests.
- Fairy tale! - said Hermann.
- It may be, powder cards? - picked third.
- I do not think, - replied Tomsky gravely.
- How! - said Narumov, - you have a grandmother, Three guesses which card a row, and you still have not learned from it its getting the secret?
- Yes, hell no! - she replied Tomsky - from her had four sons, including my father: All four players are desperate, and none of it has not opened its secrets; though it would not be bad for them and even for me.
But that's what I heard from my uncle, Count Ivan Ilyich, and what he assured me honor. late Chaplitzky, that very, who died in poverty, squandered millions, once in his youth lost - remember Zorich - around three hundred thousand. He was in despair. Grandmother, which has always been severe upon the extravagance of young people, once I took pity on Chaplitsky. She gave him three cards, so as, so he put them one after the other, and I took a solemn promise that will never play with him. Chaplitsky came to his winner: They sat down to play. He staked on the first card and won fifty thousand Sonic; bent passwords, slogan-pe, - I bounced back and was back in the win ...
However, it's time to sleep: a quarter to six.
Indeed, It has dawned: young men emptied their glasses and parted.
II
- It seems that gentleman is decidedly for the following *.
- What do you want, madame? They are cooler. #
small talk.

The old countess *** He was sitting in his dressing room before the mirror. Three girls around her. One held a pot of rouge, another a box of hairpins, third a tall can with bright red ribbons. The Countess had not the slightest pretensions to beauty, long-faded, but kept all the habits of her youth, strictly followed the fashions of the seventies and dressed as long, as carefully, like sixty years ago. We sat at a window hoop girl, its ward.
- Hello, grand'maman #, - he said,, they were come, young officer. - Hello, Lise miss #. grandmother, I have to ask you to.
- What, Paul?#
- Allow me to introduce one of my friends, and bring it to your ball on Friday.
- Bring him direct to the ball, and then me and submit it. Were you yesterday ***?
- How! It was very fun; They danced to five hours. How good was Eletskaya!
- And, my dear! What is it good? Is not she like her grandmother, Princess Daria Petrovna?.. by the way: I tea, She must be very old, Princess Daria Petrovna?
- How, aged? - Tomsky, - She died seven years ago.
The young lady raised her head and made a sign to the young man. He remembered, that the old Countess was never the death of her contemporaries, and he bit his lip. But the Countess heard the news, for her new, with great indifference.
- died! - she said, - but I do not know! Together we were maids of honor, and when we were presented, the Empress ...
And the Countess for the hundredth time related to her grandson her anecdote.
- Well, Paul, - she said then, - Now help me up. Lizanka, where my snuffbox?
And the Countess with her three maids went behind a screen to finish her toilette. Tomsky remained with the young lady.
- Who is it you want to submit? - quietly asked Lizaveta.
- Narumova. Do you know him?
- Not! He is a military or a civilian?
- Military.
- Engineer?
- Not! cavalryman. Why do you think, that he is an engineer?
The young lady laughed and answered not a word.
– Paul! - cried the Countess from behind the screen, - send me some new novel, only please, not from the current.
- Like this, grandmother?
- That is a novel, in which the hero strangles neither his father, nor mother, and where there are no drowned bodies. I'm terribly afraid of drowning!
- There are no novels now. Do you want to really Russian?
- Is there Russian novels?.. came, father, you are welcome, came!
- Sorry, grandmother: I'm in a hurry ... Forgive, Lizaveta! Why do you think, that Narumov Engineer?
And Tomsky left the boudoir.
Lizaveta Ivanovna was left alone: She left her job and began to look out of the window. Soon on the same side of the street from the corner house, a young officer. Blush covered her cheeks: She began her work again and bent her head over the frame. At this time, the Countess, fully dressed.
- Show, Lizanka, - she said, - coach zakladыvat, and go take a walk.
Lizaveta rose from her embroidery and began to arrange her work.

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