Enjoy 2020 without limits!
Add this book to bookshelf
Grey
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey
Read online the first chapters of this book!
All characters reduced
The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations - cover

The Most Interesting Stories of All Nations

Julian Hawthorne

Publisher: Sai ePublications

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Summary

The Queen of Spades
 
I
 
There was a card party at the rooms of Naroumoff, of the Horse Guards. The long winter night passed away imperceptibly, and it was five o'clock in the morning before the company sat down to supper. Those who had won ate with a good appetite; the others sat staring absently at their empty plates. When the champagne appeared, however, the conversation became more animated, and all took a part in it.
 
"And how did you fare, Souirin?" asked the host.
 
"Oh, I lost, as usual. I must confess that I am unlucky. I play mirandole, I always keep cool, I never allow anything to put me out, and yet I always lose!"
 
"And you did not once allow yourself to be tempted to back the red? Your firmness astonishes me."
 
"But what do you think of Hermann?" said one of the guests, pointing to a young engineer. "He has never had a card in his hand in his life, he has never in his life laid a wager; and yet he sits here till five o'clock in the morning watching our play."
 
"Play interests me very much," said Hermann, "but I am not in the position to sacrifice the necessary in the hope of winning the superfluous."
 
"Hermann is a German; he is economical—that is all!" observed Tomsky. "But if there is one person that I cannot understand, it is my grandmother, the Countess Anna Fedorovna!"
 
"How so?" inquired the guests.
 
"I cannot understand," continued Tomsky, "how it is that my grandmother does not punt."
 
"Then you do not know the reason why?"
 
"No, really; I haven't the faintest idea. But let me tell you the story. You must know that about sixty years ago my grandmother went to Paris, where she created quite a sensation. People used to run after her to catch a glimpse of the 'Muscovite Venus.' Richelieu made love to her, and my grandmother maintains that he almost blew out his brains in consequence of her cruelty. At that time ladies used to play at faro. On one occasion at the Court, she lost a very considerable sum to the Duke of Orleans. On returning home, my grandmother removed the patches from her face, took off her hoops, informed my grandfather of her loss at the gaming-table, and ordered him to pay the money. My deceased grandfather, as far as I remember, was a sort of house-steward to my grandmother. He dreaded her like fire; but, on hearing of such a heavy loss, he almost went out of his mind. He calculated the various sums she had lost, and pointed out to her that in six months she had spent half a million of francs; that neither their Moscow nor Saratoff estates were in Paris; and, finally, refused point-blank to pay the debt. My grandmother gave him a box on the ear and slept by herself as a sign of her displeasure. The next day she sent for her husband, hoping that this domestic punishment had produced an effect upon him, but she found him inflexible. For the first time in her life she entered into reasonings and explanations with him, thinking to be able to convince him by pointing out to him that there are debts and debts, and that there is a great difference between a prince and a coachmaker.

Other books that might interest you

  • Burning - An Anthology of Short Thrillers - cover

    Burning - An Anthology of Short...

    Peter Oxley, Simon Finnie, Craig...

    • 0
    • 3
    • 0
    If you woke up with a gun in your face, what would you do?Plagued by mysterious dreams which are quickly becoming a real-life nightmare, where would you turn?What was the real truth behind the Iraqi invasion and the search for WMDs?What if the one person you relied on to keep you safe, instead became your jailer?Forced to confront the mistakes of your past, where would you hide?14 original stories with one red-hot connection… Burning.Thrillers to shock. Thrillers to excite. Thrillers to challenge and make you think.An anthology of 14 original short stories by a collection of outstanding thriller writers.Craig Hart’s "Loose Ends" thrusts a wise-cracking PI into the center of a deadly—and highly personal—case.In Fiona Campbell’s "From a Flicker to a Flame", a woman finds herself trapped, a prisoner in a loveless marriage.In "The Five Votive Candles of Joe Wray" by Simon Bewick, Joe Wray is a husband, a father, a brother and a business owner. They all need his protection. He doesn’t have a prayer.A mysterious man sparks unexplainable fires in Carla Day’s "Scintillation", where a woman’s dreams may be the clue to saving the world.The dark and seedy underbelly of the City of London is exposed in Will Patching’s "Old Flame": a tale of lust, greed and a decidedly nasty twist.The repercussions of the Iraq war and memories of WMDs plague the characters of Dana Lyons’ "Fire and Brimstone", with a weapon which could truly be the end of all things.In "Ava Edison and the Burning Man", by Marcus Cook, a thief with an unlikely accomplice faces a race against time to get a priceless jewel for a ruthless client.Tom Goymour’s "Circle of Friends" finds a man and his long-forgotten friends being forced to finally confront the mistakes of their youth.In Peter Ellis’ "Reprogrammed", a woman wakes in a strange warehouse with terrifying new abilities, but with no knowledge of how she got there.The hero of Michael Peirce’s "Accidental Operator" unwittingly becomes the key member of a new, highly deadly team of mercenaries."Valley of the Shadow" by Pat Moore is a moving exploration of love and loss, where those left behind suffer more than the ones they mourn.Lori Lacefield’s "The Fire Keeper" follows Frankie Johnson, an FBI Profiler, as she tries to decode a terrifyingly macabre fire ritual, before the killers strike again.Free will, morality and redemption lie at the heart of Simon Finnie’s "Burning", as a Professor is forced to confront the mistakes of his youth.And finally, in Peter Oxley’s "Burning Greed", a thief simply has to battle through a burning island to steal the score of his life: what could possibly go wrong?Burning - bringing destruction or a new beginning? To find out, get Burning: An Anthology of Short Thrillers - now!
    Show book
  • Puck of Pook’s Hill - cover

    Puck of Pook’s Hill

    Rudyard Kipling

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    Rudyard Kipling was a prolific British writer and poet.  Kipling’s children fiction, specifically The Jungle Books and Just So Stories, are some of the most famous in English literature.  This edition of Puck of Pook’s Hill includes a table of contents.
    Show book
  • H P Lovecraft The Complete Fiction - cover

    H P Lovecraft The Complete Fiction

    H. P. Lovecraft

    • 0
    • 2
    • 0
    Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in his genre. Lovecraft was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. Among his most celebrated tales is "The Call of Cthulhu", canonical to the Cthulhu Mythos. Never able to support himself from earnings as author and editor, Lovecraft saw commercial success increasingly elude him in this latter period, partly because he lacked the confidence and drive to promote himself. He subsisted in progressively straitened circumstances in his last years; an inheritance was completely spent by the time he died at the age of 46.
    Show book
  • Emperor of the Air - Stories - cover

    Emperor of the Air - Stories

    Ethan Canin

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    The award-winning, bestselling debut collection of “beautifully crafted stories” from the acclaimed author of The Doubter’s Almanac (Chicago Sun-Times).   Highly acclaimed and wildly successful upon its debut, Ethan Canin’s now classic collection of nine stories combines exquisite precision, humor, and a rare maturity of observation, capturing those miraculous moments when life opens up and presents itself to us. Full of life, rich with personal history, plot, and revelation, the stories in Emperor of the Air are the work of an extraordinarily gifted young writer.   Capturing a wide range of vivid characters and their unforgettable moments of ache, epiphany, humor, and wisdom, Canin would go on to prove himself as “the most mature and accomplished novelist of his generation” (NPR).   “Dazzling . . . at times breathtaking, at other times heartbreaking.” —Walker Percy   “A glowing first book . . . An engrossing and unified collection.” —Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe
    Show book
  • The Marshal - cover

    The Marshal

    Bruce Harris, Ben Fine, David...

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    The Marshal  is a collection of tales that show you how he got his man, told by fifteen talented new writers that are sure to revive the western genre. 
    Which will be your favorite?
    Show book
  • Trail's End - cover

    Trail's End

    Zimbell House Publishing, Andrea...

    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    We've all heard the stories about life on the Trail West.  
    But what about when the Trail Ends? What happens then? 
    Come discover the fates of each of the brave adventurers featured in these nine short tales from eight emerging writers. 
    Which will be your favorite? 
     
    Show book