Like Ian, I still have no idea what card game this is that they’re describing, but does it really matter?
The fact that Dolohov decided that his age plus Sonya’s age is 43 and then decided to fleece Nikolai for 43,000 roubles is just priceless – right down to the 21 roubles that is over that he lets Nikolai win right at the end.
Astonishing and Nikolai just takes it – not able to stop himself. I was reading this and thinking, “Well, all you have to do is get up and go home, son.” But then again, if it was that easy, there wouldn’t be so many signs up around casinos and pokie rooms saying, “Do you have a problem with gambling? Call this number.”
As always, Dolohov never does things by halves, and he’s always in control of the situation.
And those of you who remember Count Rostov’s second mortgage of his estates will realise that Nikolai’s foolishness is not just going to affect him, but his entire family . . .