4 thoughts on ““You’ll Pay For This”

  1. “Then look here. Suppose we play a game of chess. If you win, the souls shall be yours. There are lot which I should like to see crossed off the revision list. Hi, Porphyri! Bring me the chessboard.”

    “You are wasting your time. I will play neither chess nor cards.”

    “But chess is different from playing with a bank. In chess there can be neither luck nor cheating, for everything depends upon skill. In fact, I warn you that I cannot possibly play with you unless you allow me a move or two in advance.”

    “The same with me,” thought Chichikov. “Shall I, or shall I not, play this fellow? I used not to be a bad chess-player, and it is a sport in which he would find it more difficult to be up to his tricks.”

    “Very well,” he added aloud. “I WILL play you at chess.”

    “And stake the souls for a hundred roubles?” asked Nozdrev.

    “No. Why for a hundred? Would it not be sufficient to stake them for fifty?”

    “No. What would be the use of fifty? Nevertheless, for the hundred roubles I will throw in a moderately old puppy, or else a gold seal and watch-chain.”

    “Very well,” assented Chichikov.

    “Then how many moves are you going to allow me?”

    “Is THAT to be part of the bargain? Why, none, of course.”

    “At least allow me two.”

    “No, none. I myself am only a poor player.”

    “I know you and your poor play,” said Nozdrev, moving a chessman.

    “In fact, it is a long time since last I had a chessman in my hand,” replied Chichikov, also moving a piece.

    “Ah! I know you and your poor play,” repeated Nozdrev, moving a second chessman.

    “I say again that it is a long time since last I had a chessman in my hand.” And Chichikov, in his turn, moved.

    “Ah! I know you and your poor play,” repeated Nozdrev, for the third time as he made a third move. At the same moment the cuff of one of his sleeves happened to dislodge another chessman from its position.

    “Again, I say,” said Chichikov, “that ’tis a long time since last — But hi! look here! Put that piece back in its place!”

    “What piece?”

    “This one.” And almost as Chichikov spoke he saw a third chessman coming into view between the queens. God only knows whence that chessman had materialized.

    “No, no!” shouted Chichikov as he rose from the table. “It is impossible to play with a man like you. People don’t move three pieces at once.”

    “How ‘three pieces’? All that I have done is to make a mistake — to move one of my pieces by accident. If you like, I will forfeit it to you.”

    “And whence has the third piece come?”

    “What third piece?”

    “The one now standing between the queens?”

    “’Tis one of your own pieces. Surely you are forgetting?”

    “No, no, my friend. I have counted every move, and can remember each one. That piece has only just become added to the board. Put it back in its place, I say.”

    “Its place? Which IS its place?” But Nozdrev had reddened a good deal. “I perceive you to be a strategist at the game.”

    “No, no, good friend. YOU are the strategist — though an unsuccessful one, as it happens.”

    “Then of what are you supposing me capable? Of cheating you?”

    “I am not supposing you capable of anything. All that I say is that I will not play with you any more.”

    “But you can’t refuse to,” said Nozdrev, growing heated. “You see, the game has begun.”

    “Nevertheless, I have a right not to continue it, seeing that you are not playing as an honest man should do.”

    “You are lying — you cannot truthfully say that.”

    “’Tis you who are lying.”

    “But I have NOT cheated. Consequently you cannot refuse to play, but must continue the game to a finish.”

    “You cannot force me to play,” retorted Chichikov coldly as, turning to the chessboard, he swept the pieces into confusion.

    Nozdrev approached Chichikov with a manner so threatening that the other fell back a couple of paces.

    “I WILL force you to play,” said Nozdrev. “It is no use you making a mess of the chessboard, for I can remember every move. We will replace the chessmen exactly as they were.”

    • I thought the vagabond solicitor had a good sense of humor. You can’t see it from the angle from which the photo was taken, but the title of the book on the right is Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened.”

      • That picture brought the chess match to mind from “Dead Souls” by Nikolai Gogol. As written above. I always though Trump could be an excellent magician with his skills of misdirection and keeping everyone focused on his ‘dirty hand’.

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