BETTING [1]                                                                              By :Антон Павлович Чехов 。

Dark autumn night, the old banker walking back and forth in his office, recalling the autumn  of  fifteen years ago, he had held a dinner party. At that night there are many scholars in attendance, to discuss many topics that are very interesting. Among them also discuss the death penalty issue. Few invited guests from various academic backgrounds and journalists, most of them opposed to the death penalty. They assume that the death penalty is outdated, because besides not suitable for Catholics, is also inhumane. In accordance with the view of some people, that the death penalty could be fully replaced with a sentence of whole life. 

“I do not agree with your opinion”, host — banker said, “I never felt the death penalty, also sentenced to life have not been trying, but if punishing Catholics, in my opinion the death penalty is more moral and more humane than imprisonment lifetime. directly off the death penalty, was killed instantly, while the other was sentenced to life  killing slowly. executioner of sorts where that comes closer to the feeling of humanity? which kill you in just a few minutes, or as some sort of a life spent incrementally year by year continually ? ”

“All the same, it is not immoral.” Said a guest. “For all have one common goal —- the deprivation of life, the State —- not God, if someone does not want to die, he had no right to revoke a life who can not go back. “

Among the guests there is a legal expert, youth, aged twenty-five years. When people ask his advice, he said: “Is it the death penalty or life, is immoral, if someone told me to choose between the death penalty and life imprisonment, of course I choose the latter, however, can stay alive is better than dead.:

Then become increasingly fierce debate.

At times it seems a stylish young bankers could not stand anymore, he suddenly break his fist on the table, he shouted the young law expert: “No! Let us meke a bet of two million, you will not be able languishing in jail for more than five years. ” “If this is true,” said legal expert, “Well,  I accepted, do not say five years, I even agreed 15 years full.”

“Fifteen years? well!” Banker shouted: “Gentlemen, I set aside and deposited two million rubles!” “OK, you save the two million rubles, I will revoke my freedom,” said legal expert.

That barbaric and no meaning bet finally unveiled! At that time the bankers  really do not care with two million rubles money at all, and besides, he was very enthusiastic about the bet, get caught in a dangerous game and a simple situation thought .

At dinner, he joked to the legal expert: “Young man, you’d better think carefully, it is still not too late. Two million rubles for me is a small thing, but for those of you want to take the risk of losing three ~ four years of glorious. I say: —– three or four years, because you can not crouch longer than 3 ~ 4 years. poor guy, do not forget, voluntary jailed, is more depressing than the actual imprisoned for criminal penalties. Every minute you are entitled to recover its freedom, in jail can demonize whole life, I pity you! “

Now, bankers pacing, remembering all of this, and said to himself: “What actually  the sake of bet for? Making legal experts losses fifteen years of his life, while I wasted two million rubles, What does it do this? Does This could prove to the people that the death penalty better or worse than instead a life sentence? can not, can not.’s. not funny and absurd. On my side, is the lure of those who already eat well, while legal experts hand — just greed for money …….

Then, he remembered to mention the additional description beyond what happened that night. Decision set, the implementation of legal experts confinement housed in a specially room built  in a garden bankers house. There is a special guard watching. At that moment confirmed, as long fifteen years, he was not allowed to step out of the door even one step. Includes conference with living beings, the right to hear the human voice and receive the newspaper. Allow him has musical instruments, may be reading, writing, drinking wine and smoking. By convention, he contacted the outside world, can not say anything, for it has been specially created for small windows. All that his required, such as books, wine and other things, he can receive the necessary amount through writing notes, which can only be delivered through a delivery window. CONTRACT specified in great detail, without missing even a small thing. In detention despite being very lonely, legal experts still have languished fifteen full years, starting from 12:00 on the date of 14 November, 1870 and so on, until 14 November 1885 at 12 noon end. If there is little effort to show legal experts violated the agreement, even occurs at two minutes before the contract expires, the banker will be exempted from the obligation to pay two million rubles.

At the time of captivity, the first year, can be interpreted from the writings on the record in a nutshell, he was suffering due to his own loneliness. Throughout the night there was the piano sound continues sounding out of the room. He does not drink wine, do not smoke. He explained from writing that alcohol can stimulate desire, desire — is the enemy prisoners, while when after drinking a good wine but saw no one, then, there is nothing more lonely than the situation. Smoke can damage the air in the room.

Books given to legal experts in the first year, more are papers that content light of  full elaborate conspiracy romance story. Relating to criminal, fantasy stories, comedy, The following forth of year, there was no sound from the music room again, legal experts in his notes he wants classic works. Over five years, suddenly heard the sound of music again, prisoners want drinking wine. Those who look from outside the window said that this year he just ate, drank, and slept in bed. Not stop yawning, angry and upset himself, talking to himself. He did not read anymore. Sometimes at night he sat down to write, writing in a long time, until when dawn broke, all that has been written then torn again to pieces. Even so, do not ever hear him crying though. The second half-year in the sixth year, prisoners enthusiastic to learn the language, philosophy, and history. He’s hungry to make a scientific receiving, banker was hurried to meet his request messages. In the four years that did not stop continuously, in accordance with his request, was bought for approximately six hundred books. During this crazy period, banker cousins ​​choke ever received such a letter: “Dear mister guard, I wrote a letter with a few sentences by using six different languages ​​from six countries. Please be shown to the experts, ask them to read,  if they do not find one wrong word, then I beg you, tell me with  the popping sound of gunfire in front of the park, the sound of a shot as a signal to me that my efforts are not in vain. Everyone who is genius in the universe is speaks in many languages, but in the body they are baking the same fire. Oh, if even you could know, because now I understand them through social, spiritual soul are above then non earthly happiness. “And expectations of prisoners granted, Banker ordered guy release two shots in front of the park.

Ten years and more, legal experts sit quietly at the table, just read the Bible. Bankers feel weird, people who study esoteric than six hundred more books in four years, now a book very easy to understand had wasted almost a year. After reading the Bible, he began to read the history of religion and theology. In Last two years in the detention room, prisoners read very much, and do not be picky. Suddenly natural scientific research, sudden want to Byron and Shakespeare, he ever wrote such a paper record, in the same time giving him chemistry books and medical books, comics and some philosophical, or theological thesis. His reading methods like swim in the leaky boat in the ocean, want to save his own lives, greedy catch this piece of wood, suddenly caught again another piece

continue to part 2.

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