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The Bet

The Bet


by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

The Banker Timeline and Summary

  • The banker remembers a party he threw fifteen years ago where he turned an argument about the death penalty into a bet that a lawyer couldn't stay in voluntary solitary confinement for fifteen years. 
  • Now that time is almost up, and he stresses about the fact that he doesn't have the money to pay up his side of the bet—two million rubles. 
  • The banker decides to murder the lawyer. 
  • He sneaks into the guesthouse prison and finds the lawyer asleep. 
  • Just as he's about to kill him, he finds a note that says that the lawyer rejects the money and will lose the bet on purpose. 
  • The banker leaves the room, taking the letter as proof that the lawyer rejected the money and stashes it in his safe.