The Queen of Spades
“Once they played cards with Konnogvardeytsya Narumova”. After the game, Tomsky told the amazing story of his grandmother, who knows the secret of the three cards allegedly discovered by her famous Saint-Germain, who certainly win, if you put them in a row. After discussing this story, the players went home. This story seemed implausible to everyone, including Hermann, a young officer who had never played, but kept his eye on the game until the morning.
Grandma Tomsky, the old Countess, sits in her dressing room, surrounded by maidens. Here, behind the hoop and her pupil. Tomsky enters, he starts a small talk with the countess, but quickly disappears. Lizaveta Ivanovna, the ward of the Countess, left alone, looks out the window and sees a young officer, whose appearance causes her blush. From this occupation she is distracted by the countess, who gives the most contradictory orders and at the same time demands their immediate
execution. The life of Lizanka in the house of the wayward and selfish old woman is unbearable. She is to blame for everything that annoys the Countess. Endless quibbles and moods irritated the self-interested girl, who was eagerly awaiting her deliverer. That’s why the appearance of a young officer, whom she had seen for several days standing on the street and looking at her window, made her blush. This young man was none other than Hermann. He was a man with strong passions and a fiery imagination, which only the hardness of character saved from the fallacies of youth. The anecdote of Tomsky blazed his imagination, and he wanted to know the secret of the three cards. This desire became an obsession, involuntarily leading him to the house of the old Countess, in one of the windows of which he noticed Lizaveta Ivanovna. This minute became fatal.
Hermann begins to show signs of attention to Lisa to penetrate the Countess’s house. He secretly gives her a letter with an explanation in love. Lisa answers. Hermann in the new letter demands a date. He writes to Lizaveta Ivanovna every day and finally achieves
his: Lisa appoints him a date in the house for the time when her mistress will be at the ball, and explains how to go unnoticed into the house. Hardly having waited for the appointed time, Hermann penetrates into the house and makes his way to the Countess’s study. Waiting for the countess to return, Hermann goes to her bedroom. He begins to beg the countess to reveal to him the secret of the three cards; seeing the resistance of the old woman, he begins to demand, passes to threats and finally takes out a pistol. Seeing the gun, the old woman falls in fear from the chairs and dies.
Reacting with the Countess from the ball, Lizaveta Ivanovna is afraid to meet Hermann in her room and even feels some relief when no one is in it. She gives herself thought to how Hermann suddenly enters and reports the death of the old woman. Lisa learns that not her love is Hermann’s goal and that she became an involuntary culprit of the Countess’s death. Repenting torments her. At dawn, Hermann leaves the Countess’s house.
Three days later, Hermann is present at the funeral of the Countess. At the farewell to the deceased, it seemed to him that the old woman looked at him mockingly. In frustrated feelings he spends the day, drinks a lot of wine and falls asleep at home. Waking up late at night, he hears someone come in to him, and he recognizes the old Countess. She reveals to him the secret of three cards, three, seven and ace, and demands that he marry Lizaveta Ivanovna, then disappears.
The three, seven and ace haunted Hermann’s imagination. Unable to resist the temptation, he goes to the company of the famous Chekalinsky player and puts a huge sum on the top three. His card wins. The next day he put on the seven, and again won it. The next evening, Hermann again stands at the table. He put the card, but instead of the expected ace in his hand was the Queen of Spades. It seems to him that the lady screwed up her eyes and grinned… The image on the map amazes him with her resemblance to the old Countess.
Hermann went insane. Lizaveta Ivanovna got married.