The Queen of Spades by Aleksandr Pushkin
From the “Best Russian Short Stories” edited by Thomas Seltzer
It is often said that greed drowns a man and the story. Hermann, a guy who appears not TO be greedy, watches card games every day and has yet never played. However, like most people, greed targeted him the moment he heard a secret on how to win millions. The Countess knew it and he had to know it from her. So, he devised a master plan of showing “fake-affection” to the member of the castle, entering the castle and obtaining the secret from the Countess, by hook or by crook. Indeed, his planned idea worked & in the process, the Countess died. Her ghost appeared that same night & told him the secret with certain conditions. Hermann played with it at high stakes and won every time until one day he lost and became mentally ill for the rest of his life, as he had broken a condition. I love this book/story as it shows how greed swallows even a good man.
Shaan, Grade VII