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Written by Anastasia Melnyk
Herman is the main character of this story. He is a protagonist and a military engineer, who falls into the pool of gambling. In his heart he is a player, but he never sits down to the card table. However, the strong passion and ardent imagination are ignited by the story of his friend Tomsky about three cards, which allowed his grandmother, the Countess Anna Fedotovna, to repay a large gambling debt. That’s why he begins to be a gambling player. In the end, money ruins him completely and he goes out of his mind.
Lizaveta Ivanovna is a poor foster child of Countess Anna Fedotovna, who possesses the secret knowledge about the winning combination of cards. Liza is a very beautiful and attractive lady, who falls in love with Herman. He also cares about her, but actually he just wants to get to know about the winning combination. Countess always jeers at her and reproaches for everything she does about the house. Lisa endures it all for future fortune. But in the end of the novel, she finds a calm life and marries a very amiable young man.
Anna Fedotovna is an eighty-year-old countess and she is an owner of knowledge about the secret card combinations, which brought her success. Anna Fedotovna educates and provides with everything necessary a poor cousin, Lisa (Lizaveta Ivanovna). “The Countess had by no means a bad heart, bat she was capricious, like a woman who had been spoilt by the world, as well as being avaricious and egotistical, like all old people who have seen their best days, and whose thoughts are with the past and not the present”. In the end of the story, she is killed by Herman and after her death she takes vengeance on him, appearing under the guise of the queen of spades.
Tomsky is a prince, grandson of one of four sons of the old Countess Anna Fedotovna. Tomsky blabs out during the card game that his elderly kinswoman knows how to win in the card game, but nobody talks about it. Herman decides to find out this secret.
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