Lonely Hearts

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Lonely Hearts
Good evening Sir R-----. Will you join me in a dram of this rather fine whiskey and, perhaps, a little sport?

Good man! Come, take a seat.

I have in mind the game of Lonely Hearts, taught to me by the lovelorn son of Montague, Romeo. At the time I was employed as the master of the premier salle d'armes in Verona; something of a futile pursuit since the students had been thoroughly spoiled by the Italian school and were quite unreceptive to the German, a failing for which his friend Mercatio paid the ultimate price.
Following a particularly unsuccessul lesson we had retired to a local inn and, after having helped the young Romeo with some improving Teutonic touches to his poetic missives to the object of his affection, we played a few rounds of his game, the nature of which I shall now explain.

For a cost of but one of your coins the game shall begin with our each taking the hearts from a deck of cards and shuffling them well. We shall then turn over the topmost card and, if we have a match, you shall have fourteen coins from my purse and the game shall end. If instead we have a pair of lonely hearts, I shall have one coin from yours and we shall carry on in the same fashion until either a match is made or we have exhausted our cards.

When I explained the rules of this game to that good for nothing student with whose acquaintance I am most cruelly cursed, he commenced to ranting on about how some poor deranged fellow by the name of Montmart was, as a matter of principle, driven from inclusion to exclusion from court. Presumably this Montmart fellow's madness and consequent downfall was the result of unrequited love, for I can think of no other reason that his condition should be of the remotest relevance. But then again, to expect cogency from that cloth headed so-called acamedician is no doubt folly upon my part.

But let us not tarry from our sport; take another measure and weigh your chances!

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