Fifteen Love


Fifteen Love

Greetings Sir R-----, come warm your bones at my table by the hearth and join me in a glass of brandy! I trust that winter's chill has not cooled your ardour for wager?

Good fellow! Splendid fellow!

I have in mind a game much played by the short statured, excessively hairy and nature obsessed folk of the Wimbledon commune, whose encampment I chanced upon whilst taking a morning constitutional some several years ago. I was drawn to it by a rather odd smell in the air, which I subsequently discovered to emanate from a peculiar blend of tobacco that they were especially fond of; a blend quite inferior to the Russian I can tell you!
When not dreamily pontificating on the virtues of love and natural living, they would gather up discarded periodicals with a view to beautifying their surroundings, and by a curious process make of them building materials for their accommodations, such as they were. Observing them at their labour, I suggested that rather than stoop to collect them they might make easier work of it by spearing some several of them at a time with a rapier.

That they eventually came to set upon folk peaceably going about their perambulations and confiscating their periodicals before they might have discarded them was a consequence that I contend no soul could possibly have foreseen!

But I digress!

Here, I have laid out the ace to nine of hearts upon the table which we shall take turns adding to our hands, with your picking first. With the ace counting as a one, if you can play a trick of three cards that add up to fifteen before either I can or we run out of cards then you shall have a coin from my purse. If not, then I shall have one from yours.

When I described this game to that weasel of a student with whom I am most regrettably acquainted, he made the truly bizarre claim that with the aid of wizardry the outcome of the game might be made certain. Now, as you well know, I have travelled widely and witnessed many truly astonishing events, but I cannot accept that that wretch has the slightest inkling of the magical arts! Although I suppose that one so bereft of wit might exaggerate his own skill, even to himself!

But let us talk of him no further. Here, take another glass and consider your strategy!


i have won every single one of these. all that i can see is that if you go first then you're assured victory.

I fear that the Baron may have partaken of a little too much brandy and is consequently not giving due attention to the game. Might you still be assured of victory if he were to play with greater care?

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