The Rich Get Richer

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The Rich Get Richer

Sir R-----! I must say that it is a relief to have the company of a fellow nobleman in these distressing times. That I have had to sell not one, but two of my several hundred antiquities to settle the burden of tax that this oppressive democracy has put upon me, simply to enrich slugabeds I might add, is quite intolerable!

Come, let us drown our sorrows whilst we still have the means to do so and engage in a little sport to raise our spirits.

I have a fancy for a game that I used to play when I was the Russian ambassador to the Rose Tree Valley commune. Founded by the philosopher queen Zway Remington as a haven for downtrodden wealthy industrialists, it was the purest of pure meritocracies; no handouts to the idle labouring classes there!
We would spend our evenings at lavish feasts, with copious supplies of the finest comestibles produced by a miraculous device that Queen Remington had, quite literally, pulled out of thin air. Once sated, we would retire to discuss at length the great civil works with which they planned to make a veritable paradise upon Earth and, at somewhat greater length, the objective truth that living by her philosophy should be the means by which the better part of humankind might free itself from the tyranny of the masses.
Tragically, some months after I had been recalled to the Empress's court, I learned that the entire community had succumbed to an epidemic of cholera, the occurrence of which defies all rational explanation.

But let us not dwell upon the misfortunes that those such as we must ever endure and instead commence our sport!

At the cost of one coin you shall begin the game with a score of one point and I with a score of two. At each turn you shall cast an eight sided die and increase your score by one point should its face be no greater than it, and I shall do likewise. If your score exceeds mine before I reach a goal of eight points then you shall have the game and a prize of five coins.

When I told that layabout student of this game, he began lamenting that his physical condition was such that he should probably be excused participation in the construction of a rehearsal room. Quite why he and his low-born fellows imagine that the nobility could be fooled by their transparent excuses to shirk any manner of honest toil is entirely beyond my comprehension!

Enough of that wretch! Here, take another glass whilst you decide whether or not you shall play!

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