Olivier, almost out of his senses at the possession of eighty
thousand francs, could not resist the desire of expressing his
gratitude to Chauvignac, which he did, grasping his hand with
emotion and leading him into a corner of the room.
Alas! the whole thing was only an infamous conspiracy to ruin the
young man. The Belgian capitalist, this count apparently so
respectable, was only an expert card-sharper whom Chauvignac had
brought from Paris to play out the vile tragi-comedy, the
denouement of which would be the ruin of the unfortunate Olivier.
At the moment when the latter left the card-table to go to
Chauvignac, the pretended millionnaire changed the pack of cards
they had been using for two other packs.
Supper went off very pleasantly. They drank very moderately, for
the head had to be kept cool for what had to follow. They soon
sat down again at the card-table. 'Now,' said the Parisian card-
shaper, on resuming his seat, 'I should like to end the matter
quickly: I will stake the twenty thousand francs in a lump.'
Olivier, confident of success after his previous achievement,
readily assented; but, alas, the twenty thousand francs of which
he made sure was won by his adversary.