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by Frank Norris
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IT had just struck nine from the cuckoo clock that hung over the mantelpiece in the dining-room when Victorine brought in the halved watermelon and set it in front of Mr. Bessemer’s plate.
It had been easy to promise Blix that he would no longer gamble at his club with the other men of his acquaintance; but it was "death and the devil," as he told himself, to abide by that promise. More than once in the fortnight following upon his resolution he had come up to the little flat on the Washington Street hill as to a place of refuge; and Blix, always pretending that it was all a huge joke and part of their good times, had brought out the cards and played with him.
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