The Shot

Chapter I

We were stationed at the little village of Z. The life of an officer in the army is well known. Drill and the riding school in the morning; dinner with the colonel or at the Jewish restaurant; and in the evening punch and cards.

At Z. nobody kept open house, and there was no girl that anyone could think of marrying. We used to meet at each other’s rooms, where we never saw anything but one another’s uniforms. There was only one man among us who did not belong to the regiment. He was about thirty-five, and, of course, we looked upon him as an old fellow. He had the advantage of experience, and his habitual gloom, stern features, and his sharp tongue gave him great influence over his juniors. He was surrounded by a certain mystery.

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