An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards. An army officer, who is also a fanatic about cards, murders her for the secret, then finds himself haunted by the woman's spirit.
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Capt. Herman Suvorin
[he surprises the Old Countess
Don't cry out! Don't be alarmed, please, don't be alarmed. I don't mean you any harm. I've come to ask a favour of you. That's all. A favour. It'll cost you nothing. But to me, it will bring happiness for the rest of my life. I want the secret of the cards. That's all. Come, what is it? The three cards. The names of the three cards. Please! Oh, it's no use pretending you don't know anything about it. I know you were given the secret. And I know who gave it to you....
[prologue] A Tale of Old St. Petersburg. In 1806 the craze for gambling had spread throughout Russia. Faro - a simple card game similar to our Snap - was all the fashion, and fortunes were won and lost on the turn of a card. As a result there arose many superstitions concerning the cards - one of these was the evil influence of The Queen of Spades. See more
Referenced in Ken Adam: Designing Bond