Fifteen years ago, a banker threw a shindig in which he bet a young lawyer two million rubles that the lawyer couldn't stay in solitary confinement for five years. The lawyer raised the stakes to fifteen years, and holed up in a guesthouse on the banker's estate. He's had no contact with any humans during this time, but has been able to read all the books he could want. The lawyer's reading has ranged from novels to philosophy and languages to religious texts to a confusing mishmash. What can we say? The dude has had some time on his hands.Now, the fifteen years is almost up and the banker is worried that if he has to pay the two million large, he'll be bankrupt. Solution? He opts to ice the lawyer. So he sneaks up on the lawyer, who's fast asleep. Just as he is about to kill the dude, the banker finds a note that explains that through his reading the lawyer has come to totally reject the material world. It turns out he's planning on throwing the bet on purpose by leaving five hours early. The banker kisses the lawyer's head, cries, and leaves. The next day, the guards report that the lawyer bailed early. The banker takes the letter and puts it into his safe.
The Bet is about a young lawyer and banker who agree to settle their differences over a bet. The banker thinks capital punishment is more moral then spending years in jail while the lawyer thinks the opposite. The lawyer agrees to go to prison for fifteen years and collect two million dollars from the banker when he gets out. The lawyer spends his time reading and self-evolving and by the time fifteen years has gone by, he decides not to have the money. The story ends with the lawyer escaping from the prison and not collecting the two million and the banker resuming his life.