According to Andrew Clarke, the first trace of Russian roulette can be found in the story "The Fatalist" of 1840, part of the collection A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov, a Russian poet and writer. In the story the protagonist, Grigory Alexandrovich Pechorin, says there is no predestination and proposes a bet emptying about twenty gold pieces onto the table. A lieutenant of the dragoons of the tsar, of Serbian origin, Vulič, with a passion for gambling, accepts the challenge and randomly takes one of the various-caliber pistols from its nail, cocks it and pours powder on the shelf. Nobody knows if the pistol is loaded or not. Vulič asks: "Gentlemen! Who will pay 20 gold pieces for me?", putting the muzzle of the pistol to his forehead. Then he asks Grigory to throw a card in the air and when this card touches the ground, he shoots. Nothing happens, because the blow fails, but when Vulič cocks the pistol again, and aims it at the service cap hanging over the window, a shot rings out and smoke fills the room.
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