When Bassett is talking to Paul, Lawrence says he is "serious as a church". It is as if Bassett "were speaking of religious matters" This suggests that Bassett thinks Paul's ability is awe-inspiring, almost supernatural. Later in the story, Paul's eyes are described as "wild" and "blazing with a sort of madness." This suggests that Paul is possessed by some kind of supernatural spirit. He is very afraid that he may have lost his luck and in an effort to satisfy his mother's need for money, he has become almost mad.