The lawyer begins his fifteen-year confinement with great feelings of loneliness and boredom. As the years pass, he begins reading voraciously, studying various languages and histories. He reads only the New Testament for an entire year and then moves on to various sciences. At the end of fifteen years, he is a scholar on various subjects.
With only one day remaining in the lawyer's confinement, it certainly seems as if he will win the bet and therefore the millions he has wagered with the banker. The banker is distraught; during this period of time, he has lost a great fortune on the stock exchange and is no longer a wealthy man. Terrified of public disgrace, the banker sneaks into the lawyer's chamber of isolation, plotting to kill him.
He is appalled by the lawyer's appearance. He resembles a skeleton and has aged significantly during his confinement. He has been writing a letter, which is on the table and which the banker reads. The letter conveys the lawyer's dismay with society. He claims that men have gone "mad" and have "bartered heaven for earth." He no longer wants to be part of society, which he has grown to despise. To demonstrate the sincerity of his beliefs, he plans to renounce the millions and leave just before the time limit of his confinement expires.
Sure enough, a watchman sees the lawyer escaping through the window of his chamber, disappearing beyond the banker's garden. The banker, still fearing his own public disgrace, takes the lawyer's letter and locks it away before anyone else can read it.