Where does the prisoner have to spend his sentence?
As a condition of the bet he made with the banker, the lawyer has to live in captivity in the banker's garden house for fifteen years. During that time, he'll be given every possible amenity, such as music and access to literature. All in all, his captivity will be a good deal more comfortable than that experienced by the poor wretches of a Siberian prison camp.
But there's one thing that the lawyer won't have during his captivity: companionship. He'll spend the whole of his fifteen years in complete isolation. This, more than anything else, is what causes his mental breakdown—a collapse that leads him to walk out of the garden house just five minutes before his "sentence" is due to elapse.
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