Why did the banker open the sealed door before November 14th, 1855?

In "The Bet," the banker opens the sealed door before November 14th, 1885 because he can no longer afford to pay the lawyer the millions he will be owed if he fully completes his fifteen-year confinement. Consequently, the banker enters the room to murder him, thereby protecting his own financial security.

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In "The Bet," the lawyer enters solitary confinement on November 14, 1870 and is expected to remain there until twelve o'clock on November 14, 1885, thereby fully serving the fifteen years of the bet.

At the conclusion of that fifteen years, the banker's life has transformed. He is no longer the incredibly wealthy businessman who was able to make a bet of two million rubles without worry. Over the years which the lawyer spends in solitary confinement, the banker has spent money recklessly and has lost almost everything through risky financial decisions. Thus, as the deadline of the bet approaches, the banker isn't sure whether he has more money or more debt. The banker realizes that he can no longer afford to pay the lawyer the money he is owed, and he thus plots to kill the lawyer before the deadline arrives.

Determined to avoid paying the lawyer and thereby becoming a "beggar" himself, the banker sneaks into the lawyer's chamber without anyone seeing him. However, he doesn't follow through with his murderous plans, because he reads a letter which the lawyer has been writing; the lawyer plans to leave minutes before the deadline arrives, thereby forfeiting all claim to the millions. Over the duration of his confinement, the lawyer has come to "despise all worldly blessings and wisdom," of which he will have no part of.

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