Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce: Revenge
AN Insurance Agent was trying to induce a Hard Man to Deal With to take out a policy on his house. After listening to him for an hour, while he painted in vivid colours the extreme danger of fire consuming the house, the Hard Man to Deal With said:
"Do you really think it likely that my house will burn down inside the time that policy will run?"
"Certainly," replied the Insurance Agent; "have I not been trying all this time to convince you that I do?"
"Then," said the Hard Man to Deal With, "why are you so anxious to have your Company bet me money that it will not?"
The Agent was silent and thoughtful for a moment; then he drew the other apart into an unfrequented place and whispered in his ear:
"My friend, I will impart to you a dark secret. Years ago the Company betrayed my sweetheart by promise of marriage. Under an assumed name I have wormed myself into its service for revenge; and as there is a heaven above us, I will have its heart's blood!"