Guanajuato Legends: La Calle del Truco
The people who live here claim that the shadow of a man, dressed in the old style, in a long coat, and with a broad-brimmed hat pulled down over his forehead, so that only two eyes like smouldering coals can be seen in a pale, contorted face, slips hurriedly down the street when the silence and shadows of night arrive. This is the shadow of Don Ernesto, who stealthily halts before a door.
He knocks three times. A deathly creak is heard as the door opens. The gentleman goes inside. This is the Gambling House, where only the richest of men go. Here they play for high stakes. First bags full of gold, then their estates, finally their homes. It is a bad night for Don Ernesto. He has lost three or four of his finest properties. He is more nervous than ever. Fortune has turned her back on him. He makes a calculation in his mind and realises that he has lost everything.
- "Not everything, friend. There is still something of value."
- "The devil only knows! What is it?"
- "And it goes in one play, for all you've lost, on the first hand," adds the first voice. Don Ernesto, beside himself, exclaims:
- "What are you talking about? Tell me, once and for all!" And he starts to get up.
- "Calm down, calm down!" his opponent says.
- "And be damned!" cries the unlucky gentleman. His adversary leans over the table to whisper a few words in Don Ernesto's ear.
- "No, by God! Not her!" shouts the loser, his emotions at a fever pitch.
- "Make up your mind. In this way you can win back your wealth." A few instants pass while the grim gambler's struggles within himself. Finally he cries out,
- "So be it! To the highest card!" His friend unhurriedly puts two cards on the table, a jack of diamonds and a six of spades.
- "To the jack!" shouts Don Ernesto, trembling with emotion. The fateful cards slide off the deck, seven of clubs, three of diamonds, queen of hearts and finally, the card that will damn him, the six.
- "You lose again."
The gentleman is struck dumb, without moving, as if he has collapsed. He has gambled away his beautiful wife. He is a man of his word and he must pay up. This time his opponent was the devil himself, and for that reason Don Ernesto did not win a single hand.
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