La leyenda de la calle del Truco

This street wasn’t always known as El Truco. It used to called Los Guadalajareños, and, at one time, there was a house next door to the basilica where, every day at six in the evening, the city’s richest and most powerful people would gather to play games of chance for enormous sums of money.

The most popular and most played game was known as “el truco” - “the trick” or “the catch” a high stakes game that had been the ruin of more than one man. It wasn’t long, then, before the house itself came to be known as La Casa del Truco.

Thus it was that one young man, who goes by several names, with a great fortune, manifold properties, and a beautiful young wife came to “el truco”, quickly becoming a habitual customer and turning out to be a skillful and determined player.

Then, one day, an elderly man turned up. Nobody had seen him before and he introduced himself as a fellow gambler of unequalled skills. At this, the young man rose from his chair:

-Come then, I invite you to be my opponent. I am a man with much experience, I am clever and I have lots of riches to play with.

So the game began and the two men bet large bags of gold, but, unfortunately for our young man, he lost the opening rounds.

Agitated and seeking revenge, he bet his lands, but to the astonishment of all, the mysterious stranger won yet again. The young man felt utterly defeated and, as he headed for the door, his head hung low, he heard the old man’s lugubrious voice:

-You know, you still have something of worth.

-What do you mean?

- You have a beautiful wife. Bet her! Her against everything else I’ve won.

The young man came to a halt and paused in thought. Finally, after a long silence, he turned to the old man… and nodded.

They began another round, but the once again the young man lost. The stranger looked at him with an evil grin. The young man fled from the house and rode off at full gallop towards his home.

He found his wife holding their small son in her arms and, relieved, he ran up to her, only to see the mysterious stranger slip out of the shadows and take her by the shoulder.

They say that the young man could see that this was clearly the Devil himself, with his red eyes, his twisted horns and his diabolical smile.

He put his arms around the woman and the two vanished in a burst of flame. The baby boy fell from her arms to the ground, dying instantly from the blow to his head. The young man took up a pistol and killed himself.

According to the legend, late into the night, you can still see the figure of the young man making his way through the streets and coming to a stop outside the building that was once “La Casa del Truco”, where he awaits his revenge.

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