I like how we get the authentic flavor of the location by Wallace dropping isolated spanish words into the first few paragraphs — mantillas, senoritas, pica, picador, banderilleros, matador. I could have done without horse being gored by the bull. But I guess, if you’re going to root for anyone at a bullfight, it’s going to be the bull. The horse is kind of an innocent bystander, though.
“A bugle sounded from the president’s box and four banderilleros moved out to place the gaily colored darts between the bull’s shoulder-blades. It was short and graceful work and when they were done, the beast stood in the center of the ring, four barbed poles, festooned with bright ribbons, dangling from his withers. The crowd applauded as another bugle call rang out. It was the signal for Diego, the matador, to make his entrance for the kill.”
What a bunch of assholes. If Wallace wants to drop in some Spanish lingo, how about pendejo.
Manuel Rivero is understandably pissed at his fiancee Alicia’s admiration of Diego.
“Her hands were cupped about her breasts, fingers digging into resilient flesh with inordinate passion. As the matador’s sword flashed in the sun, only to be buried hilt deep in the hump of muscle behind the beast’s neck, a long sigh escaped her lips and electric shocks of delirious intensity whipped through her body, shaking her to the very core of all sensation.”
After Manuel goes to bed that night, Alicia calls Diego and invites herself to his hotel room. As his current squeeze Josita is “getting fat and disgusting” he agrees. Diego treats women like he treats bulls — when Alicia arrives, he smacks Josita, calls her a whore and throws her out of his room.
Josita is not thrilled with this treatment. She recognizes the socialite Alicia, so she runs to inform her fiance Manuel of her booty call. Manuel and Josita return to Diego’s room where Manuel plans to kill Diego with his bare hands.
Manuel and Diego begin fighting. Josita is rooting for Manuel because of the way Diego treated her. Alicia is ready to stick a blade in Diego for the way he treats the bulls. Unfortunately the house staff is on team-Diego and overcomes Manuel. Josita says the men have taken Alicia to the home of Don Miguel so they hit the road in pursuit.
At casa de Miguel, Diego puts Josita in the bull ring where she is killed. Manuel is to be killed next, but Alicia jumps into the ring. She tears off her red dress, exposing her “naked figure” shakes it to distract the bull — the dress, not her figure. The bull runs by her and spots Diego and his men. Sensing that Diego ain’t no PETA member, the bull gores Diego and his men.
Manuel grabs Alicia and puts her in a carriage to go back to Madrid, presumably still naked. Well good luck on that relationship. First Alicia is drooling over the matador, and goes to his hotel room. Then she is so fickle that she sides with Manuel in a fight because the bullfighter is cruel to bulls.
Another Spanish word Wallace might have chosen to drop in: Loco.
- First published in Spicy Adventures, April 1935. This is the third story from that issue. It must have been realllly good. Or in the public domain. Yeah, that second thing, I think.
- Fifth consecutive story to mention step-ins.