A MILLION PESOS! by Pepe Romero


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This bright-as-silver story of an assumed father-son relationship between a young lottery-ticket hustler and a grandiose old cock-of-the-walk, may well remind most readers of those sentimental peons along Tortilla Flat. The scene here is Mexico City. Senor Emeterio Navarro, chief of the Contract Dept. at General Energy, has played the same number in the national lottery for twenty years, with the fantastic conviction that he is fated to win the fat, one million peso grand prize. Abetting him in his delusion is a mellifluous, teenage ticket seller, Mariano, whom Senor Navarro adopts socially as his son and whom he instructs in politics, tauromachia and the world. Mariano has never sold a winner yet. He is crushed when the butcher, a pig, hits with a half-million winner. Soon, the butcher is trying to seduce Senor Navarro's lottery number from Mariano, because everyone knows that that will be the big winner. When Senor Navarro finally wins, he drops dead, smiling, while Mariano is in jail falsely accused of murdering the butcher. The relationship between Senor Navarro and Mariano, really a very long dialogue on the varieties of pride, is comic and touchingly quixotic.

Publisher: Doubleday