ressing him.) Machito, my darling, my darling, gambling is a vice . . . You've got to stop it . . . what are people going to say?

MACHITO: (Affectionately.) Of course I'll stop, Mama, but this is not the right time. Can't you see I've got to quit right after one good lucky break? Can't you see, after losing and losing so much, I'm on to a a winning streak . . .? It was about time my luck changed, just ask Tony--ask anyone who knows anything about gambling: luck comes and goes. And now it's coming back to me . . .

DOLORES: Coming back? How often have you told me that?

MACHITO: But this time I'll be ready--I'll hit it big, I can feel it: I can see it in my dreams, Mama! It's all so clear in my dreams!

DOLORES: (Upset.) I don't know what will become of you . . . Remember I'm warning you! (Tidying up the room and throwing away the empty cans.) Well, I better get some sleep now: tomorrow I have to get up early to pick up the invitations . . . and I also got to go over to the Palace to choose the canapes. (From the threshold of the bedroom door.) Machito, at least get yourself a good suit for your sister's party with some of that money . . . Remember, after playing your father's record, I want the two of you to start the party with a waltz, and everybody will be watching . . . (Returns for a moment.) And look at that pumpkin flan, after I worked so hard to make it, you haven't even tasted it . . . (DOLORES disappears into the bedroom while the lights slowly dim.)

CURTAIN


Third Scene: The Die Is Cast

The following afternoon. The same room as the previous scenes. It is raining, and evening is already falling. The flashing blue light from the neon sign slips in through the window. DOLORES, more agitated than usual, is fitting the dress on her friend CARMEN, who is looking at herself in the mirror.

CARMEN: They're pigs, darling. The electric chair is what they deserve. See how they left this arm of mine when they ran off with my purse. And I still work the rich folks' area,

-259-

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