The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve

By José Tomás de Cuéllar; Margo Glantz et al. | Go to book overview

IV

While the Christmas Eve salad was being prepared in the kitchen, outside the General's "hoose" a veritable salad of guests was being assembled. In certain homes, the guests do not come from that intimate circle of family relations who so grace the domestic hearth, but instead are composed of a hodgepodge of individuals who install themselves for an entire day, quite content because they have some place to go.

From the moment we began to suspect that the General wasn't a real general, and the house was not "his" house, these guests were thrown into a questionable light that makes it difficult for us to introduce them to our readers. We hardly know Lupe and Otilia, but our ignorance is quite understandable since no one in that house could give us any details about their parentage. We must go elsewhere in search of information.

Lupe was the daughter of a government paymaster, of the sort who pays others for six months of the year and then, when least expected, pays the rest to himself. He had made this kind of formal payment twice, and as a result, had become so servile and obliging in the General's house that he let Lupe do whatever she

-129-

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The Magic Lantern: Having a Ball and Christmas Eve
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editors'' General Introduction vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xxxiii
  • Prologue 3
  • Having a Ball 5
  • I- Preparations for the Ball 7
  • II- How Couples Were Recruited and Guests Invited 15
  • III- About the Machuca Sisters and Others like Them 25
  • IV- In Which, among Other Things, the Girls Who Frequent the Pane Baths Prepare Themselves for the Colonel''s Ball 34
  • V- Concerning What Happened to the Virtue of a Lady Invited to Saldaña''s Ball 45
  • VI- How the Appearances Maintained by These Upstarts Tend to Compromise Any Serious Result 69
  • VII- The Ball Begins 79
  • VII- How the Heat from Candles, Combined with a Santa Barbara Cognac and Other Evils, Can Create Pandemonium at a Ball 100
  • IX- Conclusion 115
  • Christmas Eve - Negatives Exposed from December 24 To December 25, 1882 119
  • I 121
  • II 123
  • III 126
  • IV 129
  • V 133
  • VI 136
  • VII 140
  • VIII 142
  • IX 146
  • XI 156
  • XII 162
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