Casanova and the Florentine Countess – Excerpt 4
I asked the Duchess, ‘Would she mind awfully, if she could point out Signora Falcone to me?’ ‘A pleasure!’ she replied, ‘The handsome young man in the red satin jacket.’I looked in the direction That she had signalled and I picked him out immediately.
He was handsome, a little gaudy for my taste, but I could see why a woman might take too him, he was obviously among friends, he was bragging about some conquest he had made, he was obviously not a gentleman like myself, a gentleman never tells. But then I have never needed too, my prowess as a lover precedes me.
I took my leave of the Duchess and moved nearer to the gaming table where Falcone and his friends were gambling. They were playing Bestia, a game I knew well, I stood for a while and watched them play. Falcone was apparently having a winning streak, I watched him scoop four pots on the run. His friends grumbled about his run of luck, but to me it was obvious, he was cheating.
From where I stood, I could not be 100% certain but I had an idea he was using a marked deck. His friends had all been drinking heavily so they probably had not noticed when he switched decks. Bestia played in the Italian style uses a pack of Forty Cards In Four Suits. It would not be that difficult to mark them.
So, now I had the measure of the man, Philanderer, Braggart, Cheat and I feel sure he has a myriad of other faults. Normally I would turn a blind eye, but he his abusing the hospitality of an old and very dear friend and he has already misused another of her guests. He will have to be taught a lesson and who better to teach him than the Master, Giacomo Casanova!
(C) Damian Grange 2017