Casanova and the Florentine Countess – Excerpt 6

  I made myself comfortable at the table and we began to play. Cattoni was dealing, he shuffled the pack, then handed it to Ruffio to cut the cards, they were then passed back to him. Cattoni dealt us five cards each, I perused my cards, not a winning hand but satisfactory for my purpose, I said, ‘Gioco’ I play, and laid my cards flat on the table.

The trump suit was hearts I had one, but of a low denomination, it suited my purpose I wanted to appear as an inept but wealthy gambler. Cavello who sat on my right folded. The next Player was Falcone himself, he knocked on the table, with something of a smug look on his face, obviously he knew he was holding the winning hand.

Cattoni, was the next player, He stated, ‘Terzo se devo, which basically means if there are only two players left in the game i will volunteer my services as a third. Ruffio who was the remaining player folded, so that left the three of us, to fight it out.

It was my turn to lead so I led a cavello of clubs, Falcone as i expected trumped it, looking quite pleased with himself. Cattoni as i had expected threw down a lower club. It was as expected Falcone’s trick. One to him, four to go. As winner it was his turn to lead.

As I thought he would make a grand play, He almost smirked as he placed the ace of Diamonds on the table, Cattoni threw down a six of Diamonds, I could have trumped him, but that would have been to easy, not what I wanted at all. My aim was to beat and totally humiliate him. Both as a gambler and also, as a man. I followed suit with a two of Diamonds. Two tricks to Falcone.

He confidently threw down the ace of Spades, Cattoni the down the seven of Spades, I picked up my cards, Fumbled with them for a moment, then threw down the two of Hearts.’I do believe this trick is mine!’ I stated confidently. Falcone looked furious. My plan was beginning to work.

(C) Damian Grange 2017




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