La fuente de oro 2 (Page 23-68)

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We get to know a new character.

Mercedes Gavilán, who everybody calls Lele, is a sixteen-year-old girl who comes from a humble family. Her father works for the “Casino Jerezano” and on New Year’s Eve there is a celebration there in which Miguel Primo de Rivera is the guest of honour. Lele is hired to help that day.  Beltrán de la Cueva  is at the celebration, and Lele notices him and how handsome he is. Beltrán also notices the waitress, and he also finds her very attractive. Yet, they don’t meet but Beltrán asks one of the other waiters after her, and he learns that her name is Mercedes and her father works in the Casino.

Beltrán is in Jerez on holiday. His father owns an important winery, and Beltrán knows that this is his inheritance. What his father wants is for him to marry, and he has even chosen the woman after talking to someone from the Domecq family. Beltran agrees to meet the girl Sonsoles Domecq the next time he is in Jerez. He is not concerned that he doesn’t even know the woman. I guess that marriage is just a formal arrangement, and in the meantime he has his pleasure with the women he meets. It is clear that Beltran is a womaniser, and I am not sure what to think of him. It is clear that he and Lele will meet and get together, but so far I don’t trust him.

Lele works as a servant for a lady who is very strict. She earns a pittance but her family needs the money. When the other maid who usually does the shopping for the lady of the house gets sick, Lele is sent instead. Lele is happy, and in the grocery store where she stops to buy milk, he meets the boy working there. Later that day he is waiting for her. His name is Antonio Barea, and from that day on he waits for her every day, and he walks her home while they speak and laugh. Lele seems to like Antonio, and the feeling is obviously mutual. They seem cute together, but I have the hunch things will become more complicated if Beltran de la Cueva makes his appearance.

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