A horrible duel

A despatch from Toledo says:- Particulars of a strange duel have just leaked out here through the arrival of W.C. Martins, a wealthy coffee merchant from Mexico.

Letters just received from A.A. Germane, a coffee buyer at Tampico, Mex., show that Senor Victoria, a mining speculator, and Senor Pedrazo, an extensive shipowner, met at a ball given by one of the chief ladies of the Spanish society.

The gentlemen, while heated with wine, quarrelled in the presence of the lady, whom both admired. Senor Victoria challenged Senor Pedrazo. The latter accepted the challenge and stipulated that the duel must take place in a dark room.

As he had the choice of weapons, he demanded that Victoria meet him in the room, in which were to be placed 100 tarantulas of the most poisonous kind.

According to the agreement they would devote their energies to killing the tarantulas instead of fighting with each other. Neither must leave the room until all the poisonous spiders were killed.

Pedrazo, it is thought, expected that Victoria would never accept the weapons. But Victoria declined to back down, and the duel was fought.

All that is known about it is that it was fought in a room as dark as a dungeon.

There were no seconds, and no one at Tampico suspected the truth.

When the doors were broken open both men were found on the floor dead, surrounded by dead and living spiders.

In spite of the efforts of friends to hush it up, rumours of the truth leaked out.  An investigation was promised but friends interfered and nothing has been done about the duel.

The Aberdeen Evening Express, August 24, 1887.

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