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Bret Maverick in La Cantina Americana, Tampico, 1877.[2]

La Cantina Americana


Casino in Tampico, Mexico, in 1877.[1]


Owned and operated by Steve Corbett.[1]


In April of 1876, Corbett established La Cantina Americana with the money from the silver he stole from the House of Gireaux in New Orleans a month earlier.[2] Knowing he could never return safely to the United States, Corbett built the casino to attract American tourists so he could feel psychologically connected to his homeland. His office, in particular, was decorated with numerous pieces of Americana. Although built for tourists, the casino was imbued with Tampico's local color, from its architecture to Chicuelo's Spanish and Mexican folk music.[1] In June of 1876,[2] Corbett hired Amy Lawrence to sing American ballads and folk songs for the casino's guests. Corbett was a successful businessman but he was unfamiliar with gambling, allowing his dealers at faro, blackjack and roulette to cheat the house out of money.[1]


In June of 1877, Bret Maverick was sent to La Cantina Americana by Roul Gireaux to persuade Corbett to return to the United States to answer for his crimes against the House of Gireaux. Bret gained Corbett's confidence by exposing the casino's cheating dealers and becoming his trusted friend. In July, Amy Lawrence left Tampico for Corpus Christi. Having fallen in love with her, Corbett chased after her, leaving the operation of La Cantina Americana to Bret in his absence. But Bret learned from Paul Brooks that Amy had met Rene Gireaux in Corpus Chrtisti and her flight to America was intended as a trap for Corbett. Bret closed the casino indefinitely to follow Corbett to Corpus Christi, where he was finally forced to kill Corbett in self-defense.[1]


After Corbett's death and the investigation that ensued, the ownership of La Cantina Americana fell to the House of Gireaux in recompense for the theft of the money with which it was established. Gireaux sold the casino and used the profits to replace the stolen silver.[2]


See: Escape to Tampico


01. Maverick, Escape to Tampico (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails









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