Julio Madariaga (HEW-lee-oh Mah-doh-ree-AH-gah), a tough, virile Spaniard who immigrates to Argentina. Madariaga makes a fortune buying land no one wants and converting it into fine ranch land, stocked with cattle bred from a prize-winning bull that is now stuffed and placed at the entrance to his parlor. Madariaga kills or tames the Indians, seduces the local women, and leaves progeny wherever he roams. Despite the large numbers of illegitimate offspring left on his doorstep, the death of his only legitimate heir leaves him inconsolate. His granddaughter, Chichi, however, roams the range with him. Madariaga dies in the saddle and leaves his heirs a fortune.
Julio Desnoyers (HEW-lee-oh day-noh-YAY), the spoiled, handsome son of millionaire Marcelo Desnoyers. He is a hot-footed tango dancer and the heartthrob of numerous Parisian ladies. Julio becomes enamored of Marguerite Laurier, but when the war makes her husband a hero, his war injuries recall her to her first love and duty. Heartbroken and angered by Parisian comments about his avoidance of war duties and by the end of his clandestine affair, Julio joins the French army and serves heroically, winning the respect of comrades and the praise of superiors. He rises in the ranks for his bravery in the trenches but is killed shortly before the war’s end.
Marguerite Laurier (mahr-geh-REET loh-RYAY), the beautiful, adulterous lover of Julio Desnoyers, whose not-so-secret trysts with him begin on the dance floor and end in his Montmartre study. Discovery by Marguerite’s husband, Etienne Laurier, lead to marriage plans. Her husband’s uniform and heroism, however, make her embarrassed by her lover’s failure to join the war effort. She takes...
(The entire section is 818 words.)