“He had spent most of that evening in the lounge of the Hotel El Presidente, drinking and playing liar’s poker with a couple of his pals. They had gambled with one-hundred-peso notes and Harry had lost about forty dollars. Not much money, but enough to sour his mood a little; he had never learned how to accept losing, hated it, regarded it as a little death—every time you lost, whether a dime or an argument or what the Asians call face, a chip was taken out of your self-esteem and you entered the next contest with that much less confidence. Losing was an accumulative poison like lead or arsenic; small doses did not appear to cause much harm, but they collected and in time…”
—Ron Faust, Nowhere to Run. Turner Publishing Company TPB, 2013 (© 1981). Page 161. “He” is Harry Rudd, a wealthy former automobile broker. The protagonist, David Rhodes, finds Harry at his Mexican estate. A gun in one hand, a drink in the other.