an overly tragic tale
Isabella paced the floor nervously. Her rather unwelcome suitor, Rolando had challenged her lover Roberto for her hand. She had refused to watch. “Oh dear, oh dear,” she sighed. She heard a shot ring out. “Oh dear!” she fainted and fell with a thud. Her lady’s maid, Baptista heard the thud and opened the door. “Oh, signorina!” she cried. Then she went to fetch help. A strong, stout stable boy was brought to lift her and carry her to her chamber. “The signorina is much heavier than I supposed,” he grunted. “Oh, shut up!” snapped Baptista, “Now shoo, out out!” She fetched the smelling salts.
After numerous applications, Isabella began to arise from her stupor. “Where, where am I, what happened?” she said drowsily. “In your chambers, love,” replied Roberto, standing at her bedside. Isabella was delighted to find that he had not come in all nasty and bloody. That would have made her angry.
Roberto was of noble birth, so her father quickly consented to the wedding. Isabella was to be dressed in the finest of silks and the wedding was performed with dignity and ceremony. The date was set.
One day, Roberto was out walking in the garden, when he met with the stable boy, Armand. “Signor,” said Armand, who had apparently been looking for him, “Your horse is quite ill. I believe you should have a look at him.” Roberto, being quite fond of his horse, went with him.
The next day Roberto was found dead. Apparently trampled by his own horse. “Oh dear!” cried Isabella, and fainted. Luckily they’d had the foresight to see she was told of the incident before a soft cushion.
Isabella paced the house, brooding and singing rather off key, and painting dead birds for several weeks. Soon she began receiving mysterious notes, “My love, you are fair as your father’s good mare,” and suchlike nonsense. “Oh, Baptista, who could be writing them. I wish he wouldn’t!” she cried. “There there,” Baptista said, combing our Isabella’s raven locks, “I shall see that you get no more such letters.” Early the next morning Baptista screamed. It seemed that Isabella had expired in the night. “She must have died for the love of Roberto,” cried one of the ladies. “Yes, yes,” I suppose, sighed Baptista, apparently trying to regain her lost composure. “Quite,” and then began to cry.
Armand was found dead at the bottom of one of the cliffs along the seaside the next day. Baptista went mad and ran about babbling “I killed him! I killed him!” but no one ever knew what she was talking about.