The Story - Page 4 of 4

Out of respect to that majestically-looking empress who they believed came from a far-away land, the ceremony was stopped and gave her a royal reception. Once in, the guest suggested that a game be played in honor of the betrothed, and that she signified her willingness of offer a number. The number which she offered consisted of a dance and drama between a negrito and a negrita contained in a flask which she created from her talisman. In the dance, the negrita carried a whip by which at certain intervals she flogged her partner whom she called Don Juan. Dancing and conversation followed alternately, the dance accompanied by sweet music that came from no where.

In the conversation, the negrita continually reminded the fictitious Don Juan (the negrito) of the incidents of the adventures of the true Don Juan in the kingdom of the Crystals: the scene in the baths, the different tests given by the king to Don Juan, and their escape from the kingdom of Crystals to the kingdom of Berbania. And each time the negrito denied cognizance of these incidents and of Doña Maria, the negrita mercilessly flogged the negrito. But what was most strange was the fact that every time, the negrito was whipped the pain was actually felt by the true Don Juan. When still the negrito denied knowledge of even the scene at the village just at the outskirts of the Berbanian kingdom, and the true Don Juan kept his silence, the guest determined to directly punish Don Juan. At this instance, the negrito and the negrita as well as the music disappeared. Then the guest directly addressed Don Juan with the remarks that in as much as he had not recognized her, it was time for him to die because of his perfidy. She at once grabbed the flask and was about to throw the whole kingdom, when Prince Don Juan, truly repentant, began to recognize the presence of Doña Maria. Then publicly the prince announced his determination to wed the guest and not Doña Leonora.

Commotion of thought immediately reigned in the king's mind as well as those of the other. For allowing the prince to marry Doña Maria would be an outrage on Doña Leonora. Then a battle of wits ensued. Leonora explained how her lamb-talisman saved the life of the price so that for that reason alone he should marry her. Doña Maria argued her case as forcefully as did the former. Really both of them saved the life of Don Juan. What was to be done? To marry both would be un-Christian. But to marry one would prejudice the other. And to marry none would be an injustice. Besides, the prince was willing to marry one of them. In the midst of this confusion, the archbishop's advice was finally sought. He voted in favor of Doña Leonora, invoking the right of priority.

But Doña Maria was determined to fight to the last to save herself. She therefore took advantage of the power of her talisman by sending all over the Berbanian kingdom an inundation that would kill all her people. Under these circumstances King Fernando and all his subjects trembled to their knees and supplicated Princess Leonora to be content with marrying Don Pedro, the eldest son of the king, a fact which this princess did for the good of all. The affair ended in a double wedding, those of Doña Maria and Don Juan, and Doña Leonora and Don Pedro. At the behest of Doña Maria heself, the Berbanian crown was given to Don Pedro and Doña Leonora. Soon Doña Maria, the heroine, and Don Juan, the hero, returned to the kingdom of Crystals where they lived and ruled gloriously.

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