Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Roderigo, son of the corregidor of Madrid, was a pleasure-bent, reckless youth. One night, while roaming about the outskirts of the city with two young noblemen, he acted on a rash and outrageous impulse. When a pretty girl came along, accompanied by her elderly parents, Roderigo decided to have some fun; on the spur of the moment he determined to kidnap her. After a bit of urging he won the somewhat reluctant cooperation of Louis de Castro and Diego, who restrained the distraught mother and father while Roderigo carried off the protesting maiden. Taking her to his apartment in the corregidor’s palace, Roderigo yielded to his lust and raped her. Meanwhile, back on the road, Louis learned to his dismay that the mistreated family was that of Pedro de Cortes, an influential Spanish don. Worse still, the girl stolen by Roderigo under the cloak of night was Clara, the object of Louis’ own affections.
Clara, overcome by shame, asked Roderigo to kill her, whereupon he sullenly strode from the apartment. While he was gone, Clara examined the room for any clues to the identity of her attacker. From the window she saw below a starlit garden containing a curious alabaster fountain. In the chamber itself she discovered a precious crucifix, which she quickly concealed in her bosom as she heard Roderigo’s footsteps approaching once more.
Beginning to feel repentant for his deed, Roderigo readily agreed when Clara asked him never to speak of her...
(The entire section is 1129 words.)
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