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Blue Beard

Blue Beard. Once upon a time there was a man who owned beautiful houses in the town and in the country, with golden and silver dinner serviceand golden coaches. Unfortunately this man had a Blue beard and this gave him such an ugly appearance that all the women and young girls fled away. A neighbour of his, a distinguished lady, had two beautiful daughters. In order to get to know them Blue Beard took them together with their mother, three or four of their best girlfriends and some young men from the region to a country mansion. Anyway, everything went so well that the youngest girl started to find that the owner of the house did not have such a blue beard and was a very courteous man. As soon as they were back in the city the marriage was arranged. The neighbours and good friends did not have to be begged to go visit the newly wed girl. They were very impatient to see all the riches of the house, not having dared to do so while the husband was present. They could not stop praising and envying the happiness of their friend, who was not enjoying all those riches, because of the impatience she felt to open the cabinet in her husband?s apartment. The temptation was so big that she could not overcome it: therefore she took the small key and trembling opened the cabinet. After recovering a little, she took up the key, got out and closed the door. She went up to her room to calm down, but she could not, touched as she felt. Having observed that the cabinet key was stained with blood, she cleaned it two to three times. But the blood did not go away, however much she washed it and even when she rubbed it with fine sand the blood still stayed there. Blue Beard got back from his trip that same afternoon, saying that on his way he had received letters telling him that the reason for his trip had been settled in his favour. Give it to me soon ? said Blue Beard. After examining it, Blue Beard said to his wife ? Why is there blood on this key?. I don?t know ? his wife replied, pale as the dead. ? You don?t know ? said Blue Beard ? but I know very well. You tried to open the cabinet! Well, madam, you will get in and take your place amongst the ladies you have seen. She would have touched a stone, beautiful and afflicted as she was, but Blue Beard had a heart of harder material than stone. ? I will give you half a quarter of an hour ? Blue Beard replied ? and not one moment more. When she was alone she called her sister and said ? Ana (so was her name), my sister, I beg you, go to the top of the tower, to see if my brothers are coming, they promised to come to see me today, and if you see them, wave to them so that they hurry. Her sister Anna went to the top of the tower and the poor girl called from time to time: - Ana, my sister, do you see anybody yet? And her sister replied: - I see no more than the sun shining and the grass getting greener. In the meantime Blue Beard, with a big knife in his hand, shouted at his wife at the top of his lungs: - Come down soon or I will come up ? Wait just a moment more, please, his wife replied and asked her sister in a low voice: Ana, my sister, do you see anybody? And her sister Ana replied: - I see no more than the sun shining and the grass getting greener. ? Come down ? shouted Blue Beard ? or I will come up. ? I am coming ? his wife replied and then begged: - Ana, my sister, do you see anybody coming? ? I see her sister replied ? a great cloud of dust that comes from this side.  ? Are they my brothers? ? Ay, sister, no! It is just a flock of sheep. ? Are you coming down ? shouted Blue Beard. Thank God! ? she exclaimed an instant later ? there are my brothers, I am making signs to them to hurry. Blue Beard was shouting so hard that the whole house was trembling. The poor woman went down and threw herself at his feed, crying and almost crazy with fear. ? It is useless ? said Blue Beard ? you have to die. At that same moment there was such a loud banging at the door that Blue Beard stopped suddenly. When the door opened two horsemen came riding directly at Blue Beard with their swords in hand. The poor woman was almost as dead as Blue Beard and had no strength to get up and embrace her brothers. It so happened that Blue Beard had no heirs, so that his wife become owner of all that was his. She used a good part to marry her sister to a lord  and another part to buy Captain positions for her two brothers. And the rest she used to get married herself to a very courteous man, who made her forget her bad times with Blue Beard.

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