Copyright ©2019 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.
As he was departing for a visit to his outlying districts, the baron warned his young wife: “Do not leave the castle or else I shall punish you severely when I return at dawn!”
The castle was
situated on an island in a fast-flowing river. A
drawbridge linked the island to the mainland at
the narrowest point in the river.
After pleasant hours with her paramour, the baroness returned to the drawbridge, only to find it blocked by a madman. He wildly brandished a dagger. “Do not attempt to cross the drawbridge,” he shrieked, “for I must kill you!”
Fearing for her life, the baroness rushed back to her paramour and asked him for help. He shook his head and frowned. “Our relationship is strictly romantic,” he said. “I am not obliged to protect you.”
The baroness then sought out a boatman on the river and, after describing her plight to him, she asked to be taken across in his boat. “I will do that – but only if you pay me a fee of five drachmas.”
“But I have no money with me!” the baroness protested.
The boatman shrugged. “Too bad for you. I cannot give free rides.”
fear growing, the baroness ran to the home of a
friend and, after tearfully explaining her
situation, she begged for a loan of five
drachmas to pay the boatman his fee.
With dawn approaching and her last resource exhausted, the baroness rushed back to the drawbridge in desperation and was slain by the madman.
There are six characters identified in the story...
 baron,  baroness,  boatman,  friend,  madman,  paramour.