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Alamontade

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Alamontade

by Heinrich Zschokki

Genre: Drama
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

As she entered the hall a deathlike silence prevailed. She never was so charming as at this moment; her simple attire, and the paleness of deep grief, summoned compassion into each heart, and tears into every eye.

All was silent, and all eyes were turned from her upon me. I was to speak, but could not, such was my inexpressible confusion. She was the picture of suffering innocence. All the delightful hours I had spent with her were recalled to my memory on seeing her, and surrounded my soul like weeping angels pleading for her and whispering that she was certainly guiltless.

At length I recovered. I declared that no one would be more delighted by a proof of the innocence of the accused than her husband, and myself, his advocate. But for this proof it was necessary that she should remove suspicion and confess her intention in purchasing the poison.

Madame Bertollon appeared very weak, leaning on the arm of her advocate. She looked at me with a painful glance, expressive of love and sorrow.

“Oh! Alamontade,” she said, in a faint voice, “and must it be you to urge the discovery of my object in purchasing the poison? You–and in this place?”



COMMENTS:

At the heart of this story is a love triangle involving a woman who is accused of being a poisoner. At various times in the story we think she might have intended the poison for herself, former lover, or for her husband. The twists and turns of all those possibilities made for a very interesting twisting and turning the story. The translation is stiff and difficult to wade through, but if you can piece together the plot which is being told, and flesh out its emotions along the way, you might have a very promising musical.


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