Once upon a time there was a jealous husband. His wife, who had born him many children, had never given him any reason to doubt her loyalty. Nevertheless his suspicions grew to dominate his every thought. So he devised a clever scheme to tempt his bride.
He recruited the help of a young and handsome Latin lover who — under the direction of the jealous husband — would do his best to seduce the wife. The Latin lover spent many months trying to woo and charm the wife. But when he eventually invited her to bed, she declined, and in fact complained to her husband of the unwanted advances. The husband, feigning ignorance, responded that there was nothing he could do about such things, and sent her on her way.
The Latin lover likewise reported back to the husband that the wife had rebuffed him. Not satisfied with this, the jealous husband ordered the Latin lover to try again. Only this time if his wife resisted, the lover was instructed to violently force himself upon her. The hired Latin lover did just that. Laying in wait for the wife, he caught her unawares, and when she again declined his amorous overtures, he held a knife to her throat and demanded to have his way with her. The woman narrowly escaped the faux rape, but a deep fear stayed with her from that day on.
Again, the Latin lover reported the events to the jealous husband. But nothing could calm the suspicious rage that the husband now harbored for his wife. So he ordered the Latin lover to give his wife this ultimatum: “You will meet me in one week, share my bed, and fulfill my desires; or my brethren and I will hunt you down and slit your throat!”
Upon receiving the ultimatum, the wife was utterly dismayed. She again went to her husband and explained the escalating danger. But again, he feigned ignorance, and sent her on her way. Fearing for her life, and unwilling to engage in what she knew to be a sin with the Latin lover, the woman fled the country in the dead of night.
Furious at this development, the husband dispatched riders to chase his wife down and capture her that very night. Once she was in their clutches, the riders held her captive in an attic for twenty one days under threat of death. Daily they visited her. And daily they reminded her that the scorned lover and his men were searching the countryside without rest, in the hopes that they might find her and kill her. However, they quickly added, if she would but change her mind, and give herself up to satisfy the lust of the scorned lover who now sought to take her life, the lover’s wrath would be quenched and her life would be spared. “Do it for your children,” the riders pleaded, “think of the greater good. You really have no other options.” But though they pressed her day and night, the wife would not yield.
Spying out these events from a hiding spot in the attic, the jealous husband eventually lost patience with his wife and her refusals to accept the lover he had sent to her. So at dawn on the morning of the twenty first day, he commanded his soldiers to bring his wife bound and gagged into his court. There, before all the townsfolk — including her own young children who were never to see her again — the husband announced: “Someday, perhaps decades from now, if the conditions are right, and if she thinks she might get away with it, and if the right lover comes along, and if I am old and in poor health by then, this woman will betray me and share the bed of a stranger. I find it to be so! So let it be written; so let it remain unchanged.”
He then had her stripped and flogged in the sight of all. And pronouncing her to be a harlot, he threw her at once into a deep dark dungeon, where she remains to this day, shunned and derided by all for her infidelity.
For so it is written; and so it shall remain unchanged.