It was the music
that drove me to it. Not that Wolfgang
and I had any love lost; any fool could tell we despised
each other. I hated his frivolous
whoring ways and his vulgar
, coarse manners and he loathed my common sense
. But the music drove me to try that night. That such sublime
sounds be created by a man so base
was always mystery
to me, but for the love of the music I decided to help him escape.
It was at Urnekloster, as you may recall. It was sheer coincidence that I happened to be in that bleak little city at the same time he was debuting one of his more elaborate opera for the pleasure of the local baron. My sister Margarethe had taken ill and I had gone to visit her, unaware that my old nemesis and sometime friend was playing in the castle that very night. Over the snowy fields I heard the music, at first whimsical and light, but then haunting and maddening. I did not know if it was of heaven or the infernal regions, but I immediately knew the source of it; only Wolfgang could make me feel such envy and such primal longing while feeling such joy.
Without so much as an overcoat, I stumbled blindly across the ice and snow towards the source of that music, towards the orchestra that was making me mad with strange desire. I hated Wolfgang for his magnificence; I'll admit it, but I did not go to do him harm. Rather, I had gone because I had to hear more than the haunting strains I was tormented with.
At last I grew near to the castle, and I could see the lights from the ballroom where the opera was being staged for the baron. I drew near as I dared to the open windows and hid in the shadows, only to listen, I tell you! It was marvelous. Wolfgang's best work ever. I was enthralled.
My reverie was interrupted by a scream. From the other side of the wall there was a crash and the voice of an angry father claiming that Wolfgang had despoiled his virgin daughter. Shouts and alarums rang out within.
Then the sound of a struggle; it was moments before I dared peek in, and I beheld before me chaos. Roughly clad peasants were grappling with lords and ladies in silk, the peasants were overpowering the wealthy and surging angrily towards Wolfgang! Several candelabra were knocked over in the ensuing scuffle and the hall became tenebrous and indisctinct. I used the confusion to my advantage, surged through the window and grabbed Wolfgang firmly by the wrist and dragged him out with me into the snow. Yes, I hated him, but again I say I meant him no harm.
Through the icy fields we ran towards the river. Margarethe's husband Ludwig was a fisherman of some note and I dragged Wolfgang onto his vessel and sliced through the line with my dagger only moments before an angry torch bearing crowd fell upon us. I thought we were safe as our persuers were bound to stay upon land, but with distress I saw that several of them had loaded into a rowboat and were giving chase. I barked orders to my disoriented passenger so that we might make distance from the mad crowd. Yes, I loathed Wolfgang, but would not have his music die.
Swiftly we sailed down the river towards the city and safety; Wolfgang would have friends there. The docks seemed to loom before us, and I shouted happily, "we shall escape calumny!". You see, though I detested Wolfgang, I meant him no harm on that evening. I felt that we were in terrific luck as I caught sight of several of his associates, all good austrians waiting near the dock. We pulled close and prepared to hastily exit the ship when at last we were boarded.
You see, our pursuers had not given up chase. The austrians fought fiercely with the peasants, and I strove to get Wolfgang to safety. I grabbed him by the wrist once more when I heard a voice call out my name. It was no ordinary voice, it was angelic in tone and was the very twin voice of my dear Aurelia, gone these 15 years. I looked in that direction for one fateful moment, because for one heartbeat I thought that Aurelia lived once more, but there was no one.
When I turned around, Wolfgang was dead at my feet, stabbed through the heart. As his life's blood stained the deck of the ship and left this curr who made such divine music, I thought once more of Aurelia, my daughter gone these 15 years. All death is tragic. He would drive no more innocents to suicide, true; but neither would he make his sublime music. All death is tragic, even the death of a monster who could conjure the voices of angels.
As for the dagger I used to cut the line, I no longer have it, I do not recall what became of it. I must have flung it away in the excitement. You do not believe me, gentlemen? As I said before, I hated Wolfgang, but meant him no harm.