This book is so stupid. It’s good we’re reading it in chunks, because I’m pretty sure if you read it all in one go, its overwhelmingly stupidity would cause you to go blind. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said “Oh fuck off” out loud to this book. But let’s get in on this.
So in the first chapter of the third volume, it seems that Agnes is not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead. Alphonso (the world’s most boring storyteller) takes to his bed in his grief, while Lorenzo believes everything a nun tells him, even if she’s Obviously Evil ™. So it’s up to Theodore to do some reconnaissance work re: Agnes, by which he discovers through Non-Evil Nun Ursula that Agnes is dead, that the nunnery is a hotbed of wickedness, and that Non-Evil Nun Ursula is ready to blow the whole thing wide open.
Meanwhile, in an imperfectly-synched-up storyline across the way that seems to have nothing to do with this one at all, THE MONK sneaks into Antonia’s room and renders her instantly and painlessly unconscious with his Lucifer-supplied stick (not a euphemism). As he’s preparing to rape her (you’re the worst, Ambrosio), Elvira walks in on him.
Here’s the thing, Elvira. Antonia is unconscious, and your frail and sickly screams are as the squeaking of a domestic guinea pig, so your first move should probably be to secure your safety and the safety of your daughter and worry about the legal side later. When Elvira first walks in, the only thing THE MONK wants to do is get out, but then Elvira’s all like:
It’s actually pretty great, I’m not going to lie.
“I promise not only that Antonia shall be secure from me in future, but that the rest of my life shall prove ….”
Elvira interrupted him abruptly.
“Antonia secure from you? I will secure her!”
Damn right, Elvira! You know this dude can’t be trusted. But also — maybe save it for a time when you’re not all alone with him? Because the next thing that happens is that THE MONK kills Elvira, leaves her corpse on Antonia’s bedroom floor, and takes off.
Ugh, and then THE MONK has a whole plan where he’s going to give Antonia a drug that will make her seem dead, and they’ll inter her in the monastery, and then THE MONK can go downstairs to the crypt and rape her there, because she’ll be entirely in his power. I was okay with this except that, when the plan goes into effect, we see Antonia’s heartbeat grow “sluggish” and she subsequently “expires.” But then, stealthily, THE MONK gets anxious and checks her pulse AND SHE STILL HAS A PULSE.
Like I know eighteenth-century Spanish medicine wasn’t so much when you compare it to our modern standards, but they presumably knew about pulses, right? They presumably had sufficient knowledge of how to where they don’t inter people who still have a pulse?
Whatever. I don’t even care. Next there’s a mighty nun showdown where Non-Evil Nun Ursula gives a speech to a crowd explaining how the nunnery murdered poor Agnes, and the crowd promptly riots and stones half the nuns to death. A disillusioned Lorenzo goes running into the nunnery for reasons I can’t be bothered to remember, and guess what he discovers there.
If you guessed “oubliette,” you are correct (I WAS RIGHT). If you guessed “oubliette containing ZOMBIE NUN,” you are even correcter.
Okay. I actually can’t top that. I’m done for the day. Zombie nun.1
Thanks to Alice, as ever, for hosting!
- She’s not really a zombie. She is just emaciated and starving to the point that her own closest kin can’t recognize her. POTATO POTAHTO. ↩