deWinter has been injured. Initial reports vary on the severity of the wounds. Trambled by bull sounds pretty serious though, regardless of how heavily or often the big fellow stepped on her.
Several well-dressed and marginally intoxicated men stand around a glistening knot of ball gown and gore that we may assume is a woman.
All right. Let's get help.
What is it?
We can't just rush into the various parties shouting, "deWinter's been mangled!" It would cause a riot.
Right, that wouldn't do.
Why not, "Excuse me everyone, Countess Dewinter has fallen ill. If there is a doctor, preferably a trauma surgeon about, I should like him to accompany me to her room."
Well "fallen ill" hardly captures the severity of her condition.
Everyone nods. One of the men steps forward with a plan. Reginald Bottles --man to be counted on in times of distress. As always, his was the well-bred voice of reason.
Why dont we just describe what caused the injuries and let the guests draw their own conclusions about the exact details. During their subsequent calculations of the relative wouding powers of various elements in the story, we can direct assistance to her room.
That's sounds reasonable.
What happened to her? If we are going to tell the other guests, we have to have the actual causes identified.
Bottles points to some aspect of the dress. "Given the width and depth of the hoofprints, I'd say trampled by a bull."
How can you be so sure it was a bull.
I can't, but several recent developments come to mind.
Everyone scrambles. After a few minutes worrying about being attacked, they decide the old bull is all trampled out and continue their debate.
In all fairness to the bull, are we sure she was trampled?
What does it matter?
Suppose you come across a young lady flitting about your pasture, attempting to simultaneously lure and rebuff you with a red cape. Suppose beneath this same cape was concealed a...
Bottles turned to the spaniard. None of them had the slightest idea where this line of reasoning would lead, and none but bottles knew what was in the cape. Torredo snorted.
A sword, vraiment.
Vraiment? I thought you were spanish!
I am, but a man must be able to deflect the attacks of all kinds of bulls.
Bottles continued his sermonette.
She has a sword. She meant to damage the bull. Suppose the bull only stepped on her a few times in self-defense. It's possible he was just trying to deter her.
It seems he did a fine job.
Indeed, it appears he deterred the hell out of her.
The cause of the trampling is not the issue. The bull does not seem to require any assistance, while the countess, well, appears to have been pretty thoroughly trodden on.
Bottles shrugged and looked for support from the other gentlemen.
That's exactly what I mean. Trodden on sounds like the animal spent half the afternoon stepping on her as heavily as he was able. That just seems a bit prejudiced. Let's say she was stepped upon.
This suggestion sat rather poorly with the spaniard.
What?! We might as well say had her bosom caressed by the trembling forehoof of a lovesick fawn. The woman is hurt, badly. I'd say stomped. I have seen steppings, troddings, mulchings, crushings, manglings, maulings, and even tiptoeings. This lovely young woman was stomped. If pressed for information, that's what I will say.
Wait a damn minute. You don't know that.
Several of the gents seem to take issue with the concerned man's terminology.
Stomped is pretty harsh. That implies percussive and repeated impacts. The bull doesn't look like he's bloodthirsty or anything like that. Calm down. We don't want to get the old fellow executed.
Before the assembled partygoers could come to any sort of agreement about the pending request for medical attention, the countess awoke. Perhaps awoke is misleading. She did not, in the classical sense, 'wake up, stretch her arms toward heaven, and thank the creator for so glorious a day.' What she did, precisely, was regain enough consciousness to make noise. At the first gurgling request for help, the stouthearted gentlemen decided on a course of action.
That's it! She needs help. We needn't go into any more detail than that.
Bravo. Settled then?
Bottles turned to find his Uncle's manservant, Useless, approaching. He had a knack for exactly this sort of timely arrival.
Can I help you, Sirs?
Yes, DeWinter here has been compromised by that bull. See to it that she is...helped.
At helped the fellows, including the spaniard, nodded happily.
Right away sirs.
Bottles led his entourage back towards the Second Balcony.
No Hurry, old man. She's a tough little bird. She can take care of herself.