The Adventures of Vitellio Continue: Viva La Liberta
Vitellio took his time in making cake for his new ‘friends’. Our audacious Vitellio was sitting at Gilda’s table for it was by a complete contingency that he ended up in her dwelling.
He had travelled to Mantua on a business matter regarding his friend when a band of robbers attacked him. Yes, he was a police-chief but one against eight is an unfair scrimmage. Vitellio was robbed of everything, (including his money and jacket), and had no place to go. The rain was pouring. The moon was shining. (Of course you couldn't see the shining moon through the clouds but that didn't mean that it wasn't there. The moon was shining even though you couldn't see it.) He planned to take refuge in an inn in which his business partner Ottavio was staying. But we mustn’t forget that due to the fatuous robbery Vitellio had nothing. The address of that place was in the pocket of his jacket that was no longer in his possession. Well, never underestimate Vitellio. He was a brave fellow and didn’t lose hope. Warbling the Te Deum under his breath, Vitellio went marching down the dark streets. Rigoletto, and unfeigned man whose frankness often did him wrong, was returning home when he saw poor Vitellio, wet and cold. He was enticed to help him and soon had Vitellio in his house. Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter, instantly began taking care of their unexpected visitor.
Now, it was morning and Vitellio decided to pay his saviors for their troubles. Making a cake was the most he could do at the moment.
As he made the cake, (which turned out to be unrefined and coarse), he thought of the Mardi Gras celebration which was held at Giovanni’s, a close friend of Vitellio. Giovanni had moved to Mantua two months ago. Their friendship started when Giovanni called Mario a “smock-faced innuendo on our planet”. Needless to say, he earned Vitellio’s respect that very day.
Now, Giovanni began noticing strange figures strolling around his house. He ignored it at first but after a few days he called upon Vitellio for help. Vitellio and Ottavio came to investigate. On the train, Vitellio and Ottavio separated as to not cause suspicion and Vitellio got into this tribulation.
This gawky course of events left Vitellio dumfounded and he remembered about his business here in Mantua the second Gilda came tumbling down the stairs with a tray of cookies. The legend behind these cookies was that they were perennial, incorruptible, and amaranthine. Gilda was planning to feed them to Alvaro but decided to try her luck on Vitellio first. Alvaro was greatly spared. Vitellio’s hands were completely covered in dough when, as mentioned before, Gilda came tumbling down the stairs with a tray of cookies.
“Good morning, miss,” said Vitellio with a stupid smile.
“Good morning,” replied Gilda. She came over to the kitchen counter and placed the tray on top of it.
“Watcha makin’?” cried Gilda.
“Cake,” mumbled Vitellio, “Don’t worry, your dad knows.”
Gilda giggled. “I brought cookies,” she said, “Try one.”
Vitellio smiled and raised his hands into the air, manifesting hands covered in dough.
“Oh, that’s alright,” laughed Gilda, “I’ll feed you.” She grabbed a cookie and came closer to Vitellio, trying to feed him.
“No, no, no,” he said, backing away from her, “I’ll just wash my hands.” He took another step back but found himself pressed against the wall. Gilda lifted the cookie closer to his face.
“Take a bite,” she said. Vitellio wrinkled his nose but soon gave in, opened his mouth and biting into the dreaded cookie. He suddenly had the irrepressible desire to spit the cookie out. Of course he refrained from this action but the urge was still there.
After finally finishing the dreaded sweet, he looked at Gilda and forced a smile.
“It’s wonderful,” he said, compelling every word. Gilda’s face lit up.
“Really?” she cried, “Oh, my gosh! I love you so much!” She put her hands on Vitellio’s shoulders and jumped up to give him a kiss, but Vitellio lifted his head as high as possible and began hysterically laughing.
“That’s not necessary,” he said, “I love you as well.” He tried to make his way around her but Gilda pushed him back against the wall. Vitellio was forced to forego.
“Have another one,” she said.
“Um,” Vitellio glanced at the door to Rigoletto’s room with hope. He could augur that if he didn’t escape from Gilda now she would either strangle him or poison him with these malignant cookies.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, “I’m…uh…my wife forced me to go on a diet. Oh, an also, my wife enjoys my baking. I have a wife, you know, a wife. My wife is a very kind woman. She’s also very pretty. Nobody can compare to her beauty.” He coughed. He definitely lied about being on a diet and soon found himself at the sink.
Using Rigoletto’s phone he called Ottavio and basically begged him to come and rescue him. Ottavio replied that he spent the night looking for him and only got two hours of sleep. And that his girlfriend Anna called him and was yelling at him basically all of those two hours so truthfully he got no sleep at all. The conversation ended with Ottavio promising to come as soon as possible.
Vitellio left the cake with Rigoletto and Gilda, thanked them kindly, and left. Ottavio marched into the house right after him and began questioning Gilda and looking for a dismembered body somewhere in the house.
“Have a cookie,” said Gilda offering a cookie.
“Oh, I’ve had enough cookies for today,” he said, “I’ll be going now.” He left the house swearing under his breath. He was very hungry and would have loved to have some food but those cookies looked so nasty…
“Where did he go?” groaned Ottavio.
“Pst! Pst!” Vitellio appeared from behind a tree, “Pst, Ottavio.”
Ottavio twirled around and found Vitellio jumping around a tree like a satyr.
“Captain Scarpia,” began Ottavio, “Why…? What are you…?”
“Enough questions,” interrupted Vitellio, “Time to get away from this family.”
“Where’s your coat?”
“I said enough questions!”
As they made their way to Giovanni’s, Ottavio’s phone rang about eight times. Four of those times were Anna calling and the other four were Mario.
“Captain Scarpia,” said Ottavio, “Anna reports that I’m a scumbag and that you’re a very patient man. Mario reports that he, Floria, and Eboli will be here by eight.”
“Of course,” cried Vitellio, “Can’t do anything without Mario Cavaradossi!!!”
“Thank God you’ve come!” cried Giovanni when they were in his house. “I’m quiet used to the commander coming to all of my parties but this has never happened before. Every night I see a dark shadow walking by my door.”
Vitellio was very concerned about his friend’s safety and was determined to get to the bottom of this. He would have loved to accuse Mario and send him to the gallows but that wouldn’t have solved any of Giovanni’s problems.
Vitellio and Ottavio worked out a plan to guard Giovanni’s door. There were two days remaining until the party. The culprit would be caught.
At 6 o’clock p.m. Vitellio took his post at a tree near Giovanni’s dwelling. Ottavio was standing around the corner.
They waited some more but still nothing happened.
After a while, two suspicious figures appeared at Giovanni’s door. It was too dark for Vitellio and Ottavio to see that they were Floria and Eboli. Ottavio shot a glance at Vitellio and Vitellio returned an approving nod. The two of them expatiated themselves towards the culprits and soon had the two down.
“Ahah!” cried Ottavio, “Sneaking around at night! You…” He stopped when he heard a sob coming from Floria and a jeering laugh from Vitellio.
The two corettes were sitting flat on their bottoms. Eboli seemed to be the only one unfeigned by the incident and was up on her feet in a second. Floria was very abashed. She kept on sobbing and began sobbing even more when Ottavio began laughing along with Vitellio.
“Quit tormenting,” she cried through tears, which were now caused more from anger then from fright. “What were you thinking!?” She crossed her arms on her chest and sniffled.
“I’m sorry,” said Vitellio, trying not to persecute her any longer. Unfortunately, all his efforts failed him for he found himself cackling. He compensated for his taunting by bending down and pulling Floria up from the ground.
“Captain Scarpia,” said Ottavio, “I think we just lost the real culprit.”
Ottavio pointed to a door, which shut closed the moment Vitellio turned.
“Well,” said Vitellio, “Let’s go see who that was.”
He began marching when Ottavio coughed.
“What do we do with these two?”
Vitellio looked at Floria and smiled. “Let’s take them with us. What difference does it make?”
“This is such amphigory!” cried Floria but Eboli elbowed her.
“Let’s go,” she said.
The four “sleuths” went up to the house Ottavio saw the man enter. They knocked and a woman opened the door.
“Yes?” she said glancing at Vitellio and Ottavio.
“Are there any men in the house?” asked Vitellio firmly. He had put on his work ‘mask’ and you wouldn’t even think that he was just laughing.
“Why, yes, my brother. Why do you ask?”
“Can we see him?” interrupted Ottavio. The woman gulped but stepped aside, allowing the group to pass.
As they entered, they saw a man sitting in normal indoor clothes at a table. He was eating soup.
“Maddalena!” he said looking up from his plate, “What is this?”
“They wanted to see you,” mumbled Maddalena. Vitellio walked up to the table and seated himself across from the man.
“Ah,” said the man recognizing Vitellio, “Isn’t this Scarpia? I’ve missed you so much, Scarpia!”
“Sparafucile,” he said, “Long time no see.”
Sparafucile chuckled and took a gulp from his soup. “What brings you to Mantua?” He glanced at Eboli and Floria standing beside Ottavio a few feet away from the table. “Why’d you bring the ladies all the way here?”
Vitellio ignored his question and asked on of his own.
“What do you need form Giovanni?”
“Me?” Sparafucile smiled. “I need nothing at all. But the two ladies who are hiring me need a lot form him. I would even say too much.”
“What are the their names?” Vitellio stood up, banging the fist on the table.
“Calm down, my dear Scorpio.” Sparafucile’s utterance was tranquil and serene. “My loyalty to my clients does not permit me to betray them by saying their names. Savvy?”
Vitellio took a step back towards Ottavio and intimidated Maddalena who was trying to peculate Eboli’s wallet. She was instantly caught by Vitellio who snatched her wrist and tore the wallet out of her hand. Eboli seemed very surprised and didn’t even notice that Vitellio was holding her wallet.
“I suppose you’ll be leaving now,” said Sparafucile.
When the four of them had left, Eboli patter her back pocket and discovered that her wallet was missing.
“Oh,” she cried, “Where’s my wallet?” She turned to the house they just left and was about to run towards it when Vitellio handed her her wallet.
“You should pay more attention,” he mumbled as Eboli searched through her wallet.
“At least we know who the prowler is,” said Ottavio to Vitellio.
“Yes,” replied Vitellio, “But we don’t know who the commissioners are. That’s the main thing.” He turned to Floria. “Where’s Mario?”
“He promised to come in an hour.”
Mario Cavaradossi was walking down a dark alley when he heard footsteps behind him. By instinct, he hid himself in a shadowy corner and waited for the person to walk by. There were actually two people and they were Gilda and Despina. They looked about themselves and began talking.
“ This is horrible!” cried Gilda, “Sparafucile just called and said that Scarpia figured it all out. He refuses to perform any acts.”
“What?” cried Despina, “Did he say our names?”
“He swore that he didn’t,” Gilda twirled around and began staring blankly at the place where Mario was hidden. Fortunately she didn’t see him.
“Do you think he’ll figure it out?” Gilda turned to Despina.
“Vitellio?” Despina’s face looked as though some one had just spat in it. “That oaf won’t figure anything out!”
“Guess we’re gonna have to get rid of Vitellio as well,” she mumbled.
“I don’t know yet,” said Despina, “Let’s go to sleep now and we’ll think things over tomorrow.”
“Good night,” and the corettes departed. Mario peeked out of his hiding place and ran as fast as he could to Giovanni’s.
It was 7 o’clock p.m. now. Everyone was in bed. Mario began knocking and woke everyone up. Giovanni opened the door and Mario entered.
“Mario?” Floria rushed up to Mario and kissed him. “Mario! Mario! Mario!”
“I’m here,” said Mario, turning to Vitellio. He told them everything he had overheard.
“I think that Gilda and Despina are planning to murder Giovanni themselves at the party,”
Giovanni turned bright green
“Alright,” said Vitellio. “Here’s our plan.”
It was the day of Giovanni’s Mardi Gras celebration. Alvaro, Pieretto, Leporello, Despina, Dorabella, Marcellina, Zerlina, Masetto, Vitellio, Ottavio, Anna, Floria, Mario, Eboli, and Elvira were there. Music was playing and everyone was dancing.
Vitellio and Ottavio were wearing masks and tried to stay out of the action. Vitellio took on Despina and Ottavio was watching Gilda.
Despina poured some wine into a cup and left the ballroom into the hall. Giovanni decided to take a break and go to his bedchamber for a second.
There was a long table upon which lay masks for those who came without one. Eboli, who was never a party person, snatched one from the table and pulled it on. It was a Mardi Gras mask with a long nose. Eboli took a few strides and disappeared after Despina.
Giovanni entered his bedroom and plopped on his bed. He touched his forehead and concluded that he had a fever. He rested on his bed for a second and then heard a loud bang.
Eboli gasped when she heard the bang. She turned and saw Despina.
“Oh,” cried Despina, “Didn’t see you. Who are you?”
Eboli stayed silent, knowing that Despina would never recognize her unless she spoke.
“Silent?” Despina smirked. “I see. What do you want?”
Eboli didn’t answer. Despina sighed. She sipped some wine from her glass and glanced at Eboli opprobriously before ambulating down the hall.
At that moment, Giovanni opened the door and saw a corette standing in a Mardi Gras mask. He grabbed his candlestick holder and turned to Eboli.
“It’s alright,” said Eboli taking her mask off. “It’s Eboli.”
Giovanni lowered the candlestick holder and breathed a sigh of relief.
“I don’t know,” she said, “I must admonish you that Despina was here and she’s gonna be back.”
Giovanni turned his head in the direction in which Despina had gone.
“Are you going back to the party?” he asked.
‘Probably not,” said Eboli, “I can’t stand big crowds.”
“Same here,” said Giovanni bashfully, “You can come in if you want.”
“That’s an enticing offer,” Eboli entered and the two of them sat down at Giovanni’s table.
“I feel better if I’m not alone and while maniacs are trying to kill me,” said Giovanni.
“They’re not maniacs. Just women whom you’ve tricked.”
“I never tricked them!” cried Giovanni in his defense, “By the way, I love how you scintillate in that dress.”
Eboli couldn’t help laugh.
“Scintillate,” Giovanni smiled, “To glisten or sparkle.”
“You’re a sly character,”
“Oh,” said Giovanni lighting a candle, “Don’t ridicule me like that.”
“I’m not ridiculing you!” said Eboli. She had placed her mask on her lap when she sat down and now plopped it on the table. Giovanni raised an eyebrow as he stared at the mask.
“Wow,” he mumbled, picking up the mask, “When did I buy this? I have so many masks that I’ve never worn before!”
He smiled and put the mask on. Eboli began laughing.
“You look like Cyrano de Bergerac in that,”
“Oh, it’s like you looked better!” groaned Giovanni.
“I looked much better!” cried Eboli, “I always look much better than you!”
“I’ll frighten any maniac in this,” said Giovanni quietly. He took the mask off and put it back on the table.
Suddenly, somebody knocked.
“Wonder who that is,” said Giovanni. He and Eboli stood up and went to the door. Giovanni came up to the door, opened it and was surprised by Gilda.
“Hello,” she said, “Am I interrupting anything? I see you have a lady in here.”
“I was already leaving,” mumbled Eboli and tried to leave the room, but Giovanni blocked her.
“No, don’t go,” He turned to Gilda. “What do you need?”
“Me?” Gilda widened her eyes, “I need nothing. I just came to check on you. Where are you two bodyguards? What if I kill you right now? Who will protect you? Don’t tell me this Dulcinea knows Judo.”
Eboli remained silent.
“I’ll go now,” she mumbled.
“No,” cried Giovanni, “I don’t want you to leave! Calm down! Are you willing to leave because she said some idiotic words about you! Sit back down right now!”
Eboli seemed more frightened than convinced and quietly sat back down.
“And you!” cried Giovanni, “What do you need?”
Before he could do anything Gilda pulled out a dagger and charged at Giovanni. He grabbed her wrists and pushed her away. Gilda wobbled and fell backwards. Giovanni snatched Eboli’s hand and rushed through the hall.
“Are you alright?” he said.
“Am I alright?” Eboli tried to free her hand but Giovanni held it tight. “What do you think? Where are you going? Why must I follow you! Vitellio! Ottavio! Floria! Help! Somebody!”
“Oh,” whined Giovanni, “Be quiet! You’re only attracting…” He stopped when he saw Despina standing in front of them with a chainsaw. She didn’t seem to allow them to pass. Behind them came Gilda with her dagger.
Eboli snatched Giovanni’s arm.
“Oh, my God!” she cried, “Are they…?”
“I’m afraid so,” said Giovanni, shoving Eboli behind him.
“Vitellio! Ottavio!” screamed Eboli, “Help! Mario! Floria! Ottavio! Anna!”
Gilda began laughing.
“Which one should we kill first?” she said.
“The concubine,” replied Despina. Eboli’s eyes widened.
“What?!” She squeezed Giovanni’s shirt and began shielding herself with him.
“Wait, wait, wait,” said Giovanni, “Can we talk?”
“No,” cackled Despina, “We can’t.”
“Please?” Eboli squeaked.
“You!” shouted Gilda, “Shut up. We don’t listen to brainless chickens!”
Eboli tried to rush past Giovanni but he kept her in place.
“What are you doing?” he cried, “Have you gone mad? Help! Help! Aiuto! Soccorso!”
The two of them began screaming. When Despina came closer to them with the chainsaw, Giovanni tried to tear it out of her hand. She didn’t let go. Then, a miracle happened. Dorabella walked by and called for aid.
“Can’t believe I missed you,” said Vitellio when they were sitting in Giovanni’s living room. Everyone was gone except for Mario, Floria, Vitellio, Ottavio, Anna, Giovanni, and Eboli. Giovanni and Eboli were sitting on the couch.
“Did the police take them away?” asked Anna.
“Yes,” answered Vitellio.
“The candles,” moaned Giovanni, “I didn’t put them out.” Eboli patted his shoulder.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “I put them out before we left.”
“I’m leaving Mantua first thing in the morning!” cried Mario, “There’s absolutely nothing to draw here!”