Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The mnment the door closed, Johann fell to his knees. “Siegfried, I have a confession to make. My jealousy of Elaina`s love for you had overwhelmed my reason. It was only when I was to receive the Holy Eucharist at your wedding that my eyes truly opened to my calumny. In my state of envy and dishonesty, I was unable to accept the presence of God.”

Siegfried helped Johann to his feet and bade him to continue. “Oh Prince, I`ve traveled to your homeland in order to learn of your weaknesses, to know the means of defeating you. At the great river in your country I was awakened from sleep by the music of the Rhinemaidens. From them I learned of your defeat of the dragon Fafner and your capture of the golden ring and the magic helmet from his lair. I am aware of Tarnhelm`s power and I was going to use it against you. You see, the Rhinemaidens told me of your one weakness; that your Grandfather Wotan left your back vulnerable to death since he granted you the power of fearlessness. I was going to embrace you and use my knife to slay you, then use Tarnhelm to take your place. As Siegfried, I would tell my Father that I had left Neder for adventure since I had failed to win Elaina`s love. In that way, I would truly take your place at the side of the Princess forever. Your body would be hidden here until late this evening when I would dispose of it.”

Siegfried was shaken by this news, but asked, “It is at least possible that you could have slain me, but surely you didn`t think that the Princess wouldn`t recognize the differences in our character?”

“I didn`t think that far, Siegfried. My jealousy consumed me.” On the verge of tears, the Neder Prince continued. “It was only when I was to receive the Body of Christ in commemmoration of your wedding that I was able to see the ugliness of my soul.”

Siegfried moved closer to Johann, placing his hand on the Prince`s shoulder. “Come, Johann and join the festivities. The courage you have shown in this confession has earned my forgiveness.”

Johann bowed to Siegfried and replied, “Thank you for your forgiveness, oh Prince, but I have much more to tell of the Rhinemaidens. The lives of you and your bride may be in mortal danger! The golden ring holds the answer!”

Siegfried put his arm around Johann, leading him to the door. “I believe you, but the celebration and my wedding night await.  We will speak more of this on the `morrow.”