"Locked" Locked in a dungeon beneath the Palazzo Ducale, Isabella squirmed in her chains, and thought of her gallant lover, the brilliant, dashing Lodovico di Mascalzone. "Fly to me, Lodovico," she thought. "Rescue me!" She was certain he would find her, perhaps sneaking into the dungeons in disguise, outwitting the guards, and breaking her chains to liberate her with a kiss... But what could be keeping him? She couldn't bear much more of this torment, locked into this cruel iron mask and spiked chastity-belt on the orders of the Duke, whose displeasure she had incurred. Deprived of sight, she listened for the sound of footsteps, always wondering if it was her beloved Lodovico, or just the jailer come to feed her some of that revolting prison gruel, or use her helpless mouth for his disgusting pleasures.
A short distance away, down a dark corridor, two men were in conversation.
"Thank you, sir," said the jailer, "I am glad we were able to come to this arrangement; your payment will keep that prisoner available for your private use until the end of the month."
"I commend you on your diligence, "said the other man, "That ungrateful bitch almost cost me the Duke's favour; to have her at my mercy is worth a lot to me. And Lodovico di Mascalzone always pays his debts."