Act I Scene 1 (A) 

The mother talks to her son, the bridegroom; she curses all knives (which killed her other son and her husband) as instruments of death. The son laughs, takes a knife and leaves.


Scene 1 (B)


A neighbor enters, gossips about pain, death, heat, and drops the fact that the bride-to-be once dated Leonardo (son of the killer of the Madre's menfolk). The neighbor calms the mother's sudden anger and leaves.


Act I Scene 2


Leonardo's wife and her mother sing a surrealistic, bloody ballad. Leonardo enters, lies about how hard he's ridden his horse and about where he's been. He leaves in a rage when questioned. The women return to their ballad, crying


Act I Scene III


The two families meet and discuss the wedding. They leave. Remaining are the Bride and a servant who are interrupted in their discussion of the wedding by the sounds of a departing horse- Leonardo's.


Act II Scene 1


The bride (with a servant) prepares for the wedding. Leonardo enters. They converse, obviously still very much in love. Leonardo is sent away. Others enter and a wedding song serves as a backdrop for greetings. All leave.


Act II Scene 2

General preparations for the party after the wedding. Later, in the midst of festivities, it is discovered that Leonardo and the bride have ridden away on horseback. The men are divided in to two groups to hunt them down.

Act III Scene 1 A


A surrealistic scene with supernatural figures--the moon and Death (personified by a beggar woman), framed by the appearances of three woodcutters. 

Scene 1 B (Love duet)


The lovers enter and speak of their love. The pursuers are heard; the lovers leave. Two screams are heard. Death appears as the curtain falls.


Act III Scene 2


Three girls have a surrealistic discussion of the tragedy, the mother and some neighbors grieve. The disheveled bride enters and confronts the mother whose rage subsides as she speaks of the knife, the little knife which kills--enmeshed within the roots of a scream.