"You see, the women of this country save their knives for the ones they love."
The doctor withdrew the blade, instinctively avoided the splurt of blood.
"They never use them until they are betrayed, not even to save their own lives. That way, the people that feel them know not just the woman's anger, but what they have lost."
She took out the scalpel to widen the wound, and smiled.
"Of course, they say a doctor loves everyone, because she cuts them all."
With tweezers, she carefully picked out the bits of thread and other debris.
"There is a song in this country about a boy, and all he wanted to feel was his lady's knife. Because it would have meant she loved him once. But he was denied even that."
The doctor began to scrape the bone.
"He was devoted to her, but she did not return his affection; he was only a name that she took, his home and wealth were hers, but she cared nothing for him. His father could see what she was, but could do nothing, and his mother - I knew his mother; she would have poisoned the bitch within a fortnight - was long dead."
She fetched the silver needle, and a the cotton thread.
"So the boy, he took to the inns. A scandal was what he wanted, in flagranto, to demonstrate his unfaithfulness. He wanted to elicit something from her. But her knife remained in its sheath. Instead, she sent her brothers. They beat him badly, and dragged him home, but it was the insult of it that broke his heart. Because she had not cared to stab him, you see? The boy had tried to hurt her, but she showed that she was beyond that."
The doctor washed the wound with a bit of alcohol and cotton.
"The say he drank himself to death. They say he beat her, but she would never give him the satisfaction of the kiss of her knife. His friends all knew, joked at the lack of scars as a many unlucky in love. He could not take the ridicule, so he drank, and drank, and died. There is a little grave," she looked out the window, "not far from here. Where they buried them both. Because they were husband and wife, of course. On her marker is the image of a sheathed dagger. That is what they call a loveless marriage in this country."
She stood up and stretched, examined her work.
"She must have loved you very well," the doctor said, "but be careful, in this country, the kind of love you inspire. Some women carry swords."
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