Rollo, a man of great reputation, had a beautiful wife. A local youth by the name of Resus was deeply in love with her but she gave him no sign of hope. Comparing his own achievements to those of Rollo, he realised that he was indeed nothing.
He decided to go to the wars, which a man of spirit could always find somewhere and received the belt of knighthood from Rollo himself. In these wars he did everything he could to win renown, there was no quarrel that he was not happy to take part in.
Rollo and his wife were riding out one day when they met Resus returning in fine armour, much better than that in which he had set out. The lady made a great show of ignoring him but Rollo looked long at him as he rode off. The lady’s misgivings were aroused and she asked her husband why he was looking so long after the youth.
“I wish to look at what I wish I could always see, the noble wonder of our time.”
“He does not seem to me so handsome.” she said but secretly knew her lord spoke the truth. As she rode with her husband she wished she had not been so quick in rejecting Resus. She found she desired him.
When she was back in her private chambers she fell on the bed and wept. Then she decided upon a bold course of action. She sent a messenger to Resus and asked him to come to her room. He was eager to come and they slipped into a secret chamber where they could achieve what they both desired.
“You are wondering, perhaps, dearest one, what it is that has made me yearn for you all at once after so many harsh repulses. Rollo is the cause. I had not believed the common report but I believed his report of you because I know him as the most truthful of men.”
She lay down upon the bed but now it was Resus who drew back. He realised that he would never be the equal of Rollo and neither could he do Rollo wrong because of his goodness. He turned and walked out of the chamber to return to the wars and an honourable death. Rollo’s wife was at first mortified, but time brought her acceptance that Resus’s actions had been for the best.