As a consequence of long standing melancholy, John attempts to forget his deceased wife in the arms of a paid lover. Instead of temporary respite from long grief, John bares his soul and his past, and perhaps gains something he can't see at that moment, a bit of wisdom, and a friend.
The tale opens up on the beginning of John's day in Radasanth, and is a relatively typical morning for John. He can't help but think, as he often thinks, about his wife who is gone. With an effort he shakes off the thought and begins his daily routine, completing his morning chores. Today is Market Day for John, and so he soon gathers up items he intends to sell - horseshoes, although he won't be doing the shoeing himself, knives, and even a sword - and marches off to town. On his way he once again thinks of his wife who is gone, and how she died, and once more has to shake off the grim thoughts. It is a slow day for John, a few horseshoes sold, a dagger purchased, and people got a chance to once more gaze upon the giant man in gauntlets for free. On the way home, John passes by a familiar building called the Black Rose, and decides to buy a little concern for his problem. A little comfort to help him with his woes. He eventually settles on a black haired beauty of simple loveliness. Still her true charm is only revealed later, after John finds himself wanting to avoid fleshly matters for more verbal delights. A drink is shared, a glass broken, a wound is tended, and events of the past are spoken. The last comment of the woman who willingly sells her charms and affections, is rather telling for the whole event, "an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind." John's response of "Only if you're weak," might be more an affirmation of his views of his own character than anything else.