It was after eating a bowl of peaches that the old King began to complain of pain in his belly. Several of his servitors had begged him to stop, but he ignored them as was his wont. Four of the palace guards had lashed their pikes under his chair and in this way, carried him to his bed. Once there, he curled into a fetal position and began to moan most piteously. His physicians were summoned immediately.
The doctors, mystified by his condition, which included a mild fever, recommended bleeding. So severe was his malady that Princess Pirouette was also summoned to his bedside. What the medical team didn’t know, couldn’t know, was that His Majesty was suffering from diverticulitis. This ailment had progressed so far that the lining of his large intestine had been perforated and its contents even then were spilling into his viscera. Because major surgery was unheard of at this time, this was a death sentence.