When they reached the bridge of Neuilly, Monsieur Dufour said: When they got to the crossroads at Courbevoie they were seized with admiration for the distant landscape. On the right was Argenteuil with its bell tower, and above it rose the hills of Sannois and the mill of Orgemont, while on the left the aqueduct of Marly stood out against the clear morning sky, and in the distance they could see the terrace of Saint-Germain; and opposite them, at the end of a low chain of hills, the new fort of Cormeilles.
Quite in the distance; a very long way off, beyond the plains and village, one could see the sombre green of the forests. The sun was beginning to burn their faces, the dust got into their eyes, and on either side of the road there stretched an interminable tract of bare, ugly country with an unpleasant odor. One might have thought that it had been ravaged by a pestilence, which had even attacked the buildings, for skeletons of dilapidated and deserted houses, or small cottages, which were left in an unfinished state, because the contractors had not been paid, reared their four roofless walls on each side.
Here and there tall factory chimneys rose up from the barren soil. The only vegetation on that putrid land, where the spring breezes wafted an odor of petroleum and slate, blended with another odor that was even less agreeable. At last, however, they crossed the Seine a second time, and the bridge was a delight.
The river sparkled in the sun, and they had a feeling of quiet enjoyment, felt refreshed as they drank in the purer air that was not impregnated by the black smoke of factories nor by the miasma from the deposits of night soil. A man whom they met told them that the name of the place was Bezons. Monsieur Dufour pulled up and read the attractive announcement outside an eating house: Restaurant Poulin, matelottes and fried fish, private rooms, arbors, and swings.
Will you make up your mind at last? It was a white country inn, built by the roadside, and through the open door she could see the bright zinc of the counter, at which sat two workmen in their Sunday clothes. At last she made up her mind and said: The husband sprang out first and then held out his arms for his wife, and as the step was very high Madame Dufour, in order to reach him, had to show the lower part of her limbs, whose former slenderness had disappeared in fat, and Monsieur Dufour, who was already getting excited by the country air, pinched her calf, and then, taking her in his arms, he set her on the ground, as if she had been some enormous bundle.
She shook the dust out of the silk dress and then looked round to see in what sort of a place she was. She was a stout woman, of about thirty-six, full-blown, and delightful to look at. She could hardly breathe, as her corsets were laced too tightly, and their pressure forced her superabundant bosom up to her double chin.
Next the girl placed her hand on her father's shoulder and jumped down lightly. The boy with the yellow hair had got down by stepping on the wheel, and he helped Monsieur Dufour to lift his grandmother out. Then they unharnessed the horse, which they had tied to a tree, and the carriage fell back, with both shafts in the air. The men took off their coats and washed their hands in a pail of water and then went and joined the ladies, who had already taken possession of the swings.
Mademoiselle Dufour was trying to swing herself standing up, but she could not succeed in getting a start. She was a pretty girl of about eighteen, one of those women who suddenly excite your desire when you meet them in the street and who leave you with a vague feeling of uneasiness and of excited senses.
She was tall, had a small waist and large hips, with a dark skin, very large eyes and very black hair. Her dress clearly marked the outlines of her firm, full figure, which was accentuated by the motion of her hips as she tried to swing herself higher. Her arms were stretched upward to hold the rope, so that her bosom rose at every movement she made.
Her hat, which a gust of wind had blown off, was hanging behind her, and as the swing gradually rose higher and higher, she showed her delicate limbs up to the knees each time, and the breeze from her flying skirts, which was more heady than the fumes of wine, blew into the faces of the two men, who were looking at her and smiling. Sitting in the other swing, Madame Dufour kept saying in a monotonous voice: She clutched the two ropes and held her legs out straight, so as not to touch the ground.
She enjoyed feeling dizzy at the motion of the swing, and her whole figure shook like a jelly on a dish, but as she went higher and higher; she became too giddy and was frightened. Each time the swing came down she uttered a piercing scream, which made all the little urchins in the neighborhood come round, and down below, beneath the garden hedge, she vaguely saw a row of mischievous heads making various grimaces as they laughed. When a servant girl came out they ordered luncheon. The grandmother, who had an affection for cats, had been running after one that belonged to the house, trying to coax it to come to her for the last ten minutes.
The animal, who was no doubt secretly flattered by her attentions, kept close to the good woman, but just out of reach of her hand, and quietly walked round the trees, against which she rubbed herself, with her tail up, purring with pleasure. They hung side by side, like two tall, slender girls, in their narrow shining length, and made one wish to float in them on warm summer mornings and evenings along the flower-covered banks of the river, where the trees dip their branches into the water, where the rushes are continually rustling in the breeze and where the swift kingfishers dart about like flashes of blue lightning.
The whole family looked at them with great respect. He had been in the habit of rowing in his younger days, he said, and when he had spat in his hands--and he went through the action of pulling the oars--he did not care a fig for anybody. He had beaten more than one Englishman formerly at the Joinville regattas. He grew quite excited at last and offered to make a bet that in a boat like that he could row six leagues an hour without exerting himself.
But two young men had taken the very seats that Madame Dufour had selected and were eating their luncheon. No doubt they were the owners of the sculls, for they were in boating costume. They were stretched out, almost lying on the chairs; they were sun-browned and their thin cotton jerseys, with short sleeves, showed their bare arms, which were as strong as a blacksmith's. They were two strong, athletic fellows, who showed in all their movements that elasticity and grace of limb which can only be acquired by exercise and which is so different to the deformity with which monotonous heavy work stamps the mechanic.
They exchanged a rapid smile when they saw the mother and then a glance on seeing the daughter. With many excuses they accepted, and that it might be more rural, they sat on the grass, without either tables or chairs. The two young men took their plates, knives, forks, etc. She even pretended to turn her head aside and not to see them, while Madame Dufour, who was rather bolder, tempted by feminine curiosity, looked at them every moment, and, no doubt, compared them with the secret unsightliness of her husband.
She had squatted herself on ground, with her legs tucked under her, after the manner of tailors, and she kept moving about restlessly, saying that ants were crawling about her somewhere. Monsieur Dufour, annoyed at the presence of the polite strangers, was trying to find a comfortable position which he did not, however, succeed in doing, and the young man with the yellow hair was eating as silently as an ogre. She wished to be friendly because they had given up their place.
The girl raised her eyes and looked at the oarsman with emotion and Monsieur Dufour spoke for the first time. And then he added: You look very strong," said the husband, who did not talk any more of the time when he used to beat the English. The girl was looking at them sideways now, and the young fellow with the yellow hair, who had swallowed some wine the wrong way, was coughing violently and bespattering Madame Dufour's cherry-colored silk dress.
She got angry and sent for some water to wash the spots. Meanwhile it had grown unbearably hot, the sparkling river looked like a blaze of fire and the fumes of the wine were getting into their heads. Monsieur Dufour, who had a violent hiccough, had unbuttoned his waistcoat and the top button of his trousers, while his wife, who felt choking, was gradually unfastening her dress.
The apprentice was shaking his yellow wig in a happy frame of mind, and kept helping himself to wine, and the old grandmother, feeling the effects of the wine, was very stiff and dignified. As for the girl, one noticed only a peculiar brightness in her eyes, while the brown cheeks became more rosy. The coffee finished, they suggested singing, and each of them sang or repeated a couplet, which the others applauded frantically.
Then they got up with some difficulty, and while the two women, who were rather dizzy, were trying to get a breath of air, the two men, who were altogether drunk, were attempting gymnastics. Heavy, limp and with scarlet faces they hung or, awkwardly to the iron rings, without being able to raise themselves. Meanwhile the two boating men had got their boats into the water, and they came back and politely asked the ladies whether they would like a row.
Then one of the rowers came up with two fishing rods in his hands, and the hope of catching a gudgeon, that great vision of the Parisian shopkeeper, made Dufour's dull eyes gleam, and he politely allowed them to do whatever they liked, while he sat in the shade under the bridge, with his feet dangling over the river, by the side of the young man with the yellow hair, who was sleeping soundly. One of the boating men made a martyr of himself and took the mother. The other boat went more slowly, for the rower was looking at his companion so intently that by thought of nothing else, and his emotion seemed to paralyze his strength, while the girl, who was sitting in the bow, gave herself up to the enjoyment of being on the water.
She felt a disinclination to think, a lassitude in her limbs and a total enervation, as if she were intoxicated, and her face was flushed and her breathing quickened. The effects of the wine, which were increased by the extreme heat, made all the trees on the bank seem to bow as she passed. A vague wish for enjoyment and a fermentation of her blood seemed to pervade her whole body, which was excited by the heat of the day, and she was also disturbed at this tete-a-tete on the water, in a place which seemed depopulated by the heat, with this young man who thought her pretty, whose ardent looks seemed to caress her skin and were as penetrating and pervading as the sun's rays.
Their inability to speak increased their emotion, and they looked about them. At last, however, he made an effort and asked her name. The sound of their voices had calmed them, and they looked at the banks. The other boat had passed them and seemed to be waiting for them, and the rower called out: Meanwhile a continual roar, which they had heard for some time, came nearer, and the river itself seemed to shiver, as if the dull noise were rising from its depths. It was the noise of the weir which cut the river in two at the island, and he was explaining it to her, when, above the noise of the waterfall, they heard the song of a bird, which seemed a long way off.
She had never heard one before, and the idea of listening to one roused visions of poetic tenderness in her heart. That is to say, the invisible witness of her love trysts which Juliet invoked on her balcony; that celestial music which it attuned to human kisses, that eternal inspirer of all those languorous romances which open an ideal sky to all the poor little tender hearts of sensitive girls! She was going to hear a nightingale. They saw the trees on the island, the banks of which were so low that they could look into the depths of the thickets.
They stopped, he made the boat fast, Henriette took hold of Henri's arm, and they went beneath the trees. He uttered trills and roulades, and then loud, vibrating notes that filled the air and seemed to lose themselves on the horizon, across the level country, through that burning silence which weighed upon the whole landscape.
They did not speak for fear of frightening it away. They were sitting close together, and, slowly, Henri's arm stole round the girl's waist and squeezed it gently. She took that daring hand without any anger, and kept removing it whenever he put it round her; without, however, feeling at all embarrassed by this caress, just as if it had been something quite natural, which she was resisting just as naturally. She was listening to the bird in ecstasy. She felt an infinite longing for happiness, for some sudden demonstration of tenderness, for the revelation of superhuman poetry, and she felt such a softening at her heart, and relaxation of her nerves, that she began to cry, without knowing why.
The young man was now straining her close to him, yet she did not remove his arm; she did not think of it. Suddenly the nightingale stopped, and a voice called out in the distance: Madame Dufour had sat down somewhere or other, for from time to time they heard the stout lady break out into little bursts of laughter. The girl was still crying; she was filled with strange sensations.
Henri's head was on her shoulder, and suddenly he kissed her on the lips. She was surprised and angry, and, to avoid him, she stood up. They were both very pale when they left their grassy retreat. The blue sky appeared to them clouded and the ardent sun darkened; and they felt tile solitude and the silence. They walked rapidly, side by side, without speaking or touching each other, for they seemed to have become irreconcilable enemies, as if disgust and hatred had arisen between them, and from time to time Henriette called out: Madame Dufour took his arm, and they returned to the boats, and Henri, who was ahead, walked in silence beside the young girl.
At last they got back to Bezons. Monsieur Dufour, who was now sober, was waiting for them very impatiently, while the young man with the yellow hair was having a mouthful of something to eat before leaving the inn. The carriage was waiting in the yard, and the grandmother, who had already got in, was very frightened at the thought of being overtaken by night before they reached Paris, as the outskirts were not safe.
They all shook bands, and the Dufour family drove off.
Two months later, as Henri was going along the Rue des Martyrs, he saw Dufour, Ironmonger, over a door, and so he went in, and saw the stout lady sitting at the counter. They recognized each other immediately, and after an interchange of polite greetings, he asked after them all. She was sitting on the grass, looking very sad, while by her side, still in his shirt sleeves, the young man with the yellow hair was sleeping soundly, like some animal.
She grew so pale when she saw Henri that at first he thought she was going to faint; then, however, they began to talk quite naturally. But when he told her that he was very fond of that spot, and went there frequently on Sundays to indulge in memories, she looked into his eyes for a long time. They are alone in the immense landau, which is filled with flowers like a giant basket. On the front seat are two small hampers of white satin filled with violets, and on the bearskin by which their knees are covered there is a mass of roses, mimosas, pinks, daisies, tuberoses and orange blossoms, interwoven with silk ribbons; the two frail bodies seem buried under this beautiful perfumed bed, which hides everything but the shoulders and arms and a little of the dainty waists.
The coachman's whip is wound with a garland of anemones, the horses' traces are dotted with carnations, the spokes of the wheels are clothed in mignonette, and where the lanterns ought to be are two enormous round bouquets which look as though they were the eyes of this strange, rolling, flower-bedecked creature. The landau drives rapidly along the road, through the Rue d'Antibes, preceded, followed, accompanied, by a crowd of other carriages covered with flowers, full of women almost hidden by a sea of violets.
It is the flower carnival at Cannes. The carriage reaches the Boulevard de la Fonciere, where the battle is waged. All along the immense avenue a double row of flower-bedecked vehicles are going and coming like an endless ribbon.
Flowers are thrown from one to the other. They pass through the air like balls, striking fresh faces, bouncing and falling into the dust, where an army of youngsters pick them up. A thick crowd is standing on the sidewalks looking on and held in check by the mounted police, who pass brutally along pushing back the curious pedestrians as though to prevent the common people from mingling with the rich. In the carriages, people call to each other, recognize each other and bombard each other with roses. A chariot full of pretty women, dressed in red, like devils, attracts the eyes of all. A gentleman, who looks like the portraits of Henry IV.
Fearing the shock, the women hide their eyes and the men lower their heads, but the graceful, rapid and obedient missile describes a curve and returns to its master, who immediately throws it at some new face. The two young women begin to throw their stock of flowers by handfuls, and receive a perfect hail of bouquets; then, after an hour of warfare, a little tired, they tell the coachman to drive along the road which follows the seashore.
The sun disappears behind Esterel, outlining the dark, rugged mountain against the sunset sky. The clear blue sea, as calm as a mill-pond, stretches out as far as the horizon, where it blends with the sky; and the fleet, anchored in the middle of the bay, looks like a herd of enormous beasts, motionless on the water, apocalyptic animals, armored and hump-backed, their frail masts looking like feathers, and with eyes which light up when evening approaches.
Original Short Stories - Volume By Guy de Maupassant - Illustrated [Guy de Maupassant] on linawycatuzy.gq *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. How is this. The Original Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant Volume 12 - Kindle edition by Guy De Maupassant. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC.
The two young women, leaning back under the heavy robes, look out lazily over the blue expanse of water. At last one of them says: How good everything seems! Don't you think so, Margot? But there is always something lacking. I feel perfectly happy. I don't need anything else. You are not thinking of it. No matter how contented we may be, physically, we always long for something more--for the heart. I need to be loved, if only by a dog.
But we are all alike, no matter what you may say, Simone. I had rather not be loved at all than to be loved by the first comer. Do you think, for instance, that it would be pleasant to be loved by--by--" She was thinking by whom she might possibly be loved, glancing across the wide landscape. Her eyes, after traveling around the horizon, fell on the two bright buttons which were shining on the back of the coachman's livery, and she continued, laughing: It has happened to me two or three times. They roll their eyes in such a funny manner--it's enough to make you die laughing!
Naturally, the more in love they are, the more severe one must be with them, and then, some day, for some reason, you dismiss them, because, if anyone should notice it, you would appear so ridiculous. Tell me how you noticed that they loved you. One is always flattered to be loved by a man, no matter who he may be.
For instance, I will tell you of a peculiar incident which happened to me. You will see how curious and complex our emotions are, in such cases. I had tried five or six, one right after the other, and I was about ready to give up in despair, when I saw an advertisement in a newspaper of a young girl knowing how to cook, embroider, dress hair, who was looking for a position and who could furnish the best of references. Besides all these accomplishments, she could speak English. She was tall, slender, pale, shy-looking. She had beautiful black eyes and a charming complexion; she pleased me immediately.
I asked for her certificates; she gave me one in English, for she came, as she said, from Lady Rymwell's, where she had been for ten years. Her name was Rose. She was a treasure, a pearl, a phenomenon. I had never before been waited on in such a manner. I never felt her fingers on my skin, and nothing is so disagreeable to me as contact with a servant's hand. I soon became excessively lazy; it was so pleasant to be dressed from head to foot, and from lingerie to gloves, by this tall, timid girl, always blushing a little, and never saying a word.
After my bath she would rub and massage me while I dozed a little on my couch; I almost considered her more of a friend than a servant. I was surprised, and told him to come in. He was a good, faithful man, an old soldier, one of my husband's former orderlies. At last he managed to mumble: I do not think that it is a noble profession. I answered, angered and hurt: He shall not come in. He was a man with good manners and decorated with the Legion of Honor. He begged my pardon for disturbing me, and then informed me that I had, among my domestics, a convict.
She had hardly entered the room, when the inspector made a motion, and two men whom I had not seen, hidden behind the door, sprang forward, seized her and tied her hands behind her back. The inspector stopped me: His sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life. He escaped four months ago. We have been looking for him ever since. I did not believe him. The commissioner continued, laughing: His right arm is tattooed.
The inspector added, with bad taste: I thought of the one whom he had assaulted--and--and I felt humiliated--There! Do you understand now? She was looking straight ahead, her eyes fastened on the two shining buttons of the livery, with that sphinx-like smile which women sometimes have. The girl Prudent Rosalie , servant at the Varambots', of Nantes, having become enceinte without the knowledge of her masters, had, during the night, killed and buried her child in the garden.
It was the usual story of the infanticides committed by servant girls. But there was one inexplicable circumstance about this one. When the police searched the girl Prudent's room they discovered a complete infant's outfit, made by Rosalie herself, who had spent her nights for the last three months in cutting and sewing it. The grocer from whom she had bought her candles, out of her own wages, for this long piece of work had come to testify.
It came out, moreover, that the sage-femme of the district, informed by Rosalie of her condition, had given her all necessary instructions and counsel in case the event should happen at a time when it might not be possible to get help. She had also procured a place at Poissy for the girl Prudent, who foresaw that her present employers would discharge her, for the Varambot couple did not trifle with morality.
There were present at the trial both the man and the woman, a middle- class pair from the provinces, living on their income. They were so exasperated against this girl, who had sullied their house, that they would have liked to see her guillotined on the spot without a trial. The spiteful depositions they made against her became accusations in their mouths. The defendant, a large, handsome girl of Lower Normandy, well educated for her station in life, wept continuously and would not answer to anything. The court and the spectators were forced to the opinion that she had committed this barbarous act in a moment of despair and madness, since there was every indication that she had expected to keep and bring up her child.
The president tried for the last time to make her speak, to get some confession, and, having urged her with much gentleness, he finally made her understand that all these men gathered here to pass judgment upon her were not anxious for her death and might even have pity on her. Then she made up her mind to speak. Until then she had obstinately refused to give his name. But she replied suddenly, looking at her masters who had so cruelly calumniated her: Well, he stayed two months at the house, two months of the summer.
I thought nothing about it when he began to look at me, and then flatter me, and make love to me all day long. And I let myself be taken in, monsieur. He kept saying to me that I was a handsome girl, that I was good company, that I just suited him--and I, I liked him well enough.
What could I do? One listens to these things when one is alone--all alone--as I was. I am alone in the world, monsieur. I have no one to talk to--no one to tell my troubles to. I have no father, no mother, no brother, no sister, nobody. And when he began to talk to me it was as if I had a brother who had come back. And then he asked me to go with him to the river one evening, so that we might talk without disturbing any one. I went--I don't know--I don't know how it happened. He had his arm around me.
Really I didn't want to--no--no--I could not--I felt like crying, the air was so soft--the moon was shining. No, I swear to you--I could not-- he did what he wanted. That went on three weeks, as long as he stayed. I could have followed him to the ends of the world. I did not know that I was enceinte. I did not know it until the month after--" She began to cry so bitterly that they had to give her time to collect herself.
Then the president resumed with the tone of a priest at the confessional: Then I made the outfit, sewing night after night, every evening until one o'clock in the morning; and then I looked for another place, for I knew very well that I should be sent away, but I wanted to stay in the house until the very last, so as to save my pennies, for I have not got very much and I should need my money for the little one.
It came sooner than I expected. It came upon me in the kitchen, while I was doing the dishes. Monsieur and Madame Varambot were already asleep, so I went up, not without difficulty, dragging myself up by the banister, and I lay down on the bare floor. It lasted perhaps one hour, or two, or three; I don't know, I had such pain; and then I pushed him out with all my strength. I felt that he came out and I picked him up. I did all that Madame Boudin told me to do. And then I laid him on my bed. And then such a pain griped me again that I thought I should die.
If you knew what it meant, you there, you would not do so much of this. I fell on my knees, and then toppled over backward on the floor; and it griped me again, perhaps one hour, perhaps two. I lay there all alone--and then another one comes--another little one--two, yes, two, like this. I took him up as I did the first one, and then I put him on the bed, the two side by side. Is it possible, tell me, two children, and I who get only twenty francs a month?
Say, is it possible? One, yes, that can be managed by going without things, but not two. That turned my head.
What do I know about it? Had I any choice, tell me? I felt as if my last hour had come. I put the pillow over them, without knowing why. I could not keep them both; and then I threw myself down, and I lay there, rolling over and over and crying until I saw the daylight come into the window. Both of them were quite dead under the pillow.
Then I took them under my arms and went down the stairs out in the vegetable garden. I took the gardener's spade and I buried them under the earth, digging as deep a hole as I could, one here and the other one there, not together, so that they might not talk of their mother if these little dead bodies can talk. They sent for the doctor and he understood it all. I'm telling you the truth, Your Honor.
Do what you like with me; I'm ready. The women in the courtroom were sobbing. The president asked her: The girl Rosalie Prudent was acquitted. It was a dull autumn day; the leaves were falling. They fell slowly in the rain, like a heavier and slower rain. Saval was not in good spirits. He walked from the fireplace to the window, and from the window to the fireplace.
Life has its sombre days. It would no longer have any but sombre days for him, for he had reached the age of sixty-two. He is alone, an old bachelor, with nobody about him. How sad it is to die alone, all alone, without any one who is devoted to you! He pondered over his life, so barren, so empty. He recalled former days, the days of his childhood, the home, the house of his parents; his college days, his follies; the time he studied law in Paris, his father's illness, his death.
He then returned to live with his mother. They lived together very quietly, and desired nothing more. At last the mother died. How sad life is! He lived alone since then, and now, in his turn, he, too, will soon be dead. He will disappear, and that will be the end. There will be no more of Paul Saval upon the earth. What a frightful thing! Other people will love, will laugh. Yes, people will go on amusing themselves, and he will no longer exist! Is it not strange that people can laugh, amuse themselves, be joyful under that eternal certainty of death? If this death were only probable, one could then have hope; but no, it is inevitable, as inevitable as that night follows the day.
If, however, his life had been full! If he had done something; if he had had adventures, great pleasures, success, satisfaction of some kind or another. He had done nothing, nothing but rise from bed, eat, at the same hours, and go to bed again. And he had gone on like that to the age of sixty-two years. He had not even taken unto himself a wife, as other men do. Yes, why was it that he had not married? He might have done so, for he possessed considerable means. Had he lacked an opportunity?
But one can create opportunities. He was indifferent; that was all. Indifference had been his greatest drawback, his defect, his vice. How many men wreck their lives through indifference! It is so difficult for some natures to get out of bed, to move about, to take long walks, to speak, to study any question.
He had not even been loved. No woman had reposed on his bosom, in a complete abandon of love. He knew nothing of the delicious anguish of expectation, the divine vibration of a hand in yours, of the ecstasy of triumphant passion. What superhuman happiness must overflow your heart, when lips encounter lips for the first time, when the grasp of four arms makes one being of you, a being unutterably happy, two beings infatuated with one another.
Saval was sitting before the fire, his feet on the fender, in his dressing gown. Assuredly his life had been spoiled, completely spoiled. He had, however, loved. He had loved secretly, sadly, and indifferently, in a manner characteristic of him in everything. Yes, he had loved his old friend, Madame Sandres, the wife of his old companion, Sandres.
He would toss him in his arms, he would trot him on his knees, by the hour, and M. Duretour would dine three times a week with the Lemonniers, bringing flowers to madame, and sometimes a box at the theater; and often, at the end of the dinner, Lemonnier, growing tender, turning towards his wife, would explain: English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. How pleasant everything was on that day! She felt an infinite longing for happiness, for some sudden demonstration of tenderness, for the revelation of superhuman poetry, and she felt such a softening at her heart, and relaxation of her nerves, that she began to cry, without knowing why. Would you like to report this content as inappropriate?
But he had met her too late; she was already married. Unquestionably, he would have asked her hand! How he had loved her, nevertheless, without respite, since the first day he set eyes on her! He recalled his emotion every time he saw her, his grief on leaving her, the many nights that he could not sleep, because he was thinking of her.
On rising in the morning he was somewhat more rational than on the previous evening. How pretty she was formerly, so dainty, with fair curly hair, and always laughing. Sandres was not the man she should have chosen. She was now fifty-two years of age. And why should she not have loved him, he, Saval, seeing that he loved her so much, yes, she, Madame Sandres!
If only she could have guessed. Had she not guessed anything, seen anything, comprehended anything?
What would she have thought? If he had spoken, what would she have answered? And Saval asked himself a thousand other things. He reviewed his whole life, seeking to recall a multitude of details. He recalled all the long evenings spent at the house of Sandres, when the latter's wife was young, and so charming. He recalled many things that she had said to him, the intonations of her voice, the little significant smiles that meant so much. He recalled their walks, the three of them together, along the banks of the Seine, their luncheon on the grass on Sundays, for Sandres was employed at the sub-prefecture.
And all at once the distinct recollection came to him of an afternoon spent with her in a little wood on the banks of the river. They had set out in the morning, carrying their provisions in baskets. It was a bright spring morning, one of those days which intoxicate one. Everything smells fresh, everything seems happy. The voices of the birds sound more joyous, and-they fly more swiftly.
They had luncheon on the grass, under the willow trees, quite close to the water, which glittered in the sun's rays. The air was balmy, charged with the odors of fresh vegetation; they drank it in with delight. How pleasant everything was on that day! After lunch, Sandres went to sleep on the broad of his back. Madame Sandres had taken the arm of Saval, and they started to walk along the river bank.
She leaned tenderly on his arm. She laughed and said to him: He felt himself grow pale, fearful that he might have looked too boldly at her, and that the trembling of his hand had revealed his passion. She had made a wreath of wild flowers and water-lilies, and she asked him: You might at least say something. All these things came back to him now, as vividly as on the day when they took place. Why had she said this to him, "Great goose, what ails you?
You might at least say something! And in passing under a shady tree he had felt her ear brushing his cheek, and he had moved his head abruptly, lest she should suppose he was too familiar. When he had said to her: Most of the stories were pretty good, some were excellent and some were not so good. Many were about the Prussian occupation of France, or about small town French life. Glad I read it, glad its finished!
Apr 05, Trish rated it liked it. The longest book of short stories I've ever read - a struggle to read at times, don't think I'd read it again in a hurry! Took me 2 months to read which is a lifetime for me, I usually get through books in a couple of days! Emilia Osorio rated it it was amazing Nov 30, John rated it liked it Jul 01, Michel Emile rated it it was amazing Jan 09, Mateo rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Garth rated it liked it Oct 24, Olivier rated it really liked it Nov 13, Himadri Mahanta rated it really liked it Jan 07, Carolyn Clifford rated it it was amazing Nov 12, Raghuveer Dinavahi rated it it was amazing Dec 27, Carl rated it really liked it Jul 12, Avivi rated it it was amazing Mar 05, Ankita Dev rated it liked it Mar 08, Michael Redhill rated it it was amazing Jan 18, Belanie rated it really liked it Oct 21, Biswarup rated it liked it Apr 08, Bloch rated it it was amazing Sep 20, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About Guy de Maupassant. July 1, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us.
Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate? Click here Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? There's a problem loading this menu right now.