A man arrived at Barvilles to visit a gallery, but found it closed. He wandered around the town and eventually entered a tobacco shop. The saleswoman seemed familiar to him, and he soon realized that she was Ça ira, a woman he had known years ago when they were both part of a bohemian group in Chatou.
Forgive me, Madame, for staring at you like this, but I seem to have known you for a long time.
They reminisced about their past adventures, and Ça ira told him about her life as a dressmaker in Paris. She and her friends would play tricks on wealthy men to get money, and she eventually had a son named Roger with a law student.
Years later, the law student became a deputy and helped Ça ira get a license to sell tobacco. Her son Roger grew up to be a head clerk at the town hall, with a promising future as an assistant prefect.
Now, Monsieur, this is my son, head clerk at the town hall. You know what that means … future assistant prefect.
The man greeted Roger respectfully and left the tobacco shop, reflecting on the unexpected reunion with Ça ira.