A Country Excursion (Maupassant)

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A Country Excursion
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A family went on a countryside outing, where they met two young men who took the women on separate boat rides, leading to romantic encounters and a lasting memory for one couple.

A group of friends had been planning to go on a country excursion for five months, and they finally decided to go on Madame Dufour's birthday. They borrowed a cart and set off early in the morning, driving through the countryside and enjoying the scenery. When they reached the bridge of Neuilly, they were struck by the beauty of the landscape and decided to stop for lunch at a restaurant called "Restaurant Poulin."

Here we are in the country at last!"

After lunch, the group decided to go for a walk in the nearby woods. They came across two young men who were rowing on the river and asked if they could join them. The young men agreed, and they all went for a row together. During the row, one of the young men, Henri, became attracted to Madame Dufour's daughter, Henriette. They spent some time alone together in the woods, where they shared a passionate kiss.

Henriette — young woman; daughter of Monsieur and Madame Dufour; beautiful, dark-skinned, and emotional.
Henri — young man; strong, athletic, and passionate; rower who becomes involved with Henriette.

Two months later, Henri happened to walk past the Dufour's ironmonger shop and decided to go in. He found out that Henriette had married the young man with yellow hair who had accompanied them on the country excursion. Madame Dufour asked Henri to pass on her regards to his friend and to invite him to visit them sometime.

I will not say that; come again, very soon.

The following year, Henri decided to revisit the spot in the woods where he and Henriette had shared their passionate moment. To his surprise, he found Henriette there with her husband, who was sleeping soundly beside her. They talked about their memories of that day, and Henriette revealed that she still thought about it every evening.

I, too, think of it every evening.

Monsieur Dufour — Henriette's father; shopkeeper; stout, talkative, and fond of reminiscing about his youth.