A True Story (Maupassant)

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A True Story
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man arranged a marriage for his pregnant lover to avoid scandal, but she remained devoted to him and suffered in her new life, eventually dying along with their child.

A group of men were having dinner after a day of shooting on the land of Maître Blondel, the mayor of Éparville. They were discussing their day and the women they had encountered when one of them, Monsieur de Vernetot, shared a story from his past.

Monsieur de Varnetot — narrator; young nobleman; cunning, manipulative, and self-serving.

When he was 25, he lived on his Villebon estate and had an affair with a young servant girl named Rose.

Rose — young servant girl; deeply in love with the narrator; devoted, emotional.

She became pregnant, and he decided to find her a husband to avoid scandal. He made a deal with a local woman, Mother Paumelle, to marry her son to Rose.

Mother Paumelle's son — Rose's husband; cunning, opportunistic, abusive.

He gave Rose a small property as a dowry and paid for the wedding.

You must get her married, my boy.

After the wedding, Rose was unhappy and her husband treated her poorly. She would visit Monsieur de Vernetot, begging him to take her back.

I can't, I can't do without you, now! I'd rather die! I can't!

He eventually left for an extended period of time to avoid her. When he returned, he learned that Rose had died, as had their child. Her husband, however, had prospered from the inheritance and became a town councillor.

Monsieur Séjour, a veterinary surgeon, concluded the story by saying that there was no place in the world for women like Rose.