An Artifice (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
An Artifice
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A doctor helped a woman hide her lover's sudden death by pretending he had fainted, and then transported the body back to the lover's home, where he declared him dead.

A young woman suffering from a minor ailment was discussing with her doctor the idea of a woman deceiving her husband. The doctor, believing that women are capable of great deception, shared a story from his past to prove his point.

One night, the doctor was urgently called to the home of a married woman, Madame Lelièvre.

The Doctor — narrator; experienced, resourceful, and somewhat cynical.

Upon arriving, he discovered that her lover had died in her bedroom.

My lover has just died in my bedroom. My husband will be coming home from the club very soon.

Madame Bertha Lelièvre — young married woman; distraught, unfaithful, and desperate.

The doctor quickly dressed the dead man and moved him to the drawing room, just as the woman's husband returned home.

Monsieur Lelièvre — Bertha's husband; unsuspecting, concerned, and trusting.

The doctor lied to the husband, saying that the man had fainted and needed to be taken home. The husband, unsuspecting, helped the doctor carry the dead man to his carriage and sent them on their way.

The doctor then took the dead man to his own home, where he pretended that the man had become unconscious during the journey. He certified the man's death and returned to his own bed, cursing lovers for the trouble they cause.

The doctor shared this story with the young woman to demonstrate the lengths women can go to deceive their husbands and to offer his services, should she ever find herself in a similar situation.