André's Disease (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
André's Disease
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A woman had an affair while her husband was away, and her lover pinched her baby to stop him from crying, causing mysterious bruises that led to the nurse's dismissal.

A lawyer's wife, Mathilde, had an affair with Captain Sommerive while her husband was away on a trip. The Captain had been pursuing her for a long time, and she finally agreed to meet him in their garden.

Mathilde — wife of a lawyer; lonely, neglected, and eventually unfaithful.
Captain Étienne Sommerive — Mathilde's lover; persistent, passionate, and manipulative.

They shared a passionate kiss, and the Captain convinced her to let him into the house.

Mathilde, my adored one, my darling, my angel, let us go indoors. It is twelve o'clock, we can have nothing to fear; please let us go in.

Mathilde resisted his advances, trying to maintain her virtue and not give in to his desires.

No! no! Étienne, please let me remain a virtuous woman; I should be too angry with you afterwards; and after all, it is so horrid, so common.

They went to her bedroom, but their lovemaking was interrupted by the cries of Mathilde's 15-month-old son, André, who slept in the next room.

André — Mathilde and Maître Moreau's baby son; victim of the Captain's pinching.

Mathilde brought André into their bed to calm him down, but the Captain was frustrated and pinched the child to make him cry even more. This happened several times, with Mathilde taking André back to his cradle and the Captain continuing to pinch him. Eventually, André stopped crying when he was in his mother's bed, and the Captain was able to spend the night with Mathilde.

When the lawyer returned from his trip, he noticed that André no longer cried to be in his parents' bed.

Maître Moreau — Mathilde's husband; lawyer, affectionate father, and unaware of his wife's infidelity.

He also discovered bruises on the child's body and assumed that the nurse had been pinching him to stop his crying.

Just look, Mathilde! This is horrible!

The nurse was fired and her reputation ruined, but the truth about the Captain's actions remained a secret.