Epiphany (Maupassant)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A group of soldiers invited a priest and four women to a Twelfth Night supper, but their celebration was interrupted by a tragic accident involving a deaf old man.

During the war, Captain the Comte de Garens and his men were ordered to occupy a village and guard it overnight. They found a suitable house and decided to have a Twelfth Night supper.

I had chosen only volunteers, all men of good family. In the army the men prefer not to be on familiar terms with bounders.

Garens went to invite the local priest, who accepted the invitation and promised to bring four ladies.

Captain the Comte de Garens — narrator; quartermaster in the Hussars; resourceful, adventurous.
The Priest — local priest; good-natured, humorous, and understanding.

The priest brought a nun and three elderly women from the local hospital. The men tried to entertain the women, but their efforts were interrupted by a gunshot.

Sister Saint-Benedict — nun; caring, protective of her charges.

Garens and his men rushed to investigate, only to find that one of their own had accidentally shot an old, deaf shepherd who had not responded to their calls. The wounded man was brought back to the house, but he soon died from his injuries. The priest performed the last rites, and the nun quickly ushered the three old women away, fearing for their safety. The priest lamented the unfortunate turn of events, calling it a "bad business."