Lieutenant Laré’s Marriage (Maupassant)

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Lieutenant Laré’s Marriage
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A lieutenant saved a young woman and her father during a military mission, and later married the woman after proving his bravery and resourcefulness in battle.

During a campaign, Lieutenant Laré displayed exceptional bravery and resourcefulness, earning him the cross of the Legion of Honour. He was put in charge of a group of scouts, and his efforts saved the army several times during retreats.

Lieutenant Laré — brave, resourceful, and prudent officer; organized a service of scouts; caring and protective.

One day, the general ordered him to lead a detachment to help another general, who was in danger of being lost if they didn't reach him by dawn.

Lieutenant, here is a telegram from General de Lacère, who will be lost if we do not come to his help by tomorrow at dawn.

As they marched through the snowy landscape, they encountered an old man and his daughter, who were fleeing from the Uhlans.

Louise Hortense Geneviève de Ronfi-Quédissac — young woman saved by the lieutenant; charming, grateful, and eventually becomes his wife.
Pierre Bernard — father of the young woman; Comte de Ronfi's butler; loyal, protective, and knowledgeable about the area.

The lieutenant decided to take them along, and when the girl became too tired to walk, the soldiers made a stretcher and carried her.

Father, we shall lose our way in the snow. We shall never reach Blainville.

They continued their march, eventually encountering and defeating a group of Uhlans.

When they reached the camp, the general introduced the old man as Comte de Ronfi-Quédissac.

General Carrel — commanding officer; appreciative of the lieutenant's efforts; strategic and decisive.

The comte was grateful to Lieutenant Laré for saving his daughter's life and offered his daughter's hand in marriage as a token of gratitude.

My dear lieutenant, you have saved my daughter’s life, and there is only one way in which I can thank you. … You will come in a few months’ time and tell me … whether you like her. …

A year later, Captain Laré married Mademoiselle Louise Hortense Geneviève de Ronfi-Quédissac, who brought with her a dowry of six hundred thousand francs.