A man was sitting on the breakwater of the little harbor of Obernon, admiring the beautiful view of Antibes in the setting sun. He was accompanied by M. Martini, a true Southerner.
As they were enjoying the view, a woman named Mme. Parisse walked by.
M. Martini told the story of Mme. Parisse, who had married a government official named M. Parisse before the war of 1870.
After the war, Antibes was occupied by a single infantry regiment commanded by M. Jean de Carmelin, a young officer who had been decorated during the campaign.
Mme. Parisse and M. de Carmelin met during their walks on the headland and fell in love. They exchanged glances and words, but never acted on their feelings.
He pressed her each day more fiercely to yield herself to his violent desire.
One day, Mme. Parisse informed M. de Carmelin that her husband would be away for four days. M. de Carmelin saw this as an opportunity to finally be with her.
However, M. Parisse unexpectedly finished his business early and sent a telegram to his wife, informing her that he would be returning that evening. M. de Carmelin, desperate to be with Mme. Parisse, ordered the town gates to be closed and guarded, preventing anyone from entering or leaving the town. He then sent a letter to Mme. Parisse, assuring her that her husband would not return that evening and that they could meet as planned.
M. Parisse and another traveler, M. Saribe, arrived at the town gates but were denied entry by the guards. They spent the night in the train station's waiting room, unaware of the reason behind the town's lockdown. The next morning, they were finally allowed to enter the town, and M. de Carmelin apologized for the inconvenience.
The citizens of Antibes were puzzled by the events, with various theories circulating about the reason for the lockdown.
He had doubtless forgotten her now; or remembered her only when his tongue was loosened by wine and he told the story of that audacious, comic and passionate jest.
The truth was not revealed until later when M. de Carmelin was punished and his battalion was posted to a distant station. Mme. Parisse continued to live in Antibes, her eyes always turned to the Alps, perhaps still thinking of her long-lost love.