Old Milon (Maupassant)

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Old Milon
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An old peasant killed sixteen enemy soldiers during an occupation, avenging his father and son's deaths. He was eventually caught, confessed, and executed, showing no remorse for his actions.

In a small village in France during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, an old peasant named Milon lived with his family.

Old Milon — narrator; 68-year-old peasant; cunning, vengeful, and patriotic; father of Jean and François.

The Prussian army had occupied the village, and Milon had been forced to accommodate the officers in his farm. Despite the hardships, Milon had been cooperative and helpful to the invaders.

One day, Milon was found injured in his stable, and two dead Prussian soldiers were discovered nearby. The officers questioned Milon, who admitted to killing the soldiers and several others in the past month.

It was me. I just did it like it happened.

He explained that he had been motivated by revenge for the death of his father and son, both killed by the Prussians. Milon had disguised himself as a Prussian soldier and ambushed the enemy troops, killing them one by one.

The officers were shocked by Milon's confession and debated his fate. One officer, who had also lost a son in the war, sympathized with Milon and suggested a possible way to save his life. However, Milon refused to listen and spat in the officer's face, showing his defiance and hatred for the enemy.

Eight for my father, eight for my son, we’re quits. I never sought a quarrel with you!

Enraged, the officers ordered Milon to be executed immediately.

Milon was shot against the wall of his farm, smiling at his family as he faced his death. His actions demonstrated the strength of his love for his family and his country, as well as his determination to exact revenge on the invaders who had caused them so much pain.