Room No. Eleven (Maupassant)

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Room No. Eleven
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A woman secretly rented a room for her affairs, but one day found a dead man in the bed instead of her lover, causing her secret life to be exposed and her husband to be transferred.

A woman named Madame Amandon, also known as Madame Marguerite, was well-respected and loved in her town of Perthuis-le-Long. She was known for her elegance, charm, and ability to organize events and help the poor.

Madame Amandon — elegant, coquettish, and discreet; secretly had affairs with military officers; rented a room for her rendezvous.

However, she had a secret life where she would choose lovers from the army and keep them for three years, the duration of their stay in the garrison. Madame Amandon had a method for choosing her lovers. She would invite the chosen officer to dance with her at a ball, and if he understood her intentions, they would begin their affair.

She would press against him as if surrendering herself, and hold his hand with a nervous, continued pressure.

She had rented a room at the Hôtel du Cheval d'Or for her rendezvous, and no one had ever recognized her there. One day, Madame Amandon's husband was away for a week, and she decided to meet her lover, Major Varangelles, at the hotel two nights in a row.

Major Varangelles — handsome military officer; Madame Amandon's lover at the time of the incident.

Unbeknownst to her, the hotel owner had rented the room to a tourist who had died in the room. The hotel owner and his wife decided to keep the death a secret to avoid rumors of cholera.

When Madame Amandon arrived at the hotel, she found the dead body in the bed and screamed in terror.

She uttered a cry, one of those piercing interminable cries which women utter in their fright, and, letting fall the candle, she opened the door and fled.

A commercial traveler staying at the hotel caught her in his arms, and other guests came to see what was happening. The hotel owner tried to explain the situation, but the commercial traveler insisted that a crime had been committed and that Madame Amandon and her lover should not be allowed to leave.

Maître Trouveau — landlord of the Cheval d'Or inn; rented the room to Madame Amandon; tried to cover up the incident.

The police commissioner eventually arrived and allowed them to go, but he was not discreet about the situation. The following month, President Amandon received a promotion and a new place of residence, but the reason for the transfer was never revealed to him.