Saint Anthony (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Saint Anthony
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An old farmer took revenge on a Prussian soldier by treating him as a pet pig, feeding him excessively and humiliating him. After a drunken fight, the farmer killed the soldier and hid his body.

Anthony, a jovial and strong old farmer, lived alone with his servants on his farm. He was known as Saint Anthony because of his good nature and strength.

Saint Anthony — old farmer; strong, cunning, vengeful, and a heavy drinker.

When the Prussian invasion occurred, Anthony promised to eat an army, but when the Prussians arrived in his village, he became fearful and stayed inside his house. One day, the mayor brought a Prussian soldier to Anthony's house and told him to take care of the soldier and not cause any trouble.

Here is one for you, Saint Anthony. They came last night. Don’t do anything foolish, above all things, for they talk of shooting and burning everything if there is the slightest unpleasantness.

Anthony and the Prussian soldier became good friends, and they would often go out drinking together.

The Prussian Soldier — young, plump, fair-skinned, blue-eyed, and good-natured.

One night, after a heavy drinking session, the two men got into a fight. Anthony, in a fit of rage, struck the soldier with a manure fork, killing him.

Ah, pig! pig! You are not dead! You are going to denounce me now—wait—wait!

Panicking, he buried the soldier's body in a manure heap and covered it with snow.

The next day, Anthony woke up sober and calm. He went around the village asking about the missing Prussian soldier and even went to the Prussian officer to inquire about his missing friend. No one suspected Anthony of any wrongdoing, and an old retired gendarme in the next village was arrested and shot for the soldier's disappearance.