Saved (Maupassant)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A woman sought to divorce her husband by hiring a maid to seduce him and then catching them in the act, enlisting her family and friends as witnesses to ensure her freedom.

A young woman, the Marquise de Rennedon, excitedly told her friend, the Baronne de Grangerie, that she had found a way to get a divorce from her detestable husband.

Marquise de Rennedon — narrator; cunning, vengeful, and determined to divorce her husband.
Baronne de Grangerie — Marquise's friend; curious, supportive, and amused by the situation.

She had hired a beautiful lady's maid named Rose, who resembled her husband's mistress, to seduce him.

Rose — maid hired to seduce the Marquise's husband; beautiful, experienced, and professional.

The Marquise had even gone so far as to find out the scent her husband's mistress wore and the type of clothing she preferred, so that Rose could imitate her as closely as possible.

I begged my brother to get me a photograph of his girl.

Rose was successful in her mission, and the Marquise arranged for her family and a judge to witness her husband's infidelity. At the appointed time, she flung open the door to her bedroom, revealing her husband and Rose in a compromising position. The Marquise's father was furious and wanted to whip her husband, while the concierge helped him dress in front of everyone. Rose played her part perfectly, crying convincingly throughout the ordeal.

The Marquise was thrilled with the outcome, as it meant she was now free to divorce her husband.

And here I am… I came away at once to tell you all about it… at once—I’m free. Hurrah for divorce!

She celebrated her newfound freedom by dancing around her friend's drawing room, while the Baronne expressed her disappointment at not being invited to witness the dramatic scene.