The Baroness (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
The Baroness
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A clever dealer sold a valuable Christ statue to a baroness, who used it to attract wealthy clients to her home, maintaining her reputation while secretly seeking a new lover.

A man visited a renowned dealer's house with his friend Boisrené to see some rare and valuable items. The dealer was known for his connections with wealthy collectors and his ability to sell valuable items discreetly. Boisrené asked the dealer about a beautiful Renaissance Christ he had seen last year, and the dealer shared an interesting story about how he sold it.

The Dealer — narrator; tall, thin, bald, elegant; intelligent, subtle-witted, and charming; art and antique dealer.

I sold it, and in a very odd way. It's a real fragment of Parisian life. Would you like to hear it?

The dealer had been approached by Baroness Samoris, a woman of high society with a mysterious past, who needed to borrow thirty thousand francs.

Baroness Samoris — discreet, devout, and manipulative woman; mother of a daughter; seeking a wealthy lover.

Instead of lending her the money, the dealer offered her a deal: he would give her the Christ, and she would sell it for fifty thousand francs, keeping the difference as her commission. The Baroness agreed, and the dealer began sending potential buyers to her house.

Months passed, and the dealer heard nothing from the Baroness. He decided to visit her house with a foreign client to see what was happening. They were shown into a beautiful drawing room, and the Baroness's daughter, Isabella, took them to a small chapel where the Christ was displayed.

Isabella — Baroness Samoris' daughter; 15 years old; radiant, modest, and innocent.

The foreign client seemed more interested in the Baroness and her daughter than the Christ, but the dealer managed to discuss the price with the Baroness, who asked for fifty thousand francs.

The foreign client left without buying the Christ, and the dealer continued to send potential buyers to the Baroness's house. Three months later, the Baroness visited the dealer and gave him a pocketbook containing fifty thousand francs. She told him that she had decided to buy the Christ herself, and asked him to continue sending clients to her house, as the Christ was still for sale.