The Pardon (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
The Pardon
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A naive wife discovered her husband's infidelity with her best friend, leading to a year of silent suffering before she forgave him at the friend's grave.

Berthe was raised in a sheltered family, unaware of the complexities and deceit that life could hold. When she married Georges Baron, a young man from Paris, she continued to live a simple and innocent life.

Berthe Baron — young, naive wife; loyal, innocent, and heartbroken.
Georges Baron — husband; unfaithful, smooth-talking, and outwardly proper.

However, one day, she received an anonymous letter revealing that her husband had a mistress, a young widow named Madame Rosset.

Julie Rosset — Georges' mistress; young widow, dark-haired, plump, and friendly.

Georges convinced Berthe that Madame Rosset was just a friend, and the two women soon became inseparable.

My dear little one, Mme. Rosset is a friend of mine. I have known her for ten years and like her very much.

For two years, their friendship remained strong, with Berthe completely trusting both her husband and her friend. However, when Madame Rosset fell gravely ill, Berthe discovered a note from her to Georges, asking for a final embrace before her death. Realizing the truth about their relationship, Berthe was devastated and refused to forgive her husband.

You would prefer if it were I.

For a year, the couple lived together in silence and misery. Eventually, Berthe decided to visit Madame Rosset's grave, bringing a bouquet of white roses. After placing the flowers on the grave, she offered her husband a chance at friendship, finally finding it in her heart to pardon him for his betrayal.