A man lived in a big Norman house in a valley near a stream, enjoying the simple autumn life of a sportsman. He spent his days shooting and reading books that Parisians had no time to know. One day, he and his two friends, the d'Orgemol brothers, set out for their farm at Cannetot, near Fécamp, to hunt woodcocks. They traveled in a strange hunting-coach, which contained everything they needed for their journey.
Upon arriving at the farm, they were greeted by the farmer, Monsieur Picot, and his wife. They spent their days hunting rabbits and woodcocks, enjoying the cold winter mornings and the camaraderie of their fellow hunters.
One day, while hunting with Monsieur Picot, the man learned the story of Gargan, the deaf-mute shepherd who had killed his wife.
It is the woodcock season. I must tell you that I live in a big Norman house, in a valley, near a little stream, and that I get some shooting almost every day.
Gargan had been married to a young girl nicknamed "A Wee Drop" due to her fondness for brandy. After their marriage, she became unfaithful, and the whole countryside made a joke of cuckolding poor Gargan. One day, Gargan caught his wife in the act and strangled her to death. He was tried in court, and with the help of Monsieur Picot, who served as his interpreter, he was acquitted.
He has his honour, this man before you.
The man continued to spend his days hunting and enjoying the simple life, while his friends in Paris watched the arrival of the first winter dresses in the Bois.