Travelling (Maupassant)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man heard a tragic story of two brothers and their tutor who drowned in a reservoir, leaving him deeply affected by the incident and the emotional struggle the children faced.

A man was traveling through the South of France during springtime, enjoying the beautiful landscapes and the intoxicating scent of orange blossoms. He came across a deep reservoir in a gorge, surrounded by lemon trees. As he sat there, an old gentleman approached him and asked if he was related to the children who had died there. The man was intrigued and asked the old gentleman to tell him the story.

The Narrator — narrator; traveler exploring the countryside; sensitive, reflective.
Old Gentleman — botanist; knowledgeable about the tragic story; elderly, kind.

A few years prior, two young brothers were playing near the reservoir while their tutor was reading under a tree. The older brother accidentally fell into the water, and the younger brother tried to save him. The tutor, hearing the commotion, jumped in to help but hit his head on the bottom and drowned. The two boys managed to hold onto each other's hands, but they were unable to climb out of the reservoir due to its steep walls.

I can't pull you up. I can't pull you up.

The younger brother called for help, but no one heard them. As night fell, the older brother, realizing he couldn't hold on any longer, gave his watch to his younger brother as a final gesture. He then let go of his brother's hand and drowned.

Goodbye, little brother. I give you my watch.

The younger brother, now alone, managed to find his way back to his parents and tell them what had happened. The reservoir had to be emptied to recover the bodies, but the owner refused to do so until the next day.

The man was deeply affected by this tragic story and couldn't stop thinking about the two brothers and their final moments together. He continued his journey, climbing higher into the mountains and eventually reaching the ruins of an old castle. As he looked out at the beautiful sunset and the sea, he couldn't help but see the image of the two boys, clinging to each other and weeping, and hear the older brother's final words: "Goodbye, little brother. I give you my watch."