Title: Father Milon
Date Read: 03 May 2009
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Billeted at the farmhouse of the Milon family, the commanders of a Prussian division are becoming more and more concerned with the disappearance of their men, even though the French army are ten leagues away. Then one morning, in the barn, they discover something that could give them an answer.
Afterthoughts: Another delightful story from the French master, and with it one is beginning to see just how much De Maupassant disliked the Prussians. Read primarily as an exercise is extolling stoic French resistance, it is perhaps the opening of the story that delights me the most. De Maupassant’s description of the Normandy farmland that the story is set in, is absolutely exquisite.
Notable Quote: “The big azure dome of the sky is unclouded. The farms of Normandy, scattered over the plains and surrounded by a belt of tall beeches, look, from a distance, like little woods. On closer view, after lowering the worm-eaten wooden bars, you imagine yourself in an immense garden, for all the ancient apple-trees, as gnarled as the peasants themselves, are in bloom. The sweet scent of their blossoms mingles with the heavy smell of the earth and the penetrating odor of the stables.”
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.