Title: That Costly Ride
Date Read: 13 May 2009
Available Online?: YES (it should be noted though, that the version I read was from the Capuchin Classics edition On Horseback and Other Stories, with the story in this collection being called – On Horseback)
Briefly: Despite bearing the aristocratic title of his ancestors, Hector de Gribelin and his family have descended into a reasonably impoverished life in Paris, where any thoughts of family outings and celebration are few and far between. This is until De Gribelin picks up a reasonable bonus in his job at the Ministry of Marine, and the family decide to spend it on a rare day out, a day out where De Gribelin is determined to demonstrate his ‘learned’ skills in horsemanship.
Afterthoughts: I really enjoyed this tale, and there wasn’t even a single mention of anything Prussian :o). This story actually reads as though it may have been penned by Chekhov, simply because it shares such a similar ‘flavour’ of humour. However one clearly knows, even without any Parisian references, that it’s the work of De Maupassant, not least because the French master’s eloquent and poetic prose is clearly evident – as illustrated in the quote that follows.
Notable Quote: “That spacious thoroughfare literally swarmed with vehicles of every kind, and on the sidewalks the pedestrians were so numerous that they looked like two indeterminate black ribbons unfurling their length from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. A flood of sunlight played on this gay scene, making the varnish of the carriages, the steel of the harness and the handles of the carriage doors shine with dazzling brilliancy.”
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.