Title: Two Little Soldiers
Date Read: 2 July 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).
Briefly: Far from their Breton home, two soldiers from a local barracks set out every Sunday on foot, heading towards the countryside which reminds them of home. The ritual of the two close friends is to stop at a regular spot, to eat the lunch which they have bought on the way. Aside from the countryside and the memories of home, the spot that the soldiers choose for their lunch-break has another attraction – a milkmaid who passes by the spot at the same time every week.
Afterthoughts: One thing that I love about de Maupassant stories is that they are always well-rounded; an example of how a short story should be constructed i.e. a nice ‘hook’ to set the story off, with a flowing narrative that leads to a satisfying ending. Sadly this is the first story I’ve read where I didn’t get that ‘well-rounded’ feeling. Although this story starts well and looks to be heading towards a promising ending, the ending itself isn’t particularly satisfying.
Notable Quote: “Soon they would see the girl, coming through the fields, and it pleased them to watch the sparkling sunbeams reflected from her shining pail. They never spoke of her. They were just glad to see her, without understanding why.”
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.