Date Read: 18th January 2009
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: Captain Count de Garens recounts the time during the Franco-Prussian War when he, along with his men, celebrated a special Epiphany supper at the battle-scarred and largely abandoned village of Porterin.
Afterthoughts: What an absolute genius Monsieur Maupassant is! For most of this story he had me rolling about in tears of laughter, and then, in a metaphorical snap of his fingers, he turns those tears of laughter into tears of sorrow. It’s beyond me how Maupassant manages to produce a tale that is both comically entertaining and poignantly anti-war at the same time, but manage it he does; and quite spectacularly!
Notable Quote: But Marchas continued with extraordinary gravity: “I am not laughing; go and find the priest and tell him how we are situated, and, as he must be horribly dull, he will come. But tell him that we want one woman at least, a lady, of course, since we, are all men of the world. He is sure to know his female parishioners on the tips of his fingers, and if there is one to suit us, and you manage it well, he will suggest her to you.”
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.