Title: Our Spot (also known as The Fishing Hole)
Date Read: 3rd May 2010
Available Online?: YES (although read for this review was the David Coward translation of the story in A Day in the Country and Other Stories (Oxford University Press)).
Briefly: Poor old Leopold Renard stands in front of the judge accused of the manslaughter of another man. Desperate to prove his innocence Renard begins to recount the story of what happened, and it’s not long before he begins to reveal to judge and jury, exactly what part his good lady wife played in the drama.
Afterthoughts: If you’re looking for a story that wholly illustrates Maupassant’s prowess in comedy writing then this is it. A real laugh-a-minute which is guaranteed to put a smile on the glummest of faces – even Mrs. Rob’s :).
Notable Quote: We used to go to Passy every Saturday evening, so as to begin fishing at daybreak the next morning. It is a habit which has become second nature with us, as the saying is. Three years ago this summer I discovered a place, oh! such a spot. Oh, dear, dear! In the shade, eight feet of water at least and perhaps ten, a hole with cavities under the bank, a regular nest for fish and a paradise for the fisherman. I might look upon that fishing hole as my property, Monsieur le President, as I was its Christopher Columbus. Everybody in the neighborhood knew it, without making any opposition. They would say: ‘That is Renard’s place’; and nobody would have gone there, not even Monsieur Plumeau, who is well known, be it said without any offense, for poaching on other people’s preserves.
*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.