Devouring De Maupassant: The Dispenser of Holy Water

Title: The Dispenser of Holy Water
Date Read: 11 February 2013
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: The wheelwright and his wife are overjoyed when they are graced with a son, but a few short years later their happiness turns to sorrow when five-year-old Jean goes missing.
Afterthoughts: Although this story isn’t completely enthralling, or the storyline anything unique i.e. child goes missing and heartbroken parents conduct a long and fruitless search, it comes with rather a warm and endearing ending. Worth reading for this alone.
Notable Quote: “Night came on. A brown vapor arose making distant objects look still farther away and giving them a dismal, weird appearance. Three tall pines, close at hand, seemed to be weeping. Still there was no reply, but the air appeared to be full of indistinct sighing. The father listened for some time, thinking he heard a sound first in one direction, then in another, and, almost beside himself, he ran, out into the night, calling incessantly “Jean! Jean!””

Rating: ★★★½☆

*Story read as part of my Devouring De Maupassant reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Greetings Rob,
    I’m in the process of rediscovering De Maupassant. I noticed on your list you don’t have Was It A Dream? This is a short one, less than 2000 words, and the writing felt a bit rushed, but it’s a fun little horror tale. There is something about his stories that make me feel like I’m living the events with him. I think it’s the clarity of his writing that is so magnetic for me. Do you get a sense of being right there when you read De Maupassant?

    • Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

      Dear Paula,
      Thank you for pointing this out. I have taken note and will add the story to my list. As for the feeling that one is living the events with him? Absolutely! One of the reasons I love this short fiction os much. He has this incredible ability to paint scenes so convincingly that one can’t help but be dragged in.

      Anyway, good luck with your rediscovery of Maupassant, and please do drop by from time to time to let me know how it’s going. I’ve taken a not of your own website and will drop by from time to time.