A Meeting (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
A Meeting
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A separated couple unexpectedly reunited during a train journey, leading to a tense and emotional confrontation, with the wife revealing a possible pregnancy before parting ways again.

Baron d'Étraille accidentally found himself in an empty bedroom during a party at the Princess's house. In the room's large mirror, he saw his wife, Baronne d'Étraille, and the Marquis de Cervigné kissing. He confronted his wife about the incident, and they agreed to separate amicably without any scandal. They both continued to live their lives separately, with the Baron traveling and the Baronne maintaining appearances in society.

Baron d'Étraille — narrator; middle-aged man; once handsome, now deteriorating; calm and strong-willed.
Baronne d'Étraille — young woman; thin, fair, and charming; coquettish and witty; improved in appearance since separation.

Six years later, the Baron returned to Paris and coincidentally found himself on the same train as his estranged wife. They did not recognize each other at first, but eventually, they began to talk. The Baron was struck by how much his wife had changed and improved in appearance. He decided to take her back, claiming it was his right as her husband.

I am your husband and it is my right to do so.

However, the Baronne had other plans. When they arrived at their destination, she revealed that she had arranged for her friends, the Princess de Raynes and the Comtesse Henriot, to meet her at the station. She wanted them to see her with the Baron, so they could spread the news that they had spent the night together in the train carriage. The Baronne then told the Baron that she might be pregnant, leaving him shocked and unsure whether she was telling the truth or not.

I am afraid that I am enceinte.

The Baron never saw his wife again and never found out if she had been lying about her pregnancy.