A Memory (Maupassant)

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A Memory
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man recalled a Sunday adventure from his youth, where he met a lost couple in the woods, and ended up having an affair with the wife while her husband searched for their lost dog.

A man recalled his youth and the memories of his early days in Paris when he was 25 years old. He worked in a government office and cherished his Sundays, which he spent exploring the countryside.

Do you recall, my old friends, my brothers, those years of gladness in which life was but triumph and laughter?

One Sunday, he decided to walk from Saint-Cloud to Versailles. As he walked through the woods, he enjoyed the beauty of nature and the peacefulness of the surroundings. Suddenly, he encountered a couple who seemed lost. The woman was angry at her husband for getting them lost, and they asked the man for directions.

The Narrator — young man in his twenties; government office worker; adventurous, romantic.
The Wife — young, pretty, dark-haired woman; critical and assertive; shopkeeper.
The Husband — tired, red-faced man; submissive to his wife; shopkeeper; lost their dog.

He informed them that they were heading towards Saint-Cloud and that Versailles was behind them. The couple decided to accompany the man to Versailles, and they walked together. As they walked, the husband revealed that he had lost their dog and his wallet.

It was a long time before he disappeared; the shades of evening, thicker now, obscured him at the far end of the path.

The wife was furious and told him to go back and find them while she continued with the man. They eventually reached a town called Bougival, where they decided to have dinner together. The woman got drunk and they ended up having an affair. This was the man's first experience of adultery.