The Umbrella (Maupassant)

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The Umbrella
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A frugal woman insisted on claiming compensation from her insurance company for her burned umbrella, leading to a comical series of events and negotiations.

Madame Oreille was a very economical woman who knew the value of money. She and her husband, Oreille, lived comfortably without any children.

Mme. Oreille — economical, short-tempered woman; very concerned about money and spending.
M. Oreille — husband of Mme. Oreille; upper clerk in the War Office; embarrassed by his wife's frugality.

One day, Oreille insisted that his wife buy him a new umbrella, as his old one had become the subject of ridicule at his workplace. Madame Oreille bought him a cheap umbrella, which soon became damaged. Oreille demanded a better one, so his wife bought him a silk umbrella for eighteen francs.

It is better to have too much than too little.

Unfortunately, the new umbrella was accidentally burned, leaving a hole in the silk. Madame Oreille decided to try and get the insurance company to pay for the damage. She went to the insurance office and explained the situation to the manager. The manager was initially reluctant to pay for such a small claim, but eventually agreed to reimburse Madame Oreille for the cost of repairing the umbrella.

Madame Oreille took the damaged umbrella to a high-quality umbrella maker and asked for it to be recovered in the best silk available, regardless of the cost. She then took the bill to the insurance company, who reimbursed her for the expense.