The Wolf (Maupassant)

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The Wolf
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two passionate hunter brothers sought to kill a monstrous wolf terrorizing their region, but during the pursuit, one brother died, and the other avenged his death by strangling the beast.

In the 18th century, two brothers, Jean and François d'Arville, lived in a castle in Lorraine, France. They were both passionate about hunting and spent most of their time pursuing game.

Jean d'Arville — elder brother; passionate hunter; father of the narrator's great-grandfather.
François d'Arville — younger brother; passionate hunter; bachelor; extremely tall and strong.

One winter, a large, grayish-white wolf began terrorizing the countryside, attacking people and livestock. The brothers decided to hunt down the beast and organized a large hunting party, but they were unable to find the wolf. Jean d'Arville says this to his brother François during their hunt for the monstrous wolf, expressing his disbelief at the creature's ability to evade them.

This can be no ordinary beast. It almost looks as if he can reason like a man.

One day, while the brothers were out hunting, they encountered the wolf. In the ensuing chase, Jean was fatally injured when he struck his head against a tree branch. François, determined to avenge his brother's death, continued to pursue the wolf. He eventually cornered the beast in a valley and managed to strangle it with his bare hands. François shouts this to his dead brother Jean after he has killed the wolf, wishing that Jean could witness his victory over the beast.

Look, Jean! Look here!

François then placed the bodies of his brother and the wolf on his horse and returned to the castle. The tragic events of that day led to a deep aversion to hunting in the d'Arville family, which was passed down through the generations.