Short summary - In the Wood - Guy de Maupassant

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - In the Wood
Guy de Maupassant

The mayor of the town is informed that a couple have been arrested by a forest watchman for disturbing public order. The mayor breaks away from breakfast to interrogate the criminals. They were arrested at the edge of the forest while they were making love. The perpetrators are unexpectedly middle-aged, 55-60 years old. The mayor interrogates them. They are Parisians, merchants and, to everyone's surprise, a spouse named Boren. The husband is shy, and the wife innocently explains what happened, asking them not to judge them severely.
According to her, they once met here. Then the weather was wonderful, which emotionally affected the heroine - she fell in love with young Boren. After a short courtship, the lovers got married. A difficult, poor life made them forget about feelings and think about survival, but when the family's affairs were put in order, Madame Baren began to dream of love, as in her youth. She wanted, as she once did, to go into the woods, have a picnic in the clearing, fall into the grass and carelessly make love.
She was afraid to offer this to her husband, realizing that he would only make fun of her. But, having gathered up the courage, she nevertheless persuaded her husband. Once at the picturesque place of their acquaintance, she, as in her youth, lost her head and rejuvenated her soul. She realized that "a woman's heart never gets old." She saw in her spouse the young man who had once been fascinated here.
Fighting off the hugs of his wife, Boren was terribly afraid that they would be seen and accused of immorality, and his wife "seemed to be drunk in the head." At the most crucial moment, in the thicket, they were discovered by the watchman.
After listening to the woman's emotional confession, the mayor smiled and dismissed the spouses with the words: "Go and sin no more."