Short summary - The Rose-Bush of Madame Husson - Le Rosier de Madame Husson
Guy de Maupassant
The court is hearing the case of Hippolyte Lacour, a sexton and hardware dealer, and Ms Luno. Plaintiff Lakur is forty-five years old, tall, thin, wears long hair, is carefully shaved, and speaks slowly, in a chant. Lacourt says that about nine months ago, Mrs. Luno came to him and asked him to participate in the conception of the child. She promised one hundred francs, and now she refuses to pay.
Ms. Luno's husband had died the week before, and all of his belongings went to his family. A certain lawyer explained to the widow that a child born within ten months after the death of her husband would be considered legal and would give her the right to inherit. Lacour fulfilled her request, after one and a half or two months he learned about the success of the case, but Mrs. Luno refused to pay for the service.
The defendant, Mrs. Luno, looks forty years old. She is folded like an athlete, her body protruding from a tight-fitting dress. Glasses and eardrums tremble from the widow's loud voice. She is pregnant and sticks out her huge belly. Ms. Luno claims that the baby is not from Lakur, but from one of six men whom she asked to participate in conception free of charge in case Lakur had a bobble.
All six have reason to believe that they are the father of the child with whom Ms. Luno is pregnant, and confirm this. The magistrate obliges the widow to pay Lacroix 25 francs "for the loss of time and his vile seduction."