Short summary - Dear Friend - Bel-Ami
Guy de Maupassant
Georges Duroy, the son of well-to-do peasants, owners of a tavern, is endowed with a happy appearance at the whim of nature. He is slender, tall, blond, he has a wonderful mustache ... Women like him very much, and he is in Paris. But he has three francs in his pocket, and his salary will not be until two days later. He's hot, he wants a beer ... Duroy wanders around Paris and waits for an opportunity, which should be presented, right? The case is most likely a woman. And so it will be. All his cases will come from women ... In the meantime, he meets Forestier.
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They served together in Algeria. Georges Duroy did not want to be the first in the village and tried his luck in military service. For two years he robbed and killed Arabs. During this time, he developed the habit of walking with his chest outstretched and taking what he wanted. And in Paris you can stick out your chest and push passers-by, but here it is not customary to mine gold with a revolver in hand.
And the fat Forestier succeeded: he is a journalist, he is a wealthy man, he is complacent - he treats his old friend to beer and advises him to do journalism. He invites Georges to dinner the next day and gives him two louis (forty francs) so that he can rent a decent suit.
Since this all started. Forestier, it turns out, has a wife - an elegant, very pretty blonde. Her friend, the burning brunette Madame de Marelle, appears with her little daughter. Welcomed by Mr. Walter, deputy, rich man, publisher of the newspaper "French Life". There is also a famous feuilletonist and also a famous poet ... But Duroy does not know how to handle a fork and does not know how to deal with four glasses ... But he quickly finds his bearings. And now - oh, how come in handy! - the conversation turned to Algeria. Georges Duroy enters the conversation as if in cold water, but they ask him questions ... He is in the spotlight, and the ladies do not take their eyes off him! And Forestier, Forestier's friend, does not miss the moment and asks the dear patron, Mr. Walter, to take Georges to work in the newspaper ... Well, we'll see that, but for now, Georges has been ordered two or three essays on Algeria. And one more thing: Georges tamed Lorina, the little daughter of Madame de Marel. He kissed the girl and shakes her on her knee, and the mother is amazed and says that Mr. Duroy is irresistible.
How happy it all started! And all because he is so handsome and well done ... All that remains is to write this damn essay and bring it to Mr. Walter by three o'clock tomorrow.
And Georges Duroy sits down to work. Diligently and beautifully, he prints the title on a blank sheet of paper: "Memories of an African Shooter." This name was suggested by Ms. Walter. But the matter does not go further. Who knew that it was one thing to chat at the table with a glass in hand, when the ladies did not take their eyes off you, and quite another thing to write! The devilish difference ... But nothing, the morning is wiser than the evening.
But in the morning it’s not like that. Efforts are in vain. And Georges Duroy decides to ask Forestier's friend for help. However, Forestier hurries to the newspaper, he sends Georges to his wife: she, they say, will help just as well.
Madame Forestier seated Georges at the table, listened to him, and a quarter of an hour later began to dictate the article. Luck carries it. The article is published - what a happiness! He was admitted to the chronicle department, and at last you can leave the hated office of the Northern Railway forever. Georges does everything correctly and accurately: first he received a month's salary at the box office, and only then he cheated his boss at parting - he enjoyed it.
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One thing is not good. The second article is not published. But this is not a problem either - you need to take another lesson from Ms. Forestier, and this is a pleasure. Here, however, no luck: Forestier himself was at home and told Georges that, they say, he did not intend to work instead of him ... Pig!
Duroy is angry and will make the article himself, without any help. You will see! .. And he made an article, wrote. Only it was not accepted: it was considered unsatisfactory. He redid it. Again they did not accept. After three alterations, Georges spat and went entirely into reporting.
It was then that he turned around. His sneakiness, charm and arrogance came in very handy. Mr. Walter himself is pleased with Duroy's employee. Only one thing is bad: receiving in the newspaper twice as much as in the office, Georges felt like a rich man, but this did not last long. The more money, the more it is missing! And then: after all, he looked into the world of big people, but remained outside this world. He was lucky, he works in a newspaper, he has acquaintances and connections, he is a member of offices, but ... only as a reporter. Georges Duroy is still a poor man and a day laborer. And here, next to them, in their own newspaper - here they are! - people with pockets full of gold, they have gorgeous houses and spicy wives ... Why is it all with them? Why not with him? There is some kind of mystery here.
Georges Duroy does not know the solution, but he knows what his strength is. And he recalls Madame de Marelle, the one who was with her daughter at dinner at Forestier. “I'm always at home until three o'clock,” she said then. Georges called at half past three. Of course, he was worried, but Madame de Marel is the very hospitality, the very attractive grace. And Lorina treats him like a friend ... And now Georges is invited to dinner at a restaurant, where he will be with Madame de Marel and the wife Forestier - two couples.
Lunch in a private room is sophisticated, lengthy and spicy with casual, light chatter on the edge of obscenity. Madame de Marel promised to get drunk and kept her promise. Georges escorts her. In the carriage, he is indecisive for a while, but it seems she moved her leg ... He rushed to the attack, she surrendered. Finally he got hold of a real woman of the world!
The next day, Duroy has breakfast with his beloved. He is still timid, does not know how things will go on, but she is charmingly sweet, and Georges plays falling in love ... And this is so easy in relation to such a magnificent woman! Then Lorina enters and happily runs to him: "Ah, dear friend!" This is how Georges Duroy got his name. And Madame de Marel - her name is Clotilde - turned out to be a delightful mistress. She hired a small apartment for their dates. Georges is unhappy: he can’t afford it ... No, it’s already been paid! No, he cannot allow this ... She begs, more, more, and he ... yielded, believing that in general it is fair. No, but how cute she is!
Georges has no money at all, but after each date he discovers one or two gold coins in his waistcoat pocket. He is outraged! Then he gets used to it. Only to calm his conscience, he keeps an account of his debt to Clotilde.
It so happened that the lovers had a lot of quarrel. It looks like it's a gap. Georges dreams - in the form of revenge - to repay Clotilde's debt. But there is no money. And Forestier loaned ten francs to ask for money - a pitiful handout. Nothing, Georges will repay him, he will instruct the old Friend. Moreover, he now knows how simple it is.
But what is it? The attack on Madame Forestier was immediately drowned out. She is friendly and frank: she will never become Duroy's mistress, but offers him her friendship. Perhaps it is more expensive than the horns of Forestier! And here is the first friendly advice; pay a visit to Ms. Walter.
A dear friend managed to appear to Mrs. Walter and her guests, and in less than a week, he was already appointed head of the chronicle department and invited to the Walters for dinner. This is the price of friendly advice.
At the dinner with the Walters, an important event took place, but Dear Friend does not yet know that this is an important event: he is presented to the publisher's two daughters - eighteen and sixteen years old (one is ugly, the other is pretty, like a doll). But Georges could not fail to notice something else, Clotilde is still seductive and sweet. They made up, and the connection was restored.
Forestier is ill, he is losing weight, coughs, and it is clear that he is not a tenant. Clotilde, by the way, says that Forestier's wife will not hesitate to get married as soon as everything is over, and Dear Friend pondered. In the meantime, the wife took poor Forestier to the south - to be treated. At parting, Georges asks Madame Forestier to count on his friendly help.
And help was needed: Ms. Forestier asks Duroy to come to Cannes, not to leave her alone with her dying husband. A dear friend feels the space opening up in front of him. He goes to Cannes and conscientiously fulfills his companionship. Until the very end. Georges Duroy managed to show Madeleine Forestier that he was a dear friend, a wonderful and kind person.
And everything worked out! Georges marries the widow Forestier. Now he has an amazing assistant - the genius of behind-the-scenes journalism and political games ... And he has a beautifully arranged house, and now he has become a nobleman: he divided his last name into syllables and took the name of his native village, he is now du Roy de Cantel.
He and his wife are friends. But friendship should also know the boundaries ... Oh, why such a clever Madeleine tells Georges out of friendship that Madame Walter is crazy about him? .. And even worse: she says that if Georges were free, she would advise him marry Suzanne, Walter's pretty daughter.
The dear friend thought again. And Mrs. Walter, if you look closely, there is still nothing very much ... There is no plan, but Georges starts the game. This time, the object is respectable and fights desperately with itself, but Dear Friend overlaid from all sides and drives into a trap. And drove it. The hunt is over, but the hunter wants to get the prey again and again. He has other things to do. Then Mrs. Walter reveals a secret to the hunter.
The military expedition to Morocco has been decided. Walter and Laroche, the foreign minister, want to cash in on this. They bought Moroccan bonds at a cheap price, but their value will soon skyrocket. They will earn tens of millions. Georges can buy, too, before it's too late.
Tangier - the gateway to Morocco - is captured. Walter has fifty million, he bought a luxurious mansion with a garden. And Durua is angry: he does not have a lot of money again. True, his wife inherited a million from a friend, and Georges chopped off half of her, but this is not that. Here behind Susanna, Walter's daughter, twenty million dowry ...
Georges with the morality police is tracking down his wife. She was found with Minister Laroche. A dear friend knocked down the minister with one blow and got a divorce. But Walter would never give Suzanne for him! This also has its own trick. It was not for nothing that he seduced Madame Walter: while Georges was having lunch and breakfast with her, he became friends with Susanna, she believes him. And Dear friend took the pretty fool away. She is compromised, and the father has nowhere to go.
Georges Duroy with his young wife leaves the church. He sees the Chamber of Deputies, he sees the Bourbon Palace. He achieved everything.
But he will never be neither hot nor cold. He would never want beer so badly.