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The story takes place in the forest where old guard Long legs live with his wife and daughter. The Prussians, on the other hand, are patrolling the forest that is near the old town of Rethel. In their patrol duty, they come across the Long-legs forest home, tired and hungry. Amidst fear and uncertainty, Long-leg’s wife and daughter gives them a warm welcome, offers them delicious food, water and accommodation in his absentia. The fear in them drives them to long for his arrival to appear and protect them against these enemies. The French and Prussians have remained rivals for a long time. In the process of the wife and daughter playing their gracious roles, long leg arrives and is alerted about the Prussians presence.
In a twinkling of the eye, long leg runs to town and summon the Rethels’ army freshmen. Monsieur Lavigne, the head, orders them to surround the house in an attempt to capture the Prussians. No killings are meant to take place at the time. The leader calls the Prussians to come out of the cellar peacefully but they relent. He orders the army to pipe in water into the cellar in an attempt of drowning them. As a result, the Prussians can no longer withstand the pressure of the pumped water; they surrender and agree to come out. They are then requested to submit their rifles, which they do, and the pumping is stopped. Monsieur Lavigne is crowned for capturing the most feared Prussian guard and Maloison; the fat beaker awarded a military medal for standing the wounds he got at the hands of the enemy. Together, the French army makes a triumphant entry into Rethel.
In this piece, De Maupassant outlines the works of the anti-Prussians. It is remarkably well narrated with laughter evoking instances like the trapping of the soldiers in the cellar room. The narrative demonstrates high standards of writing and authenticity. The story is not frightening;
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How does it affect the character? The Swimmer by John Cheever is a short story that runs around the life of Neddy Merrill and his path of self denial that he chooses for himself. Neddy Merrill chooses a journey for himself that he would swim to his home across all the pools in his community.
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