Can anyone tell me the title of this story by Maupassant (I think).
A young man and a young woman are traveling together by train. He declares his love for her. She is offended by his impropriety. He is mortified. Although he has done his best to apologize, he later sends a friend to apologize formally on his behalf. The friend is a charmer. The woman who has been so prim with the first man takes the second man into her bed. [This is the story, as far as I remember.]
I believe you are thinking of The Rondoli Sisters. I included a link to the story so that you can double-check to make sure that is indeed the story to which you are referring: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/maupassant/guy/m45s/part75.html
Yes, this is the story. I read it years ago. Recently I have wanted to read it again but it wasn't in the Maupassant selections I read, and I didn't remember it well enough to look for it in a collected edition.
It's an amusing story but I also read it seriously. I had thought of it as a joke about the inconstancy of women's virtue. It is, but, once the incident on the train is over, Henriette is so self-possessed it seems out of place to call her inconstant. She may be as worldly in her way as Labarbe. Who seduced whom? She certainly enjoyed spinning a yarn to her husband. Perhaps this is a story (like 'The Rondoli Sisters') in which the man only thinks he's in charge.
I had thought of it as a story about a loser and a winner in the game of love. It is, but I am struck by the unfeeling tone of the narrator, Labarbe, when he speaks of Morin. Some readers ought to feel sorry for that provincial businessman, married to a termagant, harried to death by the people among whom he lives.
One thing was new to me, returning to the story: the unanimity and the glee with which the people turn against "that pig".
"Morin devoured her with his eyes. ... She wrapped a railway rug round her legs and stretched herself on the seat to sleep." This initial situation, though not the events that follow, reminds me of 'Sleeping Beauty and the Airplane', a short story by Garcia Marquez.
No, jennyrocks. The story's title is That pig of a Morin (Ce cochon de Morin in French). Quite funny indeed.
The Rondoli sisters is a sad story. It takes place mostly in Italy.