As far as the plot is concerned, the introduction of the treacherous storm in Part I explains why Bobinot and Bibi are marooned at Friedheimer's store for the afternoon. This stay keeps them away from Calixta, whom they assume is eagerly awaiting them at home.
While they wait out the storm, Calixta engages in a passionate afternoon tryst with Alcee Laballiere, who seeks shelter from the storm in Calixta's home.
While readers would expect an extramarital affair to tear a family apart, both Calixta and Alcee's families are content, and even strengthened, after the storm. The last line of the story reads, "...the storm passed and everyone was happy."
Also introduced in Part I is Bobinot's naivety concerning the thoughts and feelings of his wife. As he and Bibi marvel at the storm, Bobinot says to Bibi, "Mama'll be 'fraid, yes." However, we discover in Part II that Calixta barely notices the storm nor the absence of her husband and son. Bobinot does not know his wife's heart, which likely...
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