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A man's reputation is ruined, and all because he bends down to pick up "The Piece of String," yet another memorable tale by French short story master Guy de Maupassant.
One day, Maitre Hauchecorne spies a piece of string in the street and, being a poor man, bends to pick it up. He notices that a personal enemy, M. Malandain, has watched him and, being embarrassed over worthlessness of the string, pretends that he is looking for something else. Later, it is revealed that a purse with a large amount of money has been lost. Hauchecorne is soon called to the police for questioning about the missing purse. His enemy, Malandain, has accused him, and Hauchecorne protests his innocence. He is eventually released, but he tells one and all about his innocence. The purse is later found, and he again tells everyone who will listen that his innocence is now proven. However, the villagers believe to a man that Hauchecorne has an accomplice who placed the purse so that it would be found, and everyone is convinced of his guilt.
More alone than ever, Hauchecorne becomes an outcast and the butt of jokes throughout the town. He eventually falls ill and dies; his last words, still haunting him upon his deathbed, are "A little bit of string--a little bit of string."
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