Why did Maitre Hauchecorne pick up the string? Why did he disguise his action?

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Maitre Hauchecorne picks up the string as he believes it might come in useful one day. He is clearly a thrifty old peasant who is of a generation that doesn't like to throw anything away. At the same time, he's rather embarrassed to be seen bending down to pick up such a seemingly worthless object. In...

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