Part 2, Chapter 3 Summary

When Maheu finally arrives home, he sees his older children already eating without even changing clothes. Nobody ever waits for anyone else; the table is permanently set for whomever and whenever someone can eat. He sees the groceries and is relieved. He is served the best food they have as the cleanup begins. Catherine is the first to bathe openly in the small tub next to the fire; the boys follow, and all of them leave their filthy, wet clothing in a heap on the floor.

As Alzire mops up after them, her father eats his meal in silence as he prefers. Henri and Lenore hover nearby as he eats the meat, and he is annoyed because it makes him feel guilty. Though both his wife and Alzire lie and say they have all already had...

(The entire section is 581 words.)