Part 2, Chapter 4 Summary

La Maheude stops on her way home to buy some potatoes from a supervisor’s wife in an area the miners call the First Estate, as opposed to their own area called Never-Never-Land. When she and the children arrive home, baby Estelle is screaming. Bonnemort snores happily through the racket.

As she feeds Estelle and begins to prepare some potatoes, La Maheude remembers the brioche the Grégoires had given them and realizes Lenore and Henri had surreptitiously eaten it on the way home. Bonnemort comes down earlier than usual to eat his meal of potatoes and coffee between his coughing and spitting. La Maheude takes a little coffee in some paper to La Pieronne, who had loaned her some a few days before, and is surprised to...

(The entire section is 777 words.)