Part 4, Chapter 1 Summary

The Hennebeaus were planning to have lunch with the Gregoires and their daughter Cecile; after lunch, Paul Négrel was to have taken the women on a tour of the mine. This was simply a pretext for Madame Hennebeau’s efforts to arrange a marriage between Cecile and Négrel. It has been two weeks since December 1 and there has been no sign of a strike—until today. Everyone in authority had assumed the threat of a strike was over, but at 4:00 this morning, not one single worker went to work at Le Voreux, and most of the other mines in the area are the same.

Since then, Hennebeau has been frantically wiring the owners for direction and has sent Négrel to gather more information. When he tells his spoiled wife that he...

(The entire section is 802 words.)