Part 5, Chapter 5 Summary

Hennebeau is alone in the quiet house with his servant Hippolyte and the cook, who is busy preparing for this evening’s dinner party. Hippolyte announces Dansaert, who has brought news of the meeting which has taken place in the forest last night. They discuss the strike but dismiss it as just “another piece of bravado.” They do not believe they are under any serious threat.

Once Dansaert leaves, however, Hennebeau considers sending a message to the Prefect. His reluctance to reveal his anxiety keeps him from doing so. He regrets his lack of judgment in telling the Board that the strike would last two weeks at most; it has already lasted two months and he is beginning to despair. Each day Hennebeau feels more...

(The entire section is 819 words.)