(Short Stories for Students)

Doctor Bianchon is the narrator of this afterdinner tale and the character in the story to whom all the other narrators tell their tales. As the opening of the story reveals, he is known to his dinner companions to have ‘‘some appalling stories in [his] collection.’’ He also discloses in his tale that he is a man of refined sensibilities and is susceptible to the romantic powers of certain places and settings.

He is the jeweler from whom Madame de Merret claims to have purchased the distinctive Spanish silver crucifix (which her lover has given her). Monsieur de Merret summons Duvivier to his wife’s bedroom and asks him in her presence if he had purchased some Spanish crucifixes, which of course he had not.

Jean Gorenflot
A minor character who performs a major role, Gorenflot is the servant who accepts Monsieur de Merret’s bribe to seal the doorway to the closet in which his wife’s lover is hiding. He engages the mason and accepts Monsieur’s offer of a passport and sufficient cash to marry Rosalie and start a new life.

Madame Lepas
The narrator’s landlord and the second narrator in the frame tale, Madame Lepas, supplements Regnault’s story about Madame La Merret by introducing the idea that the Spanish nobleman may have been involved somehow. She also mentions the distinctive sliver and black crucifix that eventually unravels the Comtesse’s deception. Monsieur Regnault


(The entire section is 631 words.)