Antoine Montès (ahn-TWAHN mohn-TEHZ), age thirty-five, who arrives in a small town to take possession of a vineyard inherited from a father whom he has never known. His mother had left the town and Antoine’s father after she discovered him making love to the maid. Montès fires the bailiff, who refuses to uproot his own family from the property. Montès makes the acquaintance of several people in a town that generally rejects him: Rose (with whom he falls in love), Maurice, distant cousins, the notary, and a stranger (the narrator) whom he meets in a photography shop.
Maurice (moh-REES), a pretentious and nosy fertilizer salesman. He tries to befriend Montès and discovers that he is hiding stolen goods for Rose. He steals a note written by Cécile to Montès and tries to blackmail her father with it.
Cécile (say-SEEL), the younger, tomboyish daughter of Montès’ distant relative. She breaks off her relationship with her fiancé as she becomes enamored of Montès and writes Montès a note. When she is found out by her older sister, she forces her former fiancé to make love to her.
Hélène (ay-LEHN), the older sister of Cécile. She discovers Cécile’s relationship with...
(The entire section is 604 words.)