Title: The Diamond Necklace
Author: Guy De Maupassant
Source: English Express Ways IV
Mathilde Loisel was a middle-class girl who desperately wishes she were wealthy. She's got looks and charm, but had the bad luck to be born into a family of clerks, who marry her to another clerk in the Department of Education. One day M. Loisel got an invitation to a fancy ball thrown by his boss. M. Loisel has gone to a lot of trouble to get the invitation, but Mathilde's first reaction is to throw a fit. She doesn't have anything nice to wear, and can't possibly go! Mathilde asks for 400 francs, and his husband agrees. But because Mathilde doesn’t have any jewels, she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Mme. Foreister, a rich woman who can probably lend her something. The night of the ball arrives, and Mathilde has the time of her life. Everyone loves her and she is absolutely thrilled. At 4am she and her husband return home, and discover the necklace is missing. M. Loisel spends all of the next day, and even the next week, searching the city for the necklace, but finds nothing. So he and Mathilde decide they have no choice but to buy Mme. Forestier a new necklace. They visit one jewelry store after another until at last they find a necklace that looks just the same as the one they lost. Unfortunately, it's 36 thousand francs, which is exactly twice the amount of all the money M. Loisel has to his name. So M. Loisel goes massively into debt and buys the necklace, and Mathilde returns it to Mme. Forestier, who doesn't notice the substitution. The Loisels fall into poverty and spend ten years paying off their debts. After ten years, all the debts are finally paid, and Mathilde is out for a jaunt on the Champs Elysées. There she comes across Mme. Forestier, rich and beautiful as ever. Now that all the debts are paid off, Mathilde decides she wants to finally tell Mme. Forestier the sad story of the necklace and her ten years of poverty, and she...
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