Random Quote #41 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G

PECQUEUX, a stoker in the employment of the Western Railway Company.
He was married to Mere Victoire, the old nurse of Severine Aubry. His
original intention was to qualify as an engine-driver, but time passed
without advancement, and later there was an insuperable barrier in his
own conduct, for he was given to drinking bouts which converted him for
the time into a savage animal, capable of any violence. His wife lived
at Paris, while Philomene Sauvagnat helped him to pass the hours he was
compelled to spend at Havre, an arrangement which had the concurrence
of Victoire. Pecqueux had the devotion of a dog for his comrade Jacques
Lantier, who concealed his vices and shared with him a love for their
engine, "La Lison." Philomene, however, excited his jealousy by her
attentions to Lantier, and the former friendship of the two comrades
became changed to fierce enmity. At length it happened that one night,
as their engine was drawing eighteen trucks of soldiers towards the
seat of war in Prussia, Pecqueux in a sudden access of madness attacked
Lantier, and, after a fierce struggle on the narrow foot-plate, the two
fell off, and were cut in pieces beneath the wheels. La Bete Humaine.


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