Random Quote #66 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G

MISARD, signalman on the railway at Croix-de-Maufras, between Malaunay
and Barentin. He was a little puny man, with thin, discoloured hair and
beard, and a lean, hollow-cheeked face. His work was mechanical, and he
seemed to carry it through without thought or intelligence. His wife,
a cousin of Jacques Lantier, looked after the level-crossing which
adjoined their house until failing health prevented her from leaving
the house. For this little man, silently and without anger, was slowly
poisoning his wife with a powder which he placed in the salt which she
ate. This crime, patient and cunning, had for its cause a legacy of a
thousand francs left to Aunt Phasie by her father, a legacy which
she had hidden, and refused to hand over to Misard. But the old woman
triumphed in the end, for though Misard searched day and night for the
treasure, he was never able to find it; she died taking her secret with
her. An old woman of the neighbourhood, La Ducloux, whom he had employed
to attend to the level-crossing after the death of his wife, induced him
to marry her by pretending that she had discovered the secret hoard. La
Bete Humaine.


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