BAUDU (M.), proprietor of a drapery shop opposite "The Ladies'
Paradise." The business had been in existence for many years and M.
Baudu conducted it on such old-fashioned lines that in competition
with Mouret's great establishment it was rapidly disappearing. He had
acquired it from his father-in-law, and in turn he proposed to hand it
to Colomban, his shopman, who was engaged to be married to Genevieve,
his only daughter. Baudu postponed the marriage, however, from time to
time, as he did not wish to hand over the business in a worse state
than that in which he himself got it. Meanwhile Colomban had become
infatuated with Clara Prunaire, who ultimately induced him to run off.
Genevieve, who was in bad health, died soon afterwards, and before long
her mother died also. The business had gone from bad to worse, and, in
the end, Baudu lost everything, only avoiding bankruptcy by a complete
surrender. Like many of his neighbours, he was crushed out of existence
by Octave Mouret's triumphant success. Au Bonheur des Dames.