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The Prussian Commander, Major Graf von Farlsberg, was finishing the reading of his mail, comfortably seated in a large tapestry armchair, with his booted feet resting on the elegant marble of the mantelpiece on which, for the last three months that he had been occupying the Chateau d'Uville, his spurs had traced two deep grooves, growing deeper every day.
A cup of coffee was steaming on an inlaid guerdon, stained with liqueur, burned by cigars, notched by the penknife of the conquering officer who, while sharpening his pencil, would stop at times and trace on the marble monograms or designs according to the fancy of his indolent dream.
After he had finished his letters and read the German newspapers, which his orderly had brought him, he rose, threw into the fire three or four enormous pieces of green wood, for these gentlemen were cutting down, little by little, the trees of the park to keep themselves warm and stepped over to the window. The rain was pouring, a regular Normandy rain which one might have thought was let loose and showered down by a furious hand, a slanting rain, thick like a curtain, forming a kind of wall with oblique stripes, a rain that lashed, splashed, deluged everything, a rain peculiar to the neighborhood of Rouen, that watering pot of France.
The Officer looked for a long while at the inundated lawn, and yonder, the swollen Andilles, which was overflowing; and with his fingers he was drumming on the window-pane a waltz from the Rhineland, when a noise caused him to turn around; it was his second in command, Baron von Kelweingstein, holding a rank equivalent to that of Captain.
The Major was a giant, with broad shoulders, graced by a fan-shaped blond beard, flowing down his chest and forming a breast-shield. His whole tall, solemn person suggested the image of a military peacock, a peacock that would carry its tail spread on its chin. He had blue eyes, cold and gentle; a cheek bearing the scar of a sword wound inflicted during the Austrian war; and he was said to be a kind hearted man as well as a brave officer.
Short, red faced, corpulent, tightly belted, the Captain wore, cropped almost close, his red hair, the fiery filaments of which, when under the reflection of certain lights, might have given the impression as though his face had been rubbed with phosphorus. Two teeth lost in a night orgy and brawl, he did not exactly remember now, caused him to spit out indistinct words which one could not always understand. He was bald only on the top of his head, like a tonsured monk, with a crop of short, curly hair, golden and shiny, around this circle of bare flesh.
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Скачайте бесплатно электронную книгу (e-book) Ги де Мопассана «Мадмуазель Фифи» на английском языке. Вы также можете распечатать текст книги. Для этого подойдут форматы PDF и DOC.