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The Flood, trans. by an unknown translator

The Flood, trans. by an unknown translator by Émile Zola
By: (1840-1902)

A well-to-do French farm family is destroyed by a flood. The story, thrilling to the very end, is told from the point of view of the family’s 70-year-old patriarch. The story speaks of the helplessness of mankind in the face of the forces of nature.

First Page:

THE FLOOD

By Emile Zola

I.

My name is Louis Roubien. I am seventy years old. I was born in the village of Saint Jory, several miles up the Garonne from Toulouse.

For fourteen years I battled with the earth for my daily bread. At last, prosperity smiled on we, and last month I was still the richest farmer in the parish.

Our house seemed blessed, happiness reigned there. The sun was our brother, and I cannot recall a bad crop. We were almost a dozen on the farm. There was myself, still hale and hearty, leading the children to work; then my young brother, Pierre, an old bachelor and retired sergeant; then my sister, Agathe, who came to us after the death of her husband. She was a commanding woman, enormous and gay, whose laugh could be heard at the other end of the village. Then came all the brood: my son, Jacques; his wife, Rosie, and their three daughters, Aimee, Veronique, and Marie. The first named was married to Cyprica Bouisson, a big jolly fellow, by whom she had two children, one two years old and the other ten months. Veronique was just betrothed, and was soon to marry Gaspard Rabuteau... Continue reading book >>


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