"Why, darling, I thought you'd be pleased. You never go out, and this is a great occasion. I had tremendous trouble to get it. Every one wants one; it's very select, and very few go to the clerks. You'll see all the really big people there."
"What do you want me to do with this?"
"Yes, of course."
She imagined vast saloons hung with antique silks,exquisite pieces of furniture supporting priceless ornaments, and small, charming, perfumed rooms, created just for little parties of intimate friends, men who were famous and sought after, whose homage roused every other woman's envious longings.
"Could you lend me this, just this alone?"
One evening her husband came home with an exultant air, holding a large envelope in his hand.
"I . . . I . . . I've no longer got Madame Forestier's necklace. . . ." .. "Yes, I touched it in the hall at the Ministry."
"What! . . . Impossible!" ... "Are you sure that you still had it on when you came away from the ball?" he asked.
Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she flung the invitation petulantly across the table, murmuring:
Madame Forestier had halted. "You say you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?"
"I brought you another one just like it. And for the last ten years we have been paying for it. You realize it wasn't easy for us; we had no money. . . . Well, it's paid for at last, and I'm glad indeed."
Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin case, a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetously. Her hands trembled as she lifted it. She fastened it round her neck, upon her high dress, and remained in ecstasy at sight of herself.
She took off the garments in which she had wrapped her shoulders, so as to see herself in all her glory before the mirror. But suddenly she uttered a cry. The necklace was no longer round her neck!
*10 years later* Madame Loisel was conscious of some emotion. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not?