One Sunday, as she was taking a walk on the Champs-Elysees to rid herself of the cares of the week, she suddenly perceived a woman walking with a child. It was Mme Forestier, still young, still pretty, still attractive. Mme Loisel was affected. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not?
 
     She went to see her. “Good morning, Jeanne.”
 
     Her friend did not recognise her and was astonished to be so familiarly addressed by this common personage. She stammered, “But, Madame—I do not know—you must be mistaken—”
 
     “No, I am Matilda Loisel.”
 
     Her friend uttered a cry of astonishment, “Oh, my poor Matilda! How you have changed!”
Explanation:
 
Mme Loisel began when she was walking down the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday after a long week at work and happened to see a mother with a child. The Champs-Elysees are in Paris, London, which is known for its theatres, cafes, and luxury shopping malls. And Mme Forestier was the woman Matilda had seen. Mme Forestier looked young, pretty, and attractive even after ten years, in contrast to Mme Loisel, who appeared elderly and dirty.
 
Mme Loisel considered conversing with Mme Forestier, but she hesitated whether or not she should. After giving it some thought, she decided to talk to Forestier because she had paid off all the debts related to the necklace she had bought for Forestier.
 
Mme Forestier couldn't recognise her because Mme Loisel's 10 years of hard work had entirely transformed her looks and made her appear older.  Mme Loisel addressed Forestier as 'Jeanne', thinking that she would recognise Mme Loisel because only her close friends addressed her as such. Still, Matilda's shabby clothes and appearance made Forestier assume that Matilda might have got the wrong person and that she might be looking for someone else.
 
Mme Loisel introduced herself to Jeanne Forestier since she didn't recognise her. Mme Forestier was taken aback to see her old friend Mme Loisel in such a miserable state.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1.
RidTo make oneself from someone or something
2.
PersonageRefers to person of importance or distinction
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Necklace - Guy De Maupassant (pp 39-45). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.