* "Boule de Suif" centers on ten coach passengers traveling through occupied France during the Franco-Prussian war. The story begins in Rouen where defeated soldiers, including volunteers, enlisted men, and career soldiers wander aimlessly through town.
* There is a rumor that the Prussians will soon enter Rouen, and the town is silent as it waits for the conquerors to arrive. The citizens are nervous and aware that common items such as kitchen knives and garden tools can be perceived as weapons. The shops are closed and no children play in the streets.
* Over the next few days, the German soldiers take over the small city, shouting orders in their own language and frightening the citizens. The villagers cower in their homes, and one by one, the soliders enter the houses.
* The citizens are civil to avoid further conflict, and feed the soldiers. The German officers are polite and...
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