The Gladstone’s Library Mystery Lady Competition rules were to write a story about a woman whose portrait hangs in the library’s front hallway. She is dressed in a russet-coloured dress and holding an orange, and no one knows who she is.
You can read the story here.
“Like his narrators, Maupassant wanted to experience life, and to set himself apart from the rich and the privileged. His narrators are often both brave and reckless in their search for the truth — for that clear-eyed understanding of what lies behind life’s closed doors and facades.”