Review: Jean Francois takes the blame for a crime he did not commit after a change in his life has made him a respected tradesman. He has done this to save a naïve rustic from his own fate as an habitual criminal prior to his reformation. He willingly substitutes for the real thief because he can survive a life in jail and his young rustic friend would be spared a life of in-jail and out. Jean Francois has saved his young friend from a life like his. Shows how once labeled a criminal in the eyes of the law, one remains a criminal in the eyes of the law, for the rest of one’s life.
Fifty Great European Short Stories. Ed. Edward and Elizabeth Huberman. New York: Bantam Books. 1971.