The story is about a man who sets up on a journey to discover the true face of humankind. The story is about a man who sets up on a journey to discover the true face of humankind. Viscos is a very small village located in France. It has only 281 inhabitants. In the past, the place was crawling with thieves, prostitutes and criminals. Now, Viscos is just a peaceful village where nothing much happens. Chantal Prym is a young woman. She is the bartender of the village. She wants to move away from the village and she is just laying in wait for the first chance to do so. Berta is a very old woman and she has some special powers. She is still talking to her dead husband, she can see the devil, she can read emotions and she can read the signs of trouble in storms. Berta sits still outside her house and observes the village. One day, a stranger enters the quiet village and Berta knows that he is trouble because she can see the devil traveling alongside this man. He meets Chantal and he starts talking to her. He tells her that he is looking for some answers to his questions and that he will test the people in the village in order to find his answer. He tells Chantal that his entire family was murdered by some bad people and that he needs to find out if people are in essence good or bad. He carries a lot of gold in his backpack and he is willing to offer the gold to the village if they are willing to kill one of their own. Chantal must carry the message to the people and she is very sure that the people will refuse to kill someone for the gold because the people of the village are decent, nice creatures not some brutes who will kill for money. The stranger tells Chantal that he buried the gold in the woods. Chantal tells the people about the gold and after much debate they decide to kill Berta and take the gold so they can transform the village into a new and important place. They are telling themselves that without the gold all the young people will leave the place and in the end it will cease to exist. Berta is the oldest person in the village so they decide to shoot her because she is useless. They use some sedatives and drag Berta into the woods so they can shoot her. Chantal intervenes and tells them that taking the gold and shooting Berta will prove that the people are in essence just some evil, base, greedy creatures with no morals. She tells them about the stranger's plan and they decide to go home and refuse the gold. Chantal is tempted to steal some gold so that she can leave the village and start a new life but the stranger and some strange circumstances are stopping her. In the end the stranger must admit that the people are neither good nor evil, the people are just people.
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Best part of story, including ending:
I liked the suspense and I was eager to find out if the people are in fact good or bad.
Best scene in story:
I liked the scene where Chantal talked the people out of killing Berta for the gold. It gave me hope that one person can actually influence a greedy mob and change the whole story.
Opinion about the main character:
I disliked the stranger's way of putting some innocent people to such an intense test. It seems strange to draw a general conclusion by testing some random group of people.