Honoré de Balzac just may be my favorite prose author. While he gets little play in US colleges and schools it means little. His body of work and exemplary stories speak for themselves. The Message is a really quaint short story and can be read online for free.
What normally draws me to Balzac is the great detail and volume in his work. The Message is so short that it misses that. My initial reaction was a piece lacking in substance, but after finishing and pouring it over, I stand corrected. It remains a well-conceived and concisely delivered tale. What is neglected is made up for with imagination and context, leaving the reader with a great appreciation for the main players.