His wife was thirty, and the long illness had left its mark on her face. Yet the thought that came to Rieux’s mind as he gazed at her was: "How young she looks, almost like a little girl!" (1.2.5)
"The rats?" he said. "It’s nothing."
The only impression of that moment which, afterwards, he could recall was the passing of a railroadman with a box full of dead rats under his arm. (1.2.41-42)
Even in the busy heart of the town you found them piled in little heaps on landings and in backyards. Some stole forth to die singly in the halls of public offices, in school playgrounds, and even on café terraces. Our townsfolk were amazed to find such busy centers as the Place d’Armes, the boulevards, the promenade along the waterfront, dotted with repulsive little corpses. (1.2.72)