Maitre = in old-fashioned French this means Master, in more modern French it is
used for a host or hostess. Nobility or the land-owners in
France were and still are still referenced this way.
Example from the story: “Maitre (or mister) Hauchecorne, of Breaute, had
just arrived at Goderville and was making his way toward the square”

Buttonholed = Attract the attention of and detain
(someone) in conversation, typically against his or her will.
Example from the story: “He passed on, buttonholed
by every one (i.e. everyone was stopping
him to get his attention
), himself buttonholing
his acquaintances (i.e. he was also
trying to get everyone’s attention
), beginning over and over again his tale
and his protestations” (i.e. he told his
side of the story again and again).

Normans = The Normans (in French: Normands) were the people who
gave their name to Normandy,
a region in northern France.
They were descended from Norse
Viking conquerors of the
territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock.