Episode 19: “AN AFFAIR OF HONOR”

The duel was scheduled for dawn. The field of honor would be a clearing in the forest that surrounded the castle. I could have closed my eyes and returned home immediately, but to appear as a coward before the most select of high society did not seem to me the best way to enter it. So I accepted the challenge. Papus and Marquis de Guaita himself offered to be my seconds. Since I was the challenged, I had the right to choose weapons. I knew that Baron de Charlus mastered all kinds of weapons, while the only weapon that I had used in my life was, when I was a child, the slingshot. So I didn’t hesitate a moment: “The sling”, I announced leaving everybody perplexed. We had to borrow the weapons from the Marquis’ children. Both kids refused at first to lend their slings and barricaded themselves in the attic from where they bombarded us with large stones like chicken eggs. In a burst of heroism, one of the Baron’s seconds rushed up the stairs and received a stone right in the middle of his forehead, moving on to a better life. Then their father bribed them with whipped cream and both deposed their attitude. M. de Charlus and I had to hurry to the field of honor so that everything was finished before the children would eat all the whipped cream. (In my opinion, those children were badly brought up and deserved a correction.) For that same reason we had to abbreviate the ceremonial stipulated in the duel code. The two of us were provided with a sling and a stone of the same size. The duel ended in a draw: M. de Charlus received a blow in the leg and I another in the shoulder and, as the challenger considered thus satisfied his honor, the duel was declared over. 

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

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