A Duel (Maupassant)

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A Duel
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A Frenchman, enraged by a Prussian officer's insults, fought a duel with him on a train journey and killed him, earning the admiration of two Englishmen.

During the German occupation of France, a Frenchman named Dubuis was traveling by train to Switzerland to reunite with his family. In his compartment, there were two Englishmen who were observing the war-torn countryside.

M. Dubuis — Frenchman; stout, peaceable merchant; patriotic, impulsive.
The Englishmen — two stout, curious travelers; polite, inquisitive, and calm.

At one of the stops, a Prussian officer entered the compartment and began to boast about his victories and the superiority of Prussia.

The Prussian Officer — tall, bearded, and aggressive; wore a black, brass-spiked helmet.

I haf gilled ten Frenchmen in that fillage. I haf took more than von hondred brisoners.

He insulted Dubuis and demanded that he fetch tobacco for him. Dubuis refused and the officer threatened to cut off his mustache to use as pipe tobacco.

When the train stopped at another station, the officer grabbed Dubuis' mustache, but Dubuis fought back, punching the officer repeatedly. The Englishmen watched with interest, and when the officer demanded a duel, they agreed to be Dubuis' witnesses. The duel took place in Strasbourg, with the Englishmen concerned about missing their train.

If you do not gif me satisfaction vith the pistol, I vill kill you.

Dubuis, who had never held a pistol before, shot and killed the Prussian officer. The Englishmen, delighted by the outcome, hurried Dubuis back to the train and congratulated him.

Hip, hip, hip, hurrah!

They all boarded the train just in time and continued their journey.