The Duellists (1977) Movie Script

The duelist demands satisfaction.
Honor for him is an appetite.
This story is about
an eccentric kind of hunger.
It is a true story,
and begins in the year...
that Napoleon Bonaparte
became ruler of France.
Gentlemen, General Treillard.
Who knows Lieutenant Feraud...
7th Hussars?
I do, sir.
- You know him well?
- I've once or twice come across him.
Tell him he's confined to his quarters
under close arrest.
Lieutenant Feraud has skewered
the mayor's nephew...
in an affair of honor,
half a minute's work.
I have spent the last two hours
apologizing to the mayor on his behalf.
Could you convey to Lieutenant Feraud
how much I should be likely...
to enjoy that?
- I hope so, sir.
- Yeah, I hope so too.
In case he feels an interest,
the mayor's nephew is still alive.
More or less.
Tell him I shall take pleasure...
in seeing him later.
I want some food!
Perhaps you could rout out a crust.
I regret the interruption.
- Is Lieutenant Feraud at home?
- He's gone out.
- Gone out where?
- I don't know.
My dear, this is very important.
Soldier's business, of course.
He went to pay a call.
Pay a call on whom?
I'm sure he keeps nothing from you.
Madame de Lionne.
Did he?
He has an angel at home, and off he
goes paying a call on Madame de Lionne.
He must be quite blind.
Thank you.
I must ask you
to pardon this intrusion.
I'm here on military business,
which is...
a lamentable reason
for invading your drawing room.
Come again this evening
and plead your forgiveness.
You are most gracious.
Madame, I have orders
for Lieutenant Feraud.
Please excuse us.
I have an order to convey to you
from General Treillard.
You are to report to your quarters
and remain there under close arrest.
What did you say?
I'm only a messenger.
That must be obvious to you.
Have you heard my message?
Yes, damn you, I heard your message.
Under arrest for what?
You did fight a duel this morning?
Of course.
You make dueling sound like
a pastime in the Garden of Eden.
I think we ought to leave now,
don't you agree?
What have I done?
Was I to let some sauerkraut-eater...
wipe his boots on the uniform
of the 7th Hussars?
The sauerkraut-eater's uncle
happens to be the mayor of Strasbourg.
The general was obliged
to acknowledge his complaint.
Then I'm obliged to the general? Should
I be grateful to you for finding me?
Frankly, I think you ought to be.
I had no end of trouble
finding where you were.
- Better calm yourself.
- Calm myself?
- Better calm yourself.
- Calm myself?
I do advocate it most earnestly.
Would you let them spit upon
Napoleon Bonaparte?
Bonaparte has no more to do with this
than Madame de Lionne.
You think that name's common
coin for the street?
Whichever name you choose to defend,
I'd use it...
with the utmost respect
and solely in the cause of logic.
What do you mean, whichever name?
You know damn well which name.
Could you leave us alone, please?
Your duty is to victimize me.
Am I mistaken?
You were chosen to hunt me out
in the drawing room of a lady...
toward whom I feel the deepest...
I respect
your inexpressible sentiment.
But I can assure you that the hunting
was no choice of mine.
You've insulted me.
You have insulted me!
I have strained my patience
in order not to do so.
- I demand an apology!
- This is too ridiculous.
Really too ridiculous.
A proper general's poodle.
Can you fight?
I see no reason whatever
for us to fight.
What reason would you like?
Shall I spit in your face?
Shall I cut a chunk out of your back,
or would that be too ridiculous?
How do you get back to your
general now? Through the window?
I believe you're really
quite a madman.
You draw your sword.
You draw your sword.
Or by God, I'll chase you
down the street like a chicken!
You will chase me nowhere.
I will be delighted to fight you
at the first opportunity.
We'll fight now.
At this moment I'm here on duty,
and you are under arrest...
- Now!
- For dueling, you ape!
- You fight now.
- Where?
In the garden.
- I want seconds.
- I'll find you seconds.
Old man...
stand here... and watch me.
You've been scratched by a woman.
Did you commit a crime of passion?
Certainly not.
I agree.
That would be out of character.
Well, what happened?
- I wounded a man in a duel.
- What type of wound?
- A cut across the forearm.
- Name of adversary?
- Gabriel Feraud.
- He fought a duel this morning.
He also fought a duel
this afternoon.
I've anatomized the military man.
I have literally
picked through his brains.
It's my fate
to go on putting him together.
I haven't the slightest idea
how he works.
Where do I find this...
Lieutenant Feraud?
What was the cause of the quarrel?
Ask him.
Cause of quarrel... obscure.
So, prepare to be more civilized.
A tomcat would never dream of sending
a surgeon to another tomcat.
You could try this on your face.
You were recommended to me as
a reliable, intelligent young officer.
You're a damn disgrace.
You look a damned disgrace,
like a damned Hottentot.
Look at yourself.
You will return
to your regiment at once.
I have no further use for you.
Pending a court inquiry, you will be
confined to barracks under close arrest.
Go on.
Sir, I shall welcome an inquiry.
You will, will you...
If you emerge from it
pure as driven snow...
you'll remain an imbecile.
Get out.
The whole town is buzzing with it.
I spoke with a delightful old gentleman
who affected to believe...
in the transmigration of souls.
He suggested you had both been
enemies in a previous incarnation.
What did Feraud suggest?
He kept remarkably quiet about it,
much like yourself.
it will all come out at the inquiry.
There won't be any inquiry.
- You're disappointed?
- War?
Yes, yes.
War again.
You'll be a free man back
with your troop in the morning.
- Good.
- Imagined you would think so.
So I have brought...
two bottles...
one corkscrew...
and my flute.
- Feraud intends to kill you.
- Is that what he says?
Oh, not to me,
but rumor goes around.
Damn him anyway!
He's most unreasonable.
The enemies of reason
have a certain blind look.
- He has that look, don't you think?
- What can I do?
I have given it some thought.
You cannot fight, one,
if you are in different places.
Physical impossibility.
if you're of different rank,
it's a breach of discipline.
And three,
if the state is at war...
duels of nations
take absolute precedence.
Therefore, keep away from him.
Keep ahead of him.
Put your trust in Bonaparte.
Thank you.
Just before history rolls over it,
what was the cause of the duel?
Are you asking
on behalf of the town?
Call it a...
light cavalry skirmish.
All in all...
I'm far from certain myself.
After six months
of hard campaigning...
there followed an interval of peace.
- Hold him, Gabriel.
- Are you holding onto the table?
- Richard, is he on the table?
- No, I'm not!
I got you. Got you.
Come on.
- Left arm, double or nothing.
- No, I only bet right hand.
- Another?
- Yes.
- Where's your bet?
- Trust me.
- You must be joking.
- Trust me!
Come on.
You're next.
Any more bets?
Damn muscle never healed properly.
You remember that boudoir soldier
in Strasbourg...
that staff lackey?
You'll act for me, won't you?
Hey, Moustache, my bags.
Now tell me you're married.
Madame, I am entirely at your service.
My dear Armand, how very gallant.
What a relief.
Well, now that I've found you,
it would be an act of mercy...
if you put us both to bed.
Marie Rose went bald.
She caught the mange in Italy.
Poor bitch.
- How did Jacques respond to that?
- He never saw it.
He was killed at Marengo.
Simon must still be in Egypt.
Etienne married that fat girl of his.
And I have received a token of love.
I find that rather daunting.
With this ring, I renounce love...
and make do with you.
You were the one I always wanted.
You, Hussar.
- What's this?
- I'll have them driven in deeper, sir.
You'll do no such thing.
Who the devil taught you
to picket horses so near a river?
There's gonna be water
around their knees in two hours.
I want the whole line moved
to higher ground quickly.
Lieutenant d'Hubert.
You are acquainted
with Lieutenant Feraud?
- Morning.
- Morning.
Are you ready, gentlemen?
All right, gentlemen.
Gently, gently.
Very carefully,
turn around for me.
Take it slowly.
Do take off his cravat, please.
Easy. It's all right.
It's all right.
Then undo his button.
Get him over on his side.
Just get this...
Careful, careful.
Armand, it was a fair set-to.
Won't hurt your reputation,
I can promise you that.
Why don't you make it up
like a couple of good fellows?
- That's better.
- There's no need to bear him a grudge.
All right.
I'll shake hands.
He can't continue, I'm afraid.
It's quite bad.
- Can he continue?
- No, he's unable to.
- Damn it!
- Gabriel, shake hands and forget it.
Whatever he did,
you've paid him back now.
From all I hear,
he's a very decent fellow.
Don't expect decency from his kind.
Look at him,
lolling about there on the ground.
One touch, and he's off home
to his beloved general.
Next time, d'Hubert!
You should have made him
shake hands with you.
I was flat on my back.
One cannot control one's affairs
from that position.
You should've got up.
You weren't dead.
I wasn't well.
Besides, he only would've stuck me
again. He was waiting for the chance.
Do you mean
you'd have gone on fighting?
No question.
It would have been
the only honorable thing to do.
What's the matter?
- I'm going to sneeze.
- Oh, no, you mustn't.
You don't have to.
Come on.
Think of something else.
- Describe honor.
- Honor?
- Honor.
- Honor is...
- Go on. You must.
- Indescribable...
All the little girls adore you.
You're a notorious and savage duelist.
- Savage?
- Notoriously savage.
And it's rumored that
you live with a savage bitch.
It's a shame he's such an idle brute.
One more duel...
and God knows he needs the exercise...
one more duel
would make his reputation.
Young ladies would take
to their smelling salts...
whenever he narrowed his eyes.
Narrow your eyes.
I think you've got
a long way to go.
We could leave by the back lane.
What for?
If he wants me, he'll find me.
You know him?
Surely there must be
some other way out?
Don't talk about it anymore.
The only way out
is to go through with it.
One has to be ready.
It takes all one's attention
to be ready.
Where is Gabriel Feraud?
Thank you.
I live with Armand d'Hubert.
I knew a man who was
stabbed to death by a woman.
Gave him the surprise of his life.
I once knew a woman
who was beaten to death by a man.
I don't think
it surprised her at all.
You're a soldier's lady.
You should live here with me.
Nobody understands
why you fight with Armand.
It's supposed to be a secret
between the pair of you.
I believe it's a secret
of your very own.
I believe it's a secret
of your very own.
I believe...
you feed your spite on him...
with no more sense than a nasty,
bloodsucking louse.
Who do you suppose cares
what you think?
- No one.
- Then why are you here?
I came to take a look at you.
Do you remember Martin?
The gunnery sergeant who lost his arm?
He's out of the army now. He works
at the ordinance factory in Rouen.
I think he wants to marry me.
He sent me the ring.
What ring?
This ring.
Oh, that ring.
Marry him.
When I'm ready.
I was told I might find
Lieutenant d'Hubert at this address.
Not here.
On the watch, sir.
Always on the watch.
They don't all fight
like fine gentlemen.
The two of swords reversed.
Strife without reason.
A quarrel pursued for its own sake.
Does this suggest your problem?
Seven of cups.
It would seem that
you must make a difficult choice.
The moon.
The moon is a symbol of solitude.
Here is the path you must take.
It is a path of instinct.
Everyone who travels on that path
travels alone.
Between the two dogs.
Do I leave them both behind?
You must answer
your own questions now.
You're alone.
- Pick it up.
- Gently, gently.
That's it.
I'm not hurt!
Are they dying?
The general will see you now, sir.
Sit down before you fall down.
Your colonel speaks highly of you.
I found you quite useful myself.
Yet, in contact with this Feraud,
you persistently behave...
like a wild beast.
Why is that?
- Do you wish to reconvene an inquiry?
- Certainly not.
- No time to waste on that now.
- Sir, as a crucial point of honor...
I cannot speak freely about
the conduct of Lieutenant Feraud...
unless he has an opportunity
to put his own case.
Sir, I cannot fight the man three times
and then tell tales on him.
Judging by the look of you,
a change of tactics is what you need.
Very well. Convention allows you
to be a chivalrous half-wit.
But you will cease being
a quarrelsome half-wit.
You will fight no more duels
under my command.
- Now, is that understood?
- Yes, sir.
since you are now a captain...
it would be
a gross breach of discipline.
Your colonel considered you fit
to command a troop.
I'm not exactly sure
what I think you're fit for...
but I will not oppose his decision.
If you feel strong enough,
you may leave now.
Five years passed.
The map of Europe changed...
and so did military fashion.
Another time then.
- Buy me a drink, darling?
- Next time.
You look mumpish. Cheer up.
I have some news to tell you.
Sit down.
I have news to tell you.
The 7th Hussars have come to Lubeck.
Feraud is behind you.
I'm sorry.
- Can you make out his rank?
- Captain.
Perhaps, for your own sake,
you should face him now.
How can you avoid it?
He'll hunt you out in the end.
Keep your head down.
This is my news.
I'm being seconded to
the staff of Marshal Bernadotte.
My appointment carries
the rank of major.
I'm to report for duty
in a fortnight...
and the colonel has granted me
a fortnight's leave.
I wish to consult you...
in the utmost confidence...
upon a fine point of honor.
Good-bye, Major.
Don't I know you well?
- You do.
- Yeah, I do know him well.
- D'Hubert.
- That's right.
I come to Lubeck,
and the town is humming with your name.
Why weren't you killed at Elshingham?
- That was my last news of you.
- It was a hard day for the regiment.
But nothing cures a duelist.
How is Martin?
More news gone astray.
He died of typhus...
in the epidemic last July.
I'm very sorry.
Were you married?
I never heard.
Right at the end, poor boy...
for all the good it did.
A widow's weeds aren't much help
to a lady of the garrison.
So now I beg...
and strike up friendships.
Laura, go back to France.
There's only grief to be got
from following soldiers.
Martin said...
He said,
Go to that fool Armand.
He'll take you on again.
This time, he'll kill you!
We thought on horseback.
On horseback?
As a compliment to the cavalry.
Feraud has agreed.
The regiment expects it.
The regiment expects it?
I see.
We're now fighting this duel
as a compliment to the cavalry.
Like it or not,
you are a man of reputation.
A famous fire-eater.
It brings you responsibilities.
You must think of yourself
as fighting on parade.
Feraud has been boasting all day...
but the betting still holds
at even money.
I'm going to be killed...
responsibly on horseback...
as a compliment to the cavalry.
That's a useless sort of talk.
I'm not fanatical enough
to persevere in this absurdity.
If he so earnestly desires to kill me,
he will kill me.
Damn it, kill him.
That's absurd.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
The combat should be well attended.
I hear that Lebrun
has given a breakfast party.
I hope the weather improves for them.
Do you think so?
Let me tell you my idea.
Prepare to advance!
Captain Feraud has taken
a slight cut across the forehead.
And until the blood has stopped,
he can't see.
I regret the duel
must be discontinued.
Feraud was posted to Spain.
D'Hubert remained in northern Europe.
Six years later,
the emperor's grand army...
regrouped for Armageddon.
Listen, all of you!
That woods stinks with cossacks.
I want some volunteers.
All of you!
I'll come with you.
Pistols next time?
By tomorrow, with luck,
we shall be across the Niemen.
I think we can risk
a little celebration.
Did you ever speak to Napoleon?
As a matter of fact, I once
delivered him an important message.
Did he say thank you?
I suppose he did. I don't know.
It was very noisy at the time.
Was it right to send him to Elba?
Well, he couldn't share a palace
with King Louis, could he?
- Well, why not?
- Gilles! Hilaire!
Go on.
Do we have to go?
How is your leg today?
Progress is slow.
Sit and rest here.
I have plans for you.
Leonie, my life is yours.
It's my ambition to be known as the
old general who lives with his sister.
That is exactly what I feared.
It is therefore my ambition
to see you married...
as soon as is decently possible.
Keep quiet and pay attention.
The heiress from Valmassique...
the estate across the river...
is a sweet child called Adele.
Her parents are dead, and her uncle
has become the dearest friend of mine.
It will be the easiest thing
in the world to arrange...
and it will suit you admirably.
I know what you are thinking...
She is an ugly girl,
and she will make me miserable.
I assure you, she is far more
beautiful than you deserve...
and she will make you very happy.
You are at liberty to speak.
What color is her hair?
I have no further questions
at this time.
I am looking for
the Chevalier de Riverol.
General d'Hubert, I believe.
I have not hitherto been privileged
to meet a general of Bonaparte's army.
General of Brigade, sir.
And only recently promoted.
A mere imp of Satan. I cannot claim
to be one of his demons.
- You jest with me, sir.
- In a neighborly way.
Let me make you
a pair of boots.
In a neighborly way.
I would esteem it an honor.
Good boots are not an honor.
They're a pleasure.
About the time you were learning
to be a soldier...
I was learning to make boots.
I've supported myself
as a bootmaker.
Now that I'm an aristocrat
once more...
I have to drum up trade.
Sloth is the curse
of the aristocracy.
The Chevalier found you
vastly well read...
and he said you had
a very good leg.
I sound like a horse.
My God, I'm lucky
he didn't look at my teeth.
I do hate that swearing.
Don't you dare do it
in front of Adele.
- Have you seen her?
- No, I haven't.
Yes, you have.
Don't sulk. You have.
Isn't this marriage-broking
getting out of fashion?
Nothing sensible
goes out of fashion.
They're all coming over tomorrow
from Valmassique.
Meddle, meddle, meddle.
General d'Hubert,
Mademoiselle de Valmassique.
Let me look.
Very handsome fellow.
They have golden eyes, you know.
- And jewels inside their heads?
- So I believe.
Were I a young man again...
rather than an old, lame creature...
I'd ask you to marry me.
Well, don't you want to
marry me now?
My dear, we both know
what's expected of us, don't we?
If I were to neglect
to make you a proposal...
no blame would be
attached to you.
I think perhaps
you might be saved from a...
sad, dull life.
If you neglect
to make me a proposal...
my uncle will go mad.
Damn it, you were not put on
this earth to coddle your uncle.
I have heard you do swear
most terribly.
I'm a tempered man.
Tempered in my speech.
I love you.
my dearest Adele...
it would make me very happy...
happy beyond expectation
if you would become my wife.
- It was a fiasco.
- Nonsense.
She accepted you.
What else could she do?
Nothing, I should hope.
It was a proper, settled arrangement.
Oh, Armand...
in marriage, events of that kind
are not important.
A good marriage
settles down quietly...
like moss.
I've never heard a bad
word spoken about moss.
Leonie, an unkind plot
has been laid against her.
Very well. If she's good
and biddable, she'll settle down.
But it's not fair.
She's young.
She has that magic.
You are in love?
- Yes, I'm in love.
- Well, then...
I can't be bothered with you.
Go and play billiards.
No cheating.
Go and play billiards.
Surely you will not turn down
the opportunity of a brigade.
The emperor is our hope
and strength.
We belong to him.
I have entertained
the notion that...
I may belong to myself.
It has been said that you
do not love the emperor.
- By whom?
- By General Feraud.
He knows you well, I believe.
General Feraud has made
occasional attempts to kill me.
That does not give him the right
to claim my acquaintance.
And it is also said
that he fought you...
in defense
of the emperor's honor.
That is impertinent trash!
You have my answer to Marshall Grouchy.
I shall write to confirm it at once.
Good day.
Colonel, do you sometimes
meet with General Feraud?
Now and again.
Ask him what the honor of the emperor
has to do with Madame de Lionne?
Madame de Lionne?
I think that was the lady's name.
He should remember
better than I.
Tell him to drive on.
- Damn his impudence.
- That was the lady's name, sir.
Madame de Lionne.
Get your backside off that table.
Fine woman. A cultivated woman.
She had nothing to do with the emperor.
I do not believe
that the general was suggesting...
an illicit acquaintance between
the emperor and this woman.
Then what was he suggesting?
Out with it.
Sir, I took him rather
to imply that this lady...
not the emperor, was the prime
cause of your quarrel.
I have called him out near
to half a dozen times.
The cavalry knows. Would I have
done that for some petty nonsense?
She was a lady I held in high esteem.
Her salon was very well known in...
Yes, now I recall something else.
He said to me
in a public street...
I have it burnt in my mind.
He said to me...
For all that I care, they can
spit upon Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Who were they?
- They, they!
When did the emperor
not have enemies?
D'Hubert is a turncoat!
That is a fact!
I say more. I say he never loved
the emperor! Never!
He saw a fair deal of campaigning.
When you meet him again, tell him
I will prove the truth of it...
at the first opportunity.
To the emperor. Good luck to him
and to those that love him.
But in less than 100 days,
Napoleon was defeated.
And I offer you
another toast.
Let us give thanks
for the safe return...
of His Sacred Majesty,
Louis XVIII.
God save the king.
God save the king.
And devil take the ogre...
to St. Helena.
This side of the grave, it seems
a fit and proper place for him.
Come, sir.
You're a royalist now...
like the rest of us.
Where else would you wish him
to be?
One celebration at a time, sir.
Don't you think?
No, I do not.
The boy's a royalist.
And I can give you more good news.
He has been summoned to attend
upon Marshall St. Cyr in Paris.
He will have a command
in the king's army.
So tell us. What fate
would you choose for the ogre?
I believe the emperor
chose his own fate.
It was his habit to do so.
I learned my trade in his service,
as did Marshall St. Cyr.
The king's army will have
more realists than royalists.
I have just agreed to terms
with this lady...
and I'm much too tired
for further questioning.
Well done.
Good day, Colonel.
D'Hubert, isn't it?
That's right.
You took care
to play safe, eh?
Very spruce you look too.
Very tame and spruce.
Found a nice place
with His Majesty, have you?
Now, Gabriel Feraud was right.
Poor devil.
He always said
you were a slippery fellow.
How is General Feraud?
- You don't know?
- It interests me very little.
In fact, I do not know.
Feraud was arrested.
They have him on the butcher's list.
- He's to go before the commission?
- Yes.
Now, there was a man
who would ride straight at anything.
He ends up at the mercy
of that sewer rat.
He's as good as dead.
Come a little closer, please.
I'm all attention.
I believe Your Excellency
has chosen a list of officers...
to be tried for treason
by the special court.
am the president of the commission
that chose them, yes.
I've come to petition that the name
of General Gabriel Feraud...
be removed from that list.
I have letters of introduction...
Marshalls St. Cyr and MacDonald.
Have you indeed?
By all accounts,
he is a rabid Bonapartist.
So is every trooper
and grenadier in the army...
as Your Excellency knows.
General Feraud hasn't the brains
to make himself dangerous to anyone.
Rather, he could not
conceivably hurt the state.
He has a busy tongue.
He talked himself on to our list.
We could not keep him off it.
I am something of a virtuoso
in survival.
You will be aware of that,
I think.
Besides, I despise these nobodies...
who offer their neck
to the block.
At least he's in my control,
because if it were not...
my own men would most certainly
be on it.
Our new masters
and their ladies, bless them...
are out for a deal of blood.
Please be seated.
You have an honest
soldier's face, General...
but you have come here
to intrigue with me.
Is that not so?
Have you not come here
to intrigue with me?
Is this fellow
a relation of yours?
Intimate friend?
No, not exactly.
We've had a... long association.
Still you have
two marshals at your back.
Yes, there's your man.
Feraud, Gabriel Florian.
He will live in the provinces
under police supervision.
You realize that, of course.
But he will live.
Take a pen, my dear fellow,
and cross out the name.
I can't do everything for you.
Your Excellency, I must beg you
to keep my interference a secret.
Most particularly
from General Feraud.
General Feraud, alive or dead,
is not worth a moment's gossip.
Give me your hand.
Sir, kick for the general.
Perfect discipline.
That's not a grenadier.
Most ladylike, I assure you.
He's not kicking you.
The fellow in the cavalry
you called out several times...
D'Hubert, wasn't it?
General d'Hubert, who's been
on sick leave in the south...
is to take command
of the Fifth Cavalry brigade...
at Reims.
Same fellow, isn't it?
Good day.
Good day.
Good day.
Sir, I wonder,
could you direct us...
to the residence
of General Armand d'Hubert?
What is it
you want with him?
I want a quiet word with him.
Confidential, you understand.
This place is quiet enough.
You aren't the general,
are you, sir, by any chance?
- Yes, sir, I am.
- I thought so.
Met you once after Ratisbon.
Well, sir, all we need for the present
are the names of your friends.
- What friends?
- We are the friends of Gen. Feraud.
We'll need to work pretty sharp.
Police surveillance.
They keep us bottled up
at Vatan.
Damn their eyes.
Slip out, slip back.
No one the wiser.
Risky, of course,
but honor before everything.
Honor first.
I could have you both carted back
where you come from in irons.
I swear to God, I could whisper,
only whisper...
and you'd both be dead
in a ditch before morning.
This is royalist country.
This is my home.
We have proceeded on the assumption
that you were a gentleman.
Yes, damn you.
Damn you, I am!
- Very well, then.
- We'd like to know your friends' names.
I have no friends stupid enough
to take part in such a farce.
I suppose I could act for him.
He could act for you.
Not what you'd call a steady fellow.
Used to take a steady fellow
to command a brigade.
I don't suppose General Feraud
would accept an apology.
Out of the question.
You could declare yourself unfit to
be a soldier and resign your command.
That might do it.
It wouldn't do.
The general has received
too deep an injury.
I see.
I will meet you tomorrow
at sunrise, here.
Sabers, whatever you choose.
Are you coming to bed now?
I shall be late.
I have some work to do.
My dear boy.
I'm very sorry.
Did I disturb you?
I was awake.
I promised these
for tomorrow morning.
A tradesman has to keep his word.
You ought not to tire yourself.
Oh, I'm an old man.
Awake at odd times.
Asleep at odd times.
But you shouldn't be up.
- Is something the matter?
- No.
I have some work to do before morning
to keep my word.
May I?
Yes, do.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Good day, sir.
Good day to you.
Poor grounds, sir.
Not suitable at all.
Oh, I think it will do.
We came here to kill each other.
Any ground is suitable for that.
I suggest the general and I enter
the ruin from opposite sides...
alone and seek each other out.
Two shots each.
Fire at will.
Is it agreed?
I'll consult with the officer
who is acting for General Feraud.
- Everyone heard me.
- Yes! I heard you.
Which side?
East side, General.
Sir, I must own myself at a loss.
I'm not fanatical enough
to persevere in this... absurdity.
Go on. Kill me.
Is he dead?
Where have you been?
- I was so worried.
- I'm sorry.
I had to work late,
and then I went for a walk.
What's in the bag?
You have kept me
at your beck and call for 15 years.
I shall never again do
what you demand of me.
By every rule of single combat,
your life now belongs to me.
Is that not correct?
I shall simply declare you dead.
In all of your dealings with me,
you will do me the courtesy...
to conduct yourself as a dead man.
I have submitted to your notions
of honor long enough.
You will now submit to mine.