“Oh, really?” she drawled, with little concern. “Some sort of manly challenge, is that what you’re saying?”
“Yes, I’ve challenged him to a duel by pistols. I felt obligated to inform you, Duchess, in case you wish to see your husband beforehand. The outcome might be less than desirable for your future.”
Phillipe, of course, had a military background in the French Navy. Men often settled their differences through dueling in France, so the thought of using that means to rid himself of the blackguard in his life, Robert Holland, was the one course of action that made sense to an angry man. It was a means to gain satisfaction for the dishonor done to his name. Philippe could face his rival and do him in once and for all without being hung for murder.
Of course, there were rules to the game, even if the game was illegal by the time my story was written. Nevertheless, duels continued and not many were prosecuted over the act. Basically, if a man wanted to regain his honor from the offender, the first course of action would be the challenge or what is terms as, "throwing down the gauntlet." Philippe throws his glove at Robert's feet, who kicks it aside rather than immediately accepting the challenge.
Once accepted, the location and weapons were chosen. Each man brought a representative to witness the act and check the pistols beforehand. The challenger set the rules as to location, weapons, and number of steps to pace off. It was his call.
The type of duel could either be any of the following: (1) to first blood, which meant until one was wounded; (2) until severely wounded and unable to continue; or (3) to the death. Each pistol had one shot, and if there were misses the first round, the guns were reloaded and they would continue until one of the above conditions were fulfilled but usually no more than three reloads.
If you wish to read more about dueling and one of my sources for information, Wikipedia has two good articles. Follow the links to: