An Affair of Honor

The grass was heavy with dew as we walked across Phoenix Park, the sky pale with the false dawn.

What it would have been like for them? The two black carriages parked beneath the trees, their seconds pacing the grounds as they loaded the pistols and checked the flints. Fitzgerald would have preferred they use small swords. Two or three quick passes to bloody the scoundrel, then perhaps pierce his shoulder. But Fitzgerald was the challenger, so it was Roarke who chose the weapons, a brace of pistols made by Jean Lepage, sixty caliber with rifled barrels.

“Roarke’s pistol misfired,” my father said.

“And Fitzgerald shot into the ground,” I answered, finishing the old story we knew so well.

Roarke would not apologize.

Instead, he reloaded and blasted Fitzgerald through the heart.

He fled all the way to America. My great-great-great grandfather, known forever as the infamous murderer of Fitzgerald.


What Pegman Saw


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  1. Iain Kelly

    Fantastic. Loved the details of the duel and the reveal of the ancestors of the survivor telling the story. If he hadn’t been a scoundrel I guess his offspring wouldn’t exist.

  2. rochellewisoff

    Dear J Hardy,

    Ah the family legends, handed from generation to generation. I love it that the grandson could recite the story because they all knew it so well. Good one.



  3. Lynn Love

    Lovely sense of atmosphere and tension. I want to know what the duel was fought over – any idea? Loved this

Don't just stand there.