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A History of Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Dennis Weaver in Duel

Finding a set of antique pistols in a Croatian museum might be, in our experience, an opportunity to say, “Ooh. That’s pretty cool.” This would probably be followed by “How the hell did I suddenly wind up in Croatia?”

But that’s why the people at Curious Expeditions run their site and we run this one. Well, that, and they own their domain. Still, they launch into a history of dueling, how to do it smarter, and in some cases, how to do it smarter by not doing it all:

When challenged to a duel, the challengee usually had his or her choice of weapons. One excellent way to avoid dueling was to choose weapons either ridiculous or obviously suicidal. Howitzers, shotguns at five paces, sledgehammers, forkfuls of pig dung, and cat urine have been chosen as duel weapons. Abe Lincoln chose long swords fought on a small sandbar, which gave the lanky Lincoln a notable advantage. The duel was called off.

The shotguns at five paces one was Siege, actually. And what he meant by that was five paces, and a shotgun at each one. Just for the record.