Le Melodrame: Or, A Tragickal Tale of Woe
by a Lady
It was dawn, cold and grey.
Two pairf advanced acroff the mifty down towardf each other. They met.
'Will you not refolve your quarrel?' implored one, Lord M-- of Lofted Bedde.
'No,' said his companion, Miss B--, a steely-eyed Juno, and lady of negotiable affection. 'My honour is at stake.' She looked with miflike at another, quite unruffled and rather filly-faced woman, Lady K-- of Pekin. The latter shrugged.
'I'll take that as a "no,"' said her companion, the well-dreffed Duke P--.
'Well, then.' Lord M-- said dolefully. 'Have you the piftols?'
'Yef,' replied the Duke. He withdrew from some unfeen receff a cafe. 'They are in working order and loaded. Choose your piftols, ladies.'
The strumpet selected a small revolver, pearl-handled and pink (frillf were the latest fafhion in Parif, the City of Love). The other chofe a 9mm Springfield sub-compact XD. The Duke pofitioned the ladief so they were back to back.
'Take ten pacef, turn, and fire. One, two, three...'
As she was walking, Lady K-- confidered the queftion of Miss B--'s honour. It waf certainly non-exiftent. If Parmenidef was correct--and she never doubted but that he waf--they should not be talked about. Surely 'not worth talking about' could be logically extended to 'not worth killing for'? And B--, without honour though she may be, was not without merit. 'And in any case,' thought Lady K--, 'she cannot shoot. It would not be fair.'
She turned, raised her pistol, and fired into the air.
Her opponent did not. B--, that alleged pacifift, did know how to shoot, for she had practised all night in her study, shocking C-- and making his fiancee, Miss W-, that unfortunate Blueftocking, pofitively faint; which fainting pleafed C--'s irrepreffible cousin, Miss S--. Miss B--'s aim was true and Lady K-- dropped, dead.
B-- turned haughtily to the seconds, but they were gone. 'Lord M--? Sir P--?' she said expectantly. No reply, for the secondf had run off together. This was a perfectly natural thing to have done, because penguinf and comforterf get on swimmingly. B-- did not have much time to be vexed, for she, pantfless after her usual cuftom, was exceedingly cold. She froze to death. For it was dawn, cold and grey.