Many people have actually never heard of Alexandre Dumas. But even if you think you don’t know him, you DO know him! He is the guy that authored the Three Musketeer books! Today we have a fascinating article about how his pants fell off during a duel. Sounds too good to be true and we promise it is!
Events that Led Up to the Duel
Alexandre Dumas was a young twenty-three-year-old who seemed to have been minding his own business and having a meal with his friends at a Paris restaurant. As the night of revelry ensued, he and his friends went to a nearby cafe after dinner. While they were all at the cafe, a drunken soldier who at the time was playing a game of billiards, made a joke or two at Dumas’ expense.
He made a joke about Dumas’ attire as he found his coat and boots amusing. Dumas was the son of one of Napoleon’s generals, so this insult to his clothes and honor did not sit well with him. He got made and scattered the soldier’s billiard balls.
And then…he also challenged the man to a duel. Given that Dumas had never been in a duel before, and his opponent was a trained soldier, this might not have been the smartest idea. But Dumas was putting on airs of being a brave warrior and showed strong confidence.
The Preparation for the Duel
Dumas’ friends were worried that he would end up dead. One o this friends who was going to be his second hand man for the deal, decided to practice with Dumas. Alexandre Dumas bet his friend that he would shoot eleven bullets around the doll that had been propped up as his shooting target, and make sure that he got the doll with the twelfth bullet.
To his friend’s surprise, Dumas was able to do exactly what he had predicted!
His friend was reassured because now he knew that Dumas was actually an excellent marksman. So there was renewed hope.
But…it was an extreme surprise to find out that the duel was to be held with swords and not muskets.
The duel was to be held the next day, and there was little time to prepare. So the best they could do was hope that Dumas would be as skilled and accurate with the sword as he was with his musket.
The Duel Gets Delayed!
At this point, Mr Dumas was full of nerves but putting on a brave face. He bid his mother farewell and walked over to the site of the duel. He was distraught, worried and hoping just to get the duel over with. So we was secretly overjoyed when his opponent did not show up.
As it turns out, the solider from the cafe claimed he has slept through most of the day likely from drinking and that was his excuse for not showing up.
But Dumas’s friends wanted to see the duel and so they found the soldier and arranged for it to occur the next day at the quarry which was a different venue.
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The Duel Finally Occurs at the Quarry
On the following cold day in Paris, Dumas and his band of friends and the solider who would be his opponent walked in the snow to find the quarry. As they got near some of the men working at the quarry started following and wanted to observe the spectacle as well.
When they finally agreed on the spot, they discovered another problem!
The soldier was carrying a sword that was much longer than Dumas’ and that could give him a very significant – and deadly – advantage!
Everyone knew this could pose a great problem in the middle of the battle and his friends encouraged them to pull lots to make the odds 50/50 that one would have the longer sword.
But Alexandre Dumas seemed to be against this idea even though it meant that there would be a chance he might pick the longer sword to use. It turns out that Dumas’ sword was his fathers. And he didn’t like the idea of the soldier using his own father’s sword to kill him if he were to lose.
So Dumas proceeded with his father’s sentimental sword that was shorter and gave him a disadvantage.
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The Duel Itself
The duel was about to begin and Dumas and the soldier were ready to go at it. However, for the sake of fairness, the soldier asked Dumas to take off all the extravagant clothing that he had on which gave him extra padding.
Dumas was a fair man and he took off his coat, his waistcoat and even his shirt to prove a point.
He even proceeded to take off his suspenders. But he had forgotten that his pants belt buckle was broken, and his pants immediately fell down!
So as this duel to the death was about to begin, hilarity ensued.
Surrounded by his friends and his audience of quarry workers, they all had burst out laughing. Dumas did not challenge them and pulled up his pants, tied the suspenders around his waist and decided to proceed with the duel.
Dumas immediately struck at the soldier, who was caught off guard. He tripped and fell over backward, injuring himself. So the soldier surrounded and Dumas won the duel.
The crazy part was that all the things leading up to this moment were full of chaos and drama. And the duel was basically won because Dumas’ opponent tripped.
Video: Thomas-Alexandre Dumas: The Real-Life Count of Monte Cristo
This video is worth a watch because this story is truly stranger than fiction!
I’m Natalie Garcia and I started this website to share my love of trivia, facts and fun knowledge tidbits. We cover things like celebrity gossip, historical facts, tv shows, world leaders and just odd and random fun things. I started this site to have some fun with my hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send me your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have suggestions for things to write about, please shoot me a message!