One major disadvantage to dueling, and probably one of the reasons it is not more popular today, is that while it allowed you the opportunity to confront wrong-doers, the wrong-doers were then given an opportunity to wrong you all over again, by killing you. So I could sleep with your wife and then, accepting the challenge you HAD NO CHOICE but to give, follow that up by killing you, and suffer no consequences. This allowed some opportunities for "abusing the system."

In theory, a true gentleman would be of such noble stuff they could not conceive of such ill-begotten schemes, but in theory, they could happen.

THE COWARD imagines a scenario where they can, and they do, constantly. It was easy for me to write, because I have no honor, so I just see the ways to beat the system. The play is basically a "what if " scenario, in which a person like me or you is placed in a historical context. More aptly, it's a "wouldn't it suck if" scenario.

I think most of us would agree, it would.

But, sometimes, you have to do what you have to do...

Question for discussion:

Where can I get a flintlock dueling pistol?

(Nick Jones is the author of THE COWARD.)