Outraged because his brother-in-law, Marcel, is carrying on with another woman, Claude has challeneged him to a duel, in spite of the fact that his wife, Estelle, does not mind in the least and has found consolation elsewhere. Unable to dissuade her children from this antique method of settling the family honour, Germaine, the Dowager Marquise, prevails upon two old admirers of hers, Dr Morand and Bernard Vandrelle, to officiate, the latter as umpire. The pistols are loaded, the men retired into the garden, and Germaine waits with Estlle and Denise, who is Claurde's emotional wife and who plans, between her bickerings with Estelle, the clothes she will wear at Claude's trial for the murder of Marcel. But as it happens neither of the men is killed; in fact, neither of them is even hurt; and with honour satisfied Claude takes his wife home and Marcel goes to terminate his little affair of the heart. Alone together, Germaine confides in Estelle that neither of the men was ever in the slightest danger. Was not Bernard the Great Vandrelle - the famous conjuror? And has he not left Germaine a souvenire of the occasion - two silver bullets which never went into the pistols?
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