M. Bazard To Mme. Francey

Not being an evildoer myself, I find it hard to believe that one of my fellow creatures – what am I saying? – a monster, indeed, could have obliged a woman to point a revolver at his head, and I am even less capable of explaining his flight.

I am no hero of bravado, but I am not afraid; I do not court danger, but I have courage, sustained energy, and a will of iron . . . To be killed by a bullet from the revolver of a pretty woman, held in an adorable hand, aimed by eyes that could make an Andalusian’s pale by comparison . . . Few men can hope to die that way.

In this life, one is exposed to many things: one can be bitten by a mad dog, stung by a fly, run over by an omnibus, or be the victim of a derailing. A termite can slyly find its way into your ceiling, you can suddenly receive some bad news, you can catch cholera, you can burn your mustache, you can be blinded by a falling star, you can have a mother-in-law, you can lose your umbrella . . .

Hippolyte Bazard, in a letter to Henriette Francey after she had threatened him with a pistol. A few days later, she shot him dead. Quoted in Victorian Murderesses : A True History Of Thirteen Respectable French And English Women Accused Of Unspeakable Crimes by Mary S Hartman (1977)

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