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One-Way Ticket

Former French prime minister Georges Clemenceau fought many duels with various rivals. On one occasion, he surprised his second by asking the attendant at a Paris railroad station for a one-way ticket to the duel. “Isn’t that a little pessimistic?” asked the second.

“Not at all,” Clemenceau replied. “I always use my opponent’s return ticket for the trip back.”

Today in the Word, August, 1997, p. 35

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