H
O
M
E

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

C
U
R
R
E
N
T

I
S
S
U
E
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

T
H
E

S
T
R
A
N
G
E

A
N
D

B
I
Z
A
R
R
E

P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
H
Y

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

C
U
R
R
E
N
T

I
S
S
U
E
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

T
H
E

S
T
R
A
N
G
E

A
N
D

B
I
Z
A
R
R
E

P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
H
Y

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

C
U
R
R
E
N
T

I
S
S
U
E
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

T
H
E

S
T
R
A
N
G
E

A
N
D

B
I
Z
A
R
R
E

P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
H
Y

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

C
U
R
R
E
N
T

I
S
S
U
E
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

T
H
E

S
T
R
A
N
G
E

A
N
D

B
I
Z
A
R
R
E

P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
H
Y

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

C
U
R
R
E
N
T

I
S
S
U
E
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

T
H
E

S
T
R
A
N
G
E

A
N
D

B
I
Z
A
R
R
E

P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
H
Y

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

F
I
C
T
I
O
N

E
S
S
A
Y
S

A
R
T

E
D
I
T
O
R
I
A
L
S

C
U
R
R
E
N
T

I
S
S
U
E
S

T
H
E

S
T
R
A
N
G
E

A
N
D

B
I
Z
A
R
R
E

P
H
O
T
O
G
R
A
P
H
Y

TOP

 

 

The Conference on the River Tehl

©2001 Lewis Bruser

 

Wars and rumors of wars usually end in peace conferences and rumors of peace conferences. So it was with the little-known War of Wurdz, which is rumored to have not actually taken place. The ensuing peace conference definitely did take place, however, in the castle of Cardinal Richard on the River Tehl, and the proceedings were thoroughly documented.

According to the recently discovered diary of the great stateswoman Salleyrand, negotiations had reached an impasse when she proposed a tête a tête in Cardinal Richard's loo. The Cardinal accepted—"without alacrity," as she wryly noted in her diary—and they withdrew from the conference table to his sumptuous private bathroom. Salleyrand then suggested that as a fundamental principle of a lasting peace they should lay down their arms. The Cardinal replied that this was not exactly an unprecedented diplomatic overture, as all wars end with the laying down of arms.

"Bien sûr," she murmured, "but what I have in mind is the complete and total laying down of arms, which, if you reflect a moment, cannot be accomplished without the laying down of the rest of the body, concomitantly, as it were." Whereupon she demonstrated, on the Cardinal's magnificent Louis Quatorze chaise lounge.

"Alors, donc," said the Cardinal, "it's been a long time since I exercised mon droit du seigneur."

Salleyrand replied that from her vantage point it appeared a long time since he had exercised anything. As she wryly noted in her diary, "on such a whimsicality hung the fate of Europe."

Thus was the War of Wurdz concluded by the Peace of Tehl.

 

 

TOP

Back to "Tales of Three Rivers"

HOME