Anatomy

They thought more of the Legion of Honor in the time of the first Napoleon than they do now. The emperor one day met an old one-armed veteran.

"How did you lose your arm?" he asked.

"Sire, at Austerlitz."

"And were you not decorated?"

"No, sire."

"Then here is my own cross for you; I make you chevalier."

"Your Majesty names me chevalier because I have lost one arm. What would your Majesty have done had I lost both arms?"

"Oh, in that case I should have made you Officer of the Legion."

Whereupon the old soldier immediately drew his sword and cut off his other arm.

There is no particular reason to doubt this story. The only question is, how did he do it?


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