When d'Hubert learns that Feraud is awaiting execution in The Duellists, he approaches Fouche to take Feraud's name off the execution list- but why, when he could've let him be put to death and gotten rid of a dangerous enemy?
In the source story by Joseph Conrad, D'Hubert learns that Feraud is to be put to death and decides that this simply will not do. Feraud is his personal enemy, but he also views him as a worthy opponent, brave and not by any stretch of the imagination a traitor in need of public execution.
General D’Hubert experienced the horror of a somnambulist who wakes up from a complacent dream of activity to find himself walking on a quagmire. A profound disgust of the ground on which he was making his way overcame him. Even the image of the charming girl was swept from his view in the flood of moral distress. Everything he had ever been or hoped to be would taste of bitter ignominy unless he could manage to save General Feraud from the fate which threatened so many braves. Under the impulse of this almost morbid need to attend to the safety of his adversary, General D’Hubert worked so well with hands and feet (as the French saying is), that in less than twenty-four hours he found means of obtaining an extraordinary private audience from the Minister of Police.
When he arrives, he gives his reasoning to Fouche, who quizzes him on whether Feraud is his relation or a lover. D'Hubert replies that he isn't either of those. Their bond is stranger and deeper.
"No. No relation at all."
"Intimate . . . yes. There is between us an intimate connection of a nature which makes it a point of honour with me to try . . ." -