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how do you send mail to another user on a local debian machine

Today i needed to send a message to another user on my debian box.

I thought i'd just do what used to be the usual thing on a unix box:
i compose-mail in emacs (control-x m), and drafted the text, and put
in the other user's name in the To: line.

I then hit control-c control-c to mail it, but was really shocked when
instead of sending it off, instead, my firefox popped up, displaying
gmail, and my text was loaded in, poised to send off.

I can see that would be useful (and in fact, i'm using this method
right now to compose this mail just to see if it will actually
go through), but it's not at all something that i asked for.

So . . . if you want to send mail to another user on your box, and
you do not want it to get bounced around on the internet but only
to go into some spool queue somewhere strictly on your local machine,
how do you do it?

TIA for any info!! :)