I forgive him all of his transgressions, from his crusty antiquated prose style to more than a few quaintly outdated story ideas. For when you finally stumble across one of his finer efforts, there are hardly a I absolutely love Ambrose Bierce well beyond his real worth and talent. Essentially, most, if not all, of his original books are out of print but there are a great many collections of his works out there still circulating that keeps his name alive.
Civil War, Nashville, TN One sunny autumn afternoon a child strayed away from its rude home in a small field and entered a forest unobserved. From the cradle of its race it had conquered its way through two continents and passing a great sea had penetrated a third, there to be born to war and dominion as a heritage.
The child was a boy aged about six years, the son of a poor planter. In his younger manhood the father had been a soldier, had fought against naked savages and followed the flag of his country into the capital of a civilized race to the far South.
In the peaceful life of a planter the warrior-fire survived; once kindled, it is never extinguished. The man loved military books and pictures and the boy had understood enough to make himself a wooden sword, though even the eye of his father would hardly have known it for what it was.
Made reckless by the ease with which he overcame invisible foes attempting to stay his advance, he committed the common enough military error of pushing the pursuit to a dangerous extreme, until he found himself upon the margin of a wide but shallow brook, whose rapid waters barred his direct advance against the flying foe that had crossed with illogical ease.
But the intrepid victor was not to be baffled; the spirit of the race which had passed the great sea burned unconquerable in that small breast and would not be denied.
Finding a place where some bowlders in the bed of the stream lay but a step or a leap apart, he made his way across and fell again upon the rear-guard of his imaginary foe, putting all to the sword.
Now that the battle had been won, prudence required that he withdraw to his base of operations. Alas; like many a mightier conqueror, and like one, the mightiest, he could not curb the lust for war, nor learn that tempted Fate will leave the loftiest star.
Advancing from the bank of the creek he suddenly found himself confronted with a new and more formidable enemy: With a startled cry the child turned and fled, he knew not in what direction, calling with inarticulate cries for his mother, weeping, stumbling, his tender skin cruelly torn by brambles, his little heart beating hard with terror--breathless, blind with tears--lost in the forest!
Then, for more than an hour, he wandered with erring feet through the tangled undergrowth, till at last, overcome by fatigue, he lay down in a narrow space between two rocks, within a few yards of the stream and still grasping his toy sword, no longer a weapon but a companion, sobbed himself to sleep.
Hours passed, and then the little sleeper rose to his feet. The chill of the evening was in his limbs, the fear of the gloom in his heart. But he had rested, and he no longer wept. With some blind instinct which impelled to action he struggled through the undergrowth about him and came to a more open ground--on his right the brook, to the left a gentle acclivity studded with infrequent trees; over all, the gathering gloom of twilight.
A thin, ghostly mist rose along the water. It frightened and repelled him; instead of recrossing, in the direction whence he had come, he turned his back upon it, and went forward toward the dark inclosing wood.
Suddenly he saw before him a strange moving object which he took to be some large animal--a dog, a pig--he could not name it; perhaps it was a bear.
He had seen pictures of bears, but knew of nothing to their discredit and had vaguely wished to meet one. But something in form or movement of this object--something in the awkwardness of its approach--told him that it was not a bear, and curiosity was stayed by fear.
He stood still and as it came slowly on gained courage every moment, for he saw that at least it had not the long, menacing ears of the rabbit.
Possibly his impressionable mind was half conscious of something familiar in its shambling, awkward gait.
Before it had approached near enough to resolve his doubts he saw that it was followed by another and another. To right and to left were many more; the whole open space about him was alive with them--all moving toward the brook.
They crept upon their hands and knees. They used their hands only, dragging their legs. They used their knees only, their arms hanging idle at their sides. They strove to rise to their feet, but fell prone in the attempt.Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce () was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist.
Today, he is best known for his short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary/5. Journalist, short story writer, and satirist Ambrose Bierce () was equally adept in a variety of genres, from ghost stories to poetry to political commentary.
Bierce's fiction is particularly distinguished by its realistic depictions of the author's Civil War experiences/5(5).
Ambrose Bierce's short stories are generally held to be among the best of the 19th century. He wrote realistically of the terrible things he had seen in the war in such stories as An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (also available from Audible) and Chickamauga.
About Ambrose Bierce. Ambrose Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. He wrote the short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and compiled a satirical lexicon, The Devil’s Dictionary.
Ideas of Fantasy in the Short Story Chickamauga by Ambrose Bierce. words. 2 pages. Shadows in The Handmaid's Tale, a Novel by Margaret Atwood. 1, words. 3 pages. Fate, Free Will, and Identity in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, a Play by Tom Stoppard.
words. 2 pages. Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce () was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary.4/5(75).