Magnified by its lift against the sky and by the soldier’s testifying sense of the . He was a civilian, if one might judge from his dress which was that of a planter. Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. Ambrose Bierce. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Wednesday, December 17, at Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce .au/b/bierce/ambrose/tales-of-soldiers-and-civilians/contents.

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Without a movement, without a sound, in the profound silence and the languor of the late afternoon, biwrce invisible messenger of fate touched with unsealing finger the eyes of his consciousness—whispered into the ear of his spirit the mysterious awakening word which no human lips have ever spoken, no human memory ever has recalled.

Would one exception have marred too much the pitiless perfection of the divine, eternal plan? The very ground seemed in motion toward the creek.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians

Bierce had a way of stringing words together that in itself was worth reading even if the story was weak. The sentinels, facing the banks of the stream, might have been statues to adorn the bridge.

Again the spell is broken; our men attempt to cheer; they are choking with emotion; they utter hoarse, discordant cries; they clutch their weapons and press tumultuously forward into the open.

Its salient angles would have afforded him absolute security if he had chosen to be satisfied with the miracle already wrought in his favor. He had not exhausted his means of defense; a new design had shaped itself in his mind—another plan of battle.

Straight upright sat the rider, in military fashion, with a firm seat in the saddle, a strong clutch upon the rein to hold his charger from too impetuous a plunge.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce : contents

Bierce is often criticized for his twist endings, and it has been claimed that he was more interested in jarring than enlightening his readers. Write a customer review. It is a sign to the enemy, to us, to the world, to posterity. Finally, Bierce’s stories show incredible depth for the short story format. He thanked her ceremoniously, bowed to her husband, and rode away.


Something at least had been gained; in the occupation of his mind in this attempt at self-defense he was less sensible of the pain in his head and had ceased to scream. He clinched his teeth and drew down his eyebrows.

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Perceiving his defeat, all his terror returned, augmented tenfold. These pains appeared to flash along well-defined lines of ramification and talws beat with an inconceivably rapid periodicity. The officer rose to his feet, trembling.

Mar 13, Douglas Cunningham rated it liked it. A MAN ajd upon a railroad bridge in Northern Alabama, looking down into the swift waters twenty feet below.

As he was commonly in full uniform, especially in action, when most officers are content to be less flamboyantly attired, he was a very striking and conspicuous figure. This page was last edited on 14 Augustat An observer of better experience in the use of his eyes would have noticed that these footprints pointed in both directions; the ground had been twice passed over—in advance and in retreat.

The trees group themselves differently; they draw closer together, as if in fear. The creatures left; they would return later, attack his face, gnaw away his nose, cut his throat—he knew that, but he hoped by that time to be dead.

Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, by Ambrose Bierce

I still love the story Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge but the rest of them are not doing anything for me. He turned his eyes again to the muzzle of the gun, and for a moment fancied that it talfs moved; it seemed somewhat nearer.

No thoughts of home, of wife and children, of country, of glory. Buy the selected items together This item: Surely it will be possible to judge at the instant of his withdrawing whether he knows. The arms were extended, the left knee was thrust upward. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. But the negligence was all in his dress and bearing; in his face was a look of intense interest in his surroundings.

He tried to break the strip with his hand, but had no leverage. He ran about collecting fuel, but every object that he found was too heavy for him to cast in from the distance to which the heat limited his approach. His prose is so amazing that I found myself rereading some of his passages just so I could make sure I was getting the full meaning.


The shadow had now altogether uncovered it.

Oct 02, Greg rated it liked it. He said nothing of what he had seen. It did not keep him long waiting. For example, A Horseman in the Sky is eleven pages long, yet has four parts. The Federal cannoneers fought their hopeless battle in an atmosphere of living iron whose thoughts were lightnings and whose deeds were death.

Also included in this collection is The Short Storywhich is especially critical of the novel as a “work of art. Ah, that was a fine endeavor! His cap was worn with the visor a trifle askew; his coat was buttoned only at the sword belt, showing a considerable expanse of white shirt, tolerably clean for that stage of the campaign. The skirmishers halt in their tracks.

Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles with LibriVox links. The walls and ceilings were knocked away twles and there, and there was a lingering odor of powder smoke everywhere. The supporting posts were themselves no longer vertical. Surely such a leader never before had such a following. A generous enemy honored the fallen brave. He had enlisted in the very first days of the war as a private, with no military knowledge whatever, had been made first sergeant of his company on account of his education and engaging manner, and had been lucky enough to lose his captain by a Confederate bullet; in the resulting promotions he had got a commission.

A year after the close of the war, on my way to California, I opened and idly inspected it. The Civilian stories, with some very abd exceptions, are inferior to the war stories and sometimes verge on “pulp” quality. A fitting ending that could have been taken directly from one of his stories.