An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Short Summary
In this book by Ambrose Bierce, the story starts somewhere in Alabama with a tableau in which a man is standing on a railway bridge in the company of his executioners. The civil war is in high, and military justice is the order of the day. The man facing execution is a civilian adorned in the attire of a farm owner, while his executioners are soldiers of the federation. After the captain’s nod, the hanging commences.
The second part introduces a rich slave owner in Alabama by the name Peyton Farquhar. He never joined the army due to issues with his personality. However, he is resolute in fighting for the Confederate mission through all means. Luckily, a Confederate soldier arrives at his home and informs him of a railroad being repaired by Union soldiers. Meanwhile, an order issued by the head honcho stating that anybody caught vandalizing the railway will be executed. The soldier exits after telling Farquhar about some driftwood that has gathered close to the bridge. Farquhar is unaware that the soldier is a Union scout.
The third section commences with Farquhar falling through the bridge. He frees his hands and surfaces. By staying underwater, he is protected from the soldier’s bullets. The current assist him to swim towards the opposite side. Farquhar narrowly misses a cannonball but is caught up in a vortex that subsequently throws him to the sand.
Farquhar hurriedly makes his way home. He journeys through the wild forest all day to arrive at his gate at nightfall. He catches sight of his wife but no sooner had he grasped her than he felt a powerful hit on the backside of his neck. A bright white light suddenly flashes, followed by total darkness.
The force of the strike breaks Farquhar’s neck instantly killing him. His body now hangs underneath the Owl Creek Bridge