An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
Summary: Peyton Farquhar is extremely loyal to the southern cause during the civil war. Although he is unable to be a soldier, Faquhar does anything in his ability to help the war effort. Peyton hears of a bridge that would be easy to burn down if you could get past the guards, he tries and is caught then hung.
Peyton Farquhar - Planter (owner of a plantation); old family in Alabama
- Man is on a railroad bridge over a river, he has a noose around his neck and his captures are going to kill him by stepping off of a plank which he is balanced on the other side.
- All the soldiers watching the execution are quiet; "when death comes announced he is received formally" (paraphrased)
- The man closes his eyes to think of his family before he dies, he hears a metallic ringing, it is his watch; begins to think if he can get his hands loose he will be able to escape; the sergeant steps off of the plank
- We find out later the man is Peyton Farquhar
- Peyton Farquar is extremely loyal to the south, and even though he cannot be a soldier he does anything he can to help the cause; "No service was too humble, or too perilous" (paraphrased)
- A man dressed in grey comes to to the Farquhar's house to ask for water; Farquhar ask about the news on the war front
- The man tells Farquhar that the "Yanks" are fixing the railroads to make another push on the front; The Man tells Farquhar there is a order posted condemning any civilian interfering with the railroad to be hanged
- Farquhar ask how much damage would occur to the Owl Creek Bridge if someone was to sneak past the guards; Farquhar is told the bridge would set afire easy due to the dry tow (a bunch of small fibrous material; tinder ) from the rains
- The man leaves, but it turns out he was a Federal scout
- The scene goes back to Peyton on the bridge, and continues from the sergeant stepping off of the plank
- Peyton falls and is in pain, but the rope breaks sending him into the river; he manages to get his hands free and swim to the surface
- Peyton Farquhar is shot at but is not seriously injured, he manages to get to the river bank and escape capture
- Farquhar walks into the country, on the way back home he sees everything around him; his senses are perfect
- Farquhar sees his house, and right before he is able to hug his wife, he is dead;
- Farquhar never escaped from the bridge; instead his neck is broken from the hanging.
- Farquhar actually never left the bridge, only a few seconds have passed since the man stepped off the plank to the moment Farquhar is pronounced dead
- Farquhar wants to be recognized by people, he thinks soldiers always get that recognition of greatness; but he is unable to be a soldier
- Farquhar is extremely loyal to the South, and does eveyrthing he can for the Southern cause
- Farquhar is a fairly wealthy man, from an old family and owns his own plantation; he is respected by the community
- Farquhar is being hanged for causing problems with the railroad, most likely he tried to set the
- Owl Bridge on fire , because that is what the scout told him early in the story