Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On "One of the Missing" by Ambrose Bierce (4679 words) *****

Probably the best of the soldier stories in Bierce's collection Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, save for the oft-anthologized "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," with which it has at least one particular technique in common, "One of the Missing" is a tale fraught with energy and tension. It's the story of a scout who gets the opportunity to shoot at the retreating enemy and who has the situation turned against him. He becomes the victim of another's freak shot and ends up trapped in rubble, his gun pointed--safety off--at his head. The rest of the story recounts his efforts to free himself. Read the story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Civil War rifles did not have a "safety." They were either loaded or not; the nipple was either capped with a percussion cap or not; and the hammer was cocked, or not.