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Tales of Soldiers and Civilians is a collection of short stories written by Ambrose Bierce. Published in 1891, the 26 stories detail the lives of soldiers and civilians during the American Civil War. His famous story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is included in this collection.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A WATCHER BY THE DEAD. TN an upper room of an unoccupied dwelling in that part of San Francisco known as North Beach lay the body of a man under a sheet. The hour was near nine in the evening; the room was dimly lighted by a single candle. Although the weather was warm, the two windows, contrary to the custom which gives the dead plenty of air, were closed and the blinds drawn down. The furniture of the room consisted of but three pieces, an arm-chair, a small reading stand, supporting the candle, and a long kitchen table, supporting the body of the man. All these, as also the corpse, would seem to have been recently brought in, for an observer, had there been one, would have seen that all were free from dust, whereas everything else in the room was pretty thickly coated with it, and there were cobwebs in the angles of the walls. Under the sheet the outlines of the bodycould be traced, even the features, these having that unnaturally sharp definition which seems to belong to faces of the dead, but is really characteristic of those only that have been wasted by disease. From the silence of the room one would rightly have inferred that it was not in the front of the house, facing a street. It really faced nothing but a high breast of rock, the rear of the building being set' into a hill. As a neighboring church clock was striking nine with an indolence which seemed to imply such an indifference to the flight of time that one could hardly help wondering why it took the trouble to strike at all, the single door of the room was opened and a man entered, advancing toward the body. As he did so the door closed, apparently of its own volition; there was a grating, as of a key turned withdifficulty, and the snap of the lock bolt as it shot into its socket. A sound of retiring foo...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is OCR'd and has all the usual errors.