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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

by Ambrose Bierce
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In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," what is a crucial moment in Peyton Farquhar's life?

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Perhaps the most crucial moment in Peyton's life occurs during his conversation with the Federal scout in Part II of the story. Peyton believes he is speaking with a Confederate soldier whose loyalty to the South he can trust; he is instead speaking to the enemy. As a result of this conversation, Peyton is lured into his attempt to burn Owl Creek Bridge. He will have no chance to succeed, of course, since the enemy will be waiting for him. Peyton does try to burn the bridge, he is caught, and then he is executed by the Union force securing the bridge. Peyton's fate is determined by his crucial conversation with the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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