What does Farquhar believe has happened to save him from a death by hanging in "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge?
Farquhar hallucinates, imagines, or daydreams the entire scenario of his escape. He imagines that when the sergeant steps aside to cause him to drop and be hung, the rope breaks and he falls into the creek. He falls, loses consciousness, wakes up again with intense pain in his neck. At this point, it seems that he is still hung by his neck:
He was conscious of motion. Encompassed in a luminous cloud, of which he was now merely the fiery heart, without material substance, he swung through unthinkable arcs of oscillation, like a vast pendulum.
Then, he drops into the water and his senses are better restored. As he resurfaces, he is able to untie himself. He eventually manages to swim away from his captors, evading their gunshots. He makes it to shore and walks the rest of the day and all night to get to his home.