A Horseman in the Sky

My Story is called, “A Horseman in the Sky.”  It was written by Ambrose Bierce. Here is Reza Fauzi with the story.

Narrator: Carter Druse was born in Virginia. He loved his parents, his home and the south. But he loved his country, too. And in the autumn of eighteen sixty-one, when the United States was divided by a terrible civil war, Carter Druse, a southerner, decided to join the Union Army of the north.

He told his father about his decision one morning at breakfast.

The older man looked at his only son for a moment, too shocked to speak. Then he said, “As of this moment you are a traitor to the south. Please don’t tell your mother about your decision. She is sick, and we both know she has only a few weeks to live.”

Carter’s father paused, again looking deep into his son’s eyes. “Carter,” he said, “No matter what happens — be sure you always do what you think is your duty.”

Both Carter Druse and his father left the table that morning with broken hearts. And Carter soon left his home, and everyone he loved to wear the blue uniform of the Union soldier.

Carter Druse was gone day by day, laying with his face dirty by the side of the road while his arms keep holding a gun. He is the type of a sleepy person whose sleeping while on duty, and fortunately, no one could see him. He was hidden by some bushes, growing by the side of the road

The road Carter Druse had been sent to guard was only a few miles from his father house.

­It began in a forest, down in the valley, and climbed up the side of a huge rock.  There are Giant cliffs like the one Carter lay on, it’s surrounded the valley. Where hidden in the valley forest, there were five union regiments, thousands of carter fellow soldiers

They had marched for thirty-six hours. Now they were resting. But at midnight they would climb that road up the rocky cliff and do their plan to attack by surprise an army of southerners, were camped on the other side of the cliff

It was his duty to be sure that no enemy soldier, dressed in gray, spied on the valley, where the union army was hiding.

But Carter Druse had fallen asleep. Suddenly, as if a messenger of fate came to touch him on the shoulder, the young man opened his eyes. As he lifted his head, he saw a man on horseback standing on the huge rocky cliff that looked down into the valley.

The rider and his horse stood so still that they seemed made of stone. The man gray uniform blended with the blue sky and the white clouds behind him. He held a gun in his right hand and the horse reins in the other.

Without being hesitated, Carter raised his gun, pushing its barrel through the bushes and aimed to the horseman since he knew that he own duty to guard because that man has tried to look over from the cliff

After that, he just knows nothing. His entire body began shaking his mind began to race and falling in slow circles against a fiery red sky.

The fact, he didn’t pull the trigger. Instead, he let go of his gun and dropped his face until rested again in the dirt.

It reminds him, is it so terrible to kill an enemy who might kill you and your friends?

He knew that this man must be shot from ambushed without warning.

Slowly, he keeps his mind calm. He pulls the trigger of his gun took aim pointed to the horse.

Suddenly, words rang in his head. The last words his father ever spoke to him “No matter what happens, be sure you always do what you think is your duty”

At that moment, a union office happened to look up from his hiding place and saw something that filled his heart with horror.

As the frightened union office watched this horseman in the sky, he almost believed he was witnessing a messenger from heaven. A messenger who had come to announce “the end of the world”

The office went back to his camp, but he didn’t tell anyone what he had seen.

After firing his gun, Carter Druse has joined a Union sergeant. Carter didn’t turn his head as the sergeant kneeled beside him.

“Did you fire?” The sergeant whispered.


“At what?”

“A horse. It was on that rock. It’s not there now. It went over the cliff.” Carters face was white. But he showed no other sign of emotion. The sergeant did not understand.

“See here, Druse,” he said, after a momentary silence. “Why are you making this into a mystery? I order you to report. Was there anyone on the horse?”



“My father.”


Source : https://americanliterature.com/author/ambrose-bierce/short-story/a-horseman-in-the-sky