A Resumed Identity by Ambrose Bierce One summer night a man stood on a low hill overlooking a wide expanse of forrest and field. By the fullmoon hanging low in the west he knew what he might not have known otherwise: that it was near the hour of dawn. A light mist lay along the earth, partly veiling the lower features of the landscape, but above it the taller trees showed in well- defined masses against a clear sky. Two or three farmhouses were visible through the haze, but in none of them, naturally, was a light. Nowhere, in- deed, was any sign or suggestion of life except the barking of a distant dog, which, repeated with mechanical iteration, served rather to accentuate than dispel the loneliness of the scene. The man looked curiously about him on all sides, as one who among familiar surroundings is unable to determine his exact place and part in the scheme of things. It is so, perhaps, that we shall act when, risen from the dead, we await the call to judgment. The man could not rightly understand: he thought himself deaf; said so, and heard his own voice, al- though it had an unfamiliar quality that almost alarmed him; it disappointed his ear's expectancy in the matter of timbre and resonance. But he was not deaf, and that for the moment sufficed.
It was late in the afternoon, and the light was waning. There was a difference in the look of the tree shadows out in the yard. Somewhere in the distance cows were lowing and a little bell was tinkling; now and then a farm-wagon tilted by, and the dust flew; some blue-shirted laborers with shovels over their shoulders plodded past; little swarms of flies were dancing up and down before the peoples' faces in the soft air. There seemed to be a gentle stir arising over everything for the mere sake of subsidence -- a very premonition of rest and hush and night. This soft diurnal commotion was over Louisa Ellis also. She had been peacefully sewing at her sitting-room window all the afternoon. Now she quilted her needle carefully into her work, which she folded precisely, and laid in a basket with her thimble and thread and scissors. Louisa Ellis could not remember that ever in her life she had mislaid one of these little feminine appurtenances, which had become, from long use and constant association, a very part of her personality. Louisa tied a green apron round her waist, and got out a flat straw hat with a green ribbon. Then she went into the garden with a little blue crockery bowl, to pick some currants for her tea. After the currants were picked she sat on the back door-step and stemmed them, collecting the stems carefully in her apron, and afterwards throwing them into the hen-coop. She looked sharply at the grass beside the step to see if any had fallen there.;
The Red Un was very red; even his freckles were red rather than copper-coloured. And he was more prodigal than most kings, for he had two crowns on his head. Also his hair grew in varying directions, like a wheatfields after a storm. He wore a coat without a tail, but with brass buttons to compensate, and a celluloid collar with a front attached. It was the Red Un's habit to dress first and wash after, as saving labour; instead of his neck he washed his collar. The Red Un was the Chief Engineer's boy and rather more impressive than the Chief, who was apt to decry his own greatness. It was the Red Un's duty to look after the Chief, carry in his meals, make his bed, run errands, and remind him to get his hair cut now and then. It was the Red Un's pleasure to assist unassumingly in the surveillance of that part of the ship where the great god, Steam, ruled an underworld of trimmers and oilers and stokers and assistant engineers--and even, with reservations, the Chief. The Red Un kept a sharp eye on the runs and read the Chief's log daily--so much coal in the bunkers; so much water in the wells; so many engine-room miles in twenty-four hours--which, of course, are not sea miles exactly, there being currents and winds, and God knows what, to waste steam on. The Red Un, like the assistants, was becoming a bear on the speed market. He had learned that, just when the engines get heated enough to work like demons, and there is a chance to break a record and get a letter from the management, some current or other will show up--or a fog, which takes the very tripe out of the cylinders and sends the bridge yapping for caution.
No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...