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The Stranger

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer, and satirist, today best known for his Devil's Dictionary, which lampooned, among other things, religion and politics. Because of his penchant for biting social criticism and satire, Bierce's long newspaper career was often steeped in controversy. On several occasions, his columns stirred up a storm of hostile reaction, which created difficulties for Hearst. Bierce's lucid, unsentimental style has kept him popular when many of his contemporaries have been consigned to oblivion. His dark, sardonic views and vehemence as a critic earned him the nickname, "Bitter Bierce." His views belied a pessimism regarding human nature. And his short story The Stranger is not an exception. A stranger approaches a group of people around a campfire, telling them that they are not the first to explore the region.  The man goes on to explain a tale of four men who crossed the Santa Catalina mountains to explore the area.  He explains that the explorers were being hunted by a group of Indians.  The Indians eventually trapped them in a cave with no means of escape.  The Indians wait them out and after several days, one of the group commits suicide.  The others believe that suicide is their only option and so say a prayer and kill themselves… You can listen online to free English audiobook “The Stranger” by Ambrose Bierce on our website.

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