Short Story #182: The Isle of Pines by Ambrose Bierce

Title:  The Isle of Pines

Author:  Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceHerman Deluse was a man of secrecy but his neighbors has suspected he was a pirate in his earlier days.  When he died of what appeared entirely natural causes, his house was locked and put up for sale.  A week later, Reverend Galbraith arrived home explaining he had taken refuge with Deluse in the Isle of Pines--the nickname of the house.  When asked, he explained that he saw a light in the house and since the storm was harsh, he came in.  He never saw Deluse but heard him regularly.  Curious of this event, a lawyer friend and Galbraith's son accompany Galbraith to the house on the following night to visit the house.  Though there is still a light, the door is restrained and they must bust through.  When they broke through, the light went silent and the lawyer quickly dispatched matches.  As they examined the area, they found everything undisturbed.  A wind blew out the matches and by the time they were re-lit, they found Galbraith dead on the floor with a sack of Spanish coins and a board that had fallen from the wall where the bag came from.  


An interesting but altogether formulaic haunted pirate tale.  The use of pirate and reverend with the lawyer to mediate seemed interesting but not particularly great.

Short Story #182 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  6/21/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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