Short Story #330: A Providential Intimation by Ambrose Bierce

Title: A Providential Intimation

Author: Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce

Jarvis awakes in an angry mood.  He stumbles through his morning and finds himself at a pool table.  He makes a great shot and then decides to try it again, when Mr. Stenner bets him that he cannot repeat it.  The result is that Mr. Stenner ends up with Jarvis's coat.  In the pockets, he finds a telegraph instructing him to buy Sally Meker.  Upon reflection, he realizes it is the name of a horse and that this must mean the race is fixed.  He gathers up as much money as he can and contacts the only man he knows in San Francisco to buy Sally Meker.  When he arrives, he learns that the horse was injured but also learns that the horse was named after a mine and the mine just struck it rich.  The man is devastated to think he has lost his money but only to find out that the man, a parson, to whom he had sent instructions had actually bought the stock for the mine. 


The story was a bit bland.  It seems more like an experimental story--that is, he is trying things out than an actual story, especially with the tale splitting off from Jarvis initially.  

Short Story #330 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 11/01/2014
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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