I do not recognise how people draw so much out of this very short narrative without some serious embellishment. it presents a alternate possibility at the moment of death and quiet simply does just that.
My grandfather recommended his short stories many years ago and they stayed in my mind for many years and i finally managed to pick up a copy via Amazon. His writing has a way-a style and is captivating, clever and original. Like all good works, they don't age with time.I would highly recommend his work. Bierce himself was an interesting man-a journalist by trade who managed to obtain recognition latterly for his work and ended up 'disappearing' in New Mexico, I believe. A strange ending to a man who engineered many strange endings in his numerous short stories.
Try not to read any descriptions about this book, as they will tell you most of the story. Worth a read, although it will take you less than an hour to read it - try Project Gutenburg for a free read of this book.