He had come to the surface facing down the stream; in a moment the visible world seemed to wheel slowly round, himself the pivotal point, and he saw the railroad bridge, the fort, the soldiers upon the bridge, the captain, the Sargent, the two privates, his executioners. They were in silhouette against the blue sky. They shouted and gesticulated, pointing at him. The captain had drawn his pistol but did not fire; the others were unarmed. Their movements were grotesque and horrible, their form gigantic.
Suddenly he heard a sharp report, and something struck the water smartly within a few inches of his head, spattering his face with spray. He heard a second report and saw one of the sentinels with his rifle at his shoulder. As his senses slowly came back to him, he realized was happening, he thought; If I am not to die from hanging, I will not die from a bullet. As the soldiers fired upon him, he quickly swam down the river, moving faster as the waters strong current took him down the stream, bullets flying past him into the water all around, The chill water limits his mobility he realizes he must get out of the water.
The raging river soon comes to bend and he drifts ashore and regains some of the mobility in his legs and as he looks around trying to find some clue of where he is. He notices a railroad track and slowly moves towards it, he peers up and down the track and notices a railroad bridge, and notices it looked just like the one he just escaped from, but there was no one there. He hobbles over to the bridge with every step being more difficult, the closer he gets the more he feels his aches and pains.
When he finally gets to the bridge he looks around and sees a man hanging from the bridge, He goes over to inspect the body and as a gust of wind turns it and he sees the face of the hanging man and notices that it is him. He feels so cold and cannot look away from the hanging man and as he stares, he feels a rumble in his feet and then looks over his shoulder and see a bright beam of light from a train speeding toward him, but he feels as he cannot move. The train did not stop and did not even have the intention to. Suddenly the light was gone – all is darkness and silence. Peyton Farquhar was dead, his body with a broken neck swung gently side to side beneath the timbers of Owl Creek Bridge.