Story of a Conscience, by Ambrose Bierce
1) Was Captain Hartroy obligated by his duty to sentence Brune to death? Was there another option reasonably open to him?
2) When then-Corporal Hartroy fell asleep on guard duty, what was Brune's true duty? Brune choose to act with mercy towards an enemy soldier even at risk of his own life. Could it be argued that Brune's duty as a Confederate soldier meant he should have taken the opportunity to escape regardless of the consequences to Hartroy? To what degree does the duty of a soldier trump feelings of compassion towards others?