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Nevertheless, Bierce probably did see Marfa, Texas, one time. It was from a train coach window as he passed through on his way to El Paso during November. Certainly, he never returned.
The most rational explanation for the disappearance of Bierce is that he came north with Villa, arrived near Ojinaga on January 9, and was either slain during the battle on January 10 or that he died of natural causes sometime during that entire time frame. There is even a small piece of information that tends to prove this proposition: after the revolution several groups of investigators went into Mexico looking for Bierce. One method they used in their research was to interview former villistas who were known to have been at Chihuahua and then at Ojinaga during the same time that Bierce was believed to have been there. One officer, a man reportedly named Ybarra, when shown a photograph of Bierce, said that he had indeed seen him at Ojinaga but that after the assault on the federal garrison (which assault we do not know) he never saw him again. So, it is most reasonable to conclude that Ambrose Bierce died at Ojinaga.
Many of the dead at Ojinaga were buried in trench graves. Many others however, were interlaced with dry wood, mostly vigas and wooden planks that had been taken from the wrecked structures in Ojinaga, then doused with kerosene and set afire on the plaza de armas in front of the Nuestra Padre de Jesús church. So, was Bierce’s body burned to ashes, or was he buried in an unmarked grave? It is doubtful that anyone will ever know. Doubtful I said, not certain. For tantalizing clues are occasionally brought to light. There is, for example, that piece of information concerning the execution of an old American journalist by huertista soldiers in an old mining village of northern Zacatecas.
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Me? I would like to think that yours truly has been mistaken and that logic, in Bierce’s case, must be given a wide berth. His manifest intention had been to take a look at the situation in revolutionary Mexico and then head on farther and farther south into South America. Perhaps, along the way, he was made to