Many moons ago, when the Hooting Yard website was but young – on the ninth of March 2004, to be precise – I noted the fact I had learned that Ambrose Bierce had twelve siblings, all of whose given names began, like his, with the letter A. In the brief postage where I mentioned this, I included a request for a knowledgeable reader to let me know what all those names were. Six and a half years have passed, and do you know, not a single one of you has bothered to respond. This is simply not good enough. I do not think it is too much to expect that my loyal and devoted readers should register such a request and beaver away, burning the candle at both ends, putting their own lives on hold if necessary, until they have discovered the information I am seeking.
Wait a moment while I emit a sigh, an expressive sigh which somehow commingles saintly patience and inordinate mental suffering and fathomless disappointment.
There. Now, because of the distinct want of diligent research on your part, I have had to find out the names of Ambrose Bierce’s siblings all by myself. You see what trouble you have caused me? Anyway, let bygones be bygones. Let us move forward in a spirit of happy comity, striding purposefully towards the slightly overcast uplands, me a preening magnifico and you lot stricken by unassuageable pangs of guilt.
Oh, and before I forget, here are those names, of the thirteen children of Marcus Aurelius Bierce and his wife Laura Sherwood Bierce, of Horse Cave Creek, Meigs County, Ohio. From the oldest to the youngest, they were: Abigail, Amelia, Ann Maria, Addison, Aurelius, Augustus, Almeda, Andrew, Albert, Ambrose, Arthur, and the twins Adelia and Aurelia. Unusually for those days, all but the youngest three survived to adulthood (which also begins with A).