Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce: The Life Saver
The Life Saver
AN Ancient Maiden, standing on the edge of a wharf near a Modern Swain, was overheard rehearsing the words:
"Noble preserver! The life that you have saved is yours!"
Having repeated them several times with various intonations, she sprang into the water, where she was suffered to drown.
"I am a noble preserver," said the Modern Swain, thoughtfully moving away; "the life that I have saved is indeed mine."