The narrator is standing on trail and receiving a sentence of death.
The narrator is in and out of consciousness, but then finds himself in a chamber of some sort.
He tries to explore the depths of his chamber, and almost slips and falls into a chasm at one end of the chamber. After he fell asleep, he awakens to find bread and water next to him, so he knows someone is attending to him.
Then he finds himself strapped to a board, leaving only his head and left arm free. When he looks up he sees a figure of time painted on the ceiling, but instead of his scythe, he is holding a razor-sharp pendulum.
He is about to accept his death when he gets an idea to take the meat from the basket beside him and rub it all over the strap holding him down. The rats jump up and start to gnaw at the strap until it breaks and he is free. The walls start to get hot and it pushes him towards the chasm.
Then he is again faced with impending death, he screams in despair. Just before the walls were about to push him over to the edge then he hears a thumping trumpets. The walls retract and he is then saved by the French troops.