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The Killers

The Killers


by Ernest Hemingway

Max and Al Timeline and Summary

  • The killers enter Henry’s lunchroom and sit at the counter. Max tells Al that he doesn’t know what he wants to eat.
  • Both of them try to order off the dinner menu, which Henry says isn’t ready yet.
  • After some grumbling, Al orders ham and eggs and Max orders bacon and eggs.
  • Al asks if there’s anything to drink (implying alcohol), but learns that there isn’t.
  • Max asks about the name of the town, and we learn that they’re in Summit.
  • Al continues giving George a hard time by calling him "bright boy." He then calls down the counter, asks Nick his name, and harasses him the same way.
  • When George brings out the supper, Al eats Max’s supper and Max eats Al’s. They do so with their gloves still on.
  • When they’re done, Max orders Nick to go around the other side of the counter. Al orders George to call the cook in from the kitchen.
  • Al then takes Sam and Nick back in the kitchen and ties them up, while Max stays out at the counter with George staring at the mirror that runs behind the counter.
  • He starts to make conversation with George, who wants to know what it’s all about. There’s some bantering between him and Al in the kitchen.
  • Al peeks out from the kitchen and arranges the men’s positioning at the counter.
  • Max then reveals to George that they’re going to kill Ole Andreson. He then tells George that he ought to go to the movies more often.
  • When Max adds that they’ve never met Ole but are killing him "for a friend," Al tells him to shut up and that he "talk[s] too much."
  • Max tells George how to behave if a customer comes in: tell them the cook is out. As for what will happen, he says, it depends.
  • When George plays his part well, Max is satisfied and declares, "Bright boy is nice. I like him."
  • At 7:05, Max tells Al they should go. They wait five more minutes and then get ready to leave.
  • While Al is uncomfortable about leaving the witnesses alive, Max insists that "they’re all right."
  • On his way out the door, Al tells George that he’s lucky and Max adds that he "ought to play the races."
  • As the two men cross the street in their overcoats, they give the impression of a vaudeville team.