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by Ernest Hemingway
Nick Adams Timeline and Summary
Nick is sitting in the lunchroom talking to George when the killers enter. He watches them. When Al asks him his name, Nick gives it. When Max orders him to go behind the counter, Nick does. He is then taken back to the kitchen, tied-up, and gagged along with Sam. This is pretty much the extent of Nick’s action, what with him being tied up and all, until the killers leave the lunchroom. When George ungags Nick, he asks what the deal is. George explains and suggests that Nick go talk to Ole. Though Sam tells him to stay out of it, Nick agrees to do so. He asks where Ole lives and then heads out to the boarding house. Nick greets the woman he thinks is Mrs. Hirsch and asks to see Ole. She takes him up to his room. Nick quickly tells Ole that there are men trying to kill him. When Ole is unresponsive, Nick asks if he can do anything to help and then wonders if maybe the men were bluffing. After Ole has made it clear that the threat was for real, Nick offers to go to the police. Since Ole doesn’t want this either, Nick finally gives up and leaves. On the way out, he converses with the landlady again; she remarks that Ole doesn’t seem like a fighter. Nick thanks her by name, at which point she tells him that, actually, she’s Mrs. Bell, not Mrs. Hirsch. Back at the lunchroom, Nick tells Sam and George about his futile conversation with Ole. They all conclude that Andreson must have gotten mixed up with something in Chicago. Nick then declares that he’s going to get out of town, since he can’t bear to think about it.