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Captain Torres has just returned from a four-day hunt, and he has returned with fourteen captive rebels. He plans to punish them later that afternoon, at 6 p.m., and he wants to be sure that the barber is present. We find out at the end of the story that Torres has suspected the barber of secretly being a rebel, and his visit for a shave is in part due to find out if this is true. Torres allows the barber to shave him--a perfect opportunity to slash the captain's throat. But when the barber merely provides his customer a shave, without spilling a single drop of blood, Torres leaves the shop assuming that the barber is not a part of the revolutionaries--or else too cowardly to commit murder in such a manner. The captured rebels will be executed at 6 p.m., possibly by firing squad, but Torres suggests that their punishment may be "a little slower," since torture has been involved before. All loyal citizens will be expected to attend, and the barber will probably show up to watch his friends suffer in order to keep his secret hidden from Torres.
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