One of Hemingway's favorite characters, Nick Adams, is featured in this story. Nick is an innocent bystander who is a victim of the two mobsters. He complies with the request of the hit men to go behind the counter and offers no resistance when he is tied up with the cook while the mobsters await their target, Ole Andreson. He also complies when told to go warn Ole Andreson about the two killers. As a result of his talk with Ole, Nick cannot stand the feeling of impending doom. To put the entire episode out of his mind, he decides to leave town.
George runs Henry's lunch-room. He is a man who takes events in stride, and the reader feels he has seen just about everything, but George's method of dealing with events is to not think of them. George is cool under pressure, does what the hit men want, and then sends Nick to warn Ole Andreson of the plot to kill him.
Al and Max are two hit men who have no qualms about their job. They are stereotypically developed as mobsters by their looks and their manners of speaking.
The black cook, Sam, is seen as a nonperson by the hit men and merely as a guy doing his job by George and Nick. Hemingway makes the distinction by how the characters treat and talk to the cook.
Ole Andreson is a defeated prizefighter. He knows exactly what fate awaits him once he goes out of the boarding house. He just has to find his courage to face it. He knows he must be responsible for his actions, and...
(The entire section is 364 words.)