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The first seven numbered sections form a story with two parts. The first two sections comprise a short first part, with exposition and complication leading up to a minor crisis, climax, and dénouement (the Swede departs with Scully). The second part consists of sections 3–7, leading up to the fight (the climax) and the departure of the Swede. Section 8 is a short narrative in itself, which is climaxed by the stabbing and the vision of the dead Swede staring blankly at the cash register. Section 9 is the dénouement, and it summarizes and unites the action. The eighth section is brief because the story as a whole is more concerned with the motivations of the various characters than with the details of the murderous violence. The true facts about Johnnie’s cheating are withheld until the end because of the story’s point that pride and reputation (which Johnnie would have lost if he had admitted the Swede’s claim that he had been cheating) are stronger causes for action—in this story, violence—than truth and the recognition of truth.
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