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The supreme irony of the Hernando Tellez short story, "Just Lather, That's All," concerns the secret identity of the barber. When Captain Torres enters the barber's shop, he announces that he wants a shave. The barber recognizes him immediately as the killer of the rebels with whom the barber is secretly affiliated. Throughout the shave, the barber contemplates cutting Torres' throat, but thinks better of it, preferring to give him "just lather, that's all." He refuses to kill Torres in order to protect his secret and to uphold his professional code of a bloodless cut. But, as we find out at the end, Captain Torres has already heard of the barber's possible connection, and he has come to test the man himself. This is the irony--that the barber's secret was no secret at all, and that the captain had one of his own.
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