Gabriel García Márquez

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What does "twenty dead pay us well" mean?

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In "One of These Days" by Gabriel García Márquez, a poor, unlicensed dentist by the name of Aurelio Escovar is called upon by the local mayor to extract a painful infected tooth. At first, he's reluctant to perform such an operation. But once the mayor threatens to shoot him, he has no choice but to comply.

The threat of violence indicates just what kind of a man we're dealing with here: the mayor is a bully who thinks...

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