“The Killers” could also be called “The Further Adventures of Nick Adams”. As with Ernest Hemingway’s other Nick Adams stories, the reader gets the idea there is more to the story than just what happens in this one. Since Hemingway wrote a number of stories revolving around Nick Adams, they would be right. At least by me, it’s been difficult to put any of the stories together. Perhaps that wasn’t the intention.
This story has Nick sitting at a lunch-counter when two apparent thugs walk in and sit down. Problems ensue as the thugs, who I imagine looking like Joe Pesci (particularly the Joe Pesci in Good Fellas), make known their plan to kill one of the regular customers. When this regular customer does not show up, they move on.
Nick takes a walk over to the apartment of this regular customer, Ole Andreson. A former boxer, Andreson’s life seems to have taken a turn for the worse. The reader never gets to know the details of what “went down” between Anderson and the thugs. Hemingway focuses on Andreson’s loss of dignity rather than what he specifically did to warrant the thugs to want to kill him.
The conversation at the lunch-counter has the tone of a black and white movie, maybe one starring Humphrey Bogart, but I’m not sure whom he would portray- George, the lunch-counter manager, perhaps?