“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway starts by telling us that on a late night in a café, two waiters are waiting for the last customer, a drunken old man, to leave. The man is a regular client of the café, but this annoys one of the waiters who is tired of waiting on the client and getting home late. The two waiters start discussing about the man, and one of them informs the other that the old man tried to kill himself the previous week. One waiter believes the man had no good reason to commit suicide, as he has plenty of money. The waiter also knows that the man tried hanging himself with a rope, but his niece got there on time to cut the rope. A couple passes the street and the waiters comment on the guard who will probably pick up the man who is a soldier.

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