Outside the arc-light shone through the bare branches of a tree. Nick walked up the street beside the car-tracks and turned at the next arc-light down a side street. Three houses up the street was Hirsch’s rooming-house. Nick walked up the two steps and pushed the bell. A woman came to the door.
“Is Ole Andreson here?”
“Do you want to see him?”
“Yes, if he’s in.”
The woman showed Nick in the door and pointed to a staircase leading upstairs.
“Mr. Andreson lives in the last room on the right.”
Nick walked up the flight of stairs, down the corridor and knocked on the door.
“Ole? It’s Nick Adams.”
“Come on in.”
Nick opened the door and found Ole Andreson laying on his bed.
“I came here to tell you that two men were just down at Henry’s looking for you. They tied up me and the cook and they said they were there to kill you.”
Nick could see by his face that Ole Andreson wasn’t surprised by this news.
“I figured they’d be here soon enough.”
Ole Andreson sat up on the bed. He didn’t seem to be in any hurry.
“Don’t you think you should be leaving?” Nick asked.
Before Andreson could respond, the door opened behind Nick. He turned around to see Al and Max walking into the room.
“Good to see you again. See Max, didn’t I tell you my bright boy was gonna take us here?” said Al.
“Sure did, Al. He’s done us a real big favor. Helped us find Ole Andreson here.”
Al pulled the shotgun he’d been carrying out of the waist of his coat and pointed it at Ole Andreson. Nick turned away just before the shot went off. He turned back to see Ole Andreson laying down the way he’d found him, only with a hole in his chest.
“Thanks for your help,” said Al. “It’s a real shame we’ve got to do you to, being as you’ve made our job so much easier, but we can’t have you telling anyone anything.”
Al leveled the shotgun at Nick’s chest and pulled the trigger.
A man walked into Henry’s lunch-room the next day. He sat at the counter and looked at the menu before ordering ham and eggs.
“You hear about the shooting up at Hirsch’s rooming-house?” he asked the man behind the counter.
“Heard about it,” replied George. “Don’t know much about it.”
He walked back into the kitchen.