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I didn't know anybody in town yet.

I'd just finished unpacking, and I was hungry, so I went out to find a bite to eat. It was still light at 8:00 pm, but cool for July. I walked down one block, made a left, walked down another block, and there was a restaurant that looked good enough. It was more of a storefront diner than a restaurant.

I walked in and a waitress showed me to a table. Everybody at all the tables smiled and said "Hello!" It was nice, to be in a strange town so far from home and to meet such nice people. I smiled, nodded, and said "Hi." The waitress said "We try to be friendly here". She put me at a table across from a man who was still eating. He looked up at me, shrugged, and kept eating.

The waitress made a signal with her hand. Two men came from behind the counter, the cook and the dishwasher. They smiled. They were calm and at ease with themselves. The cook grabbed the man by one arm, and the dishwasher by the other. They pulled him upright, knocking his chair over. He went limp in their arms and they dragged him to the door. He hung in their arms like a bag of meat.

They took him outside. I read the menu and listened.

BANG.

Silence.

The men walked back in.

I ordered the veal.