In the story, “Just Lather, That’s All” by Hernando Tellez, the barber would have been a coward had he killed Captain Torres because, when he killed the captain he was unarmed. Secondly, he would have to flee leaving all he had behind. Lastly, he would have been vulnerable. The barber was weak and afraid of killing captain Torres and to be called as the murderer of the captain. The barber would have been a coward because; he killed the captain when he was unarmed.
As soon as the captain entered, “he took off his bullet – studded belt that his gun holster dangled from. He hung it up on a wall hook and placed his military cap over it” (48). The barber knew that the captain was unarmed and as per his thoughts, this was the best time to kill the captain and as he was unarmed, he would not be able to attack the barber. He was a coward as he thought of killing captain Torres when he was unarmed. Secondly, the barber would have been a coward because he would have to flee leaving all he had behind.
He was well aware that he would have to run and thus he made a statement, “I would have to flee, leaving all I had behind, and take a refuge far away” (51). He would have to run, saving himself from Torres’ people. As he would have killed the captain cowardly, he had to hide his face from the society. He would have to find places to hide himself from Torres’ people. He might also have to lose his job. Furthermore, the barber would have been a coward because, he was vulnerable.
He was weak and afraid of killing captain Torres, especially with his eyes open. Thus, when the captains’ eyes were closed, he whispered, “I could cut his throat just so – Zip, Zip! I would not give him time to resist and since his eyes were closed he would not see the glistening blade and my glistening eyes” (50). The barber would have thought that as the captains’ eyes were closed he might not come to know about his thoughts. The barber would even not give him the chance to perform any such actions which would create problems for him.
Thus all such thoughts of the barber, about killing the captain secretly would prove him to be a coward. Henceforth, the barber would have been a coward had he killed Captain Torres because he took the opportunity to kill the captain when the captain was unarmed so that he could not attack him (barber). He would have been a coward as he would have to flee leaving all he had behind and find places to hide himself. Lastly, he would have been a coward as he was vulnerable and afraid of killing Captain Torres.