Customs: The Outstretched Palm

Hemingway characters do not like tipping; they would rather be served out of love. Through approximately half of Across the River and into the Trees, the aging colonel and his young mistress' are meticulously cared for by assorted Venetian factotums, all of whom are really friends. When the colonel slips an extra bill to a young second waiter, the tip is reproachfully returned—an event about as plausible as the Grand Canal turning to Valpolicella. John O'Hara, a Hemingway disciple but less sentimental, is not so much concerned with friendship between servant and...

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