The man lay a pot across the flame and coated it with oil. He paused and then studied the filmed surface, as if he expected of it some revelation, until the oil, rippled and coruscant with heat, began to crackle around a fragment of onion burned against the iron of the pan. This was the remnant of a meal previous, prepared by other men according to other methods now unanswerable to any recipe, this brief pyre its last imposition on the world of men before being scraped aside by some spatulate blade. The man then gathered into his hand half an onion, pale and coarsely hewn, and scattered it into the vessel. He stirred the hissing mass, prodding it into pellucid fragments, tender and larval.
All right, these onions is about as sauteed as they liable to get, he said and turned the burner off.
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