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Chapter 13 Notes from The Sun Also Rises

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The Sun Also Rises Chapter 13

One morning at breakfast there is a letter for Jake. It is from Mike. Brett passed out on the train, and they stayed over in San Sebastian so she could rest. They will be in Pamplona on Tuesday. Jake asks Harris what day it is; it's Wednesday. They will have to take the bus to Pamplona that afternoon. Harris is sad to hear this, and Jake asks him if he'd like to go with them to Pamplona. But Harris says no, he wants to stay and fish.

Jake is with Bill when he receives another telegram. It is from Cohn, and says simply "I come Thursday." The brevity of this note annoys Jake and Bill. Still, they send Cohn a telegram telling him they will arrive tonight. Jake and Bill spend their last afternoon at Burguete with Harris, visiting the Roncesvalles monastery.

Topic Tracking: Religion 7

After the monastery they go to a pub for a few drinks. Harris fits in very well, and Bill likes him a lot. Harris likes to buy the wine, which also increases Bill's appreciation of him. They all have fun, and hope to fish together again. They have lunch together, and Harris gives them his address in London, and also a gift of fishing flies, which he tied himself. Jake and Bill are touched at this gesture.

In the afternoon Bill and Jake reach Pamplona, and check in at the Hotel Montoya. The town is getting ready for the fiesta. Jake meets his old pal Montoya, and learns that his friends arrived yesterday. Jake asks Montoya about the bulls, and tells him he plans to take them all to the desencajonada. Montoya wants to know if Jake's friend Bill is an aficionado. An aficionado is one with passion for the bull-fights. Montoya and Jake are both aficionados. Montoya keeps photos of all the bull-fighters with aficion, and they always stay at his hotel. Montoya greatly respects those with aficion, and:

"For one who had aficion he could forgive anything. At once he forgave me all my friends. Without his ever saying anything they were simply a little something shameful between us, like the spilling open of the horses in bull-fighting." Chapter 13, pg. 132

Jake finds Bill, and they go looking for the others. Bill wants to know about the bull-fights. Jake has tickets for the unloading of the bulls. When the bulls are let into the corral the steers keep them from hurting each other. The steers, which are just being friendly, are often killed by the bulls.

Topic Tracking: Gender 8

They find Brett, Mike, and Cohn at a café. Brett and Mike are wearing Basque berets. Mike and Brett are happy to see them; they don't want to be stuck alone with Cohn anymore. Mike and Brett treat Cohn coolly. The subject of the war comes up, and Mike tells an army story. It's not about the war, but about how he was going to a dinner and needed medals to wear. He didn't have any, so he borrowed some from his tailor. The dinner went awry, and he didn't wear the medals, so he gave them away. Mike got in trouble with the tailor, but he couldn't repay him because he went bankrupt. He had too much fun and lost all his money. He owes people money all over Europe and England.

They walk to see the bulls unload. Jake and Brett are walking alone together, until Cohn comes up, uninvited, and joins them. They walk down the street, and some of the villagers gawk at Brett.

Topic Tracking: Gender 9

They arrive at the corral. They climb up a ladder and watch from the stone wall that encloses the corral. The bulls are waiting in cages. Everyone from the town is watching the desencajonada. The steers are let into the corral, and the bull's cages are moved against the corral. The bull bursts out of the cage, huge and muscular. The steers keep back, but the bull still charges them. A man makes some noise, to redirect the bull's charge, and the steers are safe for now. Jake tells Brett to watch the bull, who uses his horns like a boxer uses his fists. Another bull is let into the corral. The bull charges, and runs into one of the steers. Jake tells Brett not to watch the carnage, but she's mesmerized. The bull wounds the other steer slightly, and then calms down. The first steer lies apart from the group, dying. When the third bull comes in, the steer easily makes him comfortable with the group.

After the unloading the group goes to a café. Brett is especially impressed. Cohn is worried the last bulls are too calm and won't fight well. But Jake says no:

"'They're only dangerous when they're alone, or only two or three of them together....They only want to kill when they're alone. Of course, if you went in there you'd probably detach one of them from the herd, and he'd be dangerous.'" Chapter 13, pp. 140-41

Robert comments on how bad it is to be a steer, and Mike, who is sick of Cohn, tells him he thought Cohn would like the quiet life of a steer, since he's always following Brett around. Mike tears into Cohn, who came uninvited to San Sebastian and then followed Brett, his fiancée, around like a steer. He criticizes Cohn for being quiet, cheap, and sober. Bill finally takes Cohn away.

Brett reprimands Mike for his lack of manners, though she agrees with everything he said about Cohn. She hates him too. Jake is silent. They talk some more about Cohn. Mike asks Jake to ask Cohn to behave.

Topic Tracking: Anti-Semitism 6

Mike tells Jake about the romantic letters Cohn wrote to Brett. He even called her Circe. Unromantic Mike finds all this very funny.

Jake sees Montoya before dinner. They talk about the bulls, which they don't think are very good. Bill tells Jake that Cohn feels bad, and they fear dinner will be another disaster. But dinner is okay. Brett looks great, Mike behaves, and Cohn is quiet. He likes to look at Brett, happy that everyone knows he'd been with her. Bill and Mike get along well. Trying to convince himself that his friends haven't ruined his vacation, he thinks:

"It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people." Chapter 13, pg. 146

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