The Sun Also Rises Chapter 4
The taxi travels through Paris and its nightlife. The cab is jostled and they are pressed together. Jake watches the light travel across Brett's face, one moment illuminated, the next concealed. He kisses her, and when they come apart Brett moves away. She tells Jake not to touch her; it is too much. He asks her if she loves him, and she tells him how his touch makes her go to pieces. Jake asks her if they could find a way to be together. Brett doesn't answer. She looks deep into his eyes, and Jake remarks how hopeless their situation is, answering his own question. Brett suggests they stay away from each other, but Jake doesn't want that.
Brett wonders if this is some kind of punishment, and Jake tries to joke. His condition is something that seems very funny if it isn't happening to you. Love, Jake says, is the real fun. But Brett thinks love is awful. They know they shouldn't see each other, that it will only hurt them, but they have to.
They have the driver take them to a café. On the way, Brett asks Jake to kiss her again, and he does. Brett's friends from before are there, and one of them, Zizi, has someone to introduce to Brett. He presents Count Mippipopolous, who starts chatting with Brett. Braddocks is there, and he tells Jake that Georgette had a big fight at the Bal with the owner's daughter. She went home with someone, so Jake figures she's fine. Braddocks wants him to stay and have a drink, but Jake decides to head home. He says good-bye to Brett, and they arrange to meet tomorrow afternoon.
Jake walks home alone. There are still many people on the streets and in the cafés. When he arrives at home, Jake gets his mail from the concierge and goes upstairs to his apartment. He has two letters. One is a bank statement, and Jake makes some amendments to his account. The other is a wedding announcement, for the marriage of Katherine Kirby, whom Jake does not know. Jake starts to get depressed about Brett, and frustrated.
He undresses for bed, and thinks how funny it is for him to be wounded the way he is. He gets into bed and reads "Le Toril", a Spanish bull-fight paper. He is afraid he won't be able to sleep. His mind wanders, and he thinks about when he was wounded. It was on the Italian front. He stayed in an Italian hospital, and while there an Italian colonel came to visit him, saying in praise: "'You, a foreigner, an Englishman... have given more than your life.'" Chapter 4, pg. 31, and he was serious. Jake's injury in the war made him impotent, and he can't have sex.
He tried not to think about it, or make a big deal out of it. But all that changed when he met Brett. Jake figures it's because Brett can't have him that makes her want him so badly. Jake keeps thinking about Brett until he starts crying. After a while he falls asleep.
He wakes up to an argument out on the street. He puts on his robe and goes downstairs. His concierge, Madame Duzinell, who had also been woken up, is very angry. She tells Jake that there is some awful woman here to see him. Jake hears Brett's voice, and asks the concierge to send her up. It's quarter past four in the morning, but Brett does not apologize for coming over, and asks for a drink. She's just left the count. She likes the count; he has lots of money from a chain of sweet shops he runs. She tells Jake the count offered her ten thousand dollars to go to Biarritz with him. She told him she knew too many people at Biarritz to go there with him, and she turned down his offer of several other places too. She tells Jake not to worry; the count knows she's in love with Jake. She told him so.
Brett changes the subject, and tells him the count offered to drive them to dinner tomorrow night. Jake agrees to go. Brett gets up to leave, and tells Jake that the count is waiting in his car up the street. She asks Jake to come along, but he has to work in the morning, and it nearly is morning. They kiss, and Jake tells her not to go, but Brett says she has to. They kiss again, and Jake looks out the window and watches Brett get into the car. Then he looks at the two lonely glasses on his table. He thinks disgustedly to himself:
"This was Brett that I had felt like crying about. Then I thought of her walking up the street and stepping into the car, as I had last seen her, and of course in a little while I felt like hell again. It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night is another thing." Chapter 4, pg. 34
Even when she treats him poorly, Jake cannot help but love her.