The Sun Also Rises: Novel Summary: Book II – Chapter XIII

Chapter XIII
Harris, the Englishman, gives Jake a letter from Mike. Mike says that Brett was sick, and that the two of them had spent three days in San Sebastian before going on to Pamplona. Mike says that they will arrive in Pamplona on Wednesday. Jake asks Harris what day it is, and he says it is Wednesday. Jake says that they will have to leave that day, much to Harriss disappointment. Jake tells Bill about the letter, and they soon get a telegram from Cohn, who says that he will be coming Thursday. They send a telegram back that they will be arriving that night. They find Harris and take a tour of the monastery, though none of them seems to be interested in it. They stop in a nearby bar and take turns buying bottles of wine for each other. Harris admits that his real name is Wilson-Harris, and that he hasnt had as much fun since the war. They all go to lunch and then Harris comes with them to the bus, where he surprises them with a gift of fishing flies. He waves to them as they drive away, and Jake and Bill regret that he wouldnt come with them.
Bill and Jake arrive in Pamplona, and check back into the Hotel Montoya. They meet the owner on the stairs and he mentions that Cohn, Brett, and Mike have checked in. Then Jake asks about the bulls for the bullfight, and Montoya tells them the schedule for the arrival of the bulls. Montoya clasps Jakes shoulder and smiles in a strange way, and Jake digresses briefly about aficion and how Montoya respects Jake and gives him and his friends special treatment because of Jakes sincere aficion or passion for bullfighting. He talks for a moment about a network of men with aficion who congregate around Montoya, and how the discovery of aficion in another was often like a ritual, involving a hand on the shoulder or some kind of touching. For Montoya, a person with aficion could be forgiven for anything, as he says Montoya forgave him for his friends.
Jake and Bill go looking for Mike, Brett, and Cohn to go to the unloading of the bulls. They find them in a caf. Jake asks where they have been, and Cohn claims to have brought Mike and Brett up to Pamplona. Brett denies that, and Cohn again claims that Brett and Mike wouldnt have made it to Pamplona without him. Mike changes the subject and asks how many fish they took. Bill brings up Harris, and asks if Mike knew him since they were both in the war. This gets Mike talking about the war, and he eventually tells the story of borrowing some military medals from his tailor, giving them out to women in a night club, and then embarrassing the tailor by not being able to return them. This also brings up some of the details of his bankruptcy and his trial.
They all walk over to see the unloading. They climb onto a stone wall to watch the bulls being let out of cages and corralled into pens for the fights. There are two steers in the corral to help calm the bull. The first bull charges the steers, gets distracted by a man slapping the wall nearby, and punches at the wall with his horns. Jake comments how he uses his horns like a boxer, with a left and a right. Another bull is released, and it charges straight for the steers. Two men try to distract him, but he doesnt relent and gores one of the steers. The second tries to calm him and eventually succeeds. A third bull is released and joins the herd, except for the gored steer who stands back up but remains separate.
They leave and go to a caf, where they talk about the unloading. Cohn remarks that its difficult being a steer, and Mike makes a joke about Cohn being like a steer. Cohn tells Mike that he is drunk and should shut up. Mike keeps going, making a comment about how it doesnt matter that Cohn slept with Brett because many better people have. Cohn stands up as if he were going to fight Mike. Mike continues the attack, saying that Cohn doesnt know when hes not wanted, and that no one invited him anywhere in San Sebastian because no one wanted him around. Bill takes an angry Cohn away from Mike, and Mike calms down, saying that he wasnt as drunk as he sounded, and that he meant what he was saying. Mike admits to knowing about Bretts affairs with other men, and how she always tells him about them. But, he says, they were never Jews, and they didnt usually hang around afterward like Cohn is doing.
They spend some more time mocking Cohn, and go into the hotel. Jake meets Montoya briefly, and they share their mild dislike of the bulls. He finds Bill and asks how Cohn is doing. Bill says hes not doing so well. Bill says that Mike was being cruel, though he says that he agrees with what Mike was saying.
They meet for dinner, and Jake gets Cohn to come down reluctantly. Cohn seems to cheer up while looking at Brett. Jake compares the strange meal together to meals during the war, mentioning the way that the diners ignored the tensions among them and the sense that something terrible and unpreventable was about to happen.
Analysis, Chapter XIII
This chapter presents a stark contrast between the convivial male friendship with Bill, Jake, and Harris in Burguete and the five characters (Bill, Jake, Brett, Mike, and Cohn) in Pamplona. While fishing and drinking in Burguete seem to make people forget what day of the week it is, the Pamplona group struggles to deal with the fallout from the relationship between Brett and Cohn.