BOOK TWO / CHAPTER 9
The Ledoux-Kid Francis fight was the night of the 20th of June. It was a good fight. The morning after the fight I had a letter from Robert Cohn, written from Hendaye. He was having a very quiet time, he said, bathing, playing some golf and much bridge. Hendaye had a splendid beach, but he was anxious to start on the fishing-trip. When would I be down? If I would buy him a double-tapered line he would pay me when I came down. That same morning I wrote Cohn from the office that Bill and I would leave Paris on the 25th unless I wired him otherwise, and would meet him at Bayonne, where we could get a bus over the mountains to Pamplona. The same evening about seven o’clock I stopped in at the Select to see Michael and Brett. They were not there, and I went over to the Dingo. They were inside sitting at the bar.
“Hello, darling.” Brett put out her hand.
“Hello, Jake,” Mike said. “I understand I was tight last night.”
“Weren’t you, though,” Brett said. “Disgraceful business.”
“Look,” said Mike, “when do you go down to Spain? Would you mind if we came down with you?”
“It would be grand.”
“You wouldn’t mind, really? I’ve been at Pamplona, you know. Brett’s mad to go. You’re sure we wouldn’t just be a bloody nuisance?”
“Don’t talk like a fool.”
“I’m a little tight, you know. I wouldn’t ask you like this if I weren’t. You’re sure you don’t mind?”
“Oh, shut up, Michael,” Brett said. “How can the man say he’d mind now? I’ll ask him later.”
“But you don’t mind, do you?”
“Don’t ask that again unless you want to make me sore. Bill and I go down on the morning of the 25th.”
“By the way, where is Bill?”
“He’s out at Chantilly dining with some people.”
“He’s a good chap.”
“Splendid chap,” said Mike. “He is, you know.”
“You don’t remember him,” Brett said.
“I do. Remember him perfectly. Look, Jake, we’ll come down the night of the 25th. Brett can’t get up in the morning.”
“If our money comes and you’re sure you don’t mind.”
“It will come, all right. I’ll see to that.”
“Tell me what tackle to send for.”
“Get two or three rods with reels, and lines, and some flies.”
“I won’t fish,” Brett put in.
“Get two rods, then, and Bill won’t have to buy one.”
“Right,” said Mike. “I’ll send a wire to the keeper.”
“Won’t it be splendid,” Brett said. “Spain! We _will_ have fun.”
“The 25th. When is that?”
“We _will_ have to get ready.”
“I say,” said Mike, “I’m going to the barber’s.”
“I must bathe,” said Brett. “Walk up to the hotel with me, Jake. Be a good chap.”
“We _have_ got the loveliest hotel,” Mike said. “I think it’s a brothel!”
“We left our bags here at the Dingo when we got in, and they asked us at this hotel if we wanted a room for the afternoon only. Seemed frightfully pleased we were going to stay all night.”
“_I_ believe it’s a brothel,” Mike said. “And _I_ should know.”
“Oh, shut it and go and get your hair cut.”
Mike went out. Brett and I sat on at the bar.
“I needed that,” Brett said.
We walked up the Rue Delambre.
“I haven’t seen you since I’ve been back,” Brett said.
“How _are_ you, Jake?”
Brett looked at me. “I say,” she said, “is Robert Cohn going on this trip?”
“Don’t you think it will be a bit rough on him?”
“Why should it?”
“Who did you think I went down to San Sebastian with?”
“Congratulations,” I said.
We walked along.
“What did you say that for?”
“I don’t know. What would you like me to say?”
We walked along and turned a corner.
“He behaved rather well, too.