“Oh, hell,” I said.

“You’re the only friend I got,” Jack says, ‘the only friend I got.”

“Go to sleep,” I said.

“I’ll sleep,” Jack says.

Downstairs, Hogan was sitting at the desk in the office reading the papers. He looked up. “Well, you get your boy friend to sleep?” he asks.

“He’s off.”

“It’s better for him than not sleeping,” Hogan said.


“You’d have a hell of a time explaining that to these sports writers though,” Hogan said.

“Well, I’m going to bed myself,” I said.

“Good night,” said Hogan.

In the morning I came downstairs about eight o’clock and got some breakfast. Hogan had his customers out in the barn doing exercises. I went out and watched them.

“One! Two! Three! Four!” Hogan was counting for them. “Hello, Jerry,” he said. “Is Jack up yet?”

“No. He’s still sleeping.”

I went back to my room and packed up to go to town. About nine-thirty I heard Jack getting up in the next room. When I heard him go downstairs I went down after him. Jack was sitting at the breakfast table. Hogan had come in and was standing beside the table.

“How do you feel, Jack?” I asked him.

“Not so bad.”

“Sleep well?” Hogan asked.

“I slept all right,” Jack said. “I got a thick tongue but I ain’t got a head.”

“Good,” said Hogan. “That was good liquor.”

“Put it on the bill,” Jack says.

“What time you want to go into town?” Hogan asked.

“Before lunch,” Jack says. “The eleven o’clock train.”

“Sit down, Jerry,” Jack said. Hogan went out.

I sat down at the table. Jack was eating a grapefruit. When he’d find a seed he’d spit it out in the spoon and dump it on the plate.

“I guess I was pretty stewed last night,” he started.

“You drank some liquor.”

“I guess I said a lot of fool things.”

“You weren’t bad.”

“Where’s Hogan?” he asked. He was through with the grape-fruit.

“He’s out in front in the office.”

“What did I say about betting on the fight?” Jack asked. He was holding the spoon and sort of poking at the grapefruit with it.

The girl came in with some ham and eggs and took away the grape-fruit.

“Bring me another glass of milk,” Jack said to her. She went out.

“You said you had fifty grand on Walcott,” I said.

“That’s right,” Jack said.

“That’s a lot of money.”

“I don’t feel too good about it,” Jack said.

“Something might happen.”

“No,” Jack said. “He wants the title bad. They’ll be shooting with him all right.”

“You can’t ever tell.”

“No. He wants the title. It’s worth a lot of money to him.

“Fifty grand is a lot of money,” I said.

“It’s business,” said Jack. “I can’t win. You know I can’t win anyway.”

“As long as you’re in there you got a chance.”

“No,” Jack says. “I’m all through. It’s just business.”

“How do you feel?”

“Pretty good,” Jack said. “The sleep was what I needed.”

“You might go good.”

“I’ll give them a good show,” Jack said.

After breakfast Jack called up his wife on the long-distance. He was inside the booth telephoning.

“That’s the first time he’s called her up since he’s out here,” Hogan said.

“He writes her every day.”

“Sure,” Hogan says, “a letter only costs two cents.”

Hogan said good-bye to us and Bruce, the nigger rubber, drove us down to the train in the cart.

“Good-bye, Mr. Brennan,” Bruce said at the train, “I sure hope you knock his can off.”

“So long,” Jack said. He gave Bruce two dollars. Bruce had worked on him a lot. He looked kind of disappointed. Jack saw me looking at Bruce holding the two dollars.

“It’s all in the bill,” he said. “Hogan charged me for the rubbing.”

On the train going to town Jack didn’t talk. He sat in the corner of the seat with his ticket in his hat-band and looked out of the window. Once he turned and spoke to me.

“I told the wife I’d take a room at the Shelby tonight,” he said. “It’s just around the corner from the Garden. I can go up to the house tomorrow morning.”

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Categories: Hemingway, Ernest