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Brett unsurprisingly misses her evening date with Jake. He has a few conciliatory drinks and then takes a cab through a part of Paris he despises. He wonders why he hates this particular section of the city so much, then wonders why Cohn seems to despise the whole city so much. He attributes this flaw to reading too much H.L. Mencken, a tremendously popular American writer.
Jake heads to Café Select, where he encounters a very odd friend, Harvey Stone. Harvey, like everyone else, is a writer short on cash, and he wheedles some money out of Jake. The two men have a drink and chat about Mencken, who, they decide, is just soooo passé.
Cohn shows up. Harvey provokes him and then leaves. Cohn states his dislike for Harvey.
Cohn tells Jake he’s struggling to write.
Jake, attempting to reveal more of the true Robert Cohn to us, remarks that, before falling for Brett, Cohn had been a fairly charming prep boy type, well trained by the women he’d been with. Pre-Brett, he had a kind of simple, cheerful, nice mentality, and was kind of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type. His passion for Brett, however, changes everything.
Frances shows up at the Café. She’s snotty to Cohn but pleasant to Jake. She asks to speak privately with Jake. She’s all worked up, thinking that Cohn’s going to leave her since he won’t agree to marry her. The whole thing is embarrassing.
Frances repeatedly attacks Cohn. She suspects that he’s trying to dump her to enjoy his literary success solo or with a newer model. Jake doesn’t understand why everyone can be such a jerk to Cohn and why he doesn’t defend himself. Disgruntled, Jake heads back to his flat.