Jake decides to spend a week alone in San Sebastian for some serious detox. Bill plans to head back to Paris, then home to New York. Mike will be heading to San Jean de Luz. Basically, everyone’s sick of each other – that end-of-a-week-long-road-trip-crammed-with-your-screaming-little-sibling-in-the-back-seat-of-a-way-too-small-car kind of sick of each other. They agree to share a ride out of Pamplona.
The three stop for one last drink, and roll dice to see who will pay. Mike loses, but can’t pay up – he is completely broke, so Bill and Jake cover the cost of whiskey and the car. Bill and Jake drop Mike at his new hotel, then drive to Bayonne. Bill hurries to catch his train after a quick good bye.
Alone, Jake stays the night in Bayonne. He eats and enjoys the companionship of a nice bottle of wine and a few more drinks.
Jake is relieved to be back in France, where things seem more familiar and less wild. He half-wishes he’d gone back to Paris with Bill, but the thought of more fiesta-ing is too much to handle.
Despite his frustrations with Spain, Jake heads back immediately. In the morning, he leaves for San Sebastian where he intends to be alone, read, and swim. First he sleeps, and then swims, listens to music and drinks. He chats with some men in a bike race at his hotel. Everything is pleasant and restful – suspiciously pleasant and restful. We know something’s coming.
Jake receives two telegrams from Brett asking for help. He books the next train to Madrid to meet her. He’s neither irritated nor surprised that his solo vacation has gone down the tubes.
He arrives at Brett’s hotel in Madrid the following morning. Brett tells Jake that she’s finished with Romero; she finally realizes that he was too young (and perhaps too good) for her. Brett plans to go back to Mike. She’s an emotional wreck, and can’t stop rehashing her guilt about Romero. Jake, ever faithful, comforts her.
Brett and Jake have lunch. Brett begs Jake not to get drunk this once – but he keeps drinking anyway. They perfunctorily decide to go for a ride to see the city and, in the cab, Brett regretfully laments the idea that the two of them could have had a good time together. Jake, uncertain and cynical, simply responds that it’s pretty to think so.