Jake has coffee and a brioche and goes to work. Despite his melancholy evening, he feels much better this morning. He works all morning, then chats pleasantly with his colleague, Krum, until Robert Cohn shows up to whisk him off to lunch.
He and Cohn nag each other about South America over a lunch of beer and hors d’œuvre. Jake still thinks Cohn’s a pushover with Frances.
Cohn asks Jake about Brett. He reveals that she is in the midst of a divorce with a British aristocrat (Lord Ashley to her Lady Ashley), and is already engaged to a man with great financial prospects named Mike Campbell. Cohn remarks again that he thinks Brett’s super hot. Jake responds cynically.
We discover that Jake met Brett when she worked as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse) in a hospital during WWI. We wonder what the details of their history are.
Cohn doubts Brett will marry Mike if she doesn’t love him. Not terribly surprisingly, Jake doesn’t agree. He bitterly remarks that she’s done it before. Cohn already has an unrealistically romantic and idealized view of Brett, despite the fact that he really doesn’t know her at all.
Cohn gets agitated and Jake tells him to go to hell. They reconcile and Cohn admits rather embarrassingly that Jake is his best friend.