Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"Oh, don't go to hell."

"Sit down," I said. "Don't be a fool."
"You've got to take that back."
"Oh, cut out the prep-school stuff."
"Take it back."
"Sure. Anything. I never heard of Brett Ashley. How's that?"
"No. Not that. About me going to hell."
"Oh, don't go to hell," I said. "Stick around. We're just starting lunch."
Cohn smiled again and sat down. He seemed glad to sit down. What the hell would he have done if he hadn't sat down? "You say such damned insulting things, Jake."
"I'm sorry. I've got a nasty tongue. I never mean it when I say nasty things."
"I know it," Cohn said. "You're really about the best friend I have, Jake."
God help you, I thought. "Forget what I said," I said out loud. "I'm sorry."
"It's all right. It's fine. I was just sore for a minute."
"Good. Let's get something to eat."

-from The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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