illustrated portrait of American author Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

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How does Harvey Stone insult Cohn? How does Cohn respond to these attacks?

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While Jake was taking to the streets of Paris, he ran across his old friend, Harvey Stone. A heavy drinker and inveterate gambler, Stone sat alone with "a pile of saucers in front of him." Although just three days before, Harvey had won 200 francs in a dice game, he was now penniless and had not eaten for five days. Jake offered him 100 francs, which Harvey readily accepted. Soon, Robert Cohn was seen crossing the street.

    "That moron," said Harvey.

After Cohn greeted the two men, Harvey repeated the insult, this time to Cohn's face.

    "Hello, Robert," Harvey said. "I was just telling Jake here that you're a moron."

Harvey then asked Cohn what he would rather do if he could choose anything in the world. Cohn said he would like to play football again.

    "I misjudged you," Harvey said. "You're not a moron. You're only a case of arrested development."
    "You're awfully funny, Harvey," Cohn said. "Some day somebody will push your face in."
    Harvey Stone laughed. "You think so. They won't, though. Because it wouldn't make any difference to me. I'm not a fighter."
    "It would make a difference to you if anybody did it."
    "No, it wouldn't. That's where you make your big mistake. Because you're not intelligent."
    "Cut it out about me."
    "Sure," said Harvey. "It doesn't make any difference to me. You don't mean anything to me."

Broke and drunk, Harvey cared little about what could happen to him next. Calling out the former boxing champion as an unintelligent "moron" with "arrested development" was not very smart on Harvey's part, but he left before Cohn used his fists to settle the argument.

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