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Mike Campbell narrates the story of the bullfighter, Pedro Romero, and the beating he took by Robert Cohn in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. According to Campbell, who was told the story by Lady Brett Ashley, Cohn entered Romero's room to find Brett with him, "and then he massacred the poor, bloody bull-fighter." Romero refused to give up despite Cohn's previous boxing experience, and despite the one-sided outcome, Cohn could not knock Romero out.

"The bull-fighter fellow was rather good. He didn't say much, but he kept getting up and getting knocked down again... It must have been damned funny."

After Romero "had been knocked down about fifteen times," Brett tried to restrain him, but the bullfighter got off the bed once again to face Cohn. Cohn at first refused to hit Romero again, claiming it would be "wicked." When Romero "staggered" up and forced Cohn against the wall, Cohn said he would not hit him again. Romero then

"hit him just as hard as he could in the face, and then sat down on the floor. He couldn't get up."

Cohn offered to help Romero up, but the bullfighter threatened to kill him if he did. At that point, Cohn began crying. He offered to shake hands with Romero, but the Spaniard refused. When Cohn leaned down to shake hands, "the bull-fighter chap hit him again."

Cohn soon left San Fermin in disgrace--without Lady Brett. Brett stayed on to nurse Romero's wounds.

Read the study guide:
The Sun Also Rises

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