Book II, Chapters 14-15 Summary and Analysis
Pedro Romero: Aficiónado; 19-year-old bullfighter; has an affair with Brett
Jake, who is drunk, goes to his room and reads for a while until the room does not spin. He hears Brett and Robert come up and go to their separate rooms. Then he hears Mike and Brett talk and laugh. Jake is unable to sleep for thinking about them. Then he begins to philosophize about life, his friends, and morality. Finally, he gets up and reads again.
The next two days the friends are all subdued while the town readies for the fiesta, which is to last seven days. All in the group have different activities. Jake and sometimes Bill watch the activities from the cafe or walk around the countryside in the afternoon. The last day before the fiesta, Brett and Jake go into the church. Although Robert follows and waits outside, everything is pleasant and casual.
In Chapter 15, Pamplona explodes with the fiesta. The first day of the fiesta, streets become crowded with people drinking and partying. Jake joins Robert and Bill at the cafe. As rockets explode to signal the beginning of the festival, masses of people converge on the square and cafe. All over, dancers and musicians celebrate.
First, comes a man playing a reed pipe with children following. Next come dancers, men dressed in workmen’s blue smocks with red handkerchiefs around their necks. They are carrying a banner welcoming foreigners.
In the parade are dignitaries, whom the group cannot see because of the intense crowd. They start into church for services but decide not to go in because Brett is not allowed without a hat. The crowd forms a circle around Brett and begins to dance.
When the song ends, people take Brett into a wine shop and seat her on a wine cask. People are drinking and will not allow Jake to pay. Jake leaves to get a leather wine bottle. When he returns, Brett and Bill are in the back room. Jake fills the wineskins and goes to find them.
They are sitting on barrels surrounded by dancers. Mike is having hors d’oeuvres. Jake hands a wineskin around, and everyone takes a drink. Robert passes out, and they take him to the back room. He reappears two hours later. They finally all leave to clean up for dinner.
Jake plans to stay up to see the bulls run, but he goes to his room around 4 a. m. Since his room is locked, he sleeps in one of Robert’s beds. Nothing awakens him until the exploding rockets signal the releasing of the bulls. In the thick crowd running in front of the bulls, one man falls and rolls into the gutter. When Robert comes in, he tells Jake that inside the ring, a bull had tossed six or eight people. Bill stops in; then they sleep until noon.
The next day the bullfight begins. Newcomers Brett, Mike, and Robert sit up high while veterans Bill and Jake sit ringside. When Bill cautions Robert about what to watch for, Robert says he may be bored. They warn Brett not to look at horses after the bull has gored them.
When Jake and Bill go to get wine and field glasses, Montoya introduces them to Pedro Romero, the newcomer and aficiónado, to bullfights. Romero is striking in his attire, manners, and good looks. They wish him luck and leave.
At the bullring, they are impressed with Romero’s skill. Montoya is too and catches Jake’s eye to nod his approval. One of the other two bullfighters is fair and the other passable, but Romero enchants the crowd.
After the bullfight, Jake and Bill leave and join the crowd inching its way to the fiesta. Dancers line the streets. As they are joined by Mike, Brett, and Robert, Mike comments on Romero’s bullfighting prowess while Brett on his attractiveness. They turn their attention to taunting Robert about his comment that he may be bored and his getting ill at the sight of the horses’ goring.
The next day, Romero steals the show. Brett, sitting between Jake and Mike, watches his body, movements, and form. Jake points out Romero’s style is of the old school, which lends more credence to him as a bullfighter. The next day,...
(The entire section is 1,786 words.)