The next morning, Jake gets a telegraph from Cohn, who says he's in the country having a quiet time, playing golf and bridge, but is looking forward to the fishing trip to Spain. Jake writes back that he and Bill will leave in five days and meet Cohn in Bayonne.
The characters always desire somewhere and something new and use each other for those ends. It's worth pointing out that it will be revealed that Cohn isn't being altogether truthful here, which is very un-Cohn.
That night, Jake runs into Brett and Mike at a bar. Mike apologizes for his drunkenness the evening before, and asks if he and Brett might come on the Spain trip. Jake politely says that they should come, even as Mike checks multiple times that he really doesn't mind. Mike then heads off to get a haircut, but not before commenting that he thinks his hotel might be a brothel and implying that he has a lot of knowledge of the subject. Brett gently scolds him, and Mike departs.
Mike's invasion of both Jake's relationship to Brett and Jake's planned fishing trip could push Jake over the edge, but he doesn't show any upset. Jake, always the stoic, makes sure that good sportsmanship wins out. But masculine tensions bubble under the surface.
Once they're alone, Brett asks Jake if Cohn is coming on the trip. When she learns that he is, she worries that it might be too "rough" on him. Jake is confused, until Brett reveals that she was with Cohn in San Sebastian. She says she did it because she thought it might be good for Cohn. Annoyed, Jake sarcastically suggests she take up social service. Brett promises to write to Cohn to give him a chance to decide not to come.
Once again, Jake's stoic façade crumbles in the face of Brett's amorous adventures. Brett's motives in connecting with Cohn are unclear. She has an idea of morality, but seems ultimately to care most about doing what she wants as opposed to helping anyone else, despite what she says. Cohn's dishonestly about his time away is also revealed here. Just as falling in love with Brett robbed Cohn of his cheerfulness, it also seems to have robbed him of his honesty.
Four days later, Brett tells Jake that she's heard back from Cohn, who wants to come even though he knows that Brett and Mike will be there too. Jake sets up the plan: Jake and Bill will take the train to Bayonne, where they will meet with Cohn and then head to Pamplona where they will then meet with Brett and Mike.
Cohn is willing to subject himself to all sorts of uncomfortable situations in the name of love. Jake seems to find this shocking, but he does the same thing—he just doesn't seem able to recognize it. The act of planning a trip seems to cheer everybody, as if they've already started to escape once more.
Jake and Bill board the train to Bayonne the next morning. The train is very crowded, and when they try to eat lunch there are no spots because the dining car is full of Catholics on a pilgrimage. Bill jokes that the scene is "enough to make a man join the Klan." They also meet an American family on the train. The wife and husband bicker pleasantly back and forth, as couples do, and the husband tells Jake and Bill that the fishing in Montana is even better than it is in Spain. The family then goes to try to get some lunch.
The train, though moving them toward a new location, is also full of the things the men have been avoiding, like the faith and security of organized religion and the idea of the typical family. All of this makes the men insecure. Bill responds to his own unease with typical humor, while Jake retreats into his stoic quietness.
As the train moves, Bill and Jake "watch the country" through the window. The fields are ripening and green. After a while the family returns, and the husband says that it's pity that Jake and Bill aren't Catholics, since they'd be able to get a meal then. Jake responds that he actually is Catholic, while Bill snaps at one of priests returning from his meal, asking when Protestants get a chance to eat.
Jake is a Catholic, but he is not like the community of Catholics on the train, and so once again he is alone. He seems unable to believe as they do—at least he's never before revealed any religious thoughts at all. Bill responds to his own discomfort with typical biting humor, which masks his insecurity.
They meet Cohn at the station in Bayonne. He is shy around Bill, because he's read Bill's books. The three of them take a taxi to the Hotel Montoya where they will be staying.
A new dynamic is created with the three men. Masculine competition looms with literary insecurity at stake.