In Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," one sentence says, "My woman's cousin was in McAlester an' they give him hell."
The Spanish ("Las Uvas de le Ira") translation is: "El primo de mi mujer estuvo alli y lo paso fatal."
This sounds to me like the cat croaked. Isn't it saying, "My woman's cousin was there and it proved fatal for him."?
Or is "paso fatal" really a good translation for "give [sic] him hell"?