A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

“Monsieur was very interested. Were you not, monsieur?” the woman smiled.

“Yes,” I said.

We went out and up the street. It was cold and wintry and the wind was blowing. “Oh, darling, I love you so,” I said.

“Don’t we have a fine time?” Catherine said. “Look. Let’s go some place and have beer instead of tea. It’s very good for young Catherine. It keeps her small.”

“Young Catherine,” I said. “That loafer.”

“She’s been very good,” Catherine said. “She makes very little trouble. The doctor says beer will be good for me and keep her small.”

“If you keep her small enough and she’s a boy, maybe he will be a jockey.”

“I suppose if we really have this child we ought to get married,” Catherine said. We were in the beer place at the corner table. It was getting dark outside. It was still early but the day was dark and the dusk was coming early.

“Let’s get married now,” I said.

“No,” Catherine said. “It’s too embarrassing now. I show too plainly. I won’t go before any one and be married in this state.”

“I wish we’d gotten married.”

“I suppose it would have been better. But when could we, darling?”

“I don’t know.”

“I know one thing. I’m not going to be married in this splendid matronly state.”

“You’re not matronly.”

“Oh yes, I am, darling. The hairdresser asked me if this was our first. I lied and said no, we had two boys and two girls.”

“When will we be married?”

“Any time after I’m thin again. We want to have a splendid wedding with every one thinking what a handsome young couple.”

“And you’re not worried?”

“Darling, why should I be worried? The only time I ever felt badly was when I felt like a whore in Milan and that only lasted seven minutes and besides it was the room furnishings. Don’t I make you a good wife?”

“You’re a lovely wife.”

“Then don’t be too technical, darling. I’ll marry you as soon as I’m thin again.”

“All right.”

“Do you think I ought to drink another beer? The doctor said I was rather narrow in the hips and it’s all for the best if we keep young Catherine small.”

“What else did he say?” I was worried.

“Nothing. I have a wonderful blood-pressure, darling. He admired my blood-pressure greatly.”

“What did he say about you being too narrow in the hips?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all. He said I shouldn’t ski.”

“Quite right.”

“He said it was too late to start if I’d never done it before. He said I could ski if I wouldn’t fall down.”

“He’s just a big-hearted joker.”

“Really he was very nice. We’ll have him when the baby comes.”

“Did you ask him if you ought to get married?”

“No. I told him we’d been married four years. You see, darling, if I marry you I’ll be an American and any time we’re married under American law the child is legitimate.”

“Where did you find that out?”

“In the New York World Almanac in the library.”

“You’re a grand girl.”

“I’ll be very glad to be an American and we’ll go to America won’t we, darling? I want to see Niagara Falls.”

“You’re a fine girl.”

“There’s something else I want to see but I can’t remember it.”

“The stockyards?”

“No. I can’t remember it.”

“The Woolworth building?”


“The Grand Canyon?”

“No. But I’d like to see that.”

“What was it?”

“The Golden Gate! That’s what I want to see. Where is the Golden Gate?”

“San Francisco.”

“Then let’s go there. I want to see San Francisco anyway.”

“All right. We’ll go there.”

“Now let’s go up the mountain. Should we? Can we get the M.O.B.?”

“There’s a train a little after five.”

“Let’s get that.”

“All right. I’ll drink one more beer first.”

When we went out to go up the street and climb the stairs to the station it was very cold. A cold wind was coming down the Rhone Valley. There were lights in the shop windows and we climbed the steep stone stairway to the upper street, then up another stairs to the station. The electric train was there waiting, all the lights on. There was a dial that showed when it left. The clock hands pointed to ten minutes after five. I looked at the station clock. It was five minutes after. As we got on board I saw the motorman and conductor coming out of the station wine-shop. We sat down and opened the window. The train was electrically heated and stuffy but fresh cold air came in through the window.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118

Categories: Hemingway, Ernest