A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

“Are you tired, Cat?” I asked.

“No. I feel splendid.”

“It isn’t a long ride.”

“I like the ride,” she said. “Don’t worry about me, darling. I feel fine.”

Snow did not come until three days before Christmas. We woke one morning and it was snowing. We stayed in bed with the fire roaring in the stove and watched the snow fall. Mrs. Guttingen took away the breakfast trays and put more wood in the stove. It was a big snow storm. She said it had started about midnight. I went to the window and looked out but could not see across the road. It was blowing and snowing wildly. I went back to bed and we lay and talked.

“I wish I could ski,” Catherine said. “It’s rotten not to be able to ski.”

“We’ll get a bobsled and come down the road. That’s no worse for you than riding in a car.”

“Won’t it be rough?”

“We can see.”

“I hope it won’t be too rough.”

“After a while we’ll take a walk in the snow.”

“Before lunch,” Catherine said, “so we’ll have a good appetite.”

“I’m always hungry.”

“So am I.”

We went out in the snow but it was drifted so that we could not walk far. I went ahead and made a trail down to the station but when we reached there we had gone far enough. The snow was blowing so we could hardly see and we went into the little inn by the station and swept each other off with a broom and sat on a bench and had vermouths.

“It is a big storm,” the barmaid said.


“The snow is very late this year.”


“Could I eat a chocolate bar?” Catherine asked. “Or is it too close to lunch? I’m always hungry.”

“Go on and eat one,” I said.

“I’ll take one with filberts,” Catherine said.

“They are very good,” the girl said, “I like them the best.”

“I’ll have another vermouth,” I said.

When we came out to start back up the road our track was filled in by the snow. There were only faint indentations where the holes had been. The snow blew in our faces so we could hardly see. We brushed off and went in to have lunch. Mr. Guttingen served the lunch.

“To-morrow there will be ski-ing,” he said. “Do you ski, Mr. Henry?”

“No. But I want to learn.”

“You will learn very easily. My boy will be here for Christmas and he will teach you.”

“That’s fine. When does he come?”

“To-morrow night.”

When we were sitting by the stove in the little room after lunch looking out the window at the snow coming down Catherine said, “Wouldn’t you like to go on a trip somewhere by yourself, darling, and be with men and ski?”

“No. Why should I?”

“I should think sometimes you would want to see other people besides me.”

“Do you want to see other people?”


“Neither do I.”

“I know. But you’re different. I’m having a child and that makes me contented not to do anything. I know I’m awfully stupid now and I talk too much and I think you ought to get away so you won’t be tired of me.”

“Do you want me to go away?”

“No. I want you to stay.”

“That’s what I’m going to do.”

“Come over here,” she said. “I want to feel the bump on your head. It’s a big bump.” She ran her finger over it. “Darling, would you like to grow a beard?”

“Would you like me to?”

“It might be fun. I’d like to see you with a beard.”

“All right. I’ll grow one. I’ll start now this minute. It’s a good idea. It will give me something to do.”

“Are you worried because you haven’t anything to do?”

“No. I like it. I have a fine life. Don’t you?”

“I have a lovely life. But I was afraid because I’m big now that maybe I was a bore to you.”

“Oh, Cat. You don’t know how crazy I am about you.”

“This way?”

“Just the way you are. I have a fine time. Don’t we have a good life?”

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Categories: Hemingway, Ernest