A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

“Did you sell it to him?”


“How did you get it back?”

“From his orderly.”

“Maybe you have mine,” I said. “How much is this?”

“Fifty lire. It is very cheap.”

“All right. I want two extra clips and a box of cartridges.”

She brought them from under the counter.

“Have you any need for a sword?” she asked. “I have some used swords very cheap.”

“I’m going to the front,” I said.

“Oh yes, then you won’t need a sword,” she said.

I paid for the cartridges and the pistol, filled the magazine and put it in place, put the pistol in my empty holster, filled the extra clips with cartridges and put them in the leather slots on the holster and then buckled on my belt. The pistol felt heavy on the belt. Still, I thought, it was better to have a regulation pistol. You could always get shells.

“Now we’re fully armed,” I said. “That was the one thing I had to remember to do. Some one got my other one going to the hospital.”

“I hope it’s a good pistol,” Catherine said.

“Was there anything else?” the woman asked.

“I don’t believe so.”

“The pistol has a lanyard,” she said.

“So I noticed.”

The woman wanted to sell something else.

“You don’t need a whistle?”

“I don’t believe so.”

The woman said good-by and we went out onto the sidewalk. Catherine looked in the window. The woman looked out and bowed to us.

“What are those little mirrors set in wood for?”

“They’re for attracting birds. They twirl them out in the field and larks see them and come out and the Italians shoot them.”

“They are an ingenious people,” Catherine said. “You don’t shoot larks do you, darling, in America?”

“Not especially.”

We crossed the street and started to walk up the other side.

“I feel better now,” Catherine said. “I felt terrible when we started.”

“We always feel good when we’re together.”

“We always will be together.”

“Yes, except that I’m going away at midnight.”

“Don’t think about it, darling.”

We walked on up the street. The fog made the lights yellow.

“Aren’t you tired?” Catherine asked.

“How about you?”

“I’m all right. It’s fun to walk.”

“But let’s not do it too long.”


We turned down a side street where there were no lights and walked in the street. I stopped and kissed Catherine. While I kissed her I felt her hand on my shoulder. She had pulled my cape around her so it covered both of us. We were standing in the street against a high wall.

“Let’s go some place,” I said.

“Good,” said Catherine. We walked on along the street until it came out onto a wider street that was beside a canal. On the other side was a brick wall and buildings. Ahead, down the street, I saw a streetcar cross a bridge.

“We can get a cab up at the bridge,” I said. We stood on the bridge in the fog waiting for a carriage. Several streetcars passed, full of people going home. Then a carriage came along but there was some one in it. The fog was turning to rain.

“We could walk or take a tram,” Catherine said.

“One will be along,” I said. “They go by here.”

“Here one comes,” she said.

The driver stopped his horse and lowered the metal sign on his meter. The top of the carriage was up and there were drops of water on the driver’s coat. His varnished hat was shining in the wet. We sat back in the seat together and the top of the carriage made it dark.

“Where did you tell him to go?”

“To the station. There’s a hotel across from the station where we can go.”

“We can go the way we are? Without luggage?”

“Yes,” I said.

It was a long ride to the station up side streets in the rain.

“Won’t we have dinner?” Catherine asked. “I’m afraid I’ll be hungry.”

“We’ll have it in our room.”

“I haven’t anything to wear. I haven’t even a night-gown.”

“We’ll get one,” I said and called to the driver.

“Go to the Via Manzoni and up that.” He nodded and turned off to the left at the next corner. On the big street Catherine watched for a shop.

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Categories: Hemingway, Ernest