ACROSS the RIVER and INTO the TREES by ERNEST HEMINGWAY
THIS IS A NOVEL OF GREATNESS …
… a tense, stark story of days—hours—minutes, and of the savage hope that still can goad a man who knows there is no hope … a man who has lived a lifetime and is not yet old, but whose heart is weary, wounded, and turned toward death. …
It is the story of post-war Venice and of Colonel Richard Cantwell, a lonely, battle-scarred man of fierce embittered pride … and of the beautiful young Italian countess who offers him love, tender and selfless. It is the poignant, powerful story of the few rich hours they share … hauntingly checkered hours—dark with the inexorable shadow of death—bright with a deep and moving love. It is a story of torment, passion and elemental courage, superbly told by one of the world’s greatest writers.
ACROSS the RIVER
and INTO the TREES
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
A FAREWELL TO ARMS, etc.
A DELL BOOK
DELL PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC.
261 Fifth Avenue
New York 16, New York
George T. Delacorte, Jr., President
Helen Meyer, Vice-President
Albert P. Delacorte, Vice-President
by Ernest Hemingway.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by arrangement with
Charles Scribner’s Sons,
New York, N. Y.
Designed and produced by
Western Printing & Lithographing Company
Cover painting by Griffith Foxley
Printed In U.S.A.
In view of a recent tendency to identify characters in fiction with real people, it seems proper to state that there are no real people in this volume: both the characters and their names are fictitious. The names or designations of any military units are fictitious. There are no living people nor existing military units presented in this book.
THEY started two hours before daylight, and at first, it was not necessary to break the ice across the canal as other boats had gone on ahead. In each boat, in the darkness, so you could not see, but only hear him; the poler stood in the stern, with his long oar. The shooter sat on a shooting stool fastened to the top of a box that contained his lunch and shells, and the shooter’s two, or more, guns, were propped against the load of wooden decoys. Somewhere, in each boat, there was a sack with one or two live mallard hens, or a hen and a drake, and in each boat there was a dog who shifted and shivered uneasily at the sound of the wings of the ducks that passed overhead in the darkness.
Four of the boats went on up the main canal toward the big lagoon to the north. A fifth boat had already turned off into a side canal. Now, the sixth boat turned south into a shallow lagoon, and there was no broken water.
It was all ice, new-frozen during the sudden, windless cold of the night. It was rubbery and bending against the thrust of the boatman’s oar. Then it would break as sharply as a pane of glass, but the boat made little forward progress.
“Give me an oar,” the shooter in the sixth boat said. He stood up and braced himself carefully. He could hear the ducks passing in the darkness, and feel the restless lurching of the dog. To the north he heard the sound of breaking ice from the other boats.
“Be careful,” the poler in the stern said. “Don’t tip the boat over.”
“I am a boatman, too,” the shooter said.
He took the long oar the boatman handed him and reversed it so he could hold it by the blade. Holding the blade he reached forward and punched the handle through the ice. He felt the firm bottom of the shallow lagoon, put his weight on the top of the wide oar-blade, and holding with both hands and, first pulling, then shoving, until the pole-hold was well to the stern, he drove the boat ahead to break the ice. The ice broke like sheets of plate glass as the boat drove into it, and onto it, and astern the boatman shoved them ahead into the broken passage.