The adjutant made a motion with his hand to the second runner, who went out.

“Fix your eyes on the uniform. Spagnolini made it, you know. You might as well look, too,” Nick said to the signallers. “I really have no rank. We’re under the American consul. It’s perfectly all right for you to look. You can stare, if you like. I will tell you about the American locust. We always preferred one that we called the medium-brown. They last the best in the water and fish prefer them. The larger ones that fly, making a noise somewhat similar to that produced by a rattlesnake rattling his rattlers, a very dry sound, have vivid-colored wings, some are bright red, other yellow barred with black, but their wings go to pieces in the water and they make a very blowsy bait, while the medium-brown is a plump, compact, succulent hopper that I can recommend as far as one may well recommend something you gentlemen will probably never encounter. But I must insist that you will never gather a sufficient supply of these insects for a day’s fishing by pursuing them with your hands or trying to hit them with a hat. That is sheer nonsense and a use­less waste of time. I repeat, gentlemen, that you will get nowhere at it. The correct procedure, and one which should be taught all young officers at every small arms course if I had anything to say about it, and who knows but what I will have, is the employment of a seine or net made of common mosquito netting. Two officers holding this length of netting at alternate ends, or let us say at each end, stoop, hold the bottom extremity of the net in one hand and the top extremity in the other and run into the wind. The hoppers, flying with the wind, fly against the length of netting and are im­prisoned in its folds. It is no trick at all to catch a very great quantity indeed, and no officer, in my opinion, should be without a length of mosquito netting suitable for the improvisation of one of these grasshopper seines. I hope I have made myself clear, gentlemen. Are there any questions? If there is anything in the course you do not understand please ask questions. Speak up. None? Then I would like to close on this note. In the words of that great soldier and gentleman. Sir Henry Wilson: Gentlemen, either you must govern or you must be governed. Let me repeat it. Gentlemen, there is one thing I would like to have you remember. One thing I would like you to take with you as you leave this room. Gentlemen, either you must govern—or you must be governed. That is all, gentlemen. Good day.”

He removed his cloth-covered helmet, put it on again and, stooping, went out the low entrance of the dugout. Para, accompanied by the two runners, was coming down the line of the sunken road. It was very hot in the sun and Nick removed the helmet.

“There ought to be a system for wetting these things,” he said. “I shall wet this one in the river.” He started up the bank.

“Nicolo,” Paravicini called. “Nicolo. Where are you going?”

“I don’t really have to go.” Nick came down the slope, holding the helmet in his hands. “They’re a damned nuisance wet or dry. Do you wear yours all the time?”

“All the time,” said Para. “It’s making me bald. Come inside.”

Inside Para told him to sit down.

“You know they’re absolutely no damned good,” Nick said. “I remember when they were a comfort when we first had them, but I’ve seen them full of brains too many times.”

“Nicolo,” Para said. “I think you should go back. I think it would be better if you didn’t come up to the line until you had those supplies. There’s nothing for you to do. If you move around, even with some­thing worth giving away, the men will group and that invites shelling. I won’t have it.”

“I know it’s silly,” Nick said. “It wasn’t my idea. I heard the brigade was here so I thought I would see you or someone else I knew. I could have gone to Zenzon or to San Dona. I’d like to go to San Dona to see the bridge again.”

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Categories: Hemingway, Ernest