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Free Study Guide-A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway-Book Notes
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CHAPTER 31

Summary

Henry was floating on the piece of timber. He hoped that he did not cramp, put his chin on the wood, and wished that he would reach the shore. He wondered if he should remove his boots and clothes and try to swim to the shore but he decided against it. Eventually, after a great deal of struggling, he did reach the bank of the river. The bank was deserted, and it started to rain again. His clothes, money, and papers were wet. So he wrung his clothes out put his three thousand lira in the inside pocket of his coat. He dressed and started to walk. All around him, the country was wet, low, and dismal. He crossed the fields and went north where he found a railroad track. He waited patiently alongside it for sometime and then saw a freight train coming. Keeping out of sight of the guards, he jumped onto the train. There was a young guard on the bridge who saw Henry. The guard assumed that Henry had something to do with the train and did not sound an alarm.


The freight cars were covered with canvas. Henry cut through it with a knife, crawled under, and felt something hard hit his forehead. Blood trickled on his and he discovered that he was lying on top of guns. He washed the gash in his forehead with rainwater. He knew that the guns would be unloaded at Mestre, and so he would have to get out before they got there. He was “terrifically hungry.”

Notes

From a responsible, quick-thinking officer, Henry turns into a fugitive, for no fault of his own. Once, Catherine had said that they had each other while “they” were against them. Ironically, her statement comes true, as Henry runs from the police.

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