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Free Study Guide-A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway-Book Notes
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BOOK IV

CHAPTER 33

Summary

Henry got off the freight train just outside the Milan station, crossed the tracks, and went into an open wine shop. It was just before dawn. The proprietor was very friendly. He guessed that Henry was in deep trouble and offered him sanctuary. Henry refused the offer. The proprietor advised him to get out of the military uniform and wear some civilian clothes. Henry went out, hailed a cab, and reached the hospital. The porter’s wife was happy to see him safe. Henry asked her to inform Catherine that he was there, but she informed him that Catherine was at Stresa. She went there two days before with Miss Ferguson. Henry asked her not to disclose to anyone that she had seen him.


Then, he got into a cab and went to Simmons' place. He informed Henry that his latest concert at Piacenza was a flop. Henry felt sorry about it. He then asked Simmons the procedure for going to Switzerland and disclosed that he did not plan to go back to the front again. Simmons thought that this was a sensible decision. He offered his clothes to Henry. Henry said that he had to go to Stresa first and Simmons suggested that he could just row across the water to reach Stresa.

Notes

Except for the police, Henry has friends and well wishers around him. The only sour note in this chapter, apart from the hounding police, is Catherine’s absence. Henry has to wait some more time before he can be reunited with her. For some chapters now, the story has moved at a brisk pace. The entire novel has small realistic details that lend credence to the story. For example, “A wine shop was open and I went in for some coffee. It smelled of early morning, of swept dust, spoons in coffee glasses, and the wet circles left by win -glasses. . . . [I] drank a glass of coffee and ate a piece of bread. The coffee was gray with milk and I skimmed the milk scum off the top with a piece of bread.” These details add credence to the situation. They also give a break to the reader, after having been caught up in the suspenseful events.

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