A Farewell to Arms Chapter 19
Summer goes well and soon Fred is walking with just a cane. Despite how much time they are together, Fred says, "Always I wanted to see Catherine." Chapter 19, pg. 117. He is never sick of her. He is pleased just being near her. They were no longer allowed to dine together because it is improper now that Fred does not need assistance. Miss Van Campen has accepted Catherine because she works hard and always takes the night shifts. Because the war looks like it will never end, Fred imagines that it will be another hundred year's war. He reflects on how useless it seems and how it has no positive end. He meets a man named Old Meyers who is coming back from the horse races. Fred buys chocolates for Catherine and then goes to a bar where he meets two American singers and an Italian he knows. Ettore Moretti harasses the singers because he thinks that they do not sing Italian well. They discuss Fred's coming medal. Ettore has been decorated on several occasions. He discusses the stripes given out for being wounded. Fred is impressed with him even though the decoration seems meaningless.
Ettore has several wounds. Simmons, one of the singers, is interested in this. Ettore has been a captain for two years while Fred has been a lieutenant for three. According to Ettore, Fred will not get a higher rank because he wasn't educated in Italy. He tells Fred to join the American army because they have more money. To Ettore if you are going to risk your life, you might as well get paid better for it. Fred doesn't agree. Ettore says that he will be a colonel before the war is over. The signers leave and Fred gets up to follow. Ettore stops him and assures him he will get the silver medal. Fred leaves, thinking about Ettore who "was a legitimate hero who bored everyone he met. Catherine could not stand him." Chapter 19, pg. 124 Catherine does not think that he is humble enough. Fred asks her is she would be happy if he had a higher rank. She says his rank is high enough because it gets them into the better restaurants. Other than that, rank means nothing to her because it is a vestige of the war. They talk about Old Meyers who is supposed to be in jail but was let out because of age. Catherine says she is afraid of the rain because it is hard on loving. Fred presses her to find out why and she says that she sees dead in the rain. She recants:
"It's all nonsense. It's only nonsense. I'm not afraid of the rain. I am not afraid of the rain. Oh, oh, God, I wish I wasn't." Chapter 19, pg. 126
Fred comforts her and she stops crying as the rain continues to fall.