A Farewell to Arms Chapter 31
"You do not know how long you are in a river when the current moves swiftly. It seems a long time and it may be very short. The water was cold and in flood and many things passed that had been floated off the banks when the river rose. I was lucky to have a heavy timber to hold on to, and I lay in the icy water with my chin on the wood, holding on as easily as I could with both hands." Chapter 31, pg. 226
He floats down the river for some time and refers to himself and the timber as "we." He has trouble getting out of the river because of the current and struggles to finally get to land. While he rests, Fred rips the stars from his jacket. He is desperate and thinks he might not make it home. He limps onward and passes soldiers who ignore him. He scopes out a railroad track and jumps a train that runs from Venice to Trieste. He cuts his way under a canvas and into a cargo car full of guns, bumping his head badly. It starts to bleed. He rests.
"I knew I would have to get out before they got to Mestre because they would be taking care of these guns. They had no guns to lose or forget about. I was terrifically hungry." Chapter 31, pg. 230