A Farewell to Arms Chapter 35
Fred reads the paper and finds out that the army is still retreating. The bartender tells him that a man named Count Greffi wants to play billiards with him. The bartender and Fred go out to fish but catch nothing. While fishing, Fred asks the bartender if he will go to war when they call up the old men. The bartender says that he will leave the country. He does not support the war and thinks it is useless. In this war, Fred feels his desertion is supported. They row back to shore because it is cold and the bartender has to go back to work. Catherine has been to see Miss Ferguson who is in a better mood. Catherine asks Fred what he thinks about when he's not with her. He tells her that he thinks only of her. They pledge to have sex after their lunch with Miss Ferguson. Later in the afternoon, while they're in bed, there is a knock at the door. It is someone requesting that Fred come to play billiards with the count. Catherine tells him it is all right for him to leave for a while.
Fred is in a sublime mood. He goes down and finds Count Greffi who is practicing his shots. The count says he is getting old because it is easiest for him to speak Italian. He gives Fred a handicap of 18 points and they bet by the points. Fred still loses by six. They talk a little about death and war. The count also feels that wars are useless, but thinks that Italy will win because it is the younger country and more vital. Fred tells the count that he is wise, but the count says no. Both the count and Fred are skeptical of accepted wisdom. They both agree on what they value most: the one they love. From the count's perspective, the war is stupid. Fred wants to go back to his room even though the count wants to drink more. As he leaves, the count asks Fred to pray for him if he ever becomes devout. He reminds him that love is a religious feeling.