A Farewell to Arms Chapter 5
Fred goes to visit Miss Barkley the next day, but she is on duty. The head nurse recognizes Fred as the "American in the Italian Army." Chapter 5, pg. 22. Therefore, he is more acceptable than an Italian. He tells her that he joined because he was in Italy and spoke Italian well. He says nothing about believing in the conflict. She tells him to come back after seven but not to bring any Italians around. It is hot out as Fred goes up near the front to inspect the area in which the offensive is to begin. There is some machine gun fire and the opposing trenches are not far apart.
"[E]verybody was in the dugouts. There were racks of rockets standing to be touched off to call for help from the artillery or to signal with if the telephone wires were to be cut." Chapter 5, pg. 23
Fred thinks the Austrians will make a mess of the road that is being finished. He wonders if it is of any use to build the bridge, or to fight at all. He goes back to Gorizia to see Miss Barkley. She is with Miss Ferguson again and they are happy to see him. After a while Miss Ferguson excuses herself and Miss Barkley tells Fred that she is not a full nurse but a V.A.D.; it takes too long to become a nurse. The women have been instructed to be on good behavior because they are near the front. She says she wants to "drop the war" because it seems so useless. Fred leans forward to kiss her and she slaps him. She apologizes and he, feeling that he has an advantage, tells her it is all right.
"You see I've been leading a sort of a funny life. And I never even talk English. And you are so very beautiful." Chapter 5, pg. 26
She tells him it is all right and that he is sweet. She decides to kiss him but doesn't open her lips when she does even though he kisses hard. She cries on his shoulder and asks if he will be good to her because "[w]e're going to have a strange life." Chapter 5, pg. 27. Soon after this, he goes home and Rinaldi is awake. Rinaldi questions him and makes fun of him. Fred playfully knocks his candle over and goes to sleep.