A Farewell to Arms Chapter 7
Fred returns from a mountain post and watches a young regiment pass him in their oversized helmets. He is upset because they are so young and out of place. He asks a limping soldier what is wrong. The man's hernia has ruptured because he took off its tress himself. He is from Pittsburgh and Fred promises that if he falls down and hits his head, he will be able to circumvent the field surgeon and take him to the hospital. They leave to check another post and return by the same route.
The man with the hernia has actually fallen and Fred and the man exchange glances as he is placed on a horse ambulance. They take him away.
The offensive is to start in two days. Fred says that the bad Austrian army was made to give Napoleon victories. He blames the Italian failure on the fat general in charge and the King. Fred favors the Duke of Aosta, who commands the third army, and thinks he should be king. Although Fred is in the second army now, he had been with the third. He expects the Austrians to crack soon and he thinks about being able to visit the Black Forest and Spain. He wants to see Catherine and wants her to pretend that they are engaged and in a fancy Milan hotel room together. He returns to the mess hall and talks to the priest. They talk about an Archbishop from the United States and Fred thinks that the priest is "good but dull" Chapter 7, pg. 38 like the king. A man named Rocca tells a story of a priest in France who stole bonds. Fred and the major exchange tales. The major compares Fred to Bacchus for his drinking prowess and proposes a contest. Fred decides he wants to go see Catherine, but Rinaldi makes him chew some coffee beans and wait for a moment because he is too drunk. When he gets to the hospital, Miss Ferguson tells him that Catherine cannot come out because she is not feeling well.
"I went out the door and suddenly I felt lonely and empty. I had treated seeing Catherine very lightly. I had gotten somewhat drunk and had nearly forgotten to come but when I could not see here there I was feeling lonely and hollow." Chapter 7, pg. 41