BOOK FIVE CHAPTER 40-永别了武器英文版-万书网


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    we had a fine life. we lived through the months of january and february and the winter was very fine and we were very happy. there had been short thaws when the wind blew warm and the snow softened and the air felt like spring, but always the clear hard cold had come again and the winter had returned. in march came the first break in the winter. in the night it started raining. it rained on all morning and turned the snow to slush and made the mountain-side dismal. there were clouds over the lake and over the valley. it was raining high up the mountain. catherine wore heavy overshoes and i wore mr. guttingen's rubber-boots and we walked to the station under an umbrella, through the slush and the running water that was washing the ice of the roads bare, to stop at the pub before lunch for a vermouth. outside we could hear the rain.

    "do you think we ought to move into town?"

    "what do you think?" catherine asked.

    "if the winter is over and the rain keeps up it won't be fun up here. how long is it before young catherine?"

    "about a month. perhaps a little more."

    "we might go down and stay in montreux."

    "why don't we go to lausanne? that's where the hospital is."

    "all right. but i thought maybe that was too big a town."

    "we can be as much alone in a bigger town and lausanne might be nice."

    "when should we go?"

    "i don't care. whenever you want, darling. i don't want to leave here if you don't want."

    "let's see how the weather turns out."

    it rained for three days. the snow was all gone now on the mountain-side below the station. the road was a torrent of muddy snow-water. it was too wet and slushy to go out. on the morning of the third day of rain we decided to go down into town.

    "that is all right, mr. henry," guttingen said. "you do not have to give me any notice. i did not think you would want to stay now the bad weather is come."

    "we have to be near the hospital anyway on account of madame," i said.

    "i understand," he said. "will you come back some time and stay, with the little one?"

    "yes, if you would have room."

    "in the spring when it is nice you could come and enjoy it. we could put the little one and the nurse in the big room that is closed now and you and madame could have your same room looking out over the lake."

    "i'll write about coming," i said. we packed and left on the train that went down after lunch. mr. and mrs. guttingen came down to the station with us and he hauled our baggage down on a sled through the slush. they stood beside the station in the rain waving good-by.

    "they were very sweet," catherine said.

    "they were fine to us."

    we took the train to lausanne from montreux. looking out the window toward where we had lived you could not see the mountains for the clouds. the train stopped in vevey, then went on, passing the lake on one side and on the other the wet brown fields and the bare woods and the wet houses. we came into lausanne and went into a medium-sized hotel to stay. it was still raining as we drove through the streets and into the carriage entrance of the hotel. the concierge with brass keys on his lapels, the elevator, the carpets on the floors, and the white washbowls with shining fixtures, the brass bed and the big comfortable bedroom all seemed very great luxury after the guttingens. the windows of the room looked out on a wet garden with a wall topped by an iron fence. across the street, which sloped steeply, was another hotel with a similar wall and garden. i looked out at the rain falling in the fountain of the garden.

    catherine turned on all the lights and commenced unpacking. i ordered a whiskey and soda and lay on the bed and read the papers i had bought at the station. it was march, 1918, and the german offensive had started in france. i drank the whiskey and soda and read while catherine unpacked and moved around the room.

    "you know what i have to get, darling," she said.


    "baby clothes. there aren't many people reach my time without baby things."

    "you can buy them."

    "i know. that's what i'll do to-morrow. i'll find out what is necessary."

    "you ought to know. you were a nurse."

    "but so few of the soldiers had babies in the hospitals."

    "i did."

    she hit me with the pillow and spilled the whiskey and soda.

    "i'll order you another," she said. "i'm sorry i spilled it."

    "there wasn't much left. come on over to the bed."

    "no. i have to try and make this room look like something."

    "like what?"

    "like our home."

    "hang out the allied flags."

    "oh shut up."

    "say it again."

    "shut up."

    "you say it so cautiously," i said. "as though you didn't want to offend any one."

    "i don't."

    "then come over to the bed."

    "all right." she came and sat on the bed. "i know i'm no fun for you, darling. i'm like a big flour-barrel."

    "no you're not. you're beautiful and you're sweet."

    "i'm just something very ungainly that you've married."

    "no you're not. you're more beautiful all the time."

    "but i will be thin again, darling."

    "you're thin now."

    "you've been drinking."

    "just whiskey and soda."

    "there's another one coming," she said. "and then should we order dinner up here?"

    "that will be good."

    "then we won't go out, will we? we'll just stay in to-night."

    "and play," i said.

    "i'll drink some wine," catherine said. "it won't hurt me. maybe we can get some of our old white capri."

    "i know we can," i said. "they'll have italian wines at a hotel this size."

    the waiter knocked at the door. he brought the whiskey in a glass with ice and beside the glass on a tray a small bottle of soda.

    "thank you," i said. "put it down there. will you please have dinner for two brought up here and two bottles of dry white capri in ice."

    "do you wish to commence your dinner with soup?"

    "do you want soup, cat?"


    "bring soup for one."

    "thank you, sir." he went out and shut the door. i went back to the papers and the war in the papers and poured the soda slowly over the ice into the whiskey. i would have to tell them not to put ice in the whiskey. let them bring the ice separately. that way you could tell how much whiskey there was and it would not suddenly be too thin from the soda. i would get a bottle of whiskey and have them bring ice and soda. that was the sensible way. good whiskey was very pleasant. it was one of the pleasant parts of life.

    "what are you thinking, darling?"

    "about whiskey."

    "what about whiskey?"

    "about how nice it is."

    catherine made a face. "all right," she said.

    we stayed at that hotel three weeks. it was not bad; the diningroom was usually empty and very often we ate in our room at night. we walked in the town and took the cogwheel railway down to ouchy and walked beside the lake. the weather became quite warm and it was like spring. we wished we were back in the mountains but the spring weather lasted only a few days and then the cold rawness of the breaking-up of winter came again.

    catherine bought the things she needed for the baby, up in the town. i went to a gymnasium in the arcade to box for exercise. i usually went up there in the morning while catherine stayed late in bed. on the days of false spring it was very nice, after boxing and taking a shower, to walk along the streets smelling the spring in the air and stop at a caf?to sit and watch the people and read the paper and drink a vermouth; then go down to the hotel and have lunch with catherine. the professor at the boxing gymnasium wore mustaches and was very precise and jerky and went all to pieces if you started after him. but it was pleasant in the gym. there was good air and light and i worked quite hard, skipping rope, shadowboxing, doing abdominal exercises lying on the floor in a patch of sunlight that came through the open window, and occasionally scaring the professor when we boxed. i could not shadow-box in front of the narrow long mirror at first because it looked so strange to see a man with a beard boxing. but finally i just thought it was funny. i wanted to take off the beard as soon as i started boxing but catherine did not want me to.

    sometimes catherine and i went for rides out in the country in a carriage. it was nice to ride when the days were pleasant and we found two good places where we could ride out to eat. catherine could not walk very far now and i loved to ride out along the country roads with her. when there was a good day we had a splendid time and we never had a bad time. we knew the baby was very close now and it gave us both a feeling as though something were hurrying us and we could not lose any time together.

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