A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms Chapter 30 Summary
- Frederic, Aymo, and the other ambulance man get to a high river, which they need to cross. The small bridge is blown up, but the main one is not.
- Frederic goes first to check it for explosives. From the bridge, he sees a car carrying men with German helmets cross another bridge. He does not find explosives, and motions for Aymo to lead the other men across.
- When they get to him, Frederic tells them about the Germans, and they wonder if they are "cut off."
- They decide to have a drink, and see Germans helmets coming over the bridge they just crossed. They see that there are dozens of bicycle troops with stick bombs.
- Frederic is angry that those troops got through, but decides to try to calm down and not get captured or killed.
- Some of the bicycle troops see them, but don’t fire. The men keep on. As they struggle over an embankment, slick with mud, someone does fire on them. Aymo is hit and dies.
- The men decide that it cannot have come from the Germans, and must have come from Italians.
- Frederic looks back at Aymo, dead in the rain, and thinks that he liked Aymo very much. He has Aymo’s papers, and will write to his family.
- They find a farmhouse and, after approaching it tentatively, hide out in the barn. Piani finds some food, but Bonello has gone away. They eat, drink wine, and sleep for a little while, then wake and begin traveling again when it is still night.
- Frederic is amazed at how big the retreat is, and thinks it would not seem dangerous if Aymo had not died.
- Before dawn, they come to a flooded river and a bridge where many are crossing.
- A carabinieri tries to grab Frederic, and Frederic punches him in the face.
- He is held by another cop and taken to a line of officers waiting to be shot. Frederic watches as one man is questioned, and then shot.
- He realizes they think that he and the others are Germans wearing Italian uniforms, due to circulating rumors.
- Frederic jumps into the river and hides under water, and then grabs a piece of wood and lets it carry him to the current.
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