我那病房很长，右首是 一排窗，尽头处有一道门通包扎室。我们的那一排床朝着窗子，窗下的另一排床则朝着墙壁。倘若你朝左侧着身子，你就望得见包扎室的门。病房的尽头处另有一道 门，有时有人出入。倘若有人要死了，那张床边就围起屏风来，这样你就看不见人家怎么死去了，只看得见屏风底下医生和男护士们的鞋子和绑腿，有时候到末了还 听得见他们的低语声。随后教士从屏风后走出来，接着男护士们回到屏风后，把尸首抬出去，上边盖着一条毛毯，从两排床间的走道抬出去，于是有人把屏风折好拿 走。
人家把你从床上抬下，抬进包扎室去时，你能望到窗外，看见花园里的那些新坟。有名士兵坐在那扇通花园的门外，在制造十字架，把埋葬在花园里人的姓 名、军衔、所属部队用油漆写在十字架上。他也替病房打打杂，还利用空闲时间用一只奥军步枪子弹壳给我做了一个打火机。医生们人都很好，看来非常能干。他们 急于送我到米兰去，因为米兰的爱克司光设备比较好，而且等我经过手术后，可以在那儿接受理疗。我自己也想到米兰去。人家打算把我们都送到后方去，送得越远 越好，因为总攻击一开始，这儿的病床有更迫切的需要。
意大利人相信美国对奥国一定也会宣战，他们对任何美国人，甚至红十字会人员，到意大利来，都觉得十分兴奋。他们问我，威尔逊总统会不会对奥宣战，我 说那只是时间问题。我不晓得美国跟奥国有什么过不去的，不过既然已对德宣战，根据逻辑当然也会对奥宣战。他们问我，我们对土耳其会不会宣战。我说这倒不一 定。因为火鸡是美国的国鸟①，但是这句笑话翻译得不太像样，弄得他们又困恼又猜疑，于是我只好说，我们对土耳其大概也会宣战的。那么保加利亚呢？大家已经 喝了几杯白兰地，我就乘兴说，天啊，准定也会对保宣战，还会对日本宣战。他们于是说，日本岂不是英国的盟国吗？该死的英国人，谁敢信任啊。日本要抢夺夏威 夷，我说。夏威夷是在什么地方？就在太平洋中。日本人为什么要拿它？其实日本人也不是真的要它，我说。这都是流言罢了。日本人是个奇妙的矮小民族，喜欢跳 舞喝淡酒。这倒有点像法国人，少校说。我们要从法国人手中收回尼斯和萨伏伊。我们要收回科西嘉岛和整个亚得里亚海海岸线，雷那蒂说。意大利要恢复古罗马的 荣耀，少校说。我不喜欢罗马，我说。又热，虱子又多。你不喜欢罗马？不，我是爱罗马的。古罗马是万国之母。我永远忘不了罗穆卢斯吸饮泰伯河水②。什么？没 什么。我们都上罗马去吧。我们今天夜里就去，永远不回来。
① 美国于1917 年4 月6 日对德宣战，对奥匈帝国则拖到同一年12 月才宣战。
罗马是个美丽的城市，少校说。是万国之父和万国之母，我说。罗马这个词是阴性，雷那蒂说。它不能又是父亲。那么谁是父亲呢？是圣灵吗？别亵渎。我没 有亵渎，我不过是要增加见识。你醉了，乖乖。谁灌醉我的？我灌醉你的，少校说。我灌醉你，因为我爱你，因为美国参战了。完全卷进去了，我说。你明儿早上就 要走了，乖乖，雷那蒂说。上罗马去，我说。不，到米兰去。到米兰去，少校说，到水晶宫去，到科伐去，到坎巴雷去，到宓妃去，到大拱廊那儿去③。你这幸运 儿。到意大利大饭店去，那儿我可以找乔治借钱④。到歌剧院去，雷那蒂说。你要到歌剧院去。每天晚上都去，我说。每天晚上去你可没有那么多的钱，少校说。
戏票很贵。我要从我祖父的户头上开一张即期汇票，我说。一张什么？一张即期汇票。他不付款的话，我只好去坐牢。银行里的甘宁汉先生是这么给我支款 的。我就是靠这种即期汇票混日子的。做祖父的怎么可以让一位爱国的孙子，一个为意大利牺牲生命的孙子去坐牢呢？美国的加里波的①万岁，雷那蒂说。即期汇票 万岁，我说。我们的声音得小一点，少校说。人家叫我们讲得轻一点已经有好几趟了。明儿你果真要走吗，弗雷德里科？我不是告诉你过，他要上美国医院去，雷那 蒂说。到那些美丽的护士那儿去。不是野战医院那种长着胡子的护士。是的，是的，少校说，我知道他要到美国医院去。我倒不在乎他们的胡子，我说。一个人倘若 喜欢留胡子，由他去留好了。你为什么不留胡子，少校长官？因为胡子装不进防毒面具去。装得进去的。防毒面具里什么都装得进去。我曾经在防毒面具里呕吐过。 别这么大声，乖乖，雷那蒂说。我们都知道你上过前线。哦，好孩子，你走了以后我怎么办呢？我们得走了，少校说。我们变得伤感起来了。听着，我有件惊人的消 息告诉你。你那位英国姑娘。知道吗？你天天夜里上他们医院去找的那个英国姑娘。她也要上米兰去。她跟另外一位一块儿调到美国医院去。美国来的护士还没有到 达。我今天跟他们那部门的负责人谈过。前线的女人太多了。他们要调一批回去。这个消息你觉得怎么样，乖乖？好。不错吧？你去住在一个大城市里，还有你那位 英国姑娘来跟你亲热。我干吗不受伤呢？你也许会受伤的，我说。我们得走了，少校说。我们喝酒，叫嚷，打扰着弗雷德里科。别走。不，我们得走了。再会。祝你 走运。万事顺利。再见。再见。再见。早点回来啊，乖乖。雷那蒂吻我。你有来沙尔的味道。再会，乖乖。再会。万事顺利。少校拍拍我的肩膀。他们蹑着脚走出 去。我发觉我自己相当醉了，也就睡着了。
第二天我们一早动身，四十八小时后抵达米兰。沿途很不舒服。我们在美斯特列这一边时，火车在侧线上停了很久，有些儿童跑来朝车厢里张望。我叫一个小 孩去买一瓶科涅克白兰地，但他回来说，只有格拉巴白兰地。我就叫他去买来，酒来后我把找钱赏给他，接着便和邻座的人喝个大醉，一直睡到过了维琴察城才醒 来，在地板上大吐了一阵。那也没什么打紧，因为我旁边的那人已在地板上吐过好几趟了，后来，我感到十分口渴，简直忍不住，到了维罗那城外的调车场，我对一 个在列车边走来走去的士兵打个招呼，于是他搞了点水给我喝。我喊醒那个与我同醉的小伙子乔吉蒂，给他喝了一点水。他说把水倒在他的肩膀上吧，说完仍旧睡去 了。那士兵不肯接受我给他的一分钱，给我买来一只柔软多汁的橘子。我吮着吃，吐出核来，看着那士兵在外边一节货车边走来走去，过了一会儿，火车抖动了一 下，开动了。
③ 大拱廊是一条长长的连环拱廊，320 码长，16 英尺宽，94 英尺高，上边是玻璃屋顶，两边是商店，咖啡店，饭店等等。这里所提到的宓妃、坎巴雷等都是著名饭馆。科伐是米兰歌剧院旁边的咖啡店。水晶宫可能是指大拱廊中央的那座穹隆形的玻璃塔。
The room was long with windows on the right-hand side and a door at the far end that went into the dressing room. The row of beds that mine was in faced the windows and another row, under the windows, faced the wall. If you lay on your left side you could see the dressing-room door. There was another door at the far end that people sometimes came in by. If any one were going to die they put a screen around the bed so you could not see them die, but only the shoes and puttees of doctors and men nurses showed under the bottom of the screen and sometimes at the end there would be whispering. Then the priest would come out from behind the screen and afterward the men nurses would go back behind the screen to come out again carrying the one who was dead with a blanket over him down the corridor between the beds and some one folded the screen and took it away.
That morning the major in charge of the ward asked me if I felt that I could travel the next day. I said I could. He said then they would ship me out early in the morning. He said I would be better off making the trip now before it got too hot.
When they lifted you up out of bed to carry you into the dressing room you could look out of the window and see the new graves in the garden. A soldier sat outside the door that opened onto the garden making crosses and painting on them the names, rank, and regiment of the men who were buried in the garden. He also ran errands for the ward and in his spare time made me a cigarette lighter out of an empty Austrian rifle cartridge. The doctors were very nice and seemed very capable. They were anxious to ship me to Milan where there were better X-ray facilities and where, after the operation, I could take mechano-therapy. I wanted to go to Milan too. They wanted to get us all out and back as far as possible because all the beds were needed for the offensive, when it should start.
The night before I left the field hospital Rinaldi came in to see me with the major from our mess. They said that I would go to an American hospital in Milan that had just been installed. Some American ambulance units were to be sent down and this hospital would look after them and any other Americans on service in Italy. There were many in the Red Cross. The States had declared war on Germany but not on Austria.
The Italians were sure America would declare war on Austria too and they were very excited about any Americans coming down, even the Red Cross. They asked me if I thought President Wilson would declare war on Austria and I said it was only a matter of days. I did not know what we had against Austria but it seemed logical that they should declare war on her if they did on Germany. They asked me if we would declare war on Turkey. I said that was doubtful. Turkey, I said, was our national bird but the joke translated so badly and they were so puzzled and suspicious that I said yes, we would probably declare war on Turkey. And on Bulgaria? We had drunk several glasses of brandy and I said yes by God on Bulgaria too and on Japan. But, they said, Japan is an ally of England. You can't trust the bloody English. The Japanese want Hawaii, I said. Where is Hawaii? It is in the Pacific Ocean. Why do the Japanese want it? They don't really want it, I said. That is all talk. The Japanese are a wonderful little people fond of dancing and light wines. Like the French, said the major. We will get Nice and Savoia from the French. We will get Corsica and all the Adriatic coast-line, Rinaldi said. Italy will return to the splendors of Rome, said the major. I don't like Rome, I said. It is hot and full of fleas. You don't like Rome? Yes, I love Rome. Rome is the mother of nations. I will never forget Romulus suckling the Tiber. What? Nothing. Let's all go to Rome.
Let's go to Rome to-night and never come back. Rome is a beautiful city, said the major. The mother and father of nations, I said. Roma is feminine, said Rinaldi. It cannot be the father. Who is the father, then, the Holy Ghost? Don't blaspheme. I wasn't blaspheming, I was asking for information. You are drunk, baby. Who made me drunk? I made you drunk, said the major. I made you drunk because I love you and because America is in the war. Up to the hilt, I said. You go away in the morning, baby, Rinaldi said. To Rome, I said. No, to Milan. To Milan, said the major, to the Crystal Palace, to the Cova, to Campari's, to Biffi's, to the galleria. You lucky boy. To the Gran Italia, I said, where I will borrow money from George. To the Scala, said Rinaldi. You will go to the Scala. Every night, I said. You won't be able to afford it every night, said the major.
The tickets are very expensive. I will draw a sight draft on my grandfather, I said. A what? A sight draft. He has to pay or I go to jail. Mr. Cunningham at the bank does it. I live by sight drafts. Can a grandfather jail a patriotic grandson who is dying that Italy may live? Live the American Garibaldi, said Rinaldi. Viva the sight drafts, I said. We must be quiet, said the major. Already we have been asked many times to be quiet. Do you go to-morrow really, Federico? He goes to the American hospital I tell you, Rinaldi said. To the beautiful nurses. Not the nurses with beards of the field hospital. Yes, yes, said the major, I know he goes to the American hospital. I don't mind their beards, I said. If any man wants to raise a beard let him. Why don't you raise a beard, Signor Maggiore? It could not go in a gas mask. Yes it could. Anything can go in a gas mask. I've vomited into a gas mask. Don't be so loud, baby, Rinaldi said. We all know you have been at the front Oh, you fine baby, what will I do while you are gone? We must go, said the major. This becomes sentimental. Listen, I have a surprise for you. Your English. You know? The English you go to see every night at their hospital? She is going to Milan too. She goes with another to be at the American hospital. They had not got nurses yet from America. I talked to-day with the head of their riparto. They have too many Women here at the front. They send some back. How do you like that, baby? All right. Yes? You go to live in a big city and have your English there to cuddle you. Why don't I get wounded? Maybe you will, I said. We must go, said the major. We drink and make noise and disturb Federico. Don't go. Yes, we must go. Good-by. Good luck. Many things. Ciaou. Ciaou. Ciaou. Come back quickly, baby. Rinaldi kissed me. You smell of lysol. Good-by, baby. Good-by. Many things. The major patted my shoulder. They tiptoed out. I found I was quite drunk but went to sleep.
The next day in the morning we left for Milan and arrived forty-eight hours later. It was a bad trip. We were sidetracked for a long time this side of Mestre and children came and peeked in. I got a little boy to go for a bottle of cognac but he came back and said he could only get grappa. I told him to get it and when it came I gave him the change and the man beside me and I got drunk and slept until past Vicenza where I woke up and was very sick on the floor. It did not matter because the man on that side had been very sick on the floor several times before. Afterward I thought I could not stand the thirst and in the yards outside of Verona I called to a soldier who was walking up and down beside the train and he got me a drink of water. I woke Georgetti, the other boy who was drunk, and offered him some water. He said to pour it on his shoulder and went back to sleep. The soldier would not take the penny I offered him and brought me a pulpy orange. I sucked on that and spit out the pith and watched the soldier pass up and down past a freight-car outside and after a while the train gave a jerk and started.