He'll lose it

The major came very regularly to the hospital. I do not think he ever missed a day, although I am sure he did not believe in the machines. There was a time when none of us believed in the machines and one day the major said it was all nonsense. The machines were new then and it was we who were to prove them. I had not learned my grammar and he said I was a stupid impossible disgrace and he was a fool to have bothered with me. He was a small man and sat straight up in his chair with his right hand thrust into the machine and looked straight ahead at the wall while the straps thumped up and down with his fingers in them.
"What will you do when the war is over, if it is over?" he asked me. "Spreak grammatically!"
"I will go to the States."
"Are you married?"
"No, but i hope to be."
"The more of a fool you are," he said. He seemed very angry. "A man must not marry."
"Why, Signor Maggior?"
"Don' call me Signor Maggiore."
"Why must not a man marry?"
"He cannot marry. He cannot marry", he said angrily. "If he is to lose everything, he should not place himself in a position to lose that. He should not place himself in a position to lose. He should find things he cannot lose."
"He spoke very angrily and bitterly, and looked straight ahead while he talked.
"But why should he necessarily lose it?"
"He'll lose it", the major said. He was looking at the wall. Then he looked down at the machine and jerked his little hand out from between the straps and slapped it hard against his thigh. "He'll lose it.", he almost shouted."Don't argue with me!"

Men without woman - Ernest Hemingway

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