Henry returns to Gorizia in the spring, after his leave is over. He greets his friend and roommate, Lieutenant Rinaldi, who wants to know all about Henry's adventures throughout Italy, including who he slept with. Rinaldi then informs Henry that a number of beautiful English nurses have arrived in Gorizia. Henry loans him fifty lire (Italian money) so that Rinaldi can impress one of them: Catherine Barkley.
The brotherly affection between Henry and Rinaldi is more important to them than any individual woman. In their world, friendship between soldiers is lasting, but women are only to be romanced and bragged about later. Love isn't even on their radar.
At dinner, the priest is hurt that Henry did not visit the priest's family in Abruzzi. Henry, who is drunk, thinks about what it would have been like to go hunting in cold Abruzzi, and contrasts this with his memory of what it was like to go from city to city and sleep with a different woman every night.
Henry is considering two alternate ways of being a man: going off on your own to engage with nature, or enjoying women and sex.