How would you interpret this sentence?
How would you interpret this sentence ‘but this is all right, you have nothing to worry about if it doesn't infect and it rarely does now’?
1 How would you interpret the word ‘this’? What does it refer to? Does it refer to the fact that the shock dulled the pain? OR does it refer to the prospect that the pain would start?
2 How would you interpret the phrase ‘it rarely does now’?
Does it mean the wound wouldn’t infect now that the doctor had painted the wound?
Or does it mean the wound had not infected at that time?
Thanks. It’s from A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (Chapter 9).the context:
Captain doctor—(interested in something he was finding), "Fragments of enemy trench-mortar shell. Now I'll probe for some of this if you like but it's not necessary. I'll paint all this and—Does that sting? Good, that's nothing to how it will feel later. The pain hasn't started yet. Bring him a glass of brandy. The shock dulls the pain; but this is all right, you have nothing to worry about if it doesn't infect and it rarely does now. How is your head?"
"Good Christ" I said.