[General] Could the black smoke stanch his wounds?(From the English Patient)

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sherishine

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"Two guards, the woman, Tommasoni, the telephones ringing, ringing, interrupting Tommasoni, who would put down the razor, caustically whisper Excuse me and pick up the phone with his bloody hand and listen. He had, he thought, said nothing of worth to them. But they let him go, so perhaps he was wrong.

Then he had walked along the Via di Santo Spirito to the one geographical location he had hidden away in his brain. Walked past Brunelleschi’s church towards the library of the German Institute, where he knew a certain person would look after him.Suddenly he realized this was why they had let him go. Letting him walk freely would fool him into revealing this contact. He arced into a side street, not looking back, never looking back. He wanted a street fire so he could stanch his wounds, hang them
over the smoke from a tar cauldron so black smoke would envelop his hands. He was on the Santa Trinita Bridge."

PS His hands had already been cut off by the German officer.



My question is , why he needed a street fire to stanch his wounds?
 

Tdol

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Could it be the only likely source of fire?
 

sherishine

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Since there was a warfare nearby, I think "the street fire" could be an available source; yet I still can't understand why he needed the street fire, could it really stanch his wounds on hands?
 

sherishine

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Thanks for the answer!
 

BobK

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Since there was a warfare nearby...

A warfare? That's an abstract noun. I suspect you're using one of these digital 'dictionaries'. They're very neat, but can be terribly misleading! ;-)

Perhaps 'a war was being waged/going on'?

b
 
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