I was watching the bridge and the African looking country of the Ebro Delta and wondering how long now it would be before we would see the enemy, and listening all the while for the first noises that would signal that ever mysterious event called contact, and the old man still sat there.

Source: “The Old Man at the Bridge” by Ernest Hemingway

I am wondering what the bold part would mean or how to analyze it, so that I get it better.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


The narrator's unit is waiting to see signs of the enemy. When this happens, the term used is "making contact with the enemy". So "called" could be replaced with "which is called", but that's not Hemingway's style.

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