A Separate Peace

What does Gene fear just before he goes in to visit Finny at the infirmary? How does he react during the first part of the visit? What is inconsistent about his story?

Chapter 5

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Gene goes into the infirmary to see Finny; Gene immediately reacts out of guilt for what happened, asking how the fall could happen, and Finny notes how shocked Gene seems at the whole thing, as if it were Gene that fell. Finny comes close to telling Gene that he had an inkling that Gene was somehow responsible for his fall; but, unlike Gene, he does not accuse his best friend, and immediately apologizes and closes the subject. Gene realizes that if he were in Finny's place, and Finny was responsible for the accident, that Finny would confess the truth; but Gene realizes he doesn't have the strength and nobility in his nature that Finny has, and this upsets him very much. Gene gets ready to tell Finny the truth, however much he doesn't want to. But, he doesn't get the chance to speak, as the doctor comes back in; and, before he can see Finny again, Finny is sent home to recuperate.