He lay flat on the brown floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. Below he could see the dark of the road going through the pass. There was a stream alongside the road and far down the pass he saw a mill beside the stream.
«Is that the mill?» he asked.
He spread out the military map and looked at it carefully. The old man looked over his shoulder. He was a short and solid old man in a black peasant's smock and gray trousers and he wore rope-soled shoes. He was breathing heavily from the climb and his hand rested on one of the two heavy packs they had been carrying.
«Then you cannot see the bridge from here.»
«No,» the old man said.
The young man took his binoculars from the pocket of his khaki flannel shirt and looked at the mill.
«There is no sentry.»
«There is smoke coming from the millhouse,» the old man said. «I see it but I do not see any sentry.»
«Perhaps he is in the shade,» the old man explained. «It is hot there now.»
«Probably. Where is the next post?»
«Below the bridge.»
«How many men are here?» He pointed at the mill.
«More. I will find out.»
«And at the bridge?»
«Always two. One at each end.»
«We will need a certain number of men,» he said.
«Do you wish to study it now?»
«No. Now I wish to go to where we will hide this explosive until it is time.
I would like to have it hidden in utmost security at a distance no greater than half an hour from the bridge, if that is possible.»
«That is simple,» the old man said. «But now we must climb a little to get there. Are you hungry?»
«Yes,» the young man said. «But we will eat later. How are you called? I have forgotten.» It was a bad sign to him that he had forgotten.
«I am called Anselmo,» the old man said.
The young man, who was tall and thin, with fair hair and a wind-and sunburned face, wore a flannel shirt, a pair of peasant's trousers and rope-soled shoes. He leaned over and put the heavy pack onto his shoulders.
«I'm ready,» he said. «How do we go?»
«We climb,» Anselmo said.
Bending under the weight of the packs, sweating, they climbed steadily in the pine forest that covered the mountainside.
«Wait here, Roberto,» said Anselmo.
Robert Jordan trusted Anselmo so far, in everything except judgment. He had not yet had an opportunity to test his judgment, and, anyway, the judgment was his own responsibility. No, he did not worry about Anselmo and the problem of the bridge was no more difficult than many other problems. He knew how to blow up any sort of bridge and he had blown them of all sizes and constructions. He must not worry. To worry was as bad as to be afraid. It simply made things more difficult.
Pushing himself up on his hands he saw the old man coming down the mountainside. With him was another man, also in a black peasant smock and the dark gray trousers that were almost a uniform in that province, wearing rope-soled shoes and with a carbine on his back. The two of them came down the rock like goats.
«Salud, Camarada,» he said to the man with the carbine and smiled.
«Salud,» the other said. Robert Jordan looked at the man's round, beard-stubble face. He was a heavy man about five feet ten inches tall and his hands and feet were large. His nose had been broken and his mouth was cut at one corner and the line of the scar showed through the growth of beard over his face.
The old man nodded his head at this man and smiled.
«He is the boss here,» he said. «A very strong man.»
«I can see it,» Robert Jordan said and smiled again. He did not like the look of this man and inside himself he was not smiling at all.
«What have you to justify your identity?» asked the man with the carbine.
Robert took a folded paper out of the left breast pocket of his shirt and handed it to the man, who opened it, looked at it doubtfully and turned it in his hands.
So he cannot read, Robert Jordan noted.
«Look at the seal,» he said.
«Yes, I have seen that seal before. What have you in the packs?»
«Dynamite,» the old man said proudly.
«I can use dynamite,» said the man with the carbine. He handed back the paper to Robert Jordan and looked him over. «How much have you brought me?»
«I have brought you no dynamite,» Robert Jordan said. «The dynamite is for another purpose. What is your name?»
«He is Pablo,» said the old man. The man with the carbine looked at them both sullenly.
«I have heard many good things about you,» said Robert Jordan. «I have heard that you are an excellent guerilla leader, that you are loyal to the Republic and prove your loyalty through your acts, and that you are serious and valiant.»
«What are you going to do with the dynamite?»
«Blow up a bridge.»
«That is my business.»
«If it is in this territory, it is my business.»
«This is my business,» Robert Jordan said. «We can discuss it together.
Now let us go.» There was a sadness in Pablo that worried him, the sadness that comes before the sell-out.
They began climbing and reached an open space in the forest.
Ahead of them horses whinnied in the forest. Robert Jordan knew he had to admire the horses.
«Yes,» he said. «They are beautiful.» He turned to Pablo. «You have your cavalry and all.»
There were five horses and now Pablo was proud and less sad-looking, watching them lovingly.
«All these I have taken,» Pablo said and Robert Jordan was pleased to hear him speak proudly. «Here I am with horses like these. And what can I look forward to? To be hunted and to die. Nothing more. I am tired of being hunted. Here we are all right. Now if you blow up a bridge here, we will be hunted and they will find us. I am tired of all this. You hear?» He turned to Robert Jordan. «What right have you, a foreigner, to come and tell me what I must do?»
«I have not told you anything you must do,» Robert Jordan said to him.
«You will though,» Pablo said.
«I come only for my duty,» Robert Jordan told him. «I come under orders from those who are conducting the war. If I ask you to help me, you can refuse and I will find others who will help me. That I am a foreigner is not my fault.»
«To me, now, it is most important that we are not disturbed here,» Pablo said. «My duty is to those who are with me and to myself.»
«Yes,» Anselmo said. «Yourself and your horses. When you did not have the horses, you were with us. Now you are another capitalist.»
«That is unjust,» said Pablo. «I expose the horses all the time for the cause.»
«Very little,» said Anselmo scornfully. «To steal, yes. To eat well, yes. To murder, yes. To fight, no.»
«You are an old man who will make trouble for himself with his mouth.»
«I am an old man who is afraid of no one,» Anselmo told him.
«You are an old man who may not live long.»
«I am an old man who will live until I die,» Anselmo said.
It is starting badly enough, Robert Jordan thought. But Anselmo's a man. They are wonderful when they are good, he thought, and when they go bad there is no people that is worse. I don't like any of this.
They had come through the forest and reached the camp. There was a large cave and beside the opening a man sat with his back against the rock.
«Hola,» said the seated man. «What is this that comes?»
«The old man and a dynamiter,» Pablo told him and lowered the pack inside the entrance to the cave.
«Don't leave it so close to the cave,» said a man who had blue eyes in a dark, good-looking lazy gypsy face. «There's a fire in there.»
«He's Rafael, a gypsy,» Anselmo said. «Gypsies talk much and kill little.» The gypsy smiled at Robert Jordan.
Anselmo said, «I'm going to get some wine.»
Robert Jordan lifted the sacks from the cave entrance and leaned them, one on each side of a tree trunk. He knew what was in them and never liked to see them close together.
«Here is the wine.» Anselmo said. It was good, light and clean on the tongue. «The food comes soon,» Pablo said.
A girl came out of the cave carrying a big iron cooking platter and Robert Jordan saw her face and the strange thing about her.
She smiled and said, «Hola, Comrade,» and Robert Jordan said, «Salud.» She set down the flat iron platter with meat in front of him and he noticed her handsome brown hands. Now she looked him full in the face and smiled. Her teeth were white in her brown face and her skin and her eyes were the same golden tawny brown. She had high cheekbones, happy eyes and a straight mouth with full lips. Her hair was golden but it was cut short all over her head. She smiled in Robert Jordan's face and put her brown hand up and ran it over her head, flattening the hair which rose again as her hand passed. She has a beautiful face, Robert Jordan thought. She'd be beautiful if they hadn't cropped her hair.
«That is the way I comb it,» she said and laughed. «Go ahead and eat. They gave me this haircut in Valladolid.»
She sat down opposite him. She had long legs, and he could see the shape of her small breasts under the gray shirt. Every time Robert Jordan looked at her he could feel a thickness in his throat.
«How are you called?» he asked.
«Maria. And you?»
«Roberto. Have you been long in the mountains?»
«Three months.» She passed her hand over her hair in embarrassment. «It was shaved,» she said. «They shaved it regularly in the prison at Valladolid. I was on the train. They were taking me to the south. Many of the prisoners were caught after the train was blown up but I was not.»
«I found her hidden in the rocks,» the gypsy said. «We took her with us.»
«You have a very beautiful face,» he said to Maria. «I wish I would have had the luck to see you before your hair was cut.»
«It will grow out,» she said. «In six months it will be long enough.»
Robert Jordan turned to Anselmo and asked, «How many are you?»
«We are seven and there are two women.»
«Yes. The mujer of Pablo.»
«In the cave. The girl can cook a little, but mostly she helps the mujer of Pablo.»
«And how is the mujer of Pablo?»
«Something barbarous,» the gypsy grinned. «If you think Pablo is ugly you should see his woman. But brave. A hundred times braver than Pablo.»
«Pablo was brave in the beginning,» Anselmo said. «Pablo was something serious in the beginning. Now he is very much afraid to die.»
Robert Jordan lay back on the floor of the forest and looked at the high Spanish sky.
«Can you read in the palm of the hand?» the gypsy asked.
«No,» Robert Jordan said. «But if you can I wish you would read in the palm of my hand and tell me what is going to pass in the next three days.»
«The mujer of Pablo reads in the hands,» the gypsy said. «But she is so irritable that I do not know if she will do it.»
«Let us see the mujer of Pablo now,» he said.
«She has gypsy blood,» Rafael said. «She knows of what she speaks. But she has a tongue that bites like a whip.»
«How does she get on with the girl, Maria?» Robert Jordan asked. «Good. She likes the girl. She takes good care of her,» Anselmo said.
«When we picked the girl up at the time of the train she was very strange,» Rafael said. «She would not speak and she cried all the time.»
«It must have been very hard at the train,» Anselmo said. «I was not there. There was the band of Pablo and the band of El Sordo, whom we will see tonight.»
«It was the only good thing we have done,» said a deep voice.
Robert Jordan saw a woman of about fifty almost as big as Pablo, almost as wide as she was tall, in a black peasant skirt with heavy wool socks on heavy legs, black rope-soled shoes and a brown face like a model for a granite monument. She had big but nice-looking hands and her thick curly black hair was twisted into a knot on her neck.
«Hola,» she said to Robert Jordan and put out her hand and smiled. «How are you and how is everything in the Republic?»
«Good,» he said and returned her strong handshake.
«I am happy,» she told him. She was looking into his face and smiling and he noticed she had fine gray eyes. «Do you come for us to do another train?»
«No,» said Robert Jordan, trusting her instantly. «For a bridge. We have to do this bridge.»
«Where is it?»
«All the better,» she said. «Let us blow all the bridges and get out. I am sick of this place.»
She saw Pablo through the trees.
«Borracho!» she called to him. «Rotten drunkard! He drinks all the time. This life is ruining him. Young man, I am very glad that you have come. We will understand each other. Be very good and careful with the girl, Maria. She has had a bad time. Do you understand?»
«Yes. Why do you say this?»
«I saw her watching you. She was in a very bad state. Now she is better, she ought to get out of here. Pablo likes her too much. It is another thing which destroys him. It is best that she goes away now.»
«We can take her after this is over. If we are alive after the bridge, we will take her.»
«That manner of speaking never brings luck. Let me see your hand,» the woman said.
Robert Jordan put his hand out and the woman opened it, held it in her own big hand, rubbed her thumb over it and looked at it, carefully, then dropped it. She stood up. He got up too and she looked at him without smiling.
«What did you see in it?» he asked her. «I don't believe in it. You won't scare me.»
«Nothing,» she told him. «I saw nothing in it.»
«Yes you did. I am only curious. I do not believe in such things.»
«In what do you believe?»
«In my work.»
«Yes, I saw that.»
«Tell me what else you saw.»
«I saw nothing else,» she said bitterly. «The bridge is very difficult you said?»
«No. I said it is very important. And now I am going down to look at it.
How many men have you here?»
«Five that are any good. The gypsy is worthless although his intentions are good. Pablo I no longer trust.»
«How many men has El Sordo that are good?»
«Perhaps eight. He comes every night. He is a neighbor and a friend. Go now to your bridge,» she said.
Robert Jordan and Anselmo came down moving carefully from tree to tree in the shadows and the bridge was only fifty yards away. The sun was in Robert Jordan's eyes and the bridge showed only in outline. Then the sun lessened and was gone. He was watching the bridge again in the little light that was left and studied its construction. Its demolition was not difficult. He took out a notebook and made several quick line sketches. He was noting the points where the explosive should be placed in order to cut the support of the bridge and drop a section into the narrow valley. It could be done scientifically and correctly with a half dozen charges set to explode simultaneously; or it could be done roughly with two big ones. He was glad to have the problem under his hand at last.
As Robert Jordan lay flat behind the pine trunk, Anselmo pointed with one finger.
In the sentry box the sentry was sitting holding his rifle between his knees. The sentry had a peasant's face. Anselmo looked at the sentry as Robert Jordan smiled at him and pointing with one finger, drew the other across his throat. Robert Jordan nodded but he did not smile.
«You have killed?» Robert Jordan asked.
«Yes. Several times. But not with pleasure. To me it is a sin to kill a man. Even fascists whom we must kill.»
«Yet you have killed.»
«Yes. And will again. But if I live later, I will try to live in such a way, doing no harm to any one, that it will be forgiven.»
«Who knows? Since we do not have God here anymore, who forgives, I do not know.»
«You don't have God anymore?»
«No. Certainly not. If there were God, he would never have permitted what I have seen with my eyes. Let them have God.»
«They demand Him.»
«Clearly I miss Him, having been brought up in religion. But now a man must be responsible to himself.»
«Then you will forgive yourself for killing.»
«I believe so,» Anselmo said. «But with or without God, I think it is a sin to kill. I will do it whenever necessary but I am not of the race of Pablo.»
As they came through the rocks in the dark, a man spoke to them, «Halt. Who goes?» asked the voice of a man in the dark.
«Comrades of Pablo,» the old man told him.
«How are you called?» Robert Jordan asked the man in the dark.
«Agustin,» the man said and coming close put his hand on Robert Jordan's shoulder. «Tell me, is it true about the bridge?»
«What about the bridge?»
«That we blow up a bridge and then have to get ourselves out of these mountains?»
«I don't know.»
«You don't know,» Agustin said. «Whose then is the dynamite?»
«Mine. I know what it is for and so will you in time,» Robert Jordan said. «But now we go to the camp.»
«Go to the unprintable,» Agustin said, «but guard well your explosive.»
«We go to camp now. Come on,» Robert Jordan said to Anselmo.
«Agustin is a very serious man,» Anselmo said. «I have much confidence in him and what he says.»
They came down to the mouth of the cave, where a light shone out from the edge of a blanket that hung over the opening. The two packs were at the foot of the tree covered with a canvas. Robert Jordan picked up the packs and carried them into the cave.
It was warm and smoky inside. There was a table along one wall with a candle stuck in a bottle on it and at the table were seated Pablo, three men he did not know, and the gypsy, Rafael. The woman of Pablo was standing by the fire in the corner of the cave. The girl knelt by her, stirring in an iron pot. «What do you carry?» Pablo asked.
«My things,» Robert Jordan said and set the two packs down.
«I do not like to have dynamite here in the cave,» Pablo said.
«It is far from the fire,» Robert Jordan said.
Anselmo brought him a stool and he sat down at the table.
«How goes it, gypsy?» he said to Rafael.
«Good,» the gypsy said. Robert Jordan could tell they had been talking about him when he came in.
«Is there wine?» Robert Jordan asked.
«There is little left,» Pablo said sullenly. Robert Jordan decided he had better look at the other three and try to see where he stood.
«In that case, let me have a cup of water.» He called to the girl, «Bring me a cup of water.»
She went to a kettle containing water and dipped a cup full and put it down before him. Robert Jordan smiled at her. He reached his hand down toward his hip pocket where the pistol was and Pablo watched him.
«What we should do now is another train,» Pablo said.
«We can do that,» Robert Jordan said. «After the bridge.»
When he said the word «bridge» everyone was quiet.
«After the bridge,» he said again deliberately.
«I do not go for the bridge,» Pablo said.
Robert Jordan smiled and said, «Then we shall do it alone.»
«Without this coward,» Anselmo said.
«What did you say?» Pablo said to the old man.
«Nothing for you. I did not speak to you,» Anselmo told him.
Robert Jordan now looked at the wife of Pablo who was standing by the fire. She had said nothing yet. But now she said something to the girl and the girl went out of the cave. I think it is going to come now, Robert Jordan thought. I believe this is it.
«Then we will do the bridge without your aid,» Robert Jordan said to Pablo.
«No,» Pablo said, and Robert Jordan watched his face sweat. «You will blow no bridge here.»
«And you?» Robert Jordan spoke to the wife of Pablo.
«I am for the bridge.» Her face was lit by the fire and it was flushed and handsome now in the firelight.
«What do you say?» Pablo said to her.
«I am for the bridge and against you,» she said.
All the others agreed with her. Robert Jordan watched Pablo and let his right hand hang lower and lower, ready if it should be necessary, half hoping it would be. He saw the wife of Pablo blush proudly as the allegiances were given.
«I am for the Republic,» she said happily. «And the Republic is the bridge. Afterwards we will have time for other projects.»
«And it means nothing to you to be hunted then like a beast after this thing from which we derive no profit? Nor to die in it?»
«Nothing,» the woman of Pablo said. «And do not try to frighten me, coward.»
«Coward,» Pablo said bitterly. «You treat a man as a coward because he has a tactical sense. Because he can see the results of an idiocy in advance. It is not cowardly to know what is foolish. Am I the only one who sees the seriousness of this?»
I believe so, Old Pablo, Robert Jordan thought. Except me. You can see it and I see it and the woman reads it in my hand but she doesn't see it, yet.
«Am I a leader for nothing?» Pablo asked. «This foreigner comes here to do a thing for the good of the foreigners. For his good we must be sacrificed. I am for the good and the safety of all.»
«Safety,» the wife of Pablo said. «There is no such thing as safety. In seeking safety now you lose all.»
«There is safety,» Pablo said. «Within the danger there is the safety of knowing what chances to take.»
«Here no one commands but me. Haven't you heard la gente? Here I command!»
«I should shoot you and the foreigner,» Pablo said sullenly.
I don't think he is going to take this much more, Robert Jordan thought. He held the cup in one hand and his other hand now rested on the pistol.
Pablo looked at Robert Jordan and then at his mujer. «All right. You command,» he said. «And if you want he can command too. And the two of you can go to hell.»
«Maria, enter now and serve the supper,» the woman of Pablo called. The girl came in and picked up the bowls and brought them to the table.
«Well, did you see the bridge?» the gypsy asked.
«Yes,» Robert Jordan said. «It is easy to do.» He took out the notebook and showed them the sketches and explained how it would be blown up. Everyone was listening. Only Pablo took no interest, sitting by himself with a cup of wine.
«Have you done much of this?» the girl asked Robert Jordan softly.
«And can we see the doing of it?»
«Yes. Why not?»
«You will see it,» Pablo said from his end of the table.
«Shut up,» the woman of Pablo said to him and suddenly remembering what she had seen in the hand in the afternoon she was wildly, unreasonably angry. «Shut up, coward. Shut up, bad luck bird.»
«I shut up. It is you who commands now. But remember that I am not stupid.»
The woman of Pablo could feel her anger changing to sorrow and to a feeling of hopelessness. She knew this feeling from when she was a girl and it came now suddenly and she put it away from her and would not let it touch neither her nor the Republic. «Now we will eat. Serve the bowls from the pot, Maria,» she said.
Robert Jordan pushed aside the blanket that hung over the mouth of the cave and, stepping out, took a deep breath of the cold night air. The gypsy stepped out of the cave too and said softly, «Roberto.»
«Yes, Rafael,» he said.
«Why did you not kill Pablo?»
«Why kill him?»
«You have to kill him sooner or later. Why did you not approve of the moment? What do you think they all waited for? Do you believe it is possible to continue after what has been said?»
«I thought it might molest the others or the woman.»
«Kill him now,» the gypsy urged.
«I cannot in that way. It is repugnant to me and it is not how one should act for the cause.»
«Provoke him then,» the gypsy said. «But you have to kill him. There is no remedy.»
Robert Jordan walked away through the pines, feeling his way from tree to tree.
I am tired, he thought, and perhaps my judgment is not good. But my obligation is the bridge and to fulfill that I must take no useless risk of myself until I complete that duty. If it is true, as the gypsy says, that they expected me to kill Pablo then I should have done that. But it was never clear to me. While I trust the woman absolutely, I could not tell how she would react to such a drastic thing. As his eyes became used to the starlight he could see that Pablo was talking to one of the horses, and he decided that it was not a practical move to kill him at this time.
Robert Jordan returned to the cave.
«It is strange that El Sordo has not come,» the woman said. «He should have been here an hour ago. If he does not come we must go to see him tomorrow.»
«May I go too, Pilar?» Maria asked.
«Yes, beautiful,» the woman said, then turning her big face, «Isn't she pretty?» she asked Robert Jordan. «How does she seem to you? A little thin?»
«To me she seems very well,» Robert Jordan said. Maria filled his cup with wine. «Drink that,» she said. «It will make me seem even better.»
«Then I had better stop,» Robert Jordan said. «Already you seem beautiful and more.»
Pilar looked at him and asked, «Are you a Communist?»
«No, I am an anti-fascist.»
«For a long time?»
«Since I have understood fascism.»
«How long is that?»
«For nearly ten years.»
«That is not much time,» the woman said. «I have been a Republican for twenty years.»
«My father was a Republican all his life,» Maria said. «It was for that they shot him.»
«My father was also a Republican all his life. Also my grandfather,» Robert Jordan said.
«In what country?»
«The United States.»
«Did they shoot them?» the woman asked.
«The United States is a country of Republicans,» Maria said. «They don't shoot you for being a Republican there.»
«Listen, American. Where do you plan to sleep?» Pilar asked.
«Outside. I have a sleeping robe.»
«Good, then sleep outside. And your materials can sleep with me.»
«Leave us for a moment,» Robert Jordan said to the girl and put his hand on her shoulder.
«I wish to speak to Pilar.»
«What is it?» the woman of Pablo said when the girl had gone out.
«The gypsy said I should have-» he began.
«No,» the woman interrupted. «He is mistaken.»
«If it is necessary that I-» Robert Jordan said quietly but with difficulty. «You would have done it, I believe,» the woman said. «No, it is not necessary. Your judgment was good.» Then she called the girl.
The girl came in and Robert Jordan reached his hand out and patted her head. She stroked under his hand like a kitten.
«You would do well to go to bed now,» the woman said to Robert Jordan. «I will get my things,» he said.
He was asleep in the robe on the forest floor and he had been asleep, he thought, for a long time. Then he felt her hand on his shoulder and turned quickly, his right hand holding the pistol under the robe.
«Oh, it is you,» he said and pulled her down. With his arms around her he could feel her shivering.
«Get in,» he said softly. «It is cold out there. Get in, little rabbit.» He kissed her on the back of the neck.
«I am afraid.»
«No. Do not be afraid. Get in.»
«No, I must not. I am ashamed and frightened.»
«No. My rabbit. Please.»
«I must not. If you do not love me.»
«I love you.»
«Oh, I love you. Put your hand on my head,» she said, her face in the pillow. He put his hand on her head and stroked it and then suddenly her face was away from the pillow and she was in his arms and her face was against his and she was crying.
«I cannot kiss,» she said. «I do not know how.»
«There is no need to kiss.»
«Yes. I must kiss. I must do everything. I want to be your woman.»
«Have you loved others?»
Then suddenly, going dead in his arms, «But things were done to me.»
Now she lay perfectly quietly and as though her body were dead and turned her head away from him.
«Now you will not love me.»
«I love you, Maria,» he said.
«No. It is not true,» she said. Then pitifully and hopefully she said, «But I have never kissed any man.»
«Then kiss me now.
»But I do not know how. Where things were done to me I fought until I could not see and then they tied my mouth and held my arms behind my head — and others did things to me."
«I love you, and no one has done anything to you.»
«You believe that?»
«I know it.»
She kissed him on the cheek.
«Where do the noses go? I always wondered where the noses would go.»
«Look, turn your head,» and then their mouths were tight together and he was happier than he had ever been. They lay there and he felt her heart beating against his.
«Maria, listen. Do you-?»
«Do I what?»
«Do you wish?»
«Yes. Everything. Please. And if we do everything together, the other maybe never will have been. Pilar told me.»
«She is very wise.»
«The other thing she told me long ago, soon after the train. She said that nothing is done to oneself that one does not accept and that if I love someone it would take it all away.»
«What she said is true.»
«And I can be your woman?»
«Yes, my little rabbit.»
She held herself tight to him and her lips looked for his and then found them.
«And now let us do quickly what it is we do so that the other is all gone.»
«Yes,» she said almost fiercely. «Yes. Yes. Yes.»
It was cold in the night and Robert Jordan slept heavily. Once he woke and realized that the girl was there, curled far down in the robe, breathing lightly and regularly. He kissed her smooth shoulder. He woke at first daylight and the girl was gone. Then he fell asleep again. He slept until the sound of airplane motors woke him. Lying on his back, he saw them, a fascist patrol of three Fiats, small, bright, fast-moving across the sky.
Pablo and the gypsy were standing at the cave mouth watching the sky and as Robert Jordan lay still, the sky was now full of the loud noise of motors.
Robert Jordan unrolled the clothing that made his pillow and put on his shirt and trousers as three more of the Heinkel bombers came over. He moved quickly along the rocks to the mouth of the cave where Pablo, the gypsy, Anselmo, the woman and others stood looking out.
«Have there been planes like this before?» he asked.
«Never,» said Pablo. «Get in. They will see you.»
This is really bad, Robert Jordan thought. Here is a concentration of planes which means something very bad.
Anselmo came out of the cave mouth and they walked a little way.
«I want you to go and watch the road. Make a note of everything that passes both up and down the road.»
«I do not write.»
«There is no need to,» Robert Jordan took out two leaves from his notebook and with his knife cut an inch from the end of his pencil. «Take this and make a mark for tanks like this,» he drew a tank, «and then a mark for each one and when there are four, cross the four strokes for the fifth.»
«We count like this too.»
«Good. Make another mark, two wheels and a box, for trucks. If they are empty make a circle. If they are full of troops make a straight mark. Mark for guns. Mark for cars. Mark for ambulances. You understand?»
«Yes. It is clear.»
«Take the gypsy with you so that he will know where you are. Stay until someone else comes.»
«Good. When you come back I should know everything that moved upon the road.»
They walked over toward the cave. The woman of Pablo poured him a bowl of coffee with condensed milk.
«What movement was there on the road last night, Fernando?» Robert Jordan asked. Maria was close to him but he did not look at her.
«Nothing,» Fernando said. «A few camions as usual. No movement of troops while I was there.»
After a while Fernando said, «Oh, yes. It seems that the Republic is preparing an offensive.»
«That the Republic is preparing an offensive.»
«It is not certain. Perhaps here, or in another part of the Sierra.»
«They say this in La Granja?»
«Yes. I had forgotten.»
«What else did you hear?» Robert Jordan asked.
«Oh, yes. There was some talk that the Republicans would try to blow up the bridges.»
«Are you joking?» Robert Jordan said.
«No, hombre,» said Fernando.
«This one doesn't joke,» the woman said.
«You don't remember anything more?»
«No,» Fernando said with dignity.
Robert Jordan turned to Anselmo and the gypsy and said, «Now go, if you have eaten.»
The first sound of the planes returned. They stood in the mouth of the cave and watched them. They move like mechanized doom, Robert Jordan thought.
It was a clear, bright day. Robert Jordan looked at the big, brown-faced woman with her kind, widely set eyes. The woman, too, was looking at him. «Did you make love?» the woman said.
«What did she say?»
«She would not tell me.»
«Then you made love,» the woman said. «Be as careful with her as you can.»
«What if she has a baby?»
«That will do no harm,» the woman said. «That will do less harm.»
«This is no place for that.»
«She will not stay here. She will go with you.»
«I can't take a woman where I go.»
«Who knows? You may take two.»
«That is no way to talk.»
«Listen,» the woman said. «I see things very clearly in the early morning and I think there are many that we know that are alive now who will never see another Sunday.»
«What day is today?»
«Another Sunday is very far,» said Robert Jordan. «If we see Wednesday we are all right. But I do not like to hear you talk like this.»
«Everyone needs to talk to someone,» the woman said. «Before we had religion and other nonsense. Now there should be someone to whom one can speak frankly, for all the valor that one could have one becomes very alone.»
«We are not alone. We are all together.»
«We are nothing against machines,» said Pilar. She was touched by sadness. Robert Jordan looked at her and said, «You are sad, why?»
«Perhaps I am sad because of that failure of a man who has gone to look at his horses.»
«How did you come to be with him?»
Pilar told Robert Jordan about the first days of the movement when Pablo was a man of valor.
«But now he is ruined. He is afraid to die. His own people have left him and I am in command. But my sadness does not affect my resolution. I believe firmly in the Republic and I have faith in the cause.»
«I believe that,» he said and went into the cave where Maria was standing. «Hello, little rabbit,» he said and kissed her on the mouth. She embraced him.
Fernando, still sitting at the table, stood up, picked up his carbine and went out. Agustin looked at Pilar and said very seriously, «What do you think they are preparing?»
«Look,» Pilar said. «From this boy coming for the bridges obviously the Republic is preparing an offensive. From these planes obviously the fascists are preparing to meet it. But why show the planes?»
«In this war there are many foolish things,» Agustin said.
«Clearly,» said Pilar. «Otherwise we could not be here.»
«Yes,» said Agustin. «We swim within the idiocy for a year now. But Pablo is a man of much understanding. Pablo is very clever. For the coward that he now is, he is very smart.»
«I, too, am smart.»
«No, Pilar,» Agustin said. «You are not smart. You are brave, loyal. You have decision, intuition and heart. But you are not smart.»
«You believe that?» the woman asked thoughtfully.
«Yes, Pilar. In this moment we need to act with intelligence. After the bridge we must leave at once. We must know for where we are leaving and how. And for this we need Pablo.»
«You are a man of intelligence.»
«Intelligent, yes,» Agustin said. «But Pablo has talent. To make war you need intelligence. But to win you need talent and material. We need Pablo.»
«I will think it over,» she said. «We must start now. We are late.»
Let us rest," Pilar said. «Sit down here, Maria, and rest.»
«We should continue,» Robert Jordan said. «Rest when we get there. I must see this man.»
«You will see him. There is no hurry. I rest now,» the woman said. «I want to bathe my feet in the stream.» She looked at Maria and Robert Jordan. «How would you like to be ugly, beautiful one?» she said to Maria.
«You are not ugly.»
«I was born ugly. All my life I have been ugly. Do you know what it is to be ugly all your life and inside to feel that you are beautiful? It is very rare. I would have made a good man, but I am all woman and all ugly. Yet many men have loved me and I have loved many men. It is curious.»
«No,» said Maria. «You are not ugly.»
«Try to use your head and not your heart,» Pilar said.
«Where were you at the start of the movement?» Robert Jordan asked.
«In my town.»
«And what happened?»
«Much,» the woman said. «Much. And all of it ugly.»
«Tell me about it,» Robert Jordan said.
«It is brutal. I do not like to tell it before the girl.»
«I can hear it,» Maria said. She put her hand on Robert Jordan's. «There is nothing that I cannot hear.»
The girl leaned back against the heather and Robert Jordan stretched himself out on the ground and found Maria's hand and held it in his.
Pilar began telling them how Pablo had surrounded the barracks of the guardia civil in the dark, had cut the telephone wires and had blown the wall open. She explained in detail how Pablo had finished off the wounded guards and had executed the other four by having them kneel against the wall and shooting them in the back of the head.
She told of how the fascists of the town had been seized in their homes and taken to the Ayuntamiento. There a priest confessed them and gave them the necessary sacraments.
While this was going on, Pablo organized the townspeople in two lines with about two meters between the lines. These lines extended from the Ayuntamiento to the edge of the cliff. The townspeople were given flails to beat the fascists to death as they walked between the lines. Some used clubs and pitch forks. Once they had been beaten to death they were thrown over the cliff and into the river.
When Pablo was asked why this was being done, he answered that he wanted to save bullets and that each man should have his share in the responsibility.
«That night when everything was over I felt hollow and full of shame, and I had a great feeling of oppression and of bad to come. And bad came after three days, when the fascists took over the town,» Pilar said.
«Do not tell me about it,» said Maria. «I do not want to hear it. This is enough. This is too much.»
«I wish you would tell me of it sometime,» Robert Jordan said.
«I will,» Pilar said. «But not now.»
They got up and started walking. As they came up the trail a man with a carbine stepped out from behind a tree.
«Halt,» he said. «Hola, Pilar. Who is with you?»
«An Ingles,» Pilar said.
«Salud Camarada.» the guard said to Robert Jordan and put out his hand. He was very young and his eyes were friendly.
«Are you the dynamiter?» Joaquin asked.
«Yes, I am the dynamiter.»
«Is it for a train?»
«Were you at the last train?» Robert Jordan asked.
«Yes, I was. That's where we got her,» he grinned at Maria. Joaquin's father, mother, sister and brother-in-law had been killed by the fascists.
Finally they came to a short and heavy man. He put out a big brown hand to Pilar.
«Hola,» he said to Robert Jordan and shook his hand and looked him in the face. His eyes were yellow as a cat's and flat as a reptile's eyes are.
El Sordo nodded. «Ingles?» he asked.
«Same as Ingles. When blow bridge?»
«You know about the bridge?»
El Sordo nodded.
«Day after tomorrow morning.»
«Good,» said El Sordo. «Pablo?» he asked Pilar.
She shook her head. El Sordo grinned and looked at Robert Jordan and said, «Much troop movement.»
«Segovia. Planes you saw.»
«Bad. Why not blow bridge tonight?»
«I have my orders.»
«I don't like it,» El Sordo said.
«Nor I,» said Robert Jordan. «How many men have you?»
«Eight,» said El Sordo.
«To cut the telephone, attack the post, take it and fall back on the bridge,» said Robert Jordan.
«It is easy.»
«It will all be written out.»
«And afterwards for the retreat? Where are we going to go when this is done?» Pilar shouted into El Sordo's ear.
He shrugged his shoulders.
«All that must be arranged,» the woman said.
«Of course,» said El Sordo. «There are many places. You know Gredos? We can get to Gredos as well as to anywhere else, traveling at night. Here it is very dangerous now.»
«But I think you could operate very well from the Gredos,» said Robert Jordan.
«What?» El Sordo said and looked at him with his eyes very flat. There was no friendliness in the way he asked the question.
«You could raid more effectively from there,» Robert Jordan said.
«So,» El Sordo said. «You know Gredos?»
«Yes. You could operate against the main line of the railway from there. You are more useful there,» Robert Jordan said.
They had both gotten sullen as he talked.
I have made a mistake, Robert Jordan thought to himself. When I should have flattered them I told them what I think they should do and now they are furious.
«Listen,» Pilar said to him. «How are your nerves?»
«All right,» said Robert Jordan.
«Because the last dynamiter they sent, Kashkin, although a formidable technician, was very nervous.»
«We have nervous ones,» Robert Jordan said. «Now he is dead.»
«How was that?» El Sordo asked.
«I shot him because he was too badly wounded to travel and he did not want to be left behind.»
«Was it a train?» El Sordo asked.
«Yes,» said Robert Jordan.
«Are you sure your nerves are all right?» Pilar said to Robert Jordan.
«Yes,» he told her, «and I think that when we terminate this of the bridge you should go to the Gredos.»
As he said that, the woman started to curse in a flood of obscene language.
El Sordo shook his head at Robert Jordan and grinned, and Robert Jordan knew that it was all right again now. Finally she stopped cursing, took a drink of water and said calmly, «We'll see what happens.»
«You see, Comrade,» El Sordo explained, «it is the morning that is difficult.» He was not talking the pidgin Spanish now and was calm. «I understand your needs and I know the posts must be exterminated and the bridge covered while you do your work. This is easy to do before daylight or at daylight. But to leave afterward and get out of this country in daylight presents a grave problem.»
«Clearly, I have thought of it. It is daylight for me also.»
«But you are one,» El Sordo said. «We are various. You could not do it at night?»
«I would be shot for it.»
«It is possible we will all be shot for it if you do it in the daytime.»
«For me that is less important once the bridge is blown, but I see your viewpoint. Can you work out a retreat for daylight?»
«Certainly,» El Sordo said. «We will work out such a retreat. But you speak of going to Gredos. To arrive at Gredos would be a miracle.»
Robert Jordan said nothing.
«Listen to me,» El Sordo said. «We exist here by a miracle. By a miracle of laziness and stupidity of the fascists which they will remedy in time. We must think much about this. Let us eat now. I have talked much.»
«I appreciate your aid and your loyalty,» Robert Jordan said.
They left El Sordo's after eating and started down the trail. It was hot in the late May afternoon and the woman stopped. Her face looked pale.
Robert Jordan said, «Let us rest a minute. We go too fast.»
«Rest, Pilar,» Maria said. «You look bad.»
«All right,» said Pilar and the three sat down under a pine tree. «Come here, guapa, and put your head in my lap,» said Pilar.
Maria moved close to her, put her arms out and folded them as one does who goes to sleep without a pillow and lay with her head on her arms. She turned her face up at Pilar and smiled at her but the big woman looked at the mountains.
«You can have her in a little while, Ingles,» she said.
«Do not talk like that,» Maria said.
«Yes, he can have you. But I am jealous,» Pilar said and ran her finger around the lobe of the girl's ear. «I am very jealous. I love you and he can have you.»
«I love you, too,» said Maria.
«Now I will leave the two of you. I am only jealous that you are nineteen. It is not a jealousy which lasts. You will not be nineteen always. Now I go.» She walked off into the heather toward the stream.
Robert Jordan and Maria walked through the heather of the mountain meadow and from the palm of her hand against the palm of his, from their fingers locked together, something came that was like a current that filled his whole body with an aching hollowness of wanting. He held her to him and kissed her. He felt her trembling as he kissed her and he held her body tight to him. Then her lips were on his throat, and he put her down and said, «Maria, oh, my Maria.»
Then he said, «Where should we go?»
She did not say anything but slipped her hand inside of his shirt and he felt her undoing the shirt buttons.
There was the smell of heather and the sun bright on her closed eyes and all his life he would remember the curve of her throat with her head pushed back into the heather roots. They were both there and he felt time had stopped and he felt the earth move out and away from under them.
Then he was lying on his side, his head deep in the heather, and the girl was lying opposite him with her eyes still shut and then she opened them and smiled at him and he said very tiredly, «Hello, rabbit.» And she smiled and said, «Hello, my Ingles.»
As they were walking along the stream he said, «Maria, I love you and you are so lovely and so wonderful and so beautiful and it does such things to me to be with you that I feel as though I wanted to die when I am loving you.»
«Oh,» she said. «I die each time. Do you not die?»
«No. Almost. But did you feel the earth move?»
«Yes. As I died.»
He was walking beside her but his mind was thinking of the problem of the bridge now. Then he started to think of all the things that might go wrong.
Stop it, he told himself. You mustn't worry. You know the things that may happen. Now he was forced to use these people whom he liked as you should use troops toward whom you have no feeling at all if you are to be successful. Pablo was the smartest. He knew how bad it was instantly. The woman was all for it, and still was. Sordo recognized it instantly and would do it but he did not like it any more than he, Robert Jordan, liked it. No, he would carry out the orders and it was bad luck that you liked the people you must do it with.
And what are you going to do afterwards? I am going back and earn my living teaching Spanish as before, I am going to write a true book and I am going to marry Maria. Spanish girls make wonderful wives. I've never had one so I know.
But in the meantime all the life you have or ever will have is today, tonight, tomorrow, over and over again (I hope), he thought and so you had better take what time there is and be thankful for it. I suppose it is possible to live as full a life in seventy hours as in seventy years; granted that your life has been full and that you have reached a certain age. If you love this girl as much as you say you do, you had better love her very hard and make up in intensity what the relation will lack in duration and in continuity. There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, nor is there any tomorrow. So now do not worry, take what you have, and do your work and you will have a long and happy life. Hasn't it been happy lately?
«I love you, rabbit,» he said to the girl.
He and Maria talked and made their way back to the camp. Before reaching the camp they met Pilar. The sun had clouded over and as Robert Jordan looked back up toward the mountains the sky was now heavy and gray.
«It will snow,» said Pilar.
«It can't be snow,» he said.
«Just the same,» she said to him, «it will snow.»
By the time they reached the camp it was snowing and the flakes were dropping diagonally through the pines and Robert Jordan stood in front of the cave in a rage and watched them.
«We will have much snow,» Pablo said. His voice was thick and his eyes were red and bleary.
«Has the gypsy come in?» Robert Jordan asked him.
«No,» Pablo said. «Neither him nor the old man.»
«Will you come with me to the upper post of the road?»
«I will take no part in this.»
«I will find it myself.»
«In this storm you might miss it,» Pablo said. «I would not go now.»
Pablo looked at the snow that was blowing fast now past the mouth of the cave and said, «You do not like the snow?»
Robert Jordan swore and Pablo laughed.
«With this your offensive fails, Ingles,» he said. «Come into the cave.»
«This snow,» Robert Jordan said. «You think there will be much?»
«Much,» Pablo said contentedly. Then he called to Pilar, «You don't like it, woman, either? Now that you command you do not like this snow?»
«If it snows, it snows.»
«Drink some wine, Ingles,» Pablo said. «I have been drinking all day waiting for the snow.»
«Give me a cup,» Robert Jordan said.
«To the snow,» Pablo said and touched cups with him. Robert Jordan looked him in the eyes and clinked his cup. You bleary-eyed murderous fool, he thought. I'd like to clink this cup against your teeth. Take it easy, he told himself.
He went over to Maria and said, «Very beautiful, the snow.»
«But it is bad for the work, isn't it?» she asked him. «Aren't you worried?»
«Worrying is no good.»
The drunken man looked at him and grinned.
«No offensive. No aviones. No bridge. Just snow,» Pablo said.
«You expect it to last a long time?» Robert Jordan said.
«Tonight and tomorrow, yes.»
«What makes you think so?»
«I transported goods across the mountains with the big carts before the camions came into use. In that business we learned the weather.»
«But what were you doing before the movement?»
«I worked for a horse contractor of Zaragoza. He furnished horses for the bull rings. It was then that I met Pilar who was with the matador Finito de Palencia.»
«He wasn't much of a matador,» one of the brothers said.
«No?» Pilar said. «He wasn't much of a matador?»
She saw Finito, the not-so-good matador, now standing in front of the bull. She saw him clearly now and she heard his thin, clear voice as he turned his head and looked toward the people above the red fence and said, «Let's see if we can kill him like this!» She could hear the voice and see all his movements inside the ring.
«He was a good matador,» Pablo said. «He was handicapped by his short stature.»
«And clearly he had tuberculosis,» Primitivo said.
«Tuberculosis?» Pilar said. «Who wouldn't have tuberculosis in this country where no poor man can ever hope to make money unless he is a criminal or a bullfighter, or a tenor in the opera? In a country where the bourgeoisie over-eat so that their stomachs are ruined and the poor are hungry from their birth until the day they die. He was short of stature and he had a thin voice and much fear of bulls. Never have I seen a man with more fear before the bullfight and never have I seen a man with less fear in the ring.»
«I remember,» the first brother said. «I was in the ring. It was a soap-colored one with a curly forehead and with very high horns. It was the last bull he killed in Valladolid.»
«Exactly,» Pilar said. «And afterwards the club of enthusiasts who had taken his name for their club had the head of the bull mounted and presented it to him at a small banquet. During the meal they had the head on the wall, but it was covered with a cloth. I was at the table and others were there too. Finito did not eat much because he had received a palotaxo, a blow from the horn of a bull he had killed in his last corrida of the year at Zaragoza, and even now he could not hold food on his stomach. He would put his handkerchief to his mouth and deposit a quantity of blood in it at intervals throughout the banquet. He was suffering much during the banquet.
»The president of the club began the speech which was to precede the uncovering of the head. I was watching Finito who was making use of his, no, my, napkin and sinking further back in his chair and staring with horror and fascination at the shrouded bull's head on the wall opposite him.
«So the president of the club reached the end of the speech and then, with everybody cheering him, he pulled the purple shroud off the head. Everyone applauded and Finito sank further back in the chair and said, „No. No.“ and looked at the bull and pulled further back and then a big blob of blood came out and he didn't even put up the napkin and it slid down his chin.»
«How long after that did he die?» Primitivo asked.
«That winter,» Pilar said.
Just then the gypsy came in the door. He was covered with snow.
Robert Jordan stood up and went over to the door, «Well?» he said to the gypsy.
«Six-hour watches, two men at a time on the big bridge,» the gypsy said.
«There are eight men and a corporal at the hut.»
«And the road?» Robert Jordan asked.
«The same movement as always,» the gypsy said. «Nothing out of the usual. Several motor cars.»
«Let us go for the old man,» Robert Jordan said.
«Not me,» the gypsy said. «I go now for the fire and the hot soup. Who wants to guide the Ingles?» he asked.
«I will go,» Fernando rose. «Tell me where it is.»
Anselmo was sitting on the trunk of a big tree and the snow blew past on either side. If I stay here much longer I will freeze, he thought. The Ingles told me to stay until someone comes but he did not know about the storm.
Anselmo was so cold now that he decided he had best go to camp before it was dark. But the Ingles told me to stay, he thought. Even now he may be on the way here and, if I leave this place, he may lose himself in the snow searching for me. All through this war we have suffered from a lack of discipline and from disobeying orders and I will wait for him a while still. But if he does not come soon I must go in spite of all orders. Across the road at the mill the fascists are warm and comfortable, he thought, and tomorrow night we will kill them. It is a strange thing and I do not like to think of it. I have watched them all and they are the same men that we are. They should never be fighting against us and I do not like to think of the killing. I think that after the war there will have to be some great penance done for the killing. If we no longer have religion after the war then I think there must be some form of civic penance organized that all may be cleansed from the killing.
«Hola, viejo,» Robert Jordan whispered and clapped him on the back. «How's the old one?»
«Very cold,» Anselmo said.
«Come on,» Robert Jordan whispered. «Go to camp and get warm. It was a crime to leave you here so long.» He stayed as he was told, Robert Jordan thought. That's the rarest thing that can happen in Spain. They slowly walked up the hill in the snow to the camp.
They reached the smoky warmth of the cave and Pilar said, «El Sordo was here. He has gone to look for horses.»
Pablo was sitting at the table and grinned and waved his hand.
«It's still falling.»
Robert Jordan nodded at him.
«Let me take your shoes and dry them over the fire,» said Maria.
«Be careful not to burn them,» said Robert Jordan.
«Let me take your jacket,» said Maria. «Do not let the snow melt on it. Go and dry your feet and let me bring you something warm to drink.»
«You would think a man had never wet his feet before,» Pilar said. «Roberto,» Maria said, «are you ready to eat?»
«Have the others eaten?»
«All except you, Anselmo and Fernando.»
«Let us eat then. And you?»
«Afterwards, with Pilar.»
«Eat now with us.»
«No, it would not be well. Here it is better to eat after.»
«Eat with him,» Pablo said. «Drink with him. Sleep with him. Die with him. Follow the customs of his country.»
«Are you drunk?» Robert Jordan said.
Pablo looked at him happily and said, «Yes.»
«I liked you better when you were barbarous,» the woman said. «Of all men the drunkard is the worst. He stinks and vomits in his own bed and dissolves his organs in alcohol.»
«Listen, Ingles,» Agustin said. «How did you happen to come to Spain? Pay no attention to Pablo. He is drunk.»
«I came first twelve years ago to study the country and the language,» Robert Jordan said. «I teach Spanish in a university.»
«But why Spanish?» Andres asked. «Would it not be easier to teach English since you are English?»
«He speaks Spanish as we do,» Anselmo said. «Why should he not teach Spanish?»
«Yes. But it is, in a way, presumptuous for a foreigner to teach Spanish,»
Fernando said. «I mean nothing against you, Don Roberto.»
«Mule,» Pilar said. «He teaches Spanish to Americans. North Americans who speak English.»
«Do you think this snow will last?» Robert Jordan asked Pablo.
«Ask another. I am not your service of information. Ask the woman,» said Pablo.
I'd like to kill him, Robert Jordan was thinking. I don't know what he is going to do, but it is nothing good. Day after tomorrow we want to blow up the bridge and this man is bad and he is a danger to the success of the whole operation. Let us get it over with.
«Cobarde,» Robert Jordan said to him.
«It is very possible,» Pablo said. «But I am not to be provoked.»
«Shut your mouth,» Robert Jordan said. «I provoke you for myself.»
«It is not worth the trouble,» Pablo told him. «I do not provoke.»
He's rare, all right, Robert Jordan thought, and smart, and very complicated. «Here's to you,» Robert Jordan said, and dipped a cup into the wine bowl. Betrayal wouldn't amount to anything without all these pledges, he thought. «Salud, Pablo,» Robert Jordan said. «I'm learning much from you.»
«I am teaching the professor,» Pablo nodded his head. «Come on, Don Roberto, we will be friends.»
«We are good friends already.»
«I'm going to get out of here,» Agustin said.
«What is the matter, negro? Don't you like to see friendship between Don Roberto and me?»
«Watch your mouth about calling me negro.» Agustin went over to him and stood in front of Pablo holding his hands low.
«So you are called,» Pablo said.
«Not by you.»
Agustin hit him hard across the mouth with his left hand. Pablo sat there. The corners of his mouth were wine-stained and his expression did not change, but Robert Jordan watched his eyes change.
Agustin hit him again on the mouth with his closed fist. Robert Jordan was holding his pistol in his hand under the table. He pushed Maria away with his left hand.
The round-headed man sat staring at Agustin from his flat little eyes. He licked his lips, put up an arm and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, looked down and saw the blood on his hand.
«I am not a fool. I do not provoke.»
Agustin hit him again hard in the mouth and Pablo laughed at him, showing the yellow, bad, broken teeth in the reddened line of his mouth.
«Nobody here has the courage to kill me. I am going to the horses. Even from behind they are better looking and have more sense than these people,» he said and grinned. «Speak to them of the bridge, Roberto. Explain their duties in the attack. Tell them about the retreat. Where will you take your patriots after the bridge? I have thought of it all day while I was drinking.»
«What have you thought?» Agustin asked.
«I have thought you are a group of illusioned people, led by a woman with her brains between her legs and a foreigner who comes to destroy you.»
«Get out,» Pilar shouted.
Agustin was worried.
«Now, Ingles,» Pilar said, «you have seen how he is.»
«What will he do?» Robert Jordan asked.
«Anything. He is capable of doing anything,» the woman said. «Kill him. I am for it now.»
«I was against it,» Agustin said. «Now I am for it.»
«Let all speak,» Pilar said and her voice was tired. «You, Andres?»
«Matailo,» one brother said.
«Equally,» the other brother said.
«I am ready to do it. Since you are all decided that it should be done, I will do it tonight,» Robert Jordan said.
He saw Pilar looking at him, her fingers on her lips. She was looking toward the door.