Jordan chooses Andres, a younger man than the willing Anselmo, to take a note through enemy lines to General Golz at Navacerrada. Jordan wants to persuade Golz to cancel the attack because of the unanticipated Fascist troops that have mobilized to stop the Loyalist offensive. Jordan is pessimistic, and he feels it is too late for Golz to receive orders from Madrid to cancel the attack
At this point in the novel, the plot takes on a different form than the previous straight line of events we have followed. The narrative is now more complex, as we follow both the journey of Andres as well as the action at the camp. The parallel plots help to increase the work's dramatic tension. Our suspense increases as we follow the pitfalls Andres encounters on his mission, instead of simply relating what happens later.
Andres travels through the lines, and back at the camp Jordan loses himself in reverie. He thinks of his father's suicide and concludes that he was a coward. His grandfather, however, was a Civil War hero who Jordan idealized. He thinks now that he would like to talk with his grandfather again.
Jordan's condemnation of his father's suicide foreshadows a decision that he will have to make at the end of the novel. The theme of suicide was first introduced with Kashkin, with whom the band first draws parallels to Jordan. We see the pattern in this chapter that has been slowly developing throughout the novel. At first, death only sometimes dominated Jordan's thoughts. Now, any act of thinking portends death; this creates an ominous mood of impending doom.
At night in Jordan's sleeping bag, Maria is inflicted by "a great soreness and much pain" which she attributes to her rape, and not her sexual experiences with Jordan. Jordan does not mind, and tells her he likes to lie close and talk. They dream of their life in Madrid, and Maria promises to be a good wife. She tells Jordan she would be happy with him anywhere, and would learn English and learn to be an American wife if that would please him.
Maria then tells Jordan about the murder of her parents and the shaving of her head. We learn that her father was the mayor of her town and her mother, although not Republican, remained loyal to her husband and died next to him by firing squad. She does not, however, describe being raped. Jordan then binds them together for life by telling Maria: "I marry thee now. Thou art my wife." As Maria sleeps, Jordan reasons that perhaps he has lived his life in three days, culminating with his marriage to Maria.
Superstition appears in this chapter, as even the realist Jordan is now reading signs. He feels that not making love to Maria is "not good luck for the last night." Maria herself seems to believe that they are going to die when she says they should "get everything said before it is too late." Again, the image of time slipping away prevails.
Maria's descriptions of the horror she underwent are written in spare, poignant prose laden with imagery that pinpoints the reaction of the individual to extreme violence. "I could not look away from the horror that my face made with the mouth open and the braids tied in it and my head coming naked under the clippers." Maria is looking at herself from a distance; even at the moment she was being tortured her mind has separated from the body in pain. She seems more afraid of facing the agonized soul that dominates her own reflection that her captors.
Jordan's desire to live and start a real life with Maria is apparent when he whispers to her in English, thus symbolizing his desire to remove himself and her from the reality about them: "I'd like to marry you, rabbit. I'm very proud of your family."
This chapter switches the scene to Gaylord's Hotel in Madrid, the scene of a Loyalist party. The foreign leaders are irritated when they learn that the offensive is no longer a secret, but they are not surprise and do nothing to remedy the situation. Jordan's friend Karkov talks to a general about the reports that the fascists were bombing their own troops near Segovia. The General brushes the warning off by assuming that the
Fascists were probably only conducting maneuvers. He tells Karkov that Golz will have to fight for himself.
This brief chapter is very significant because of the ironic contrast it establishes between the terrible experience of the guerillas and the posh lifestyle and lack of concern of the international leaders in Madrid. The fact that the party is being held as there is fighting all around the capital indicates that these international Loyalist leaders do not have much concern for the Cause nor for the peasants fighting for it.
At two in the morning, Pilar wakes Robert Jordan and tells him that Pablo has fled. Upon inspecting the cave, Jordan finds that Pablo has taken dynamite and other supplies with him. Jordan reprimands Pilar for letting him escape, but then consoles her by saying that he will still be able to blow the bridge. Pilar is ashamed, and tells Jordan, "I have failed thee and I have failed the Republic."
This episode heightens the complications of Jordan and Pilar's relationship. They depend on each other's help and loyalty, yet are they are motivated by different ways of thinking- mysticism versus realism- and obviously frustrated by each other. The ominous tone of doom in this chapter also foreshadows disaster: "There is a hollow empty feeling that a man can have when he is waked too early in the morning that is almost like the feeling of disaster and he had this multiplied a thousand times."
Andres travels through the countryside and thinks about his brothers in his home village. He reminisces about his bravery baiting bulls, for which he earned the name "Bulldog." He is also happy that he will not be back for the attack in the morning; he knows the band is doomed. Andres continues happily until he reaches a Loyalist post "where he knew he would be challenged."
Andres' reminiscing paints another portrait of Spanish life before the war. Thinking about his village also reminds Andres that his enemies are merely men like himself. Indeed, a major theme is reiterated here, that peasants such as Andres are no longer willing to die for the Cause. We hear echoes of Pablo in Andres' wishes to return to his brothers in the village.
In bed again with Maria, Jordan is furious that he had not watched Pablo as closely as he should have. He transfers his anger to all Spaniards by saying that they are selfish, cowardly, and undisciplined. He then calms himself by focusing on revising his plans; he now must blow the bridge without proper men, arms, or horses. He then whispers to Maria that she is not to worry that he can accomplish the mission. He gives her a good night's sleep as a wedding gift.
Ironically, Jordan quickly turns his stereotyping of Spaniards as people worth fighting for into a very negative portrait. Hemingway himself seems to be pinpointing the dangers of associating personalities with nationalities while indicating that his work neither idealizes nor stereotypes Spaniards.
The final sentence of this chapter is also very ironic. "He lay there holding her very lightly, feeling her breathe and feeling her heart beat, and keeping track of the time on his wrist watch." Even love cannot end Jordan's preoccupation. Maria's breathing symbolizes life, and the ticking of the clock foreshadows that this life is limited.