For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 19
They discuss the Russians, and Maria says that Kashkin was brave and beautiful. Pilar thinks he was ugly. Robert Jordan says that he was a good friend and comrade. They are silent when he confirms that he shot him, and he wishes he had not told them. Robert Jordan does not think he saw ahead to his own death, and dismisses this as superstition, but says that fear produces evil visions, and Kashkin's fear became an obsession. Pilar tells him Kashkin smelled of death, and Robert Jordan says that maybe it was fear. Pilar insists she is right, and refers to Robert's inability to sense this as deafness; she cites a bullfighter who smelled of death before being gored. The man who smelled it, Blanquet, did not even have gypsy blood. No one believed him. Pablo and even Anselmo believe in Pilar's abilities. She says that all the gypsies smelled death on another bullfighter. Robert Jordan says that after death such things can be invented, but Pilar insists they knew before. She describes the odor proudly: it is the smell of a brass handle of a screwed-tight porthole on a ship swaying nauseatingly in a storm, the kiss of an old woman with facial hair (the gypsy comments on how this sickens him, and Pilar retorts that gypsy women age fast because they are always pregnant); a sewage pail with flowers in it, and a refuse pail from a whorehouse. Pilar tells him that he must put a sack full of this all over his head and try to breathe through it, and Robert Jordan tells her that if this is what Kashkin smelled like, it is a good thing he shot him. They laugh. Naïve Fernando asks Pilar if he really expects a man of Robert Jordan's education to do such a thing, and she tells him he is a fool.
Robert Jordan goes outside and sees that the snow has stopped; this means that El Sordo will leave tracks if he tries to steal horses. He reports that the storm is over.