Chapter 23 Notes from For Whom the Bell Tolls

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For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 23

They see four cavalry very close and hide. Robert Jordan watches them over the barrel of his gun, where they look twice as big, and thinks about how usually he sees them running. They leave, and all are relieved. Agustín says they could have killed them, but Robert Jordan is unsure of who what might have come if they had. They see from a distance twenty more mounted men like the others, and they know that they would have had to fight them too. He feels very talkative, and knows it is because he is still nervous. He tells Anselmo to go watch the road, but not until the snow is gone, to avoid tracks. Anselmo wants to go to La Granja and ask around.

Robert Jordan asks what the chances are that Pablo will be caught, and Agustín tells him: "If he were not of great ability he would have died last night. It seems to me you do not understand politics, Inglés, nor guerrilla warfare. In politics and this other the first thing is to continue to exist. Look how he continued to exist last night." Chapter 23, pg. 284 Robert Jordan regrets his remark.

They all carry dual identity papers, and know they would have to eat the wrong ones quickly if found. The government is moving toward fascism each day, and Robert Jordan says that if they do not win the war, there will be no revolution, no Republic, and only hell. Agustín says they should shoot everyone but the Republicans, and Anselmo wants only to teach the others. Agustín says they should teach them to jump from planes without parachutes. Anselmo says that with that kind of talk there will never be a Republic. Agustín says that he felt an urgency strong as a cat in heat to kill the four. Robert Jordan thinks about how the Spanish kill as an act of faith. He tells himself he too must admit that he has enjoyed killing at some time. He contemplates Anselmo, how he is an exception, a hunter and not a soldier. He knows that Agustín had fear as well as heat, for he felt the man's muscles twitch in hiding. He stops thinking and orders for food.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty 14
Topic Tracking: Bravery 11
Topic Tracking: Foreigners 13

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