Robert Jordan and Anselmo scout out the bridge. Robert Jordan watches a sentry on the bridge through binoculars and notes that he has a “peasant face.” Fascist planes fly overhead, but Robert Jordan lets Anselmo think that they are Republican planes. The two men discuss war and religion. Anselmo likes to hunt but hates killing people, whereas Robert Jordan hates killing animals but is willing to kill people when required. They recall that gypsies and Native Americans both view bears as man’s brothers. Anselmo says that he misses believing in God. Robert Jordan silently resents his mission and thinks about Maria.
On the way back, Robert Jordan and Anselmo meet Agustín, another of Pablo’s band, who stands guard but has forgotten his half of the password. Agustín cautions Robert Jordan to watch his explosives. When they are alone again, Anselmo says that Agustín is trustworthy, but Pablo is “bad.”
Back at camp, Robert Jordan brings his backpacks into the cave, where the atmosphere is tense. Pablo says that there is little wine left, so Robert Jordan drinks from his own flask of absinthe. Robert Jordan meets three more band members, Primitivo and the brothers Andrés and Eladio.
Pablo announces that he refuses to blow up the bridge. Robert Jordan replies that he and Anselmo will do it alone. Pilar announces that she supports the bridge operation because she supports the Republic. The men back Pilar, and she says that she is the real leader of the group. Pablo gives in sullenly. Robert Jordan shows the others his plans for the bridge. Looking at Pablo, Pilar is momentarily filled with sorrow and foreboding.
After dinner, Robert Jordan steps outside the cave into the night air. Inside, Rafael sings a song making fun of Catalans (members of a Spanish ethnic subgroup) but Pablo interrupts him. Rafael joins Robert Jordan outside and says that Robert Jordan should have killed Pablo during the confrontation earlier. Robert Jordan says that he considered it but did not want to risk alienating the other band members.
Meanwhile, Pablo fondly confides in one of his horses. The narrator notes that the horse does not understand what Pablo says.