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Andrés rides through the night to deliver Robert Jordan’s dispatch to General Golz. He thinks about his feeling of relief when Robert Jordan asked him to deliver his message—relief because killing thrills Andrés in a way that embarrasses him. He remembers having the same feeling of exhilaration and embarrassment on his town’s annual bull-baiting day, in which, by tradition, he was expected to bite the bull by the ear. He also remembers feeling the same sense of relief if the bull-baiting ever was canceled. Andrés arrives at a checkpoint.
Robert Jordan lies next to Maria, seething with anger at Pablo and reproaching himself for letting Pablo steal from his packs. He forces himself to let go of his anger. Calm, he thinks about how to blow up the bridge without enough people, horses, or weapons, and now without the mechanism for properly detonating the dynamite. Robert Jordan whispers to the sleeping Maria that they can still finish the mission. They will all be killed, he thinks, but they will complete their task. He tells Maria that a good night’s sleep will be her wedding present.
At the checkpoint, the guards challenge, insult, and threaten to shoot Andrés. After much wrangling, Andrés finally convinces them that his mission is legitimate. One of the guards takes Andrés’s gun and escorts him down the hill.
Robert Jordan and Maria lie in bed just before three in the morning. He licks her ear, and she wakes up. They make love, and once again they experience a simultaneous orgasm and feel the earth move. Maria calls this state “la gloria.” They talk about how lucky they are to have found each other. Robert Jordan thinks that these people—Maria, Pilar, Anselmo, Agustín—are his family, and that he has been here at the fort his whole life. He thinks about how much he has learned.
Before dawn, the guerrilla fighters eat breakfast and nervously prepare for the attack later that day. Robert Jordan plans to use hand grenades to make up for the stolen explosives. He thinks that they have too few men and that the attack will fail. He struggles to overcome his anger at Pablo. Pilar tells Robert Jordan that she cares about him very much and that he should forget about how troubled she seemed after reading his palm.
Pablo suddenly returns to the camp. He has thrown the explosives he stole into the river but has brought five men with their horses from neighboring guerrilla bands. He explains that he left in a moment of weakness and that he felt great loneliness after he threw the explosives in the river. Although Pilar compares Pablo to Judas Iscariot (the biblical apostle who betrays Jesus), both Pilar and Robert Jordan are relieved that Pablo has returned.