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For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls


by Ernest Hemingway

Pablo Timeline and Summary

  • Pablo is retrieved by Anselmo to meet Robert Jordan. He demands proof of Robert Jordan's identity, and demands to know his intentions.
  • He learns Robert Jordan wants to blow up a nearby bridge, and is not happy about it.
  • After chiding from Anselmo, he nonetheless leads Robert Jordan back to his cave hideout, but not before showing him his pride and joy: his horses.
  • While Pablo's in the cave, Robert Jordan learns from Anselmo and Rafael that Pablo hasn't been active at all lately, not since taking the last two of his horses from the guardia civil.
  • After Robert Jordan returns from observing the bridge, Pablo announces to him and the rest of the gathered band that he's decided he won't go along with the bridge operation.
  • Pilar counters by saying she will, and everyone else follows her, abandoning Pablo. He warns them that they'll be sorry they decided to do this.
  • Just as Rafael approaches Robert Jordan to ask him to kill Pablo, Pablo goes outside the cave to his horses, which he caresses and calls baby names.
  • The next day, we learn from Pilar that Pablo was quite hurt by the desertions, and wept. He also told her he was afraid of dying.
  • We learn much more about how Pablo used to be when Pilar tells Robert Jordan and Maria the story of how he killed the fascists in her town.
  • That evening, when Robert Jordan and company return to the cave, Pablo is drunk. Or pretending to be. And really obnoxious. He's very happy it's snowing outside, hoping that will spoil Robert Jordan's plans.
  • Robert Jordan calls Pablo out on faking his drunkenness, and gets ready to shoot him. But Pablo has already taken into account that it wouldn't be smart to start a gunfight in the cave with the dynamite in it.
  • Pablo leaves the cave, and the others conspire about killing him, only recognizing the dynamite problem right before he comes back in, smiling. He announces he's decided he'll help them.
  • The next morning, after the patrolman has been killed, Pablo rides the man's horse off to create more tracks and lead the rest of the patrol away from the cave. He leads them away and escapes capture himself.
  • In the evening, after El Sordo has been bombed, Pablo assures Robert Jordan that they will still be able to take the bridge with just his band. He also says he admires Robert Jordan's judgment.
  • At two in the morning, we learn from Pilar that Pablo has stolen the detonators and escaped. Whereabouts unknown.
  • Just when things are looking absolutely awful for the party, Pablo returns, with five men and their horses (he threw away the detonators). He couldn't bear the loneliness he felt having left them on their own.
  • Pablo and the rest go to the horses and ride out to the spot where the horses will stay while they mount the attack. He and Robert Jordan shake hands.
  • When the attack begins, Pablo leads the five men he brought in an assault on the roadmender's hut on one side of the bridge.
  • Pablo keeps the rest of the party waiting quite a while after Pilar's group finishes with its post and Robert Jordan blows the bridge. Finally, he shows up, alone, shooting at something behind him.
  • Pablo reveals he killed the other five men to ensure there would be enough horses for his own band.
  • Riding at the head of the group as it mounts its escape, Pablo makes it to safety. Robert Jordan, at the other end, is hit.
  • Pablo recognizes that Robert Jordan cannot go with them if they are to escape, and Robert Jordan tells him he sees that as well.
  • After Robert Jordan has said his goodbye to Maria, Pablo, and Pilar take hold of her and ride away on horseback.