Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 25

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 25

  • Robert Jordan goes up to see Primitivo, who's going ballistic.
  • Primitivo says Sordo's being attacked, and wants to know what to do.
  • They're not going to do anything, says Robert Jordan. As he says this, a troop of cavalry appears in the distance, riding up to El Sordo's.
  • Primitivo doesn't like that answer. But Robert Jordan's not budging. He's known this would happen since last night, and there's nothing to be done about it.
  • Up the mountain, he sound of hand grenades now joins that of rifle fire.
  • A tearful Primitivo launches into a stream of obscenities. Which, as if by magic, summon Pilar, who has come up to meet them.
  • Pilar asks if "it has come to Sordo."
  • It has. Sordo is "jodido [screwed, literally]." Nothing to be done, Robert Jordan says.
  • Primitivo is still upset, and Pilar starts to get on his case for being a romantic and having heroic delusions of grandeur. He wouldn't be able to accomplish anything by trying to help Sordo. Except losing his life.
  • At that moment, a plane passes overhead. Pilar gets very nervous – she's afraid of planes.
  • Primitivo makes a nasty remark about her fear of planes, and she apologizes for being rough with him. They are "all in the same caldron."
  • Robert Jordan asks where the others are. All below, out of sight, and ready to go, says Pilar. Except Rafael the useless, who has been sent to gather mushrooms to cook with his hares.
  • The firing above dies off. Robert Jordan tells Pilar that it is not over. The attackers have probably been beaten off, but they've surrounded Sordo, and when the planes come it will be over.
  • Pilar begins to leave, and Robert Jordan asks her for the dead cavalryman's papers. She forgot them, but promises to send Maria with them.

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