Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 33

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 33

  • It's two in the morning, and Robert Jordan is awakened by a woman's hand. Maria…
  • Only it's not Maria, it's Pilar. Pablo's gone, she says, and he's taken something. Pilar looks miserable.
  • They go to Pilar's bed in the cave. Robert Jordan's two explosive sacks are both slit. Pablo took a lot: the exploder, the detonators, and the fuse, though most of the actual explosive (dynamite) is still there. Just when we thought things couldn't get much worse…
  • Wasn't Pilar "guarding" the materials, he asks?
  • Yes, she says. Pablo got up, and she awakened, but he said he just had to pee, so she went back to sleep. Awakening again later, she was shocked to see that Pablo had not come back from peeing and that the explosives were gone.
  • This was an hour ago, and Pablo knew how to get past the sentry. There's no hope of catching him.
  • Robert Jordan, figures they'll be able to improvise…somehow. He goes back to bed, taking his explosives with him.