Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 39

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 39

  • The band are climbing up a hill through the dark, loaded with weapons and equipment. Their horses are with them, also loaded.
  • Pablo and Robert Jordan are talking plans. Pablo has told the five men he's brought that they will be successful, and asks that Robert Jordan not say anything that might lead them to recognize they've been fed a bunch of lies. He volunteers to lead those five in an attack on the lower post (the roadmender's hut).
  • Pablo points out that they have only five horses. There are not enough horses in total for everyone to have one, even if a couple of people die in battle. Robert Jordan assumes Pablo means that he will not get a horse.
  • Even so, Pablo has boosted Robert Jordan's spirits. He now feels confident about the operation.
  • He starts thinking about Maria, but decides it would be best not to think about Maria today.
  • Robert Jordan waits until Maria comes up with Pilar and the horses, and tells she's to stay with the horses.
  • Moving up ahead, he sees the group of new guys and their horses gathered in an open place. Pablo introduces them. Pilar recognizes a couple.
  • Pablo tells them all to keep quiet, and to follow him to the place where they will leave the horses.

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