Study Guide

For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 40

By Ernest Hemingway

Chapter 40

  • Meanwhile, Andrés has been making slow progress. He had followed the officer he met at the post to the battalion commander, Gomez. Gomez neither wanted to blow him up nor accused him of being a fascist. Instead, Gomez was all ga-ga to meet a real live guerilla, and eagerly offered to take Andrés to HQ on his motorbike.
  • Gomez and Andrés arrive in the town where brigade HQ is located, and stop at a house.
  • Entering the house, they meet a very sleepy and grouchy officer whom Gomez asks to summon the lieutenant-colonel. They're told he's asleep.
  • Gomez demands that that the officer wake him up, but Groucho gives him some attitude and doesn't budge. So Gomez responds as any calm and rational person would: he pulls out his gun and threatens to shoot the guy.
  • It works – Groucho sends an orderly to bring the lieutenant-colonel.
  • Groucho and Gomez occupy themselves with a nasty little interchange until Lieutenant-Colonel Miranda enters. Gomez, whom the colonel knows, hands him the papers and dispatch Andrés brought.
  • Miranda tells Gomez to take Andrés to Navacerrada to see Golz there – he gives them a signed safe conduct pass to take with them.
  • Miranda, despite being awakened at an ungodly hour, is pretty chummy, and offers Andrés food and drink. Andrés doesn't want any. Miranda then recognizes Andrés, whom he'd seen with Anselmo in some city three months ago.
  • Gomez and Andrés leave, and Miranda helps himself to some whiskey. He's very happy it's Golz and not him making the attack.
  • Andrés and Gomez ride on, coming upon a line of empty trucks descending from the mountains.