Study Guide

Nostromo Part 3, Chapter 3

By Joseph Conrad

Part 3, Chapter 3

  • The chapter picks up with more details about the meeting between the doctor and Sotillo. Sotillo indicates he thought Charles Gould was just pretending the silver shipment was missing in order to get it all to himself. The doctor agrees that that is possible. He also tries to plant the idea in Sotillo's head that the silver has been buried on land rather than taken out by sea.
  • Hearing these details, Captain Mitchell gets his feathers in a ruffle about the fact the doctor has suggested Gould pretended to lose the silver so that he could keep it for himself.
  • Then the doctor announces that Sotillo has released Viola and is about to release Mitchell as well.
  • That turns out to be true: A short time later, the door opens, and Mitchell is brought back to Sotillo, who releases him. The reason? Sotillo thinks that Mitchell is too small a fish to fry, basically.
  • Then the doctor and Sotillo chat, and the doctor suggests leaving the Goulds alone until their plans became clear—and he offers to try to get some information out of Charles. Sotillo is pleased that the doctor is so willing to sell out his countrymen. However, he is clear in his own mind that he will not reward the doctor, regardless of how helpful he is, and thinks the doctor is a fool.
  • We also get some more details about Sotillo's motivations and plans at that moment.
  • Then, we learn about Hernández's appointment as a general just prior to the outbreak of rioting and how things went between him and Father Corbelán, who had advocated for him with the Goulds.
  • Apparently, after hearing from her uncle, Antonia decided to go help out Hernández and his pack. Hernández was committed to holding a bunch of the land between the woods and the coast until Martin could return with Barrios (since no one knew that Martin was hanging out on the Great Isabel).
  • We then hear about an encounter between Charles and a representative of Hernández's people as Charles was escorting Antonia (and Avellanos, who was on a stretcher) out of town. The rep has ridden out to try to get Gould to back up any agreement that Father Corbelán might make with Hernández to ensure his loyalty and protection for the anti-Monterist resistance. Antonia asked Charles to go along with it, and he did.