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For Whom The Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway - 7

Inside the cave, Robert Jordan sat on one of the rawhide stools in a corner by the fire listening to the woman. She was washing the dishes and the girl, Maria, was drying them and putting them away, kneeling to place them in the hollow dug in the wall that was used as a shelf.
"It is strange," she said. "That El Sordo has not come. He should have been here an hour ago."
"Did you advise him to come?"
"No. He comes each night."
"Perhaps he is doing something. Some work."
"It is possible," she said. "If he does not come we must go to see him tomorrow."
"Yes. Is it far from here?"
"No. It will be a good trip. I lack exercise."
"Can I go?" Maria asked. "May I go too, Pilar?"
"Yes, beautiful," the woman said, then turning her big face, "Isn't she pretty?" she asked Robert Jordan. "How does she seem to thee? A little thin?"
"To me she seems very well," Robert Jordan said. Maria filled his cup with wine. "Drink that," she said. "It will make me seem even better. It is necessary to drink much of that for me to seem beautiful."
"Then I had better stop," Robert Jordan said. "Already thou seemest beautiful and more."
"That's the way to talk," the woman said. "You talk like the good ones. What more does she seem?"
"Intelligent," Robert Jordan said lamely. Maria giggled and the woman shook her head sadly. "How well you begin and how it ends, Don Roberto."
"Don't call me Don Roberto."
"It is a joke. Here we say Don Pablo for a joke. As we say the Senorita Maria for a joke."
"I don't joke that way," Robert Jordan said. "Camarada to me is what all should be called with seriousness in this war. In the joking commences a rottenness."
"Thou art very religious about thy politics," the woman teased him. "Thou makest no jokes?"
"Yes. I care much for jokes but not in the form of address. It is like a flag."
"I could make jokes about a flag. Any flag," the woman laughed. "To me no one can joke of anything. The old flag of yellow and gold we called pus and blood. The flag of the Republic with the purple added we call blood, pus and permanganate. It is a joke."
"He is a Communist," Maria said. "They are very serious _gente_."
"Are you a Communist?"
"No I am an anti-fascist."
"For a long time?"
"Since I have understood fascism."
"How long is that?"
"For nearly ten years."
"That is not much time," the woman said. "I have been a Republican for twenty years."
"My father was a Republican all his life," Maria said. "It was for that they shot him."
"My father was also a Republican all his life. Also my grandfather," Robert Jordan said.
"In what country?"
"The United States."
"Did they shoot them?" the woman asked.
"_Que va_," Maria said. "The United States is a country of Republicans. They don't shoot you for being a Republican there."
"All the same it is a good thing to have a grandfather who was a Republican," the woman said. "It shows a good blood."
"My grandfather was on the Republican national committee," Robert Jordan said. That impressed even Maria.
"And is thy father still active in the Republic?" Pilar asked.
"No. He is dead."
"Can one ask how he died?"
"He shot himself."
"To avoid being tortured?" the woman asked.
"Yes," Robert Jordan said. "To avoid being tortured."
Maria looked at him with tears in her eyes. "My father," she said, "could not obtain a weapon. Oh, I am very glad that your father had the good fortune to obtain a weapon."
"Yes. It was pretty lucky," Robert Jordan said. "Should we talk about something else?"
"Then you and me we are the same," Maria said. She put her hand on his arm and looked in his face. He looked at her brown face and at the eyes that, since he had seen them, had never been as young as the rest of her face but that now were suddenly hungry and young and wanting.
"You could be brother and sister by the look," the woman said. "But I believe it is fortunate that you are not."
"Now I know why I have felt as I have," Maria said. "Now it is clear."
"_Que va_," Robert Jordan said and reaching over, he ran his hand over the top of her head. He had been wanting to do that all day and now he did it, he could feel his throat swelling. She moved her head under his hand and smiled up at him and he felt the thick but silky roughness of the cropped head rippling between his fingers. Then his hand was on her neck and then he dropped it.
"Do it again," she said. "I wanted you to do that all day."
"Later," Robert Jordan said and his voice was thick.
"And me," the woman of Pablo said in her booming voice. "I am expected to watch all this? I am expected not to be moved? One cannot. For fault of anything better; that Pablo should come back."
Maria took no notice of her now, nor of the others playing cards at the table by the candlelight.
"Do you want another cup of wine, Roberto?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "Why not?"
"You're going to have a drunkard like I have," the woman of Pablo said. "With that rare thing he drank in the cup and all. Listen to me, _Ingles_."
"Not _Ingles_. American."
"Listen, then, American. Where do you plan to sleep?"
"Outside. I have a sleeping robe."
"Good," she said. "The night is clear?"
"And will be cold."
"Outside then," she said. "Sleep thee outside. And thy materials can sleep with me."
"Good," said Robert Jordan.
"Leave us for a moment," Robert Jordan said to the girl and put his hand on her shoulder.
"I wish to speak to Pilar."
"Must I go?"
"What is it?" the woman of Pablo said when the girl had gone over to the mouth of the cave where she stood by the big wineskin, watching the card players.
"The gypsy said I should have--" he began.
"No," the woman interrupted. "He is mistaken."
"If it is necessary that I--" Robert Jordan said quietly but with difficulty.
"Thee would have done it, I believe," the woman said. "Nay, it is not necessary. I was watching thee. But thy judgment was good."
"But if it is needful--"
"No," the woman said. "I tell you it is not needful. The mind of the gypsy is corrupt."
"But in weakness a man can be a great danger."
"No. Thou dost not understand. Out of this one has passed all capacity for danger."
"I do not understand."
"Thou art very young still," she said. "You will understand." Then, to the girl, "Come, Maria. We are not talking more."
The girl came over and Robert Jordan reached his hand out and patted her head. She stroked under his hand like a kitten. Then he thought that she was going to cry. But her lips drew up again and she looked at him and smiled.
"Thee would do well to go to bed now," the woman said to Robert Jordan. "Thou hast had a long journey."
"Good," said Robert Jordan. "I will get my things."
He was asleep in the robe and he had been asleep, he thought, for a long time. The robe was spread on the forest floor in the lee of the rocks beyond the cave mouth and as he slept, he turned, and turning rolled on his pistol which was fastened by a lanyard to one wrist and had been by his side under the cover when he went to sleep, shoulder and back weary, leg-tired, his muscles pulled with tiredness so that the ground was soft, and simply stretching in the robe against the flannel lining was voluptuous with fatigue. Waking, he wondered where he was, knew, and then shifted the pistol from under his side and settled happily to stretch back into sleep, his hand on the pillow of his clothing that was bundled neatly around his rope-soled shoes. He had one arm around the pillow.
Then he felt her hand on his shoulder and turned quickly, his right hand holding the pistol under the robe.
"Oh, it is thee," he said and dropping the pistol he reached both arms up and pulled her down. With his arms around her he could feel her shivering.
"Get in," he said softly. "It is cold out there."

"No. I must not."
"Get in," he said. "And we can talk about it later."
She was trembling and he held her wrist now with one hand and held her lightly with the other arm. She had turned her head away.
"Get in, little rabbit," he said and kissed her on the back of the neck.
"I am afraid."
"No. Do not be afraid. Get in."
"Just slip in. There is much room. Do you want me to help you?"
"No," she said and then she was in the robe and he was holding her tight to him and trying to kiss her lips and she was pressing her face against the pillow of clothing but holding her arms close around his neck. Then he felt her arms relax and she was shivering again as he held her.
"No," he said and laughed. "Do not be afraid. That is the pistol."
He lifted it and slipped it behind him.
"I am ashamed," she said, her face away from him.
"No. You must not be. Here. Now."
"No, I must not. I am ashamed and frightened."
"No. My rabbit. Please."
"I must not. If thou dost not love me."
"I love thee."
"I love thee. Oh, I love thee. Put thy hand on my head," she said away from him, her face still in the pillow. He put his hand on her head and stroked it and then suddenly her face was away from the pillow and she was in his arms, pressed close against him, and her face was against his and she was crying.
He held her still and close, feeling the long length of the young body, and he stroked her head and kissed the wet saltiness of her eyes, and as she cried he could feel the rounded, firm-pointed breasts touching through the shirt she wore.
"I cannot kiss," she said. "I do not know how."
"There is no need to kiss."
"Yes. I must kiss. I must do everything."
"There is no need to do anything. We are all right. But thou hast many clothes."
"What should I do?"
"I will help you."
"Is that better?"
"Yes. Much. It is not better to thee?"
"Yes. Much better. And I can go with thee as Pilar said?"
"But not to a home. With thee."
"No, to a home."
"No. No. No. With thee and I will be thy woman."
Now as they lay all that before had been shielded was unshielded. Where there had been roughness of fabric all was smooth with a smoothness and firm rounded pressing and a long warm coolness, cool outside and warm within, long and light and closely holding, closely held, lonely, hollow-making with contours, happymaking, young and loving and now all warmly smooth with a hollowing, chest-aching, tight-held loneliness that was such that Robert Jordan felt he could not stand it and he said, "Hast thou loved others?"
Then suddenly, going dead in his arms, "But things were done to me."
"By whom?"
"By various."
Now she lay perfectly quietly and as though her body were dead and turned her head away from him.
"Now you will not love me."
"I love you," he said.
But something had happened to him and she knew it.
"No," she said and her voice had gone dead and flat. "Thou wilt not love me. But perhaps thou wilt take me to the home. And I will go to the home and I will never be thy woman nor anything."
"I love thee, Maria."
"No. It is not true," she said. Then as a last thing pitifully and hopefully.
"But I have never kissed any man."
"Then kiss me now."
"I wanted to," she said. "But I know not how. Where things were done to me I fought until I could not see. I fought until-- until--until one sat upon my head--and I bit him--and then they tied my mouth and held my arms behind my head--and others did things to me."
"I love thee, Maria," he said. "And no one has done anything to thee. Thee, they cannot touch. No one has touched thee, little rabbit."
"You believe that?"
"I know it."
"And you can love me?" warm again against him now.
"I can love thee more."
"I will try to kiss thee very well."
"Kiss me a little."

"I do not know how."
"Just kiss me."
She kissed him on the cheek.
"Where do the noses go? I always wondered where the noses would go."
"Look, turn thy head," and then their mouths were tight together and she lay close pressed against him and her mouth opened a little gradually and then, suddenly, holding her against him, he was happier than he had ever been, lightly, lovingly, exultingly, innerly happy and unthinking and untired and unworried and only feeling a great delight and he said, "My little rabbit. My darling. My sweet. My long lovely."
"What do you say?" she said as though from a great distance away.
"My lovely one," he said.
They lay there and he felt her heart beating against his and with the side of his foot he stroked very lightly against the side of hers.
"Thee came barefooted," he said.
"Then thee knew thou wert coming to the bed."
"And you had no fear."
"Yes. Much. But more fear of how it would be to take my shoes off."
"And what time is it now? _lo sabes?_"
"No. Thou hast no watch?"
"Yes. But it is behind thy back."
"Take it from there."
"Then look over my shoulder."
It was one o'clock. The dial showed bright in the darkness that the robe made.
"Thy chin scratches my shoulder."
"Pardon it. I have no tools to shave."
"I like it. Is thy beard blond?"
"And will it be long?"
"Not before the bridge. Maria, listen. Dost thou--?"
"Do I what?"
"Dost thou wish?"
"Yes. Everything. Please. And if we do everything together, the other maybe never will have been."
"Did you think of that?"
"No. I think it in myself but Pilar told me."
"She is very wise."
"And another thing," Maria said softly. "She said for me to tell you that I am not sick. She knows about such things and she said to tell you that."
"She told you to tell me?"
"Yes. I spoke to her and told her that I love you. I loved you when I saw you today and I loved you always but I never saw you before and I told Pilar and she said if I ever told you anything about anything, to tell you that I was not sick. The other thing she told me long ago. Soon after the train."
"What did she say?"
"She said that nothing is done to oneself that one does not accept and that if I loved some one it would take it all away. I wished to die, you see."
"What she said is true."
"And now I am happy that I did not die. I am so happy that I did not die. And you can love me?"
"Yes. I love you now."
"And I can be thy woman?"
"I cannot have a woman doing what I ao. But thou art my woman now."
"If once I am, then I will keep on. Am I thy woman now?"
"Yes, Maria. Yes, my little rabbit."
She held herself tight to him and her lips looked for his and then found them and were against them and he felt her, fresh, new and smooth and young and lovely with the warm, scalding coolness and unbelievable to be there in the robe that was as familiar as his clothes, or his shoes, or his duty and then she said, frightenedly, "And now let us do quickly what it is we do so that the other is all gone."
"You want?"
"Yes," she said almost fiercely. "Yes. Yes. Yes."
It was cold in the night and Robert Jordan slept heavily. Once he woke and, stretching, realized that the girl was there, curled far down in the robe, breathing lightly and regularly, and in the dark, bringing his head in from the cold, the sky hard and sharp with stars, the air cold in his nostrils, he put his head under the warmth of the robe and kissed her smooth shoulder. She did not wake and he rolled onto his side away from her and with his head out of the robe in the cold again, lay awake a moment feeling the long, seeping luxury of his fatigue and then the smooth tactile happiness of their two bodies touching and then, as he pushed his legs out deep as they would go in the robe, he slipped down steeply into sleep.
He woke at first daylight and the girl was gone. He knew it as he woke and, putting out his arm, he felt the robe warm where she had been. He looked at the mouth of the cave where the blanket showed frost-rimmed and saw the thin gray smoke from the crack in the rocks that meant the kitchen fire was lighted.
A man came out of the timber, a blanket worn over his head like a poncho Robert Jordan saw it was Pablo and that he was smoking a cigarette. He's been down corralling the horses, he thought.
Pablo pulled open the blanket and went into the cave without looking toward Robert Jordan.
Robert Jordan felt with his hand the light frost that lay on the worn, spotted green balloon silk outer covering of the five-year-old down robe, then settled into it again. _Bueno_, he said to himself, feeling the familiar caress of the flannel lining as he spread his legs wide, then drew them together and then turned on his side so that his head would be away from the direction where he knew the sun would come. _Que mas da_, I might as well sleep some more.
He slept until the sound of airplane motors woke him.
Lying on his back, he saw them, a fascist patrol of three Fiats, tiny, bright, fast-moving across the mountain sky, headed in the direction from which Anselmo and he had come yesterday. The three passed and then came nine more, flying much higher in the minute, pointed formations of threes, threes and threes.
Pablo and the gypsy were standing at the cave mouth, in the shadow, watching the sky and as Robert Jordan lay still, the sky now full of the high hammering roar of motors, there was a new droning roar and three more planes came over at less than a thousand feet above the clearing. These three were Heinkel one-elevens, twin-motor bombers.
Robert Jordan, his head in the shadow of the rocks, knew they would not see him, and that it did not matter if they did. He knew they could possibly see the horses in the corral if they were looking for anything in these mountains. If they were not looking for anything they might still see them but would naturally take them for some of their own cavalry mounts. Then came a new and louder droning roar and three more Heinkel one-elevens showed coming steeply, stiffly, lower yet, crossing in rigid formation, their pounding roar approaching in crescendo to an absolute of noise and then receding as they passed the clearing.
Robert Jordan unrolled the bundle of clothing that made his pillow and pulled on his shirt. It was over his head and he was pulling it down when he heard the next planes coming and he pulled his trousers on under the robe and lay still as three more of the Heinkel bimotor bombers came over. Before they were gone over the shoulder of the mountain, he had buckled on his pistol, rolled the robe and placed it against the rocks and sat now, close against the rocks, tying his rope-soled shoes when the approaching droning turned to a greater clattering roar than ever before and nine more Heinkel light bombers came in echelons; hammering the sky apart as they went over.
Robert Jordan slipped along the rocks to the mouth of the cave where one of the brothers, Pablo, the gypsy, Anselmo, Agustin and the woman stood in the mouth looking out.
"Have there been planes like this before?" he asked.
"Never," said Pablo. "Get in. They will see thee."
The sun had not yet hit the mouth of the cave. It was just now shining on the meadow by the stream and Robert Jordan knew they could not be seen in the dark, early morning shadow of the trees and the solid shade the rocks made, but he went in the cave in order not to make them nervous.
"They are many," the woman said.
"And there will be more," Robert Jordan said.
"How do you know?" Pablo asked suspiciously.
"Those, just now, will have pursuit planes with them."
Just then they heard them, the higher, whining drone, and as they passed at about five thousand feet, Robert Jordan counted fifteen Fiats in echelon of echelons like a wild-goose flight of the V-shaped threes.
In the cave entrance their faces all looked very sober and Robert Jordan said, "You have not seen this many planes?"
"Never," said Pablo.
"There are not many at Segovia?"
"Never has there been, we have seen three usually. Sometimes six of the chasers. Perhaps three Junkers, the big ones with the three motors, with the chasers with them. Never have we seen planes like this."
It is bad, Robert Jordan thought. This is really bad. Here is a concentration of planes which means something very bad. I must listen for them to unload. But no, they cannot have brought up the troops yet for the attack. Certainly not before tonight or tomorrow night, certainly not yet. Certainly they will not be moving anything at this hour.
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