Cervantes, who "had been hiding among a heap of ruins", ventures out as the gunfire slowly diminishes. He had found himself in the midst of a fierce battle, and, having fallen from his saddle, had sought a safe place to hide. Now that the danger is passing, he encounters Solis, who ironically, has been hiding as well. Solis comments on the extreme bravery of Cervantes's leader Demetrio Macias. After the Federales had mowed down the first wave of rebels with their machine guns, Demetrio, "without waiting for orders from anyone", had led a courageous attack straight into the jaws of the opposing forces, and, with the element of surprise, managed to overcome their lines. Solis and Cervantes gaze over the field of their victory, a "six-hundred-yard slope...covered with dead".
Solis sardonically admires the "beaut(y)" of the Revolution, and laments that, even should the rebels emerge ultimately victorious, they will in essence only be building a new empire for "monsters of exactly the same sort...people without ideals...born to tyranny". He looks over the scene of "demolished house(s)...caved-in-roof(s)...fugitives who had barely managed to escape", and believes he "discern(s) a symbol of the revolution in (the) clouds of smoks and dust that (climb) upward together, embrac(ing)...and disappear(ing) into nothingness". Suddenly he feels a "blow in the stomach". The battle is over, but Solis has been shot, and he plummets into "eternal darkness and silence" (Chapter 21).