The rebel band wanders through the country in a "march of a blind man without his guide". They approach the town of Juchipila, and Valderrama counts the crosses along the side of the road, the "trace of the blood shed by the first revolutionaries of 1910, murdered by the Government". The poet launches into a dramatic soliloquy extolling the praises of these "martyrs...dreamers...good men", only to be cut off rudely by an ex-Federal officer who now populates the rebel ranks.
There is unrest among Demetrio's men, because of the number of former Federales who occupy positions of importance on the General's staff. Even Anastasio, "who invariably has only praise for Demetrio's conduct", now seems to share the general discontent. He talks to Demetrio, who agrees that they are "in a bad way". Demetrio muses upon the fact that they "kick and kick, but...keep on killing and killing". He cannot explain why they must remain trapped in what has become a purposeless way of life, and helplessly, he concludes that it is best not to say anything.
In an attempt to raise the men's spirits, Demetrio announces that he has orders to "stop a band of men coming through Cuquio"; in a few days, they will have to fight the Carranzistas, and "this time (they) better give them a beating". Valderrama, the mad poet and "highway tramp", overhears Demetrio's words, and disappears as surreptitiously as he had arrived (Part 3, Chapter 4).