Chapter 22 Summary

Robert Jordan arrives at the gun position and is not pleased with what he sees. He tells Primitivo to cut him some branches to create a blind. Agustin is told to move the gun to a different place farther out. Anselmo is sent down to the cave to retrieve an axe.

Robert Jordan asks Agustin if they never had a proper placement for the gun; Agustin replies that no one ever showed them how to place it. It was simply brought up by porters and left. Robert Jordan is disgusted with the way this insurgency is being run. Agustin says that they have experimented with the gun and even took it apart, but they had difficulty putting it back together for two days. Now they leave it alone. Robert Jordan points out to them how the gun is useless in its present position. Agustin understands but reminds the American that the insurgents have never fought in defense except in their own town. Robert Jordan understands and tells him that they will learn together.

Robert Jordan sees Pablo riding down the slope and disappearing into the trees. Robert Jordan hopes he doesn’t run right into the cavalry. Primitivo brings branches, which they use to hide the gun. Robert Jordan warns them to lie down flat if they hear a plane approaching.

Robert Jordan makes a count of the people in the camp; there are ten. He fears that the horse tracks in the snow will reveal El Sordo’s location to the Fascist planes overhead. Hopefully the snow will melt fast, though he is sure the tracks were spotted the day before. He prays that there will be no fighting this day. They may be able to hold out if the attacks wait until tomorrow, but they are unprepared at the moment. He muses that the bridge will be easy to destroy, although he had worried about this previously. He has little concern for the well-being of Pablo, who should be able to take care of himself.

Rafael finally arrives at the gun position, carrying two hares he caught as they were mating. Robert Jordan tries to make him see how irresponsible he was to leave his post and let the cavalry ride through without warning, but the gypsy is more interested in his catch. Robert Jordan watches two crows overhead in case a signal from them will indicate the approach of someone. He feels Rafael is worthless as a soldier but is needed for the next day. He tells the men signals to use in case of an approach. He reminds them of the importance of the destruction of the bridge: with the bridge gone, they will be more likely to take Segovia, an important city for strategic purposes. Robert Jordan notices one of the crows flying up into the trees without making a sound. He knows this means someone is coming.