Chapter 32 Summary

That same night, Karkov arrives in his car at the Hotel Gaylord in Madrid. He is wearing black riding boots, gray riding breeches, and a short jacket. The two sentries at the entrance, who regularly pat down people entering whom they do not know, barely look up when Karkov passes them.

In his apartment, many people are gathered, drinking. Some are in uniform, others are dressed casually. Karkov goes immediately to a woman in a militia uniform. She is his wife, and he says something to her in Russian. Across the room he sees his mistress. He approaches her and greets her warmly. He tells her that all the Republic’s heroes are getting fat. She jokes with him, telling him that he is so ugly he would be jealous of a toad. She asks if she may go to the offensive with him the following day. Karkov says no. He denies that there is an offensive. His mistress tells him that everyone knows about it and that many women are going. He tells her that she can go with anyone she likes. Then he asks who exactly told her. She tells him it was Richard.

Another man comes up to him and asks if he has heard the good news: all day the Fascists have been fighting among themselves near Segovia, bombing their own planes. Delores (La Pasionaria) told the party the news. Karkov cynically tells them man to write an article for Isvestia before he forgets his leading line. The man thinks he is joking, but Karkov is not, so he goes to another room to begin writing the article.

Karkov sees a Hungarian man, about forty-eight years old, dressed in a general’s uniform. He asks him if indeed Delores had been there. She was, the General replies, and the report of her news is true. There is also talk of the attack the following day. The General suggests that all journalists should be shot for spreading the news. Karkov tells him the American, Robert Jordan, is in the highlands where the offensive will take place. The General speculates that he will have a report on it, but he will not get involved because he is unpopular with Golz and his crew. Karkov tells the General that it is said he will be traveling, which makes the General angry at all the gossip. Karkov announces that he is going to get a little sleep, though in a few hours he will be heading up to the front where Golz will be attacking the next morning.